Friday, January 13, 2012

Missing Life

That's what happens when you are obese. You miss life. When I hear people say "I am happy being fat" or "I've accepted my overweight body" it makes me sad. It's not healthy and it's not okay to settle for that. Being obese truly causes a person to miss so much in life whether they realize it or not.

I used to weigh 205 pounds. At that weight my back would ache, I would get out of breath easily, I hated shopping for new clothes, I wore mostly "stretchy pants", I never wanted my picture taken, I did not like socializing, I was very unhappy with myself. The weight slowly crept on over10 years. I don't even think I realized how big I was. When I see pictures now, I cringe. That will never be me again. Ever!

I'm not sure exactly what made me decide to lose the weight, to really DO IT! So many times I would start a diet and give up on it. It seemed too hard, like such a big, unreachable goal. I just became so depressed and kept thinking about how I was wasting time, that I was tired of how I looked and how embarrassed I would be be for anyone to see me that had not seen me in a long time. I hardly had any confidence. I was so sick and tired of it all.

I started to imagine what it would be like to be thinner, to wear a cute outfit, to feel good, energetic, and happy. We had a recumbent bike in our computer room that was never used. I started forcing myself to ride it everyday. I cut my calories to around 1200 a day. At first I ate lots of frozen Kashi meals just to make it easy to stick to the diet. After awhile my 30 minute bike ride turned into an hour or an hour and a half. I would make playlists to listen to on my ipod while I was riding and I would just get lost in my music and keep riding. Within a few months I had lost 20 pounds. When I started seeing progress it just made me want to keep going.

We were living in Nebraska at that time. The kids and I moved back here to O'Fallon, IL about 6 months after I started slowly losing the weight. We joined Golds Gym not long after moving back here. I started off just doing cardio at Golds about 5 times a week. I liked riding the bike and doing the elliptical the best. My daughter started going to some of the group classes at the gym.  I am more of a reserved, quiet type of person and had no interest whatsoever in going to a Zumba class and dancing with a bunch of people I didn't know. Paige loved it, though and I eventually got brave enough to try it. I remember being so nervous all day that day, like I had a terrible doctor's appointment that I was dreading or something. I went and faced the fear! It really wasn't that bad! Now I love going to Zumba. I still stay towards the back row of the class, but I am probably never going to be the type that loves the spotlight. It's funny though, how some things that seem so scary really aren't, once you actually just go ahead and try them.

I continued to add to my workout routine over time and slowly lost more weight. I went from a size 20 to a size 8 in about a year and a half. Life is so much more enjoyable now! I love clothes and shopping for new outfits! I love going to the gym! I love lots of things that I didn't before. It's like everything is fresh and new and I am free! I really am a new person.

I still want to lose around 15 more pounds. I am working hard on building muscle and getting lean. I continue to imagine how I want to be and what I want to look like. I have new goals for this year and I am excited about them!

Trying to lose weight really is overwhelming at first when a person has so much weight to lose. It is just a matter of deciding what is more important and what will make you happier in the end. Food is a temporary pleasure. It doesn't compare to the wonderful feeling of being healthy and liking the way you look. Getting there is hard work, but so worth it!

Here are some things that you can do to help you stay motivated~

~Visualize and Believe! Think often about and imagine the things that you want to achieve and how you want to be.
~Surround yourself with like minded people. Join a gym or a forum and be around other people that are working hard to be fit.
~Read fitness magazines or visit fitness websites to learn new things and stay motivated.
~When you have a bad day just remember that tomorrow is a new day to start fresh!
~Find a fun way to workout, like a new class.
~ Be patient and celebrate little goals.
~Don't be too hard on yourself.
~ Know that you can do it and NEVER give up!

Now this is a hard part for me, but I am going to do it. This is my before and after picture. I need a more recent "after" picture as I have lost even more weight since this "after" picture was taken. When I reach my current goal I will post new pictures. I really can't stand my before picture, it makes me feel ill to post it, but it reminds me every time I see it just how far I have come.


  1. You look great! Classes are what motivate me the most. I love the energy you get from being with other people. It sounds like so many things fell into place for you in your life. Thanks for posting the before/after pics! I know it was difficult.

  2. Your past sounds like my present. I don't like to be seen. I make excuses not to go out.
    As I am typing this, tears are filling my eyes.
    I have my daughters wedding in April. I have known since last April. I vowed I would lose the weight...but it just makes me eat more! Self destructive!
    Your story is inspiring to me. Thank you!

  3. I had no idea that you struggled with your weight. I'm proud of you taking control of your life and wanting to make a change, that is so awesome!! It's a matter of choices, you either get up and make a difference or you don't and not only did you make a difference in your life, but your daughter's too. Way to go and keep on keepin on!! You will eventually be the head of the class in Zumba OR I'll tell Char to make the back of the class the head of the class:) LOL

    Kara Taylor

  4. What an amazing story of growth, strength and stamina! I had no idea you were ever over weight. You look amazing I love that you set a goal and you stuck to it. I think group fitness is definately the way to go, it has made a huge difference in my life as well. You are setting such a fantastic example for Paige and I think it's so important that parents are healthy and active! It amazes me how much self image controls your everyday life. I too was at an undesirable weight, it started after I had my third child. I never really lost the weight from my first when I got pregnant with my second and then my third. I didn't want to talk to anyone or have anyone even look at me. I didn't like myself. I felt like every time I put something in my mouth people were thinking...does she really need to eat that? I'm sure they weren't thinking that and it was just my subconscious telling me "you do not like yourself"! It's such an awful feeling though and SO depressing! I've lost 55lbs since I had my last baby 2 years ago, 35 of which I attribute to finding a workout that I loved and craved. That workout was with Char at Club Fitness 18months ago and I've been hooked since! (I hid in the back, if you can believe that one ;)! My real inspiration though was discovering there were other people like me and we were all in the same boat. I wasn't alone and we were in there together doing our best to improve our health. We were making it happen and I realized the only one who can fix me is me! I am truly moved by your story and I am so glad that you shared it. You are beautiful inside and out and a wonderful inspiration to us all.

    Connie Fox

  5. Thank you so much for this post. It is just what I needed to hear. I am in exactly the same place you WERE in....I need to get strong like you and DO something about it. I feel I am missing out on so much joy in my life. I was never overweight until I had my twins (15 years ago!!). I guess I can't blame the pregnancy anymore! lol. It is so hard for me because I was never my entire life, until then. I was always on the skinny-side. I can't thank you enough for posting your before and after picture. It helps me see that there is hope for me. You look amazing. I have enjoyed your blog since your Country Sampler is what introduced me to the blogging world. Now maybe your new blog will introduce me to the diet/health world! Thanks again for posting.
    ~ Stacy


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