Keep Your Why Close By

Sunday at our Weight Watchers meeting we were talking about keeping ones “why close by”. We were encouraged by our indescribably fantastic leader, Kim, to make our own personal lists of why we are doing this to remind ourselves why we keep at it.

I’ve had many, many lists of whys over the years, lists of reasons, goals and achievements. Some of which change as time goes by, others are constants throughout my life. The biggest “why” for me will always remain. My mom died of a massive heart attack a little over 2 months after her 40th birthday. I ain’t goin out like that.

Some of my whys I have already conquered are the following:

– I am able to easily take care of myself and perform everyday tasks

– I no longer have type 2 diabetes

– I no longer have obstructive sleep apnea

– I am able to walk through the grocery store and enjoy myself shopping

– People no longer stare, snicker or mock me

– Little kids don’t ask embarrassing questions to or about me (Why is she/are you so big? Do you have a baby in your tummy? When are you going to be a mommy?)

– I no longer have to order my clothes online or from catalogs. I am able to go clothes shopping again!

– I’m able to work with children again

Some of the whys I have yet to check off are:

– I want to ride horses someday

– I want to travel

– Get rid of hypertension

– Ride all the fun rides at an amusement park

– Grow old with my husband

– I want to accomplish a huge goal that I’ve had ever since going off to WW summer camp in PA at 8 years old to begin my first of many weight loss journeys… One day, I will make it to a healthy weight and achieve lifetime at Weight Watchers!       scan0067 a

Right now I am 67 pounds away from my personal goal.

I’m around 55 pounds less than the lightest I ever got throughout high school.

I’m 45 pounds away from being thinner than I’ve ever been in my adult life.

I am 29 pounds away from being back down to the weight I was at in 2012 when I relapsed into a regain of 131 of the 227 pounds I had lost previously.

I am 198 pounds down from my heaviest weight. I will NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

I’ve been wanting to write for ages but never know quite what to say, rather, never end up doing it. There are so many topics and issues and I don’t even know where to begin. For a while now I’ve been grieving the loss of my youth. I try to live my life and stay positive but it always haunts me. I’m fairly certain it has a lot to do with the fact that both of my parents died so young. I figure somewhere in my mind that leads me to believe I will ultimately die young as well.

On that note, I am back on WW and losing weight again. Yesterday I celebrated having lost 64 lbs in 4 months. Right now I am 67 lbs away from getting back to the weight I was in 2012 before I relapsed and started to regain, so I’m almost halfway there.

I go back and forth on whether or not I still want to have kids someday. Being a mother has always been my greatest aspiration. As of late, I’ve questioned whether it is still what I want. I’m sure that probably has a lot to do with my aforementioned fear of getting older. I suppose only time will tell.

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A Leader, Perhaps?

Someone on YouTube left the greatest comment on my video of myself speaking at Weight Watchers. She said,

“You’re AMAZING!!!!! I hope you know how powerful and strong you are to be able to accomplish what you have! That’s awesome!!! You look so good and are extremely personable. You are a leader for sure–pursue that if you still want to…you would be phenomenal at it. You’re VERY inspiring…and not only because of the weight you’re losing. There’s something about you (on the inside) that is just really positive and motivating in general. Way to go!! You rock, girl. :)”

Totally made my day!

Confessions of a Foodaholic

Recently I have been asked by several people what my weight loss secret is. There is no secret to successfully dropping the pounds. It is all hard work and determination. Whenever asked if I have any advice, I pretty much always say the same thing. No matter what, we can NEVER GIVE UP!!!! Our health is much too important to be given up on. Bad decisions don’t have to mean the end of our weight loss journey. We all slip up. It happens. Fall down 7 times, stand up 8!!! It takes a much braver person to pick themselves up, brush themselves off and keep on fighting!

When I was a preschool teacher, we did our best to avoid using the word “no” when reprimanding the children. Instead, we would say to them, “That is not a choice.” That is basically how I am re-wiring my mindset towards overeating and making unhealthy choices. It is not a choice for me. This is the way I live my life now. I want to be healthy and live my life to its fullest and eating right and staying active is the only way I will be able to achieve that.

For the very first time in my lifelong fight against obesity, I do not feel like I am prisoner to a “diet” or that I’m missing out. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact. For the very first time… I finally feel free.

Knocking Out The Beast

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was tell stories. In grade school, I used to tell silly stories in class and everyone would laugh… and I loved it. 🙂 Just a bit ago, I was thinking about my childhood story telling and then it sort of shocked me when I remembered why I stopped telling stories to my classmates. The so-called “reasoning” behind the end of my story telling is completely absurd. One afternoon in one of my early elementary years, we were having story telling time. A boy in my class told a story and everyone laughed. I remember in his story he used the word “collapsed”. I convinced myself that since I didn’t use any “big, fancy” words like that when I told my stories, that they were stupid and that I shouldn’t tell them anymore.

I’ve always been my own worst critic, as we all are to ourselves. For some reason, from a very young age I have been convinced that I don’t do anything right. I have always let that stop me from doing the things I enjoy. It’s really hard for me to get it through my head that just because I might not do something as well as someone else or be the best at it, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it at all.

In elementary school I was in a “Gifted and Talented” program because I loved to write. Of course, back then I thought I was in the program because I was really weird and awkward and they were trying to make me feel better. No joke. That is really the kind of thing that my brain manages to convince me of. Anyway, I got to write for the school newspaper one year in grade school. I had my own anonymously written column called, “What’s Up?” where I got to write about anything I wanted. I remember one day I felt exceptionally silly and started my column out with something like, “Well, today is a peanut butter bananariffic day here at DMC!” or something crazy like that. The teacher who was in charge of the program and newspaper took me aside one day shortly after that and told me that some of the 5th grade girls wrote letters to her explaining that they could not stand my column and that it needed to go. Without a moment’s hesitation I told her I was done. She said that I didn’t have to stop writing my column and that I shouldn’t care about what those girls thought of it. It pretty much wouldn’t have mattered what she said at that point. I thought that because those 2 girls couldn’t stand my column, that it must be rubbish… and I wouldn’t have been able to be convinced otherwise.

Our school paper had a contest for people to guess who the author of “What’s Up?” was. They gave readers a choice between myself and about 3 of the other newspaper staff. Nearly everyone guessed that it was me… by a landslide. My kid self assumed that was because my column was no good so they all knew that I had written it. I never stopped to think that maybe it was because my column was always goofy and I was a silly girl so people just put 2 and 2 together. This self-defeating mindset is what I fight against every day of my life. Logically, I  know that I am just as valuable and capable as every and anyone else. Still, those negative thoughts and feelings creep back in… and I have to knock them out. It’s like how Ruby Gettinger says she is fighting “the beast”. I have more than one beast… but I would be willing to bet that they go hand in hand. I will NEVER STOP FIGHTING!

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From a very young age, the thought that telling anyone how much I weighed was an absolute no-no was ingrained into me. When I was about 12 or so I joined WW for the zillionth time. By that point in my life, my mom’s arthritic knees and total social anxiety kept her mostly home-bound except for when she would venture out to the car to take me somewhere. So, I was going to the WW meetings by myself. I was always the only child there, or at least the only child there alone. At the time, I had gotten the impression that the crotchety old lady receptionist at the church where I used to go to meetings back then had something against me (I was likely just paranoid). I came to the conclusion that it was because I was a young kid who weighed close to (or possibly already) 300 lbs and that it somehow disgusted her. My mom would put little post-it notes over my weekly weights so no one else would see. Before that, in 5th grade, we were assigned to create an autobiography. One of the first pages is a worksheet that asks basic information, name, height, weight… For that category, I wrote “I do not want to say how much I weigh.”

Once in high school my grandparents and I made a plan that I would start going to their house and working out in their home gym every week. The first time I showed up there to use their equipment I was really looking forward to it and came prepared and ready to get in a good workout. I went down to the exercise room in their basement and got on the treadmill. It asked my age and I entered it. Then… it asked the dreaded question… Weight? I wasn’t sure if it kept record of user information or not… so I lied. At the time I probably weighed around 320 lbs or so, but I think I typed 250 into the treadmill. I began walking on the treadmill for a few minutes and thought it was going well… until the treadmill suddenly shut off completely. I was mortified. I wondered if it was because I had lied about my weight. I got back on and tried again… and the same thing happened. Finally, I got on it and entered my actual weight and the thing shut down again. I decided it was because I was way too fat for it. I prayed that it wasn’t broken and then… and this is pathetic… I jogged in place for a long time so that they would think I was down there working out. I have no idea why I didn’t use any of the other machines. Maybe I was afraid I would break them too.

In high school when I started getting IDs, I always lied about my weight on them by about 100 lbs. Once at WW, Anne, my leader at that time, had a little contest-type thing where she asked which one of us was the biggest liar in the room (who had lied about their weight the most on their ID). I was too embarrassed to join in. Like I said before, I was the only kid there. There was one lady who had lied by 60 or 70 lbs and she won because I was ashamed to say that I had lied by 100 or more pounds.

I have never mentioned in this blog how much my heaviest weight was… or how much I weigh now. I am not afraid to post it all over the internet in forums and on youtube and everywhere else, but I am terrified to put it here. Afraid of what people will think to know that at one time I weighed 465 lbs. Not just random people… but my friends and family. I don’t want to be afraid or ashamed anymore. I want to share my story with the world in hopes that I can help someone else. My Weight Watchers leader, Kim, asked me this week if I will tell my story to the group at the Open House shindig this Saturday. I thought about it during the meeting and decided that I have been talking so much about getting over my fears and living my life to the fullest… that I will do it. Not exactly sure yet what I am going to say, but I know I can do it.