A story about how I went from this.....
Wait never mind, there's no picture. I tried to get a good "now" picture but I couldn't find one that wasn't fuzzy or didn't feature me looking like a lunatic. I like a picture, and there are some recent ones scattered throughout this blog, if you're interested.
For several months, my friend Lindsey tried to get me to do a "before" and "after" picture on this blog to show my weight loss and encourage others to make changes.
At the time, I would have rather stood naked on Howard Street.
In fact, I would kind of still rather stand naked on Howard Street. However, in this the first week of 2011, I have started to change my mind about it. I've been thinking about my weight loss journey over the past few years, and about the many others who may be starting that very same journey now. What helped me the most? I believe that it was a combination of: encouragement, accountability, humor, compliments, bribes, reading about / hearing others successes, and taking things one day at a time.
I would like to use this time to tell you about my story...hopefully it will encourage you and make you laugh. As far as bribes go - try to convince someone close to you to buy you a new wardrobe when you reach your goal. I can't, or I would.
And you sure look pretty today! (That's my compliment, in case you're not good at recognizing them.)
So. Pretty much my whole life I've been a little overweight. Never anything major. I was active in high school and was able to keep my weight down but heck, I still lied on my drivers' license. Freshman year of collage brought free meals at the KD house; Leah and I sure did take advantage of the banana pudding and to go boxes. We also watched Passions so we were actually making several mistakes. College moved on with fast food meals, beer, and to many coke heavys. After collage I would loose weight but always seemed to gain it back.
Fast forward to my big move to Greenwood. Soon after moving to town, I met and started dating Brandon. We both settled into that I'm-happy-in-my-new-relationship / don't-change-a-bit-about-yourself rut. Couple that with a growing interest in cooking and many dates out to one of Greenwood's many fine dining establishment, and I had myself one pretty big pickle on my hands. Fall of 2008, I went to my yearly doctor visit. In this visit, I described to the doctor my growing concerns about my weight. I informed her that I was pretty positive I had a thyroid condition and should be checked out and immediately started on something to reverse this. She humored me and gave me the test. I went on about my way, excited that this pesky weight issue would soon be resolved.
A few weeks later, I received what I thought would be a prescription to a weight loss miracle, but instead was a letter stating that good news...your thyroid is fine. But you should look into a healthier lifestyle IF you want to get that weight off. Thanks, doc.
I did what any person would do, ignored the letter and went on about my way.
We now find ourselves sometime in the middle of the night, January 1st (or 2nd, I forget the exact time) of 2009. I had gotten up to use the restroom and was on my way back to bed when I clicked a lamp off, as I am green like that. This action was immediately followed by my tripping over a rogue sneaker that sent me flying over an ottoman, onto the rock hard floor. I spent the next little bit sobbing, convincing myself that my knee was, in fact, broken.
I wake up the next morning, hobble to work (there was no substitute for me or else I totally would have called in), and attempt to do therapy. After my work was done, I called my dad to inform him that my knee was broken and inquire what action I should take. He reassured me that my knee was probably not broken but I should maybe stop by the ER to get it checked out. So that's what I did.
If anyone has been to any type of ER visit / MD appointment at any time of their lives....you know you can't get very far without first being weighed. The holiday season had just wrapped up and I knew this was not going to be pretty. The number that flashed up on the scale shook me to my core.
Are you freaking kidding me? I'm 5'3! Now I'm not only in horrible pain but I'm now fully aware of the fact that I'm waaaaaaaaay overweight. Like the nurse probably wrote "obese" on my chart. I've worked in hospitals, I know that game.
Long story short (not really), my knee was twisted and bruised and I was sent home with a stabilizer and some crutches. And extremely wounded pride.
I spent that weekend eating M and Ms, reading Twilight, and doing some serious soul searching about the turn my physical self had taken. I had been mulling around the idea of starting WW for the last little bit; this weekend made me know that it was something that had to be done.
I enrolled in Weight Watchers online that Monday...January 5, 2009. Two years ago today!
I find myself now, 55(ish) pounds lighter. I did it! I reached my goal. It was a long road, full of ups and downs and twists and turns but over all a great life learning experience. While the physical transformation has been wonderful, I have been even more shocked by the emotional changes. It was very strengthening, but I was also reminded that I have to take responsibility for the choices that I make, and if I want things to change I have to take action. The biggest lesson, and we are about to get a little after school special here, is that confidence comes from within; it really has nothing to do with what you look like. For me, confidence came from reaching goals and knowing that I was able to do something that was difficult. One of the strangest things about loosing weight, for me at least, was that it took me a really long time to see myself differently and confront insecurities that had always been there. I would be given compliments, and while I was appreciative, I would often think that the person was just being overly nice and didn't really mean it. Accomplishing a goal, any goal, can help one to reexamine these beliefs and start to think more realistically. And feel more confident.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, whether you have 15 pounds to loose or 200, here are some tips that might be helpful.
1. Take it one day at a time. I know I mentioned this earlier, but it's so important. It's very easy to get overwhelmed when you are making big life changes. Don't worry about the weekend, don't worry about that upcoming party, Lord don't worry about Christmas. Just stay in today.
2. Get support. People to vent too, people to teach you, people to share successes with. My support has been extremely helpful to me and I probably wouldn't have been as successful without it.
3. Prepare for setbacks. No one is perfect...don't beat yourself up when you mess up.
4. Exercise. It makes me feel better; I always forget that.
5. Reward yourself. I didn't do this, but wish I would have! Set small goals - like five pounds or ten pounds - and reward yourself with something special when you reach your goal. Like a manicure. But not cheddar peppers....that would defeat the purpose.
6. Do it for yourself. Don't do it because you think someone will like you more, or you'll be cooler, if you loose weight. Do it because it's something that you honestly want to do.
7. Look at it as a lifestyle change. A healthy lifestyle change. Make the decision to live this way forever...not just until you get back into your pants.
8. Ask for help if you need it.
9. Weigh regularly. Even if you know that you've gained weight. In fact, over the holidays? I think i gained a little bit of weight each week. But you suck it up and keep going back. Don't give up.
10. Be proud of yourself. Always. Because you are awesome. No matter what.
I am by no means a weight loss expert. And I probably eat french fries more than I should. And sometimes I treat myself to a coke heavy on Fridays. But I learned that if you try something, and keep trying something, then you can have success. Kind of like the people in AA say - it works if you work it.
Keep workin' it.
Thank you for reading this blog. It has been a wonderful way to keep me motivated and accountable. It also keeps me entertained. Seriously, thanks.
And just in case you were wondering? My knee is fine, aside from the occasional cold weather / rains' a-comin' ache.