AN INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH WILLIAMS FOR THE MY JOURNEY STORY SERIES.
LAC: When did you decide to start making your health a priority (what or whom inspired this decision) and what were your goals?
Elizabeth: All of my life from high school and motherhood I was a size 14. I tried diets the weight went up and down. I was diagnosed with a disabling position in 1999. I had to quit my job due to lack of balance and increasing deafness. I felt that I was losing my identity by losing my job, lifestyle and hearing. I started eating my feelings and ballooned up to 303 lbs, my highest weight in 2010.
LAC: How did you get started and what did you do to improve your health?
Elizabeth: I looked in the mirror one day and saw my body, before I would only look at my face. I did not recognize the person that was in front of me. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I was an unhealthy mess. I dropped my daughter off at U of K and then hit the gym everyday. I stopped eating all fast food and anything fried. I wanted to be “me” again, not the blob in the mirror.
LAC: How did you stay motivated and what was the biggest challenge?
Elizabeth: My biggest challenge was that my family did not support me. I didn’t say I had to lose 150 lbs, I broke it down to 10 pounds at a time. I rewarded myself with new workout clothes or “thin” clothes. I saved my money from fast food habit to pay for a personal trainer once in awhile to show me how its done and keep me on track. My motivation was to be “me” again. My husband never once commented on my weight gain. I didn’t want my husband and daughter to be ashamed of me.
LAC: What positive changes did you see in your life and what did you learn throughout this process?
Elizabeth: My most positive change was that I stopped my medications for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. I went from 303 lbs down to 127 lbs. People do not recognize me then I learned it was okay to look in a mirror. I learned that health and fitness is a way of life, diets do not work. It has to be a total lifestyle change, I learned that nothing comes easy, you have to work for it. I learned that it was fun to shop. If you fail, you just jump back onto that fitness trail.
LAC: Final Thoughts? Is there anything else you would like share about your story?
Elizabeth: If I can lose over 150 lbs anyone can. I never dreamed that I could go from a size 26 to a size 6. No one noticed the first 50 lbs I lost but I kept on going. This is a journey everyday, it does not stop. I try to motivate people who have large amounts of weight to lose. I couldn’t have done it without my friends from the gym encouraging me. I love how my body has changed along with my husband and daughter. This has been one of the biggest accomplishments in my life. I did not, I will not quit. This journey is for my life, health and happiness. I am proud when I look in a mirror now and so happy that I took the first step into a new way of life.
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