Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Folland OConnor is 31 and 51 tall, and she currently weighs 135 pounds. In 2011, she saw an unflattering picture of herself that motivated her to change her lifestyle. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.
The turning point
I hate to say it,but I really never thought my weight was an issue. When I was fat, I never wanted to do anything active, or anything at all really, besides watch TV, eat food, and hang out with my friends. I never had high energy levels or interest in sports when I was bigger, so I never ran into major issues because of my size. What prompted the weight loss was mostly an aesthetic choice. I always wanted to be skinny but never had the willpower to actually get there. I just kind of accepted my body as it was and figured I wasnt built to be skinny. I thought I could never actually lose weight and that I was just built to be curvy or I was big boned.
My parents started expressing their concern for my health more often as I got bigger, but I thought they were just exaggerating and that I was an average weight. Looking back now, I just cant even fathom how I was so ignorant about my size.
I never realized how big I was until I saw a picture of myself from the side. The picture was taken at an event I attended and I happened to be painting something on a canvas when the photo was snapped. I wasnt able to pose or work my angles; it was just a picture of me from the side, not paying attention and I looked huge. The moment I saw that picture I vividly remember thinking, Oh my gosh Im fat. I had this huge epiphany.
I was wearing size 22 jeans, I couldnt buy a shirt in less than an XL, I had to buy bras in a plus-size store, but still, it was seeing myself in that photo that actually hit home. I was 25, 51, 220 pounds, and I was obese.
Folland OConnor saw a photo of herself that inspired her to lose weight.
Since college, I had always had some diet plan in mind or some workout routine I swore I would finally follow, but I never really committed to anything. I tried to eat healthy for a day or two but quickly fell off the wagon. I had zero self-control and knew absolutely nothing about losing weight or healthy eating.
When I finally accepted the fact that I was fat, I decided to simply start researching diets and weight loss as a whole. It was so overwhelming and complicated. I couldnt figure out whether carbs were bad or good, whether fat made me fat or not, whether artificial sweeteners would kill me, make me skinny or make me bigger.
Working out was a whole other bag of complications. How I should work out. Cardio? Weights? Yoga? I just couldnt get it straight. I decided to find a strict, clean, basic diet plan and just focus on eating first, because, more than anything, I hated working out.
Through my research I found some random site for a naturopath who touted a crazy weight-loss plan, so I met with her and she introduced me to the hCG Diet. Most people will have heard of it by now, and it is pretty controversial, but its what got me on the road to a healthy weight.
For those that dont know, hCG is an extremely strict, very low-calorie diet combined with a hormone shot. It was completely bonkers and probably not the healthiest way for me to lose weight, but it promised immediate results. So I bought all of the ingredients from this holistic voodoo doctor and tried it out.
Folland OConnor initially lost weight with the hCG diet.
I did two rounds of hCG, losing 60 pounds over the course of about four months. Losing that much weight that quickly was completely surreal and I fell off the wagon pretty fast once the rounds were finished. Over the next year or so I gained 30 back, but my life had been changed forever. I started becoming more active, my self-confidence skyrocketed, and I actually started to realize how unhealthy I was. Even after keeping 30 pounds off, I was still overweight, so eventually I started hitting the gym and actually focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I got my life under control, and my weight followed.
While losing weight, I felt like I could do anything. I realized that everything in my life was able to be changed. I changed careers, left my cheating boyfriend, bought a condo, joined a gym, and started playing roller derby. I felt confident and powerful, and my life was changing drastically in so many positive ways.
Keeping motivated isnt hard when everything in your life is positive. People were constantly complimenting me, my job got easier, I was succeeding in a new sport that I loved, and the weight kept falling off of me.
When I did hit a plateau, I just gave myself a small break, focused on maintenance and then reassessed my diet plan. My new boyfriend was alsovery interested in fitness, and he always had some awesome advice or a new recipe for us to try out together. He kept me strong, confident, and on track through the entire process. Even to this day, he is who I look to for inspiration.
Everything in my life changed. The obvious things of course, my energy levels, my clothing size, and my health, but less obvious things also changed. My self-esteem and confidence levels sky rocketed, and my willingness to take more risks and be more outgoing all changed for the better, but the biggest change I experienced was in how people treated me. People are nicer to me now, they try harder for me to like them, strangers gravitate toward me, and I have to put in much less effort to forge relationships. Its amazing how people treat me like a completely different person, but in the most positive ways.
A few things surprised me about the weight-loss process. It was not actually that hard to lose weight when I was 220 pounds, even though it seemed so daunting at the time. But, with all of the knowledge Ive gained, Ive realized that I was so large I actually had to eat a lot of calories every day to maintain that weight. As soon as I started eating less, I lost weight. It was truly quite simple. Its much harder to cut weight now that Im smaller every calorie counts.
Folland OConnor was surprised by what changed in her life after losing weight.
I lost ring sizes and a whole shoe size! I knew I was losing weight, and a lot of it, but it never occurred to me that my fingers and my feet may have also been carrying extra weight. I went from a size 9 ring to a size 6.5, and I went from a size 8 1/2 shoe to a 7 1/2 shoe. That still totally amazes me.
I follow the Strong Lifts weight routine and hit the gym three to fourtimes per week. I also play competitive-level roller derby with the Anarchy Angels Roller Derby team and practice on skates two times per week. I eat a low-carb diet and try to keep my calorie intake around 1,200. That might sound low, but keep in mind, Im only 51.
I eat with purpose and awareness. No more mindless snacking unless Im on a cheat meal and, yes, I allow myself cheat meals not cheat days every so often. I live life with moderation and try not to reward myself with food. Whatever I do eat, I really try to enjoy. Dieting doesnt need to mean bad food.
Folland OConnor is inspired by her boyfriend.
My boyfriend has lost 55 pounds himself and trains harder than anyone Ive ever seen. He wants to be the best version of himself and pushes me to be the best version of myself. We make tons of different low-carb recipes together and support each other through all of our transitions. He keeps me on the right track and always pulls me back on that wagon when Im distracted by Thai food and doughnuts.
Obviously, I have impulse-control issues with food. You dont become 220 pounds without having some issues with eating. I am still constantly fighting my own urges when it comes to my diet. To this day, I can easily out-eat a grown man (including my 64 boyfriend). If I let myself go, stop being diligent, or give up my gym routines, I will quickly lose control again. It is a constant battle, but it is worth it because every pound I lose and every pound I keep off means one more minute on this earth living my life to its fullest.
Its calories in versuscalories out. At the end of the day, diet was always the most important part. No matter how hard I tried, I could never outrun my fork. I work out, but thats mostly because it makes me better at sports. Diet to look good, lift weights to look good naked.
All photos courtesy of Folland OConnor.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.
Have a weight-loss win or beauty story to share? We want to hear it! Tell us at YStyleBeauty@yahoo.com.
Read more from Yahoo Beauty + Style:
Follow us onInstagram,Facebook, andPinterestfor nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow@YahooStyleand@YahooBeauty.
- Hcg Diet Average Weight Loss - How much will I lose? | HCG ... - September 7th, 2019
- How Much HCG Injections Dosage for Weight Loss ... - July 1st, 2019
- Average Weight Loss on the hCG Diet During 21 or 40 Days - June 21st, 2019
- How to Determine Your hCG Dosage for Weight Loss - June 21st, 2019
- The HCG Diet Plan | Rapid Weight Loss in Wilmington NC ... - June 5th, 2019
- HCG Diet - Soboba Medical Weight Loss Group - May 19th, 2019
- HCG Diet Recipes - HCG Weight Loss Recipes - May 19th, 2019
- How To Lose The Most Weight With The HCG Diet | Your HCG Diet - April 22nd, 2019
- The 800 Calorie HCG Diet Plan & Weight Loss - April 20th, 2019
- Boston HCG Diet - Rosy Sandhu, M.D. - HCG Weight Loss ... - March 31st, 2019
- The Right Way to Use HCG For Weight Loss (Not the HCG Diet) - March 13th, 2019
- Dr. Shauna Wright - Denver HCG Doctor - HCG Diet Denver - March 11th, 2019
- HCG and Weight Loss: What is the HCG diet protocol ... - February 7th, 2019
- HCG Weight Loss Las Vegas - TrimBody M.D - January 28th, 2019
- Loakhnauth Ramkishun, M.D. - Orlando HCG Diet and Weight ... - January 24th, 2019
- The Ultimate HCG Diet Plan - HCG Diet - January 20th, 2019
- HCG Diet Success Program - Lose 30-40 Lbs in Next 40 Days - December 29th, 2018
- HCG diet Coach - hCG Protocol | hCG Weight Loss - November 1st, 2018
- SAUNA-HCG Diet Indy & Weight Lose Fast - Supervision ... - July 23rd, 2018
- HCG Diet | Houston Weight Loss Clinic - July 23rd, 2018
- HCG Diet - Rapid Weight Loss Centers - May 13th, 2018
- Best HCG Drops Reviews 2018 Updated - Safe Weight Loss ... - April 28th, 2018
- HCG Diet Weight Loss Center in Everett Washington - Everett HCG Diet ... - April 11th, 2018
- 5 Best Selling HCG Diet Drops For Weight Loss: Buy The ... - April 6th, 2018
- HCG Diet Drops - HCG Diet - March 30th, 2018
- 156 HCG Diet Recipes for Maximum Weight Loss - HCG Diet - March 20th, 2018
- hCG Diet Information - Johannesburg Based Diet Weight Loss ... - February 15th, 2018
- Medical Weight Loss - Hormone Replacement Therapy and HCG ... - February 15th, 2018
- Hickory Weight Loss Medical Weight Loss using HCG ... - January 29th, 2018
- HCG Diet - Weight Loss | Body Solutions Rx Weight Loss ... - January 8th, 2018
- Everett HCG Diet | HCG Diet Weight Loss Center in Everett ... - December 25th, 2017
- hCG for Weight Loss Hendersonville TN, HCG Diet, HCG ... - December 22nd, 2017
- HCG Diet Program | Weight Loss Wilmington NC | Metro MediSpa - December 22nd, 2017
- 500 Cal diet w/HCG verses 500 Cal diet without - Weight ... - November 18th, 2017
- Hcg Diet Info - The Hcg Diet Plan Authority - Hcg Diet for ... - November 13th, 2017
- The hCG Diet Plan Dangers and Misleading Weight Loss ... - November 8th, 2017
- HCG Diet Virginia | Physician Supervised Weight Loss - October 24th, 2017
- Weight Loss Hendersonville TN, HCG Diet, Anti Aging, Diet ... - October 17th, 2017
- Review of HCG for Weight Loss: Injections and Drops - October 13th, 2017
- What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum? - Ahmedabad Mirror - September 6th, 2017
- HCG Diet Drops For Weight Loss : Everything You Should ... - September 4th, 2017
- What is hyperemesis gravidarum? Pregnant Kate Middleton again suffering rare severe morning sickness condition - Mirror.co.uk - September 4th, 2017
- weight loss program - Shape Magazine: Diet, fitness and ... - August 25th, 2017
- Ageless Wellness utilizes unique Ideal Protein protocol for weight loss - The Citizen.com - August 18th, 2017
- hCG Diet | hCG Protocol | hCG Weight Loss | hCG Diet ... - August 14th, 2017
- All-day morning sickness - Jamaica Observer - August 4th, 2017
- Effect of drugs on the brain ppt - Creatine kinase total serum high - The Maravi Post - July 31st, 2017
- 'There's nothing more annoying than a friend on a diet' - 9Honey - July 31st, 2017
- HCG Drops Review | (UPDATED) Diet Drops an Answer to ... - July 9th, 2017