Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Sarah DeArmond, 29, is 5 feet 4 inches tall and currently weighs 100 pounds. In 2013, after gaining a significant amount of weight because of her bipolar disorder and being diagnosed as prediabetic, she vowed to get her health under control. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.
The turning point
In 2009, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I sought comfort through food while also taking medication that increased my hunger. I was eating fast food constantly and drinking a lot of soda. All of these factors caused me to gain weight like crazy.
In 2013, I got a phone call from my doctor saying that I was prediabetic. I thought, Game over. I didn’t want to get diabetes. I threw out the soda I was drinking and said, “No more.” I vowed to make a lifestyle change that very moment.
I made the choice not to go on a “diet” because a diet is temporary. I wanted to make a lifestyle change. I gave up the fast food and soda, which caused the majority of my weight gain. Then I started by making healthier decisions when possible like switching to whole-wheat flour instead of white flower and sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes for better nutrition. For weight loss, I counted my calorie intake.
I started slowly by walking a mile a day. I increased my fitness from there by using “Walk at Home” fitness DVDs and lifting weights.
My sweet husband and my mom kept me motivated. I always had them in my corner backing me up and cheering me on. I also felt that I had no other choice. It was either make the change or get diabetes. There was no other option.
I felt amazing after losing the weight! I have found a passion for cooking healthy food. I realized that healthy food can taste just as good as the unhealthy kind; it’s just about getting creative! I’m also more at peace with my body and proud of what I’ve done. I’m very blessed.
I never thought I could get so physically strong. When I was little, I was laughed at for being so weak on a physical level. Now I can exercise for an hour straight. I lift weights, use a kettlebell, ride my exercise bike, do squats with my exercise ball, and do my ab roller.
The key to maintenance is keeping track of calories. I still don’t eat white flour or white potatoes. I also take fish oil, BCAAs [branched chain amino acids], and calcium plus vitamin D to help build muscle.
Having a support system is crucial to maintaining my healthy lifestyle. God always inspires me because it was my faith in him first that kept me going and gave me hope — and still does to this day. My husband inspires me because he made healthy changes with me and told me from day one that he believed in me. My mom also inspires me because she helped me make a plan and stay on track.
Sometimes I miss the convenience of an unhealthy lifestyle. Picking up fast food can be easier than cooking a healthy meal. I think, Ugh! Do I really need to cook right now? But then I remember that I’ve come so far and that it’s not worth it to eat junk. There are times when I will make some meals in advance.
Don’t focus on how far you have to go. Instead, focus on small goals. If you have a lot of weight to lose, please don’t let that keep you from trying because of how long it will take, because you either start now or wait until you get bigger. Don’t wait.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
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