My weight loss mission started out based solely on appearance. I am not going to lie and tell you that I was out to get healthy and strong, although those things happened, too. When I wrote in my about me section  that fashion is the primary reason I started to work out, I really do mean that. I saw my friends wearing cute outfits and saw things in magazines that I wanted to wear but knew that I couldn’t — or rather, that I shouldn’t. I managed to wear some pretty fabulous things even at 300 pounds, but I wanted to look better in my clothes.

April 2006

I took an exercise more, eat less approach because I figured that’s what would work with me, what I would probably stick with. As I lost more weight, I started to realize what a great thing I was doing for my body by getting active and eating better. I learned more about nutrition and eating clean, unprocessed foods.

In September 2008 my weight loss really became health-oriented because I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and insulin resistance. This a mere line in my weight loss story, but it’s actually a big part of the picture.  Unbeknownst to me, PCOS was making it harder for me to lose weight. I never felt full because being insulin resistant means you need to eat a lot more to raise your insulin to the point of satiety. The inability to feel full started to plague me in March 2008, and it was a truly terrifying experience for someone who had already lost weight and was trying to lose the rest. I was put on metformin to correct that, and you have to be careful to eat things that are not too starchy or greasy or fatty on the medicine, or you will get sick.

So for about a year and a half I’ve been all about the health. Healthy living, healthy eating, exercising to be healthy. And then I got engaged.

Don’t misunderstand. Fiance and I are both health nuts. We try to live healthfully because we understand that what you put into your body today can affect you for years to come. But I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that how I will look at my upcoming wedding is now first and foremost in my mind. I want to be healthy, fit and strong when we tie the knot, but I want to look hot, too. And I am not above admitting this.

It’s easy to be come obsessed with things like dress sizes and the number on the scale and even the reflection in the mirror, but you can just as easily become obsessed with a healthy diet, too. No matter where you are on your weight loss journey, you should never feel bad about being motivated by how you look. Being unhappy with what I saw in the mirror propelled me to lose 120 pounds — but I did it healthfully, which is the key to sustaining your weight loss.