February 27, 2014

Non Scale Victory Thursday!


Hey Heyyyyyyyyy!  It's Non-Scale Victory Thursday and it's been awhile since I posted; I've missed you guys!  I have news to share and of course I would want my NSV peeps to be a part of it!!

Let's get right to it:  This morning, I finished my last assignment for my first Grad class, Research Methods - MY. GAWD. YA'LL...so stinking excited to be done!!  My life has been muddled by it for the last 8 weeks, which is why you haven't heard much from me...but I'm officially done and I have 5 weeks off before my next class begins - wooohooo!  My next class is Statistics and while a lot of people don't like Stats, I really did well in my undergrad Stats class so I hope that will carry through.

My next victory is that last week I went to the doctor for my bloodwork followup and I received great news.  If you have been following me for a while, you'll know that I have been trying to get off my cholesterol medicine for a long time.  The lovely side effects of spending 20 years of your life being obese are many and one of my burdens was high cholesterol.  Not only was I too fat, but it runs in my family so I had a double-whammy against me.  I've been healthy now for more than 2 years, but my dang cholesterol is still being a little tricky so my doctor has wanted me to stay on it.  BUT...last week he agreed to lower my dose AND if I can keep it where it is now, he's going to take me off it at my next appointment in August!  You guys...this made me cry!!  It's so frustrating on so many levels to be a basically healthy person but still have to take a drug that is so controversial...I am beyond elated.  One of the things I love about my doctor is that he's very much into natural and holistic healing.  He gave me a list of things that I could eat or take to help in continuing to lower my cholesterol and I decided to start taking Krill oil.  Anyone else taking it?  I'm going to to really concentrate on more natural ways to keep my cholesterol in check and I hope that in August, which also happens to be my birthday month, I'll have something to celebrate - stay tuned!

Lastly, I wanted to talk about my weight - I know this is a NON SCALE post, but I think it relates well.  So when I was at the doctors office, they of course weighed me.  I was up...like substantially.  In fact, more weight than I've gained at one time during this whole process - 8lbs.  The old me would have freaked...the EFF...out.  But oddly, I didn't.  I'm still kind of in wonderment about this.  And I came to the conclusion that for the first time in my life, I have to believe that my body is changing and maybe I'm starting to build muscle?  This is by NO means any type of excuse and here's the reason...I cannot look back and recall ANYthing that I've done over the past 8 weeks to berate myself over.  I have followed a healthy plan with very little deviation, I have worked out and stayed within my calories.  Do I wonder what the Hell?  Um, yah.  But what can I do?  MORE than I've done??  No...because what more can I do?  I HAVE thought about the difference in my routine, and what has changed is that I lowered my cardio and I upped my strength training.  I also incorporated more healthy fats into my diet and am consuming less refined carbs.  The reason that I know that this is working is because I am down in inches and my clothes are fitting looser.  We've all seen the before and after pictures of the difference in how skinny and fit look.  I guess I am now at that point in my journey.  I know this won't last...the weight will eventually fall off.  Am I looking forward to that day?  YUP.  Am I a tiny bit disappointed?  YES, more than a tiny bit.  But again, how much can I beat myself up over it?

I won't.  Not anymore.  I am going to believe this little quote below.  I have printed it out and it hangs right above my laptop so that I can be reminded of it on days when I'm feeling frustrated.  This whole journey is not about a number anymore to me.  It's about living a healthy life.  And I am...and I will continue to.

I also wanted to say "Thank You" to everyone who continues to inspire me and support me.  I could not do this without you and I am amazed everyday at the love and support people show me.  I hope I can do the same for you.

Be well!

February 18, 2014

Transformation Tuesday

It has been a few weeks since this picture was taken and it has taken me this long to gather up the nerve to post it.  Even though I am not the girl in the pink top any longer - I am still embarrassed that I WAS that girl at one time.  The thing is that I didn’t even feel THAT big…how could I not KNOW??!  Well, of course I knew…

I remember that time very clearly.  It was at a time that I was having some health issues and it was just a few days before that I was ordered an MRI.  So I showed up to have the MRI done and guess what?  The most mortifying thing you could imagine happened…to me.  I didn’t fit into the MRI machine.  I cry a little bit right now thinking about how much that hurt me.  Not only was it embarrassing…I was basically being told that my weight would hinder the doctors from being able to save me.  They couldn’t even do what they needed to do to make me better.  It was probably one of the lowest times of my life.  It was even enough to spur me to lose a little bit of weight.  I joined Weight Watchers and lost about 37lbs in 6 months.  But then I stopped doing WW and I gained 20lbs back.  Weight loss fail…again…disappointment in myself…again.

It was another year before I finally made the decision to never look back…and it was the best decision I have ever made – and the hardest journey I have ever been on.  Since then, there have been lots of highs and lows…but the difference in the “new” lows is that they come more from being frustrated when things aren’t happening as fast as I want them.  They aren’t the same types of disappointing lows that I used to put myself through. 

I’m sharing this picture with you…but it’s more for me… because I needed to see this to remind myself that I have come so far; I am finally living the life I was destined for.  I have so little in common with that girl.  That girl was afraid of EVERYTHING.  She was afraid to try new things; she was even afraid to try old things!  She was stuck.  Stuck in a place that she told herself was life.  It wasn’t living…

If you’re reading this today and you are looking for motivation, let me tell you this:    It’s going to be hard, and lots of days you are going to want to quit and that’s okay…but every single time you pick yourself back up again and move forward is another victory.  And then one day it’s not going to be so hard.  So just do it.  Start today; it’s worth it…I promise you.

February 6, 2014

Being Invisible

I didn’t grow up fat or even chubby.  I didn’t start to gain weight until about my Senior year in High School.  So most of my middle and high school years I spent feeling…well, pretty…not to the point of cockiness in any way…I just didn’t feel ugly.  Then about the end of my Senior year, I started to gain weight.  I know now that that was because I have this lovely little disease called PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) but I’m sure it didn’t help that I loved food so much and I liked (still do!) a lot of it.  But I grew up generally healthy and in good shape.  I felt confident.

But when I started to gain weight, little by little, that confidence began to chip away, and I became more of a behind the scenes person than a front and center person.  I became the friend with a great personality; funny and fun to hang around with, but definitely less assured.  I have always been a happy person but my ability to really see all the great stuff about me, started to diminish as my exterior began to grow and I wanted less and less to be an assertive go-getter and more and more just to sit back and observe. Confidence is something that just oozes out of people, and I lacked the ooze. 

When you start to try to disappear into the scenery, people start to let you.  People who don’t know you and how fun you are, just judge you for the person you are portraying.  That person I was portraying was a fat version of me.  It is so very true that even though fat people take up a lot more space, they are practically invisible.  There are a few things I’m very thankful to my fat for and one of them is the ability to see the world from a healthy person’s standpoint and then, oppositely, from the safety of my thick cocoon.  

When you are invisible, you gain the ability to gauge people more; their reactions to certain things, their reactions to you.  A lot of people, and funny enough mostly males, would practically look right through me or not make eye contact with me.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to meet men, I have been happily married for almost 19 years (all of my fat years!), but I’m talking about in a work environment or other social settings.  My biggest observations came at work.  Sometimes I would pass one of these shallow people in the hallway and if they were new to the company, they had no idea who I was.  I was just another fat girl walking the hallway; they wouldn’t even acknowledge me.  I bring up the fact that they were new because for most of my career life, I have been blessed to be able to work alongside and support the leaders of my companies.  This is not a glamorous job in any way, but it’s at the right hand of very successful people; people that others look up to.  And we all know that there are people out there that can be impressed by positions of power.  The funny thing is that the same people who would pass me in the hallway and ignore me would change their tunes immediately once they found out who I worked with.  Suddenly, I was SOMEone!  Not JUST the fat chick in the hall.  In my mind, who I worked with had nothing to do with the real me, so what was the big effing deal??  But over and over, it was.  The same people whose faces showed indifference to me, were now amiable, and I was no longer fully unnoticeable.  To see the change in their behavior was so very interesting to me.

In social settings, I could also observe how people reacted to others.  How people looked, or didn’t look at each other, how they engaged or didn’t engage others, and how your exterior really is what people (yes, all of us…good, bad, and indifferent) react to.  

What I’m long-windedly trying to say, is that being invisible allows you the ability to really sit back and observe people more fully and it truly was a gift that was handed to me.

Because I also learned and witnessed how WONDERFUL people are.  Not only do you get to see negativity, but you also get to see the true selves of those people who have huge, wonderful, accepting hearts…that SEE you for the person that you are…or the ones that have been there through it all.  The ones who see “before” pictures of you and say, “You have always been beautiful” or “I never saw you as an overweight person; you’ve always just been you.”  My ears ring with words of praise like this…because at the heart of everything that is ME, no matter how big or how small my exterior is…when all is said and done…I want to have lived my life as a loving, strong, giving, happy person.  And that means that I am.

So my confidence is slowly coming back.  And interestingly enough, it’s not even about the weight I’ve lost…it’s actually more about things I’ve been able to conquer in my fitness life that helped me the most.  To meet my old fears (which actually came with that old lack of confidence) head on and punch them smack in the face.  And while my confidence is building, I think a lot about what being fat taught me.  Most people might become bitter and resentful, but I don’t feel that way at all.  I mean, I wish that I didn’t know that there can be super shallow people in the world – but what I did learn was invaluable.  It’s the old saying:  It truly is what’s on the inside that counts.

My NSV this week is that reminder.