• Welcome to Beth’s Journey!


    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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My Story

Hey there and welcome to Beth’s Journey! I’m a 27 year old foodie who has struggled with my weight for my entire life. I’ve been overweight since I hit puberty and then obese throughout highschool and college, tipping the scales at 250 pounds. I lost a significant amount of weight during my senior year of college doing Atkins, but then put most of it back on after graduating and transitioning into the real world (and eating bread again). Sitting at a desk from 9 – 5, trying to spend less than I was making, and being in charge of all my food/activity decisions proved to be quite a challenge and definitely lead to some less-than-stellar decisions on my part.

I decided to change my life once and for all on March 3, 2009 by joining Weight Watchers, which was the starting point for me to turn my life completely around. Since then, I have been working hard towards achieving a balanced, healthy life. Though I know this journey will never end, I have made huge strides and enjoy being active and eating a healthy, wholesome diet. I just hit my goal weight after two years, two months, and nine days on WW (but who’s counting!?), having lost a total of 58 pounds since joining this time around.

My story was also recently featured on the Washingtonian’s Health+Wellness blog and you can find the article here.

2004 v. 2010

Short Version

I’ve lost almost 90 pounds since my peak weight 6 years ago, but have really focused on transitioning into a healthy lifestyle with balance over the last two years or so.  My diet and exercise routine has changed dramatically in the last few years and I am so much healthier and happier, inside and out! I used to eat a lot of processed foods when I first started trying to lose weight and have gradually transitioned to a much more whole foods diet. I also gave up all meat (except fish) as an experiment in conjunction with Lent in 2010, and have stuck with it and really enjoy this meat-free diet.  I mostly eat mostly fruits, veggies, whole grains, seafood, beans, tofu, eggs and cheese (I could never be a vegan if only for cheese and eggs!).

In addition to making dramatic changes in my diet, I started working out and gradually worked up to 4 to 6 times a week. You can read all about How I Started Running because I never in my life would have pictured myself doing so voluntarily. Now, in addition to running, I do Bikram, ride my bike, do the Shred, and am pretty open to trying anything at least once! I have participated in 14 races to date, including two half marathons, and I’m signed up for a full marathon later this year! This is a seriously a 180 from my pre-WW life.

I started this blog because I wanted to have a place to share my story, showcase my recipes, and show that (unfortunately or not) the battle is never over.

Long Version

I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I can still vividly remember the sting in the third grade when my classmate looked at me a little funny, and when I asked what was wrong, she said “You’re fat.” It bruised my ego tremendously and I remember being so embarrassed and ashamed, even though I was only 8! Looking back, I was definitely a little chubbier than some, but not FAT by any means.

I can’t say the same for my life after elementary school. I put the weight on little by little, and by high school I passed the 200 pound mark. My weight peaked around 250 during college, but I was in denial about how out of control I had let myself get. I made every excuse I could think of, from “These clothes just run small” to “I am just big-boned” to “I don’t actually look like a size 20.”
I was in both of my sister’s weddings in 2004 and had to buy a size 20 bridesmaid dress for one of them and a size 14 with extra fabric for the other one to have a dress custom-made since they didn’t make one big enough for me. Seeing those pictures was a big wake up call for me, but I didn’t really do anything about it for another year or so.

I always thought of myself as heavy in high school, but when I look back at photos of myself from that time, it hurts to see how far I let myself go during college. I had a boyfriend during my first few years that had terrible eating habits, so we would just stay in, order food, chain smoke cigarettes, and pretend that it was an OK way to live. He graduated after my junior year and moved away, which was the first time in my life that I really started to focus on myself.

Jess, Rachel, and Me in 2004 (during college)

Around this time, my father had done Atkin’s and had lost about 70 pounds, and I was very impressed with the amount of food he could eat and still lose weight, because moderation had never been my thing. So, the summer right before my senior year of college, I decided to give it a shot. I started Atkin’s in August 2005 and lost about 10 pounds in the first month without exercising. Then I went back to school and stuck with it, worked out 5x a week, and lost around 40 more pounds, bringing my weight down to 180ish. My friends would always joke about how dedicated I was to my no-carb ways, because even when I was throwing up over the toilet from drinking too much, I would request my low-carb tortillas and would spit out the bread or crackers they shoved in my mouth. But, besides those late nights, I felt better than I ever had in my life and maintained this weight for my entire senior year.

Me in 2006 - After losing 40 lbs

Then came the real world. After I graduated from college, I waitressed for the summer and maintained a very unhealthy lifestyle from working in a restaurant, being surrounded by food all the time, and getting off work late and being at a bar. It was my first time on my own, where I was the person who called all the shots, so I ate whatever I wanted, didn’t work out at all, and maintained a lot of unhealthy lifestyle choices. I didn’t sleep very much, didn’t eat at regular times, and didn’t focus on my health in any way.

Me and My Roommate Molly - 2006

This lifestyle came to an abrupt end when I ended up having to have emergency back surgery in September 2006 from a herniated disc, and as I recovered, I slowly let the weight creep back on.  My roommate Molly and I still talk about the disgusting amount of food we would eat… monster slim jims, pork rinds, toll house ice cream cookie sandwiches, chipotle burritos with sour cream and cheese, meals from taco bell PLUS taco crunchwrap supremes.. ugh. While splurging from time to time is normal, and necessary in my opinion, this was the norm for us; an everyday sort of thing. My stomach hurts just thinking about it!  Needless to say, I ballooned back up and took off 10 pounds here and there, but never stuck with it.

My final wake up call came when I was seeing my doctor in late 2008 and she said “What is going on with your weight?” I was completely taken aback by the question. I had never had anyone ask me that directly before, and I honestly didn’t even know how to begin to respond. She asked me what I was planning to do about it, and suggested Weight Watchers. While I walked away from the doctors office feeling defeated, offended, mad, sad, and embarrassed, I later came to terms with the fact that she was only thinking about my health and wasn’t a personal attack in any way.

Me in 2007

A few months later, I decided to make my new year’s resolution for 2009 to “get healthy”, though at the time I didn’t really know where it would lead. First, I quit smoking cigarettes and have stuck with it since then! I also started going to the gym again around that time, but wasn’t making too much progress with my weight because I wasn’t doing anything to change my eating habits.

After toying with the idea of joining Weight Watchers for a few months, I finally committed in March 2009. When I first started, I made a lot of progress by eating mostly processed foods (think 100 calorie packs, artificially sweetened yogurt, low-fat or fat-free anything, etc etc). Slowly, I started incorporating more natural foods into my diet and as my daily points allowance starting dwindling, using 2 points for a 100 calorie pack no longer seemed worth it when I could have an apple or cup of grapes for half the points!

I cancelled my Weight Watchers membership because my weight was staying stagnant for almost a year and I think I was getting a little too obsessive about counting points, but you can read all about my decision here. With the launch of the new PointsPlus Program from Weight Watchers, I decided to give it another shot to lose the last few pounds and rejoined in December 2010, just hitting my goal weight in May 2011. I now work for Weight Watchers as a Receptionist and I couldn’t be happier!

September 2010 - After finishing my first half marathon

While the physical changes I have made are quite significant, the most important part is how much I’ve changed on the inside. I am so much more confident, willing to try new things, and am much better at putting myself first than I used to be.

Follow along with me as my journey takes a turn into this new world of maintenance!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

47 Responses

  1. I just discovered your blog and look forward to reading more! It sounds like our stories are pretty similar. When I was 250+ I made a lot of excuses for my weight, but never did anything about it, really. And ironically, I didn’t think I was “that” fat! Funny how the mind tricks us!

  2. Your “before” foods sound sadly like mine. I’m still prone to eat some of those, I just try to track. Those Chipotle burritos are crazy pointy! Sounds like you and I have a lot in common. A couple of my friends are marathoners and now a couple more have started running 5ks, making a commitment to work up to a half. I need to get my behind moving or else they’ll leave me in the dust. Looking forward to reading!

  3. I can relate to you completely. I recently gave up artificial sweeteners soda etc. I would prefer some filling whole food. My taste buds have changed!! I am also doinfg WW. Great program. Good luck!!

  4. I love your success story…you’re doing a great job! I’ve been on WW for a few years now–and lifetime for the last 4 yrs or so. Just to warn you, lifetime is still really hard. I definitely struggle sometimes, but being patient with yourself and persistent are always the key for me. Thanks for your blog. I just read it today and loved how creative you are with food. I’m interested to know what some of the points values are!

  5. I just read your story and mine is very similar. I weighed a lot when I was in High School and lost a lot in college then gained it back when I turned 21/started working full time. Now I exercise a lot and eat mostly whole foods just like you 😉 Youre before and after pics are awesome!! I love looking at those.

  6. Wow your story is very inspirational. I’m currently trying to eat more whole foods and just to cook in general I’ll be adding you to my blog roll and I’ll keep reading. I just started my food blog and I’m pretty excited about it 🙂

  7. Are stories are very similar……in the amount of weight lost, love for food & running (now) and transitioning into a “healthy lifestyle”! =) Good luck on your journey!

  8. Hi Beth,

    I found your blog through a chain of links from WW, and I’m so glad! I also live in the DC area and just started back on WW. I’ve got a long ways to go but I’m committed to a healthy lifestyle. I actually was living the whole foods lifestyle until about a year ago when I “fell off the wagon” and gained 50 lbs. I’m no longer in denial about my gain but I’m getting back on track. 🙂

    Your blog inspires me. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    Emily

  9. Your battle with weight and success with WW sounds very similar to my story! I am a loyal meetings goer (14th &K) and have maintained a 90lb loss (still trying to lose another 50). Way to go! And great work with the CB10! It’s a great race!

  10. Your story is inspiring to me! I can’t wait to get down to a healthier weight. As of today I have officially lost 30lbs.
    Thank you for keeping a blog that inspires and reassures. ❤

  11. My name is Beth and I am a 25 year old foodie living and working in Washington DC too!!! WEIRD!!

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  12. You are freaking awesome. that’s it. Just awesome.

  13. Wow Beth, amazing story, and like you said our stories are so similar, it’s almost scary! I can’t wait to keep reading your blog!

  14. Hey Beth! I just found your blog today on the WW boards! I really connected to your story b/c I also joined WW in March 09 and jut smoking in Jan 09 as well. I’ve lost 45lbs in the last year and am about 20lbs from goal. Your blog is great! Thanks for being such an inspiration with WW and clean eating.

  15. Hey Beth- This part of your about me made me laugh out loud! “My sisters’ husbands still joke to this day how they’ve never been with a family who will talk about what to have for the next meal while still eating the current one.” That is EXACTLY me and my cousin (and some members of our family). I am always always always thinking about my next meal 🙂

    Ok moving along,

    I love your story and find many parts similar to my own. College chain smoking, unhealthy eating habits, restaurant working and EATING that food at odd hours(AH!), and then weight watchers. It saved my life. I am convinced. I am very excited to read more about your journey! You look fabulous my dear, healthy and happy 🙂

    So now we can look forward to our next HEALTHY meals! It is all about balance.

  16. Wow. reading all this is sooooo helpful!! I have to loose ALOT of weight! It seems to take me forever! This is so encouraging I like when my questions are answered 🙂 I’m just starting to change my lifestyle…its hard to have “balance” when life as you know it can’t be…trying to change life as I knew it 🙂

  17. Hey Beth,

    Just discovered your blog and you look amazing!! I am also a weight watcher lifetime member, I just lost 25 pounds, which I accumulated as I dated my now fiance. He and I both realized that we let ourselves go and have tried to get back on track by eating healthy foods and trying to exercise regularly. It has taken about 10 months to lose the weight and it has been difficult keeping it off, but having a source for new recipes and tips definitely helps!! I am going to keep tracking your blog, and I find you inspiring 🙂

    Dana

    • Hey Dana – Thank you so much! I noticed you were looking pretty skinny on Facebook – and I totally hear you – its so easy to let yourself go when you’re in a happy relationship! Congrats on your engagement and your house!! Glad you like the blog and I do hope you continue to check back!

  18. Congrats on your weight loss! I am a new member of WW and love to hear stories like yours. Keep up the good work. I’m glas to have discovered your blog and will check back to keep me motivated.

  19. hi…just discovered your blog…your story is inspiring…=)

  20. Hello! Thank you so much for your posts. I find your blog very helpful. Anyway, I am currently trying to change my eating habits to get rid of the processed food that I eat (I am also on WW). Anyway, I have slowy been “transitioning” and I hit a roadblock this weekend. I don’t know what happened- but I was totally out of control and ate things that I don’t even really enjoy (cookies, lunch meat, etc.) My question to you is, when you first started your journey, did stuff like that happen to you? How long would you estimate that it took you to change your diet?

  21. I love your story and your attitude! I just came across your blog today from the HLS Twitter list. I’m excited to come back and read more. 🙂

  22. I was referred to your blog by a fellow WW-er. I’m excited to follow yur journey. I too am very close to goal (10 lbs away!) and it will be refreshing to see someone else who is even closer than I am. I want to become a runner. I feel great after I’ve done some interval jogging, but I have bad knees and get terrible shin splints. Any suggesstions?

    • Hi Michael – I’m so glad you stopped by! In terms of becoming a runner, I think the most important thing is to take it slow. A lot of times knee problems and shin splints can happen simply because your body isn’t as ready as you wish it was. I used a similar program to the Couch to 5k – c25k.com. If you do have knee problems though, its probably best to go to your doctor to get clearance to run so you don’t hurt yourself. If you can’t run, there are many other great forms of cardio that can burn just as many calories as running, like swimming, biking, and classes at the gym. I’m going to do a post soon about becoming a runner, so please let me know if you have any other questions!

  23. i love your story and find this very inspirational. you go girl !!

  24. I just found your website and already bookmarked it! Quick question: Do you use your extra Weekly Allowance Points each week? Also, do you eat your activity points?

    I have lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers and I am currently suffering from a bit of a plateau, so I am curious what has worked for you.

    Thanks!

  25. Hi, Beth,

    I just discovered your blog from http://goodoledaze.wordpress.com, and bookmarked it asap!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I’ve lost 26 pounds, with 64 to go, and blogs like yours assure me that its possible to lose weight the healthy way (without Atkins, etc.)

    I just did my first two 5Ks with a 10K goal next year.

    How much time did you spend prepping for your half-marathon?

    Thanks again! Can’t wait to read more of your blog!

    Best,
    Carmen

  26. Beth,

    I just found your blog and your story is nothing short of inspirational. I have a similar story like yours but I’m stuck in the 180 range and I feel like I have hit a plateau.

    I want to take up running as fall is upon us. I am curious about your running beginnings. I want to run but I feel like everything freezes up on me – my legs get stiff – run out of air. Did you have a plan? Did you have any schedule or did you run as far as you can go? I’m telling you – I feel like I want to be a runner but it’s not in me b/c I can’t make it more than 2 minutes!

  27. I’m new to your blog and I like what I’m reading, so I will be coming back again 🙂

  28. Your version of vegetarian is exactly what I have been doing for the last year. I eat fish, but no meat or poultry. I see you had tacos for dinner. Did you make yours with just the fixings? I made your recipe for vegetarian crockpot chili and it was way better than I thought it would be. Did not miss the meat, which is a surprise with a dish like chili!

  29. […] 3.  Recently discovered bloggers: a.  Beth’s Journey to Thin – You have to read her story – it’s amazing.  She is the final motivator that made me start blogging.  She has […]

  30. Hey! I just discovered your blog and I just wanted to say congrats on everything you’ve achieved! You’re an inspiration! I am on a similar journey; I’m down 110 lbs and have about 35 to go until my goal. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  31. Beth –
    I know what it is like to be picked on by those same “kids.” It is still hurtful and memorable all the things they said and did. At the end of the day it is up to us to move forward but don’t ever leave them behind. Take the memory of who they used to be and how they treated you WITH you so you will never forget your lesson in the importance of moving forward. Really it does make a difference on the quality of life for those who used to mock you. You were so sweet to me growing up. If only there wasnt a communication barrier….but ya know what? I’m glad I can get to know you finally on your blog. I never EVER EVER EVER EVER saw you as someone who was “fat” in fact thats the last word that comes to mind. When I think of you, I remember your smile. Keep up the good work Beth. You might motiviate me to loose a few pounds too…

  32. I just discovered your blog and love it!! I just started WW, Feb. 1, for the second time. I’m still doing the old plan and love it!! I hope to lose at least 100 lbs. I also started a blog about my journey to weight loss, I hope to encourage people and be encouraged by reading different blogs. Congrats on your weight loss!!

  33. “My family is and always has been obsessed with good food, which has been both a blessing and a curse. On all family vacations, we would plan (and still do!) what to have and where to eat for every meal, and then everything else was just filler.”
    This could be me talking! And we still do it! I’m the kind of person who totally goes off plan whenever I’m on vacation and I would really like to stop doing that! I love your story and am so glad I found your site. I will be a frequent visitor.

  34. I have come across your blog in the past and just stumbled upon it again. You’ve done such a great job! Love your posts. Looking forward to reading more 🙂

  35. You are the winner!!!

  36. I just came across your site and wanted to let you know you are very inspiring. I have also battled weight problems since I was little and have gone up and down so many times. Will be following your blog and the rest of your progress!

  37. As far as a post goes, how do you think your college you would have felt about fitbloggin’ as opposed to current you?

  38. Just found your site and wanted to say hi! Excited to read more 🙂

  39. Just wanted to say “hola”… you and I have similar stories… I too lost alot of weight and then out it on..You inspire me to write my WHOLE story on my blog as well..
    MUAH!

  40. I just came across your blog and I love it! Your have such an amazing and inspiring story. Good for you! & keep up the hard work!

  41. Hi Beth – I just recently found your blog through some other weight loss blogs I frequent and I love it so far! I find it very relatable as I am at a point now where you began. Plus, I gather you’re living in the DC area, as am I! Another bonus! Anyhow, I look forward to reading your blog everyday – congrats on recently hitting your goal!

  42. Hi Beth! I just found your blog through another blog and I am so glad I did! I can totally relate to your story and am now on my own journey to lose weight and be as healthy as I can be. I look forward to following!

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