Most people that meet me have no idea that I used to be "fat." When I get close enough to someone (online is no big deal, but in person is an emotional step for me) to share the story, they are blown away by the before pictures. After asking how I did it, the next question is usually "why?"
The physical side:
It all started my freshman year of college. I don't really know how much I weighed before I left for school, but I remember I had to weigh-in for a physical education class and that weight is what I claim as my highest - 260lbs. So that was January 2001. Throughout that spring semester I was forced to work out in gym class. I think I might have lost a few pounds, but nothing significant. When I came home from school for the summer, I joined weight watchers. I went to a few meetings before summer vacation with my parents. This trip was the last time we went to South Carolina as a family. I remember it was so easy to stay within my point range because I was eating shrimp/fish every day. That trip is what really started the weight loss. Again - I didn't really weigh myself after the trip so I'm not sure how much I lost, but my guess is close to 20lbs because people started to notice. After that, I continued doing WW on my own, and worked out once I got back to college.
The emotional side:
In high school, I only dated one guy and I don't consider him a boyfriend. We made out for about three months. That's it. As a college freshman, I didn't really branch out from my high school comfort zone. My roommate was a girl I knew from high school - my best friend at the time actually. It was a struggle for us to live together, so I decided I didn't want to live with her again sophomore year. I found two girls named Jennifer to live with off-campus. Aside from the first roommate, I also hung out with a gay guy that I was friends with in high school, and therefore a lot of his gay friends at college. I dated no one my entire freshman year. No one. When I came home for the summer, I decided things had to change. I would never fall in love at the rate I was going. At the time, I didn't blame guys for not dating me, I didn't love myself. I thought things like "who would want to date such a fatty" and you can probably tell the level of my self-esteem. That summer, I met a guy at work who was three years younger than me, but seemed to like me. We ended up dating for more than a year and I fell pretty hard for him. While he turned out to be a jerk, I learned a lot of things about myself during that year and actually learned to start liking "me." I joined a sorority, made lots of new friends and felt confident in my own body for the first time.
So the short version of "why" for me is that I wanted to find love. I thought the only way to do that is to lose weight. Looking back, I think that was probably the wrong reason, but the process of losing weight helped me find myself, and therefore the love I was searching for.