How Walking on My Lunch Break Helped Me Lose 60 Pounds
Lobke Meulemeester explains how little changes led to a huge weight loss.
In January 2015, I weighed 233 pounds. It was the heaviest I’d ever been. I’d started to let myself go after my mom passed away two years earlier. On a typical day, I woke up and had three to four slices of toast with butter. At 11 a.m., I’d start snacking on cookies to satisfy me until lunchtime. For lunch, I’d have a ham and cheese sandwich and a bag of chips. After work, I’d eat pizza with cheese sticks and garlic bread. I was out of control.
When I started losing my breath going up stairs and experiencing back pain after walking short distances, I started getting scared. I thought, “This is silly. I’m 33 and I’m literally eating myself to death.” I had no confidence. I thought everyone was snickering at me when I went into town. I even felt embarrassed for my husband to be seen with me. I never went on vacation because I knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it. Life was passing me by and I knew I had to change.
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Since I wasn’t ready to step foot in the gym, I got a Fitbit. I knew my desk job wasn’t helping, but I had no idea how inactive I was. On my first day, I only managed to hit 8,000 steps, which is below the recommended 10,000. I knew I had to work harder. I started using my entire lunch break to go for walks and worked my way up to 15,000 steps a day. Since I was still heavy, walking was enough to make the weight come off.
A few months into my journey, I started taking Zumba classes. After seeing some progress, I started using cardio machines at the gym three days a week. I’d do five minutes on the stair stepper, and then move to the bike or treadmill for the remainder of the hour.
Today, I work out three to four times a week by doing a mix of high-intensity interval training and weight-lifting classes.
In March 2015, I decided to join Weight Watchers, which taught me a lot about how to eat in moderation. I never deprived myself or stopped socializing, and I still lost weight. I realized that being too strict only makes me binge eat. Now I eat lots of egg whites, chicken breasts, low-fat burgers, and fruits and veggies. It’s all about allowing myself treats when I want them, which is pretty much every day! The key is keeping it small by having just one cookie or a bit of a chocolate bar.
Today I weigh 162 pounds. Though I lost 75 pounds total, I’ve gained about 14 back. But I’m OK with that. This is a lifestyle change, not a race. I have time to accomplish my goals.
I still struggle sometimes, but I just wake up the next day and try again. My Instagram account is also a great source of support. It blows my mind that 60,000 strangers are cheering me on. Because of them, I don’t give up. (Stick with your goals with these fun exercise moves from Women’s Health’s Look Better Naked DVD.)
I am so much happier now. When I wake up, I want to live again. I want to go on vacation, go shopping for clothes, and do my hair and makeup. I respect myself again. And of course, my health has improved drastically.
Set small goals for yourself. When you hit those goals, treat yourself. Maybe buy some jewelry, get a massage, or go get your hair done. I set a goal to lose eight pounds a month. And when I lost 20, 30, 40, and 50 pounds total, I made sure I took care of myself.