I Am Less Than Half My Former Self

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Life is a crazy roller coaster, isn’t it? I have lost 240 pounds from my highest weight by following the Weight Watchers SmartPoints plan. This crazy journey will never end, honestly, as I am and always will be a food addict. The important part is that I am in recovery and I am currently kicking this thing’s butt!

Yesterday I went shopping for a pair of jean shorts. I went to the plus size section and there was only one pair of size 18. I tried them on and they were super short and therefore uncomfortable to me. I was bummed and ready to leave and then decided to take a peek in the “normal” size section. They had a bunch of size 18’s in different styles and colors. I ended up getting a really cute pair of Mossimo ones that cost a few bucks less than the generic nearly Daisy Duke-esque pair I had tried on before.

When I was in elementary school a lady from church used to make my mom’s and my clothes for us for a few years. I don’t recall exactly when that stopped happening. When we started to buy clothes toward the end of grade school it was from the plus section. Therefore, yesterday I shopped for myself in the “normal” sized clothing section for the first time in my life. It is a truly amazing feeling!

Earlier this evening I posted the above comparison pic on a couple of WW groups on Facebook. I received so much love and support and then there was one lady who was very insistent that my before and current pictures are of 2 different ladies.  She said that in the first picture I have a tiny nose and straight teeth and in the current pic I have a big, long nose and crooked teeth. I got such a good laugh out of her comments (no joke). I think it is so wonderfully fantastic that my accomplishment is so incredible to her that she just can’t believe it!

A lot of people asked 2 main questions about my journey, the first of which being how long it has taken me to loose 240 pounds. This is a tricky one to answer as this truly has been a lifelong journey for me in every sense of the word. I’ve lost and re-gained so many hundreds of pounds throughout my life that I lost count a long time ago. This time around I have lost 146 pounds since I re-joined WW last July after my most recent relapse where I had regained around 130 pounds. This is the closest I have ever come to being thin, and I have zero doubt that I will make it all the way this time. I know there will be future relapses, but I also am confident that they will have much less impact than in times past.

Of course, the other thing people want to know is if I have any good tips. The only tips I have are pretty simple. Track everything you eat, every day. If you bite it, write it.

Be kind to yourself. I tend to be a very caring and nurturing person towards others but unbelievably hard on myself. I’ve spent much of my life trying to take care of everyone else and now I am realizing that the only way any of us can efficiently do that is if we are taking care of ourselves.

One of the most important things for me is to constantly fight against all-or-nothing thinking. I have to always remind myself that each and every decision we make pertaining to this journey is important. Every bite that we do or do not take matters and is going to make a difference one way or another. If you accidentally drop a few eggs on the floor, are you going to toss the rest of them on the floor too? No way. That is essentially what we are doing when, say, we make some not very good food choices and then give in and decide to eat everything we want afterward.

Last but not least, my most important little nugget of advice is always to never, ever give up! We owe it to ourselves to do this. We deserve to be healthy. We deserve to be able to do all of the little, basic things that most people take for granted. We deserve to be able to walk into any clothing store and grab something off the rack. And, no matter what size we are, we deserve to walk with our heads held high among all of the other people who help make up the rich, beautiful tapestry we call humanity. Each and every one of us has struggles we deal with every day, some just happen to be a lot more visible than others.

 

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!