Fair warning that this will be a long post, but so is this dang journey.
I want to start off by saying that I am not the World’s Fittest person. I’m not special and I didn’t have a ton of money to hire trainers and whatnot. I have made more mistakes along the way than I like to admit. I am so far from perfect that it is sometimes embarrassing. I still have a ways to go and I could have been to my goal weight like 20 times by now. I’ve had to start over and get my shit together on more than a few occasions, but the point is that I always get back up and try again. That is how I’ve gotten this far. I’m real about how I got through all of this and this is my “weight loss journey”.
Let’s take a minute to discuss how I got to be 325+lbs.
This illustration seems to have been drawn just for me! Seriously, I would eat whenever I was hungry, full, bored, sleepy….probably while I was asleep too, depressed and happy. The list goes on and on. I didn’t need a reason to shovel food into my mouth. I just liked it. A LOT. I’m the girl who would sit down and eat more food than humanly possible and then that would make me sick, so I would throw it all up. Then I’d eat again. I had and still have a serious issue with food. I always will. I’ve been a binge eater for as long as I can remember. It’s not my mama’s fault, it’s not the world’s fault…..it’s my fault I am like this. End of story. I have been overweight the majority of my life. I was never popular in school and all of my friends were a size 2. Oh how I wanted to be and dress like them! I was made fun of because of my weight for as long as I can remember. People can be so cruel.
Late 2010, when things started to change….
So, at the end of 2010, my brother got married and I was in his wedding. I was sooooo uncomfortable in my bridesmaid dress. When I sat down, it would squeeze me to death at my ribs and for that reason I stood a lot. Thank baby Jesus for flip-flops! I remember feeling really pretty that day because I had a good tan going on and I curled my hair, which seemed to always get me compliments, but in my mind there was a serious battle with myself. I couldn’t help but feel like I was wearing a tent for a dress and wonder why I couldn’t just be smaller so that I could look as nice as some of the other girls in their dresses.So many times in the past I have wanted to just shut down and cry because I compared myself to every single person that was smaller than me. Why couldn’t I be like that?! It would make me so angry. I felt like I was doomed to be the fat friend forever.
I was not in a great place emotionally. I had a daughter that was on the verge of being two years old and I was in a not so great relationship with her dad. I was convinced that I was stuck and this was what my life was going to be, I was always going to be too fat for any other guy to like me and treat me the way I should have been treated and because of that, he was the only guy that I would ever be with for the rest of my life……I was surprisingly WRONG!
Boy, was I wrong……
Around Christmas of 2010, I decided that I didn’t want to settle for my relationship and I didn’t want to be treated the way I was any longer. So I ended that ( I won’t go into detail about that train wreck of a relationship). I then BRAVELY decided about a week later that I was ready to move on with my life and made a couple of online dating profiles. Like something good was ever going to come from that? Yep. It just fell into my lap…..all kinds of goodness!
This is the part where I met my husband. At the time, I never even had a thought of him becoming my boyfriend, nonetheless my husband! He was pretty much everything that I had prayed for on all the nights I laid in bed crying about how horrible my life was. I prayed….and I’m not even a religious person. I just wanted God to send someone to me. Someone who would love me genuinely and treat me how my dad treats my mom. We chatted on messenger and through texts for about a week before we decided to finally meet and the night I was getting ready for our date, I was a nervous wreck. What if he wasn’t into me? What if he was turned off by me? What IF he turned around and left as soon as he laid eyes on me?!
Obviously, he didn’t and I don’t think we’ve been apart much since then to be honest. I needed him and he needed me.I noticed that just in the week that we had only texted each other that I would wake up every morning with a smile on my face. I had something to look forward to. I cannot tell you how happy I was after meeting him and actually spending time with him. That was truly what I needed to happen in my life and I always knew that he was brought into my life for a reason.
Apparently, being happy was the key to me being able to give a damn about myself for once. Who knew? It had been so long since I had felt that. There is a huge difference between being young and thinking your happy and getting older and being happy because you have someone in your life that MAKES you happy. It’s like everything is worth living for and everything has a new meaning. You know what I’m talking about, like when you and your guy have a break up and your world falls apart? You knowingly have family and friends that love and care for you and you may even have a child that is supposed to make you happy,but it’s not the same thing. We all can admit that. It’s ok to admit that the only time you’re truly happy in your life is when the person you love is there and everything is right. You’re whole. That’s just how love works, from my experience anyways.
I started losing weight when I became happy. I didn’t need to stuff my face because I was having fun……I also didn’t want him to know that I ate. Pssshhhh!
He saw how uncomfortable I was with myself. He had to, I radiated discomfort from within myself and I openly told him that I didn’t think that he actually wanted to be with me because of my weight. That one day he would realize who he was with. He would actually get offended when I said things like this. Like I had slapped him or something. Shows you how low my self-esteem was. Everyday I would fear that he would leave because he’d meet someone better looking and skinnier. FYI: that shit does not even matter, by the way! There is actually someone out there who thinks you’re great regardless of what you think and view about yourself. I don’t care what you say. I’m sure your mother has told you this a few times, just like my mom would tell me. I surely didn’t believe it, but look at what fell into my lap……a big, lovable, huagble man who shows me every single day how much he loves me and my kid.
So now I’m actually going to talk about how I lost weight…
I just needed you to know how emotionally unstable I was and a little about why I was able to do this. My husband got me started on this journey. I owe a lot to him for that (I’ll pay him back in the chicken nuggets he likes wink).
So, being that my husband had lost weight in the past and was at that point in the best shape he’d been in a while, he convinced me to work on myself too. With his help, of course. We started going to the local park and walking a few times a week….in the freezing cold might I add. I liked that he was helping me, but I didn’t like him looking at me while I did it. I was always so embarrassed. I remember the first time he told me to run. I remember how heavy I felt trying to propel all of my weight forward and how much my knees hurt. It made me realize just the kind of shape I was in, and I didn’t like that very much.
Later on, he convinced me to go to the gym with him and added me to his account. That was a whole new world to me and I cannot tell you how uncomfortable it made me. I didn’t know how to do anything. So, I started walking on the treadmill and doing some easy stuff like bicep curls with 10lb weights. I slowly learned what each piece of equipment did and what muscle group it worked out and from there on, it was a big part of my life.
I didn’t start out doing any crazy fitness routine or any weird and strict diet. I started simple. I cut back on how much I was eating and I eventually learned more and more about nutrition. When I had my cancer diagnosis (you can read that in “My Cancer Story”) I had lost around 40 pounds or so. That was about 6 months into this journey. Nothing special happened after that. I ate better and I worked out. Weight loss happened slowly and I was slowly becoming someone I really liked. Best part of it was that I was losing inches more than weight and I got to buy new clothes. Heck yea!
Things got serious….
I’m going to skip a couple of years here. In 2013, we got engaged. Yaaaayyyy!!!
This is when I upped my game. By this time, I pretty much knew what I was doing….or at least I thought I did. I had been losing weight, so I must have been doing something right. Right? Nope. I had a mission and I set out to lose as much weight as I could so that I wouldn’t look hideous in my dress on my wedding day.
This is the point where I got really into experimenting with different diets and kinds of workouts. If there was a diet, I tried it. I hated paleo! I was always so hungry. Low carb seemed to help me so much. So I stuck to that for a long time. I did cheat once on the weekends because I had the frame of mind that I had to or I wasn’t going to be successful.
I got up pretty much five days a week at the butt crack of dawn to go to the gym before work. I should tell you how much I love to sleep. This was a big deal for me. It shocked some of my friends because they knew how grumpy I would get at just the thought of getting up early and I was doing it on purpose! I had to though, I had goals. Once I had lost about 90lbs, I hit a plateau. It became so hard to lose the last 10lbs of my goal and this was because my body was so used to me doing the same kind of exercises and eating the same way for so long.
A crossfit gym had recently opened where I lived and it really intrigued me, but it also scared the crap out of me. I got up the nerve to go check it out one morning and I was hooked, for a little while at least. I won’t lie. It was hard and it pushed me to my limits, but I liked it. It helped me break my plateau and also lift a lot heavier than I ever thought I could. My max dead lift was 315 pounds. That’s almost as much as I weighed when I started losing weight. It was so heavy! I only picked it up once, but I did it. After a couple of months I had finally lost the last 10lbs and that put me at 100lbs lost. Never in my life did I think I would ever lose that much. Not me……the girl who never accomplishes anything and always said that losing weight was impossible.
Before I knew it, it was my wedding day and I was down another 15lbs. That made a total of 115lbs I had lost in almost 3 years. I did the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and that helped me lose 10lbs, but it was so hard for me because it’s strict and I’m not one to stick to things for a long period of time. I’m lazy like that. This is also why I don’t track my macros often.
You want to know what felt the best? When I had bought my dress, the guy that I bought it from suggested that I go a size smaller since I was losing weight. Great idea, guy! Not like I have to already work hard enough at this….stress me out even more! Thanks. Not only did I fit into it, but I had it taken in a couple of weeks before my wedding. That felt really good. I had done what I set out to do and MORE. I had never felt more beautiful in my whole life….
Then real life happened….
After the wedding and our honeymoon, we moved into our own place. I didn’t realize how easy we had it before when we were living at my mom’s. I always had someone to watch my daughter so we could go to the gym at 5:00 in the morning because I could always leave her sleeping, knowing someone was there with her in case she woke up. We weren’t able to do that anymore. So, me more than him, I got lazy. I have gained and lost the same 50lbs over and over since then.
I’ve done boot camp workouts, rejoined crossfit, went back to the gym, and tried going low carb again with my diet…and failed. Recently, I found the Ketogenic diet. It’s a HIGH fat, low carb, moderate protein diet. I have had more success with this diet than any other way of eating I’ve tried. I am never really starving anymore. I don’t need to eat as much and I am never bloated….unless it’s that time of the month and even then it’s not as bad as it used to be. I try to stay under 25 net carbs (net carbs are total carbs-fiber) a day and I eat upwards of 200 grams of fat in a day sometimes. One thing that has shocked me is the positive effect this way of eating has had on my hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). I used to eat before I went to the gym in the morning so that while I was weight lifting, my blood sugar wouldn’t drop. It would still happen and I would have to leave and go eat a candy or something to get it back up.
Recently I had a bullet proof coffee (it’s where you put magic butter and coconut oil in your coffee then blend it. Yum!) that morning and really not much after that until dinner that night. Before dinner, I did an hour-long weight lifting session at home and when I was almost done, I realized that I felt fine and had no blood sugar issues……even in an almost fasted state. I was amazed! I haven’t had my blood sugar drop not even once since starting this way of eating. That feels so good! Before starting the keto diet I was having problems with my blood pressure being elevated and I stayed with headaches, well not anymore. My blood pressure is great every time I go to my doctor, which is around every 3-6 months or so.
I finally lost the last 20lbs I needed to lose in order to be back to my 115lb goal that I had previously lost. I’ve been trying for a couple of years to get back to that number and then to lose another 40-50lbs to be at my goal weight. I bought a treadmill and a few more weights so that I can work out at home. That way I have no excuse not to exercise. I walk on it and I’ll occasionally run, but my knees don’t like that anymore. Hell, who am I kidding?! I don’t like to run lol. It sucks. I tend to like the incline and walking a little slower. This makes me sweat! I just lost another pound this week. So as of yesterday, I’ve lost 116lbs. Only 44 more to go! Sigh….this shit is taking forever! It defiantly doesn’t happen over night.
You can do this…..I know you can
As much as I want to tell you that there is some magic pill you can take or an easier way out, I can’t. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes time. You are going to have setbacks and moments where you cry because you’re not seeing results, even though you’re working so hard! It is in those moments that you have to keep pushing and keep doing everything you have been doing. Keep eating right. Keep working out. EVERY LITTLE effort you are making is going to become the BIG end result. I didn’t workout for a week and become 50lbs lighter. I wish it worked that way. I lost 5 lbs here….1 lb there…..gained 2lbs here…See? That is how it works. If I would have stopped every time I gained a pound or didn’t see a result, I would not have gotten this far. It’s about consistency and determination. Forget about that motivation bullshit! You don’t need a “reason” to do this. You just need to do it.
There isn’t going to be someone to follow you around all day and cheer you on because you didn’t eat that donut. It’s only you. You are your own motivation. At the end of the day, it’s up to only you. You’re never going to be “ready” and there’s never going to be a perfect time to start. So stop trying to start on a freakin Monday! Start on a Wednesday at 3:20, be different. If you don’t feel like working out, do it anyways. You’ll be glad you did. Listen to your body, let it tell you when you need to rest and then don’t be afraid to take some time off if you need to. All that matters is that you start again.
Also, live your life. Don’t think that just because you’re on a “diet” and you need to lose weight that you can’t enjoy yourself or go out with friends……because you can. It’s about figuring out what works with your body and has the least dramatic impact on your weight loss and our goals. If you want a drink, don’t have a sugar laden margarita…have a vodka and water with some crystal light squirty crap. Enjoy yourself.
Don’t quit. You can do this. I believe in you!