Losing Weight part 2

I wanted to do an update on my weight-loss journey–and it’s been a long journey–about 2 years now. I’m close to my final goal. I’ve lost about another 60 lbs since my last post, for a total of -117 lbs. My goal is another 8 lbs (to match my weight on my wedding day 🙂 )

Here are the pics, then below that is how I did it, if you are interested. The picture on the left is from Sarah’s wedding in 2014, the one on the right is today.


After I posted last time (Nov 2015), I took a break for the holidays and then couldn’t get back to it AT ALL…for 8 months. Then this July, on my 50th birthday, I joined Planet Fitness. I had never been in a gym before or really exercised since high school, so I was very nervous and mostly dreading it. My daughters came with me and showed me how to use some of the equipment. It turned out, I REALLY enjoyed it.

About a month later I joined MyFitnessPal.com where they set up a calorie plan for you based on your goals and you can record your exercise. It keeps track of weight and measurements with fun graphs. And there is a community of people to talk to who are in the exact same spot you are.

I know talking about calorie reduction isn’t very trendy or exciting, but that’s what works. I maintain between 1200 and 1400/day and exercise 6-7 days per week. After a few months at Planet Fitness, I met up with the trainer there a half dozen times and he taught me how to use the free weights for strength training (as opposed to the weight machines) and made up a schedule for me to follow. I also do cardio most days. I am probably stronger now than I have ever been in my life.

As I finish up the last few pounds and transition to maintenance, I will probably continue the exercise the same, but I’ve upped the calories to about 1650. Once in maintenance, I can up them again a few hundred, but I will always have to watch them to some degree since I do not want to go back to where I was, and it’s just too easy to do that.

Healthwise, my doctors are very pleased with me. I am no longer pre-diabetic with a completely normal hgA1C, and amazingly my last echocardiogram showed no sign of the aortic aneurysm, left ventricular hypertrophy, or aortic stenosis that I previously had. I feel great and haven’t even had a cold in recent memory.

As for clothes, my tops went from a Size 26 Women’s (3x-4x) to a Size 10/12 Misses. My pants went from a 24 W to a  12/14 M.



Feb 8, 2018

Before/after pics from Circumferential Abdominoplasty  (1/31/18).

  1. Taken 1 week pre- and 1 week post-op. Drains and stitches removed yesterday. Swelling and bruising is still significant. Same underwear in all pics.
  2. (Feb 15) Added 2-week post-op pic of front (no changes to back).  Overall swelling is reduced, but swelling at incision is greater and really hard. The dr. said that will all dissipate from here on out, along with the puckering along incision. I’ve been to the gym every day for the past week–walking, elliptical, arm & leg exercises. (No abs or running yet).
  3. (Feb 21) Added 3-week post-op pic–swelling is much improved and most scabbing is even gone. Also added a front thigh/knee pic. The surgery wasn’t supposed to impact those areas (just side/back thigh) but I think they look a little better anyway. Ignore the apparent tan–took pics in different lighting this time!



post-op week 4: (notice lumps at incisions above hip bones are finally gone. Still have swelling at lower incision at pubic line)





Front thigh/knee comparison (2/19)



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6 Responses to Losing Weight part 2

  1. Trish says:

    Super! I love you no matter what weight you are, but these medical/health improvements have got to make the weight loss FABULOUS!!!!!!!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Your story is such an inspiration! Thanks you for sharing! I am hoping to drop about 40 or 50, to get to my wedding weight it would be 65 or 70. Skin sag discouraged me before when I was within only 20 lbs of my goal, but now, I would rahter have sags than fatigue and carb addiction. You look so great! Thanks for telling it like it is!!!

    • Julie Helms says:

      Rebecca, after I lost the first 60 I was terrified of the sag–it was already really bad and I had a long way to go. The solution is resistance training (weights). My loose skin is significantly BETTER now at -117 than it was at -60 (when I hadn’t exercised at all yet). Muscle definition helps with some, but it’s more than that. It’s like the exercise somehow tightened up the skin tissue itself, or the connectors to it or something. Some things are never going to look like they did when I was 20–but with the resistance training it isn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

  3. Frances Kocher says:

    Very proud of my slim daughter-in-law….who once said she would NEVER exercise. Now I think maybe she is addicted to it!! You look great, Julie. Much love, Fran

  4. glorylennon says:

    Wow, that is super fantastic…so glad your health has improved so much.

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