St. Charles Herald-Guide

Our Heather blasted off 60 pounds!

Heather R. Breaux - November 16, 2006

Every day I looked at myself in the mirror - in the bathroom in the morning while brushing my teeth, in department store dressing rooms. I even looked at my reflection in shop windows as I passed by them.

Sure I noticed a difference in my weight, but for some reason my eyes couldn't see what was really happening to my body.

In a matter of two years I went from weighing 129 pounds to 205 pounds and didn't realize it until I saw a photograph of myself during Christmas 2001.

My body was pudgy. My face looked bloated. Even my hands seemed larger. I didn't look like myself, or a least not like the self I remembered from high school.

At first I became depressed. I was still in shock from my body's transformation. The only logical explanation I could come up with was that college was to blame.

Late nights studying with my face in a book - running out at midnight to grab a bite to eat from a fast food restaurant or chugging down a mocha latte with extra whipped cream just to keep my eyes open. Never making time for exercise between school and work.

I knew I had to do something to reverse the damage, yet, more importantly, I had to find the willpower.

Years of neglect to my body ultimately lead to months in the gym and to a whirlwind of fad diets.

Every weight loss product or diet commercial that flashed across my television screen got my attention. And I tried all of them - from counting carbohydrates to strict low-fat meals.

Initially, with each diet attempt I would lose weight, but then I would reach a plateau and get discouraged again.

I was beginning to realize that healthy weight control couldnít be achieved without making it a permanent part of my life.

The weight loss products and diets were only a quick temporary fix.

I had to make exercise a daily duty and be totally aware of what I was putting into my body, or my battle of the bulge would become a reocurring fight.

In the end, I lost 60 pounds, and give or take 10 pounds, I have kept most of the weight off. The most important thing that I learned about my body was that I am meant to be human, not perfect.

Everyone struggles with some sort of body image issue - especially around the holidays when the only thing many of us can think of is eating - but with an active lifestyle anyone can lead a healthy life.

Because itís really not about being too skinny or overweight, itís about being healthy.

Our Heather blasted off 60 pounds!