Transformation Tuesday: Marsha

Welcome to back for another Transformation Tuesday series! Today we’re hearing from Marsha!

Marsha Toma in red before Marsha Toma after
Q: When did you realize that you had a weight problem?
A: The weight came on gradually as a result of going through the change of life. The moment it hit me was actually in 2005 when I was looking for a dress or gown to wear to the wedding of my best friend’s son. I tried on the gown I had worn to my daughter’s wedding in 2000. There was a four inch gap by the zipper.

Q: What made you decide to do something about it?
A: It was vanity mostly. All my life I have been slender (except for a very brief time at puberty when I was overweight and then, not extremely — about 20 pounds, but on a petite frame, it made a difference). I believe that there are people who have larger frames who may look fine at a large size but with me, I knew I would hate how I look and I couldn’t stand it.

Q: When did you start?
A: I started around April 2005 shortly before my friend’s son’s wedding which was in June.

Q: How much weight have you lost?
A: At this point, I’ve lost approximately 25 pounds, give or take.

Q: What is/was your goal?
A: My goal was to lose 13 pounds.

Q: What weight loss program or eating modifications do you follow?
A: I don’t follow a ‘diet.’ I mainly follow portion control. I’ve also virtually eliminated certain items. For example, I eat very little pasta. I recall being told at Weight Watchers (which I don’t really follow too much at all) that a portion should be no larger than your fist so I have that image in my mind. I try to control how much sugar I eat because I love sweets.

Q: Can you explain your basic program?
A: Basically it’s portion control and not eating late at night. And avoiding pasta and bread (I don’t like bread so that’s no problem).

Q: Do you exercise?
A: Very little, mainly walking.

Q: How often and how much?
A: The frequency is not predictable

Q: Where and when do you exercise?
A: At the gym

Q: What exercises work for you?
A: I had a trainer and did weight bearing exercises.

Q: What are your trigger foods?
A: Desserts.

Q. How do you cope with temptation?
A: I tell myself that I don’t want to gain weight and not be able to fit into my clothes.

Q: Have you ever gotten discouraged? What do you do about it?
A: I don’t get too discouraged. If I do, I just think about the several years that I have been at the lower weight.

Q: How did you feel about looking at photos of yourself? Has that changed?
A: I usually like looking at photos of myself at the smaller size. I’m always struck by how heavy I had gotten before losing the weight.

Q: What is the best benefit of losing weight for you?
A: I enjoy looking good in clothing. A big benefit is that whenever a situation arises where I have to get through a small space, I appreciate my small size. There are great benefits. Things these days are so compact; space is at a premium everywhere you go. I travel frequently and I appreciate being able to go down the narrow aisles of an airplane easily. I don’t feel too self-conscious if I have to pass many people as I struggle down the aisle of a small aircraft. Things like that. I always say to myself, “I’m glad I’m thin” especially when the space is really narrow.

Q: Do people ask you for advice? What do you tell them?
A: That’s tough. I think of what my father used to say (He was a slim man all his life). He said, “if you want to lose weight, eat less.” It sounds trite but I actually think he was right. It’s basic. Then I tell people about the principle my son told me about which has stuck with me: “The Law of Diminishing Utility.”

Q: What have you been able to do that you couldn’t have done before?
A:  I can’t think of anything very specific — It might be due to the fact that my weight loss wasn’t as dramatic. I guess most of it is the clothes I can now wear and feel good in that I couldn’t wear before. Now I wear skinny jeans, snug dresses (sometimes). It’s the fashion and I like looking good in clothes.

Thank you, Marsha, and congratulations on your success! We’re glad you were willing to be be a part of our Transformation Tuesdays, and hope your story inspires others! Just like us, now you’re another person who’s been there. 🙂

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