She needed to make some changes, both on the inside in terms of her self image and on the outside in terms of her weight.
Despite having the nickname “pudge” while in high school, Green said her struggle with weight really didn’t start until after her first child was born and she entered the office administration program at College of the North Atlantic. During her two years in school her weight went up to 180 pounds and Green, who is now 38, said after that it just continued to go up.
She graduated in 1998, and today is an instructor at the college. Green teaches a second-year office management course that focuses on interview skills, resume writing, how to be a good employee, how to have a professional image and how to think positive.
“After teaching that course twice,” Green said “I realized that what I was teaching I wasn’t actually living. So I decided I needed to make a change.”
But changing her attitude or outlook on things wasn’t the only thing that needed to change.
In December 2011 Green, who then weighed almost 300 pounds, attended a family wedding. It wasn’t a good experience for her and when she saw pictures of herself from the wedding her first thought was “this person is going to die unless something changes.”
She started to use some of the things she was teaching in the classroom on herself. One big thing was to get rid of her negative thoughts — to turn things around and find the positive in them.
“I started finding the positive in myself and started realizing that I was worth the effort it was going to require to make this kind of life change.”
When it came to her weight, Green started looking into having gastric banding surgery, but before booking the appointment decided to try losing weight herself once more. If she didn’t see results by the summer, she would have the surgery.
She started to eat healthier, staying within a specific calorie range, and exercising. She also quit smoking.
“By the summer I had 60 or 70 pounds gone,” said Green, with still a hint of disbelief in her voice.
As the weight came off, Green said everywhere she’d go people would tell her how great she looked, ask her what she was doing and even ask for help.
"... If I tell my (Facebook) page I’m running 10 k, boy I’m running that 10 k. I don’t want them to be disappointed in me.” - Andrea Green
This interest kind of surprised her, but after answering the questions so many times, and thinking she could possibly help others, Green created a Facebook page called Andrea’s Transformation. By now it was October 2012 and Green had lost about 90 pounds and her page had 600 followers. She now has 900.
“It has made a significant impact on my own motivation,” she said. “Now if I tell my page I’m running 10 k, boy I’m running that 10 k. I don’t want them to be disappointed in me.”
She said the page has made her more accountable for and cognizant of her actions.
The same goes for the community-based MyFitnessPal app she uses for tracking her food consumption and calculating the calories burned while exercising.
“I’m not going to eat french fries because I don’t want 800 people knowing I had french fries.”
And all her hard work is paying off in the ways she had hoped they would.
Green is now down about 105 pounds, and feels better physically and mentally.
“I’m a happier and more positive person,” she said. “But it’s not because of my weight that I’m more happy and positive. That change came before I started losing weight.”
However, she admits there are still glimpses of her old self in that she’s still a bit self conscious and said it’s strange in a way because she didn’t see herself as big before.
“Because I can’t believe that I was ever that person,” she said. “I don’t think you can even gain that much weight unless you have turned off your self image. Because you’d never let yourself get that far if you realized you were going that way, but you kind of put your head in the sand and forget about it.”
Green doesn’t really have a goal in mind for how much weight she’d like to lose.
“When I get somewhere where I feel comfortable, well then I’ll stay there.”