I realize that most of the people who read my blog are already my friends and/or family, but if you weren’t already and you just met me, would you be my friend? Seriously, would you? Every day I try to be a good person. I try to always be honest and kind. Sometimes it’s hard to do both, but it is possible. I try to be nice and when I can’t be nice I try to be quiet. I try to laugh more than I yell. I try not to yell at all, but I am who I am and I get loud sometimes. I try to be the best me that I can be. I’m not perfect. I never claimed to be. What I am is a work in progress. Sometimes I have a foul mouth. I try to find better and more appropriate words these days. I am sarcastic by nature. I try to be funny without being mean. I do have a temper, but I find if I think twice before I speak I am not as angry when I do speak. Every day is a new chance to be a good person. I am not always successful, but I do try. I love my husband and my daughter more than anything or anyone and I try to be a good wife and a great mom. Sometimes I do better than others, but I always try. I know that people are always going to judge me and I try to accept that, but I wish people would give me a chance before they write me off. No, I’m not perfect, but are you? I would never hurt anyone on purpose. Yes it’s true that there are people that I don’t like, but I have some pretty good reasons for feeling that way and I have given everyone at least one chance to change my opinion. Most of the time I’ve given them more than one chance. When I love someone it takes a lot of hurt for me to let them go. So the people that I have walked away from have been very deserving of that burned bridge. I just don’t understand how you can feel good about yourself when someone tries to be your friend and you don’t even give them a chance. I am 35 years old and I feel like a broken hearted little girl all over again just because someone doesn’t want to be friend. I know it’s silly, but I am who I am and I feel what I feel. Right now I feel sad and hurt, but I’ll get over it and I’ll make other friends. I wish you all the best, even if you’re not smart enough to realize how awesome I am. 🙂
Last week I dropped a big number. I lost a lot of weight. I knew that this week might be a rebound week. I expected to lose only a pound or two. This week I burned at least a thousand calories more than I ate EVERY day and most days I burned two thousand more calories than I ate. I exercised every day. I did nothing different than I have for the last month. I even cut my hair which was a pound lost right there. If you go strictly by science, I should have lost at least two or three pounds this week. When I got on the scale this morning it said I gained a pound. I am trying so hard not to be upset or disappointed. Maybe it would feel better if I had fallen off the wagon and eaten a ton of junk or if I was lazy and sat on my butt all week, maybe then I would feel better. If there a reason that I could see why I, not only didn’t lose any weight, but I gained a pound. A lot of people, myself included, say that weight loss is a science of burning more calories than you eat. It’s simple math: calories in and calories out. I do believe in all of that. The problem is that our bodies, even with all of the science we have, are still a mystery and they will do what they do. This week I burned 27,214 calories and I ate 18,271 calories for a difference of 8, 943. That’s over two pounds that I should have lost. Instead I gained one pound, I keep going over it in my mind because it doesn’t make sense. It’s driving me crazy! I know that stressing out is not going to help me, and it will in fact, hurt me. I need to accept that it is what it is. This week will not be my downfall. I am angry and sad, yes, but I’m going to let go of that negativity and move on. I’m going to move a little more and eat a little less and next week I will have a better number. More importantly, next week I will be a little healthier and that’s the true victory. The number on the scale does not define me. My weight this week is 485.
As I lose weight and gain ability, I find more and more things that I can do and want to do and more things that I can’t wait to do or be able to do again. One of the things that I am most looking forward to doing is riding a bike again. I used to love to ride my bicycle. It was one of my favorite activities as a child and even as a young adult. I have not been able to ride my bike for about 7 years or so, and I have really missed it. Because of my weight, I need to have a bike with a heavy-duty frame and wide tires. With my back issues, I’m worried about riding a regular bicycle, so I have been looking at recumbent bikes. They look so awesome and I really think they would be SO much fun, but they are EXPENSIVE! I’ve looked in stores, online, in the newspaper, on Ebay and Craigslist and I have not found one, new or used, for under $400. Some are over $2000!!! Shut the front door! There is no way I could ever come up with anywhere near that much money! It makes me so sad because I really would love to get back on a bike. It’s good exercise, so much fun and it’s also a great family activity. My daughter is 9 and she is just learning how to ride a bike without training wheels. Shawn loves to ride a bike and it’s good exercise for him since it doesn’t hurt his bad knee. I love being outside, love walking and hiking, but when it gets too hot, like today, I have a hard time. I don’t know if it’s the wind blowing in my face or what, but when it’s really hot riding a bike is so much easier for me than walking or hiking. Today it is over 90 and if I could I would be out riding a bike right now. There are tons of bike trails near where we live and I would love to get out there and try them. I know that eventually I will lose enough weight that I will probably be able to ride a regular bicycle, but it will be a while before I get there. I keep hoping that I will figure something out before then.
It makes me crazy to hear someone say, “I can’t”. In my house, can’t is a bad word. There are very VERY few words that I find more offensive than can’t. Now I realize that people do have their limitations and there legitimately are things that we are not able to do, but I feel that more people give up entirely too easily. I would rather try and fail a thousand times than to just give up.
I should say that I have not always felt that way. At times I have felt so overwhelmed that I felt like it was easier to not even try. I have tried and felt it was too hard and given up. Not trying and giving up got me to my highest weight. So when I think “I can’t” I stop and breathe and think “I can stop or I can try until I can”.
I am at a point where I exercise every day. I get up and I exercise. I don’t think about how fat I am and how I can’t do it. I don’t focus on what I can’t do. I get up and move my butt. I do as much as I can, as fast as I can, as strong as I can. I push and pull and move and sweat. I don’t do every move perfectly. There are a lot of things that I am not able to do yet. If I focused on everything that I can’t do, I might give up. I don’t. I do what I can and I work on what I am not yet able to do. I know that I am getting better and stronger all the time. I am getting more endurance, more flexibility, more confidence, and more faith. I am getting better because I can. Because I focus on what I can can, every day that list grows.
When people ask me how I do it, I say, I just do. It’s not easy. On my best day it isn’t easy, and my best days are few and far between. When it’s time to exercise and you think you can’t then think about me. I have been overweight my entire life. At my highest weight I was 630 pounds. I have asthma, arthritis, and fibromyalsia. I have compressed vertebrae in my back, compartment syndrome in my lower right leg, and bursitis in my left ankle. I hurt every day. I hurt EVERY day. There is never a day that I don’t hurt. There are days that I hurt less, but there is never a day that I don’t hurt at all. There are days that all I want to do is sleep. There are days that I have to force myself to take every single step, and I do. I do and so can you. If I can lift my big, fat leg up and kick, so can do. Don’t tell me that you can’t.
Something has been on my mind a lot lately and that thing is shame. I have spent a lot of time in my life feeling ashamed and much of it was completely unreasonable. In a lot of ways shame is a useless emotion. Some people feel shame for things that they had no part in. Some people never feel shame even though they should be completely ashamed of themselves.
For a lot of years of my life I felt ashamed and embarrassed about things that happened to me, not about what I had done, but about what someone did to me. Like a lot of people who are victims of abuse, I blamed myself and took in the shame as my own. I spent a lot of time and effort to keep other people from knowing my “shameful secret”. It took a long, long time for me to accept and understand that the shame was not mine. It belonged to the person who hurt me whether he ever accepts it or not. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I know that. I accept it. It took me seeing myself through someone else’s eyes to accept this.
I remember talking to someone who was in the middle of an abusive relationship, listening to them talk and hearing myself in their story. As I was telling her that it was not her fault and she should not, at all, feel ashamed, I remember the light going on over my head and realizing that what was true for her was also true for me. There is no shame in being an abuse victim. There is only shame if you allow that abuse to define you and have control over your life. I’m not saying that it is easy to deal with or that you can just wake up, brush it off, and move on. It is hard work to deal with abuse and all the ramifications it has on your life. Many, if not all, people who have been through that kind of trauma need counseling and/or therapy. Some need more help than others and that’s ok. There is no shame in needing help. There is no shame in needing help. I said that twice on purpose because it is so true and so few people realize it. Everyone needs help sometimes and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it.
So here I am writing this blog about my struggles and my life and who I am, how far I have come and how far I am going, and yet I am still ashamed. I am ashamed of how much I weighed at my highest weight and I am ashamed of how much I still weigh. I am ashamed that I have let myself become so addicted to food that I almost killed myself. I struggle with that shame all the time. There are only a few people (my husband, my mom, my doctor) who know how much I really weigh. Here I am, putting myself out there for all the world to see and yet I am hiding a very important part of myself and my journey, my weight. I can look at how much I have lost and how far I have come and be proud. I am proud. Yet still I have that shame. Today I have decided to let it go. Where I was, what I’ve done, who I was, all of that is in the past. Yes I made mistakes, but I have learned from them. Yes I was totally out of control, but I am back in control now. Should I have shame? I don’t know. I know I do feel that shame, but I also know that it is not a productive emotion, so I am trying to let it go. As part of letting it go, I am going to put it all out there.
In late 2008-early 2009, I hit my all time highest weight of about 630 pounds. I say about because I don’t know for sure. I got on scale that had a capacity of 620 and it said I was too heavy. So somewhere over 620 is where I was and two weeks later I was just under 620, so the doctor estimated that I was about 630 at my highest. I could barely walk. I could barely breathe! I never wanted to leave the house or see anyone because I was so embarrassed and ashamed. I was at my highest weight and my lowest point.
At that point, in early 2009, I started losing weight. It was slow, SLOW going at first because I could barely walk, so exercising was almost impossible. I kept a food journal and tried to eat under 2000 calories a day, although most days I barely made it in under 3000. I lost little by little all through 2009. I started exercising again in mid 2009 and in January of 2010 I made the best purchase ever-a Nintendo Wii. That really kickstarted my exercising. I was given Your Shape and Just Dance. I bought The Biggest Loser, Walk It Out, Gold’s Gym Dance Workout, and Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout. I started exercising three times a week. I bought a scale to weigh myself. In the middle of 2010 I joined Sparkpeople.com and began to follow their recommendations on nutrition. I also started strength training regularly.
By October 2010 I was down to 511. I was feeling stronger than I had in a very long time. I was doing cardio 4-5 times a week and strength training 3 days a week. I was more active with my family and I was starting to feel like I was getting my life back. Then my Gram died and I felt like I just lost all my momentum. I was surprised at how hard it hit me to lose her. I loved my Gram and I knew that I would be sad when she was gone, but when it happened I was more than sad. I was devastated. Every day it was a battle for me to just get up and move. For the first 2 months I cried every day. I stopped exercising regularly and I gave up on my food journal. Of course I started gaining weight again.
2011 was a bad year. A lot of bad things happened. Shawn got fired. We came close, very close, to ending our marriage. We decided to start over, move to a new place, and try again. We trusted the wrong people and they totally screwed us over. I was so depressed and of course, as has always been my habit, I turned to food. I stopped logging onto sparkpeople.com when my weight went back over 550. As I was creeping back up towards my highest weight, I started noticing that I hurt more. I had more down days. It was harder and harder to breathe. At the end of October I weighted 587. I started trying to exercise again, half heartedly, and I lost a little weight. Then we were talking about giving up and moving back home and I got depressed. I started eating again. We ended the year totally broke, financially unstable, and a little homesick, but we decided to stick it out and stay where we were.
In January of 2012 I weighed 590 pounds. I made the resolution that this would be the last year that I would ever be over 500 pounds. I started exercising a couple of times a week. January was a crazy, sad, shocking month with the loss of some very good people from my life. Instead of letting those losses derail me, I let them fuel me and push me. By the middle of February I was exercising at least every other day if not more. In March I went back to sparkpeople.com and began to track my food again. I didn’t know how much I weighed at that point because I didn’t have my scale. I knew that my clothes were getting looser and I was getting stronger. I saw a lot of little changes that added up to me being more able than I had been for a long, long time. In mid-April I found my scale and I weighed myself. I was 516! I was so surprised that I had lost over 70 pounds in less than 4 months! Of course that motivated me to keep losing.
It’s now nearly the end of May and I weigh 484 pounds. That is so amazing. I haven’t been under 500 pounds since 2007. At this point, I have nearly lost 150 pounds since my all time high weight. I’ve lost more than that if you count the weight I lost and gained back and lost again. This time there is no going back. I’m all in. I’m going to keep losing weight. I’m going to keep setting goals and hitting them. My next goal is to be under 450 by July 31. That’s about half a pound to lose per day. I can do it. In keeping with losing a half a pound per day, I want to be under 400 by my 36th birthday. That’s a doable goal. I haven’t been under 400 pounds since 2005, but I know I will be there again soon and I will never be over 400 pounds again once I do.
So, there it is. This is the honest truth about who I am and where I am. I never in my life thought that I would be proud to say that I am 484 pounds, but I am. I really am. Of course I don’t plan on being here for long and I won’t ever be here again, but just for today, I am proud. There is no shame in that.
I love quotes. I like all kinds of quotes, be they inspirational, motivational, funny, silly, sappy, or whatever. Any time I read a quote that touches me in any way, I like it. I try to pass on the particularly good quotes, and if you’re on my Facebook, you’ll know that’s true. Lately it seems like a few of the same quotes keep coming up in my life. Maybe it’s just that I notice them more because they are more relevant to me right now. I don’t know. All I know is that these quotes really hit home right now. I am on a major life quest to change myself inside and out. I am not only trying to lose weight, but also to gain strength, balance, and clarity. I don’t just want to be thinner, I also want to be stronger and healthier both inside and out. Part of that journey includes, and MUST include, surrounding myself with people who are good for me. Some people are good for me because they serve as examples of what hard work and dedication can do. Some people are proof of the goodness and compassion that we are all capable of. Some people are amazingly supportive and encouraging. I also realize that some people are only in our life to challenge us and some people are only in our lives to show us what NOT to do. All of these people are necessary to my success and well-being. With all that being said, I also have begun to realize the flip side of all this: me. Who am I to the people in my life? What kind of example do I serve? What kind of example do I WANT to be? In the past I know what I’ve been: what NOT to do. In the past I have done alot of stupid things. I smoked and drank and ate garbage. I have been negative and pessimistic. I have been angry and untrusting. All of these things I have been and done, and I freely admit them. I acknowledge and accept them. I was who I was and I cannot change that now. What I can do is learn that who I was is NOT who I am now. Who I was has taught me who I want to be. Since I have been on this journey, I have been very open about everything. I have several reasons for doing this so publicly and to be honest, most of them are selfish. In including everyone in my journey, I am putting myself in a position to be held accountable. Because everyone knows that I am doing this, everyone keeps me in check. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me how I’m doing. That is a push for me to keep going. Another thing is that by journaling/blogging/posting about my journey, I am keeping track of where I am, where I’m going, and where I’ve been. I can look back at what was happening two months ago and feel pride in how far I have come since then. Yesterday I read the blog I wrote on the day that I first ran. I remember struggling through a short 30 second sprint. Yesterday I ran several 1 and 2 minute sprints. Now I know to some people, 2 minutes of running is not impressive, but if you consider my weight and my health it really is. A couple of years ago I was a t a point where I could barely walk. I couldn’t go shopping anywhere unless I had a shopping cart to hold onto. Six months ago I was starting to creep back up to my highest weight again and again, I was starting to have trouble walking. So yes, 2 minutes of running is an amazing accomplishment. It will be even more amazing when I run for 5 minutes straight, and 10, and 20, and on and on. I will get there and I will blog about it. So yes, sharing my journey has been a partially selfish thing for me to do, but it has also had an amazing and unexpected side effect. I have been noticing how it has effected other people. Some people have commented on my posts, some people have sent me messages, and some people have told me in person, just how much my journey has meant to them. I’ve had people say that my will power has encouraged them to do something that they didn’t think they could do. I have had some people say that watching me lose 100 pounds has encouraged them to lose the 25 pounds that they need to shed. I’ve had people say that I have motivated them to start exercising or being more active with their families. I have been asked advice about eating right and exercising. How ironic is that? I laughed when a friend of mine, who is 15 pounds overweight, asked me, who is still 300 pounds overweight, how to lose weight. I laughed, but it felt so good. I am doing a good job, and I am motivating others to do the same. I am focusing on the positives in my life and I am bringing anyone who wants to come along on the journey with me. For once in my life I am a good influence. One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs is “I’m not the kind of girl you take home”, but lately, all that is changing and I am so happy about it. I am so proud of me. For most of my life I have never felt proud of myself and even when I did, I never NEVER said it out-loud. I never wanted to seem egotistical or boastful. Now I see that having pride in myself is not a bad thing. I’m not saying that I am better than you or anyone else. All I am saying is that I am good enough. I am good enough and I deserve to be happy. I deserve to live a long, healthy, happy life. Is my life perfect? NO. Of course it isn’t. It’s good and bad and sometimes it’s hard as hell. Sometimes, it’s a struggle, but it is always worth it. Part of the reason that my life is so good is because I am blessed with the people that I have in my life. I hope that individually I have told you all how much you mean to me. Maybe I have and this is all old news. Maybe I haven’t and I really need to. So let me take this opportunity to say this to you, thank you. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your love. Thank you for making me laugh, for letting me cry, and for accepting me as I am. I even say thank you to those of you who have hurt me because you have taught me what is not acceptable. Each of you brings something to my life that is valuable and worthy. I hope that I bring good things to your life as well. I look forward to every moment we have together. Thank you for being a part of my life.
So, today I got on the scale, and I looked at the number, and I almost fell off the scale! I lost…are you ready for it?…10 pounds. 10 FRICKIN’ pounds! Yep, I said 10 pounds. That is so awesome! I am so proud of myself. I did do a happy dance. I did post it on Facebook. I did text my momma and tell her about it. Yes I did celebrate this victory. Of course I immediately began to plan for my next goal. This week I hit my 100 pounds lost goal. Since the beginning of this year I have lost 105 pounds. That’s more than a few of my friends weigh. It is a huge milestone and I need to slow down and take a moment to celebrate that before I push on and rush towards my next goal. I have always been the type of person who has my eye on the next prize. Lately I have been making an active effort to pause and be thankful for today before I think about tomorrow. So today I will not worry about next week, next month, or next year. I will not stress over how much further I still have to go in my journey. I will breathe deeply and relax. I will smile and enjoy how far I have come. I really have made amazing strides in less than half a year’s time. I am feeling a pride in myself that I haven’t often felt. I like it. I hope to feel it more. I like setting and hitting goals. I like feeling good about me. Today I am feeling good about me. How ’bout you?