What a journey this last 9.5 months has been. Never did I think I would be successful at losing weight let alone 100 plus pounds. When I started I wanted to lose half my body weight or 140 pounds. When I look in the mirror now I am content with the amount I have lost, I accomplished what I had set out to do. I eliminated my diabetes, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol and am no longer in constant pain. I can walk in a normal store and buy clothes and am active. I will be able to play with my grandson and God willing watch my children grow old.
For the first time in I have no idea I am a size 10 but my worry is my knees handling the 180 pounds I still weigh. I love my walks they give me time to formulate plans. I have decided I need to take a break from losing and focus on maintaining and healing my mind, soul and body. I need to slow down and learn to breathe and enjoy the moment. I need to learn to forgive myself and move on. I need to figure out who and what I am now. I am no longer the person I was for the last 38 years I am no longer the victim. I do not want to be the over the top unhealthy weight loss lady. Ideally I would like to lose 20 more pounds but I know that in time as my skin shrinks some more will come off.
So instead I want to try to refocus and regroup. I think a part of me died at 14 and then I had to become an adult at 17 because I was going to be a mom and wife and from there I became consumed with numbing myself for the next 38 years with food and being as antisocial as I could possibly be. I have to relearn how to eat, how to interact with others, how to not be petrified while opening myself up to the world. My mom is an incredibly wise woman and she said to me in an email….
“Perhaps it is time for you to find a shady spot in this new crossroads of your life and sit and breathe deeply before moving on. Take time to pay attention to your body, let it catch up with the 100 pound loss as well as your spirit, emotions and inner child”.
I have never felt worthy of being loved either as a parent or as a child. I feel I have let everyone around me down in one way or another. But having been surrounded during this by the most supportive family, friends and strangers, being held up when I was at my lowest and cheered with at my highest I finally see I am worthy albeit I still struggle completely accepting it. It may not seem like it but posting my life and pictures and struggles has been incredibly painful. I feel guilt because I know some of what I have shared has hurt people I love most in this world. But it was a risk I had to take in order to get healthy and thankfully have been supported 100% by those I have likely hurt. The biggest reason for sharing was accountability; I knew in my heart that unless I laid it out for all to see that I would continue to lie to myself about what I was eating or how much I was exercising. I did not know that in the process it would help others.
I feel a bit arrogant saying this but I have been told time and again that I have inspired, that people look forward to my posts and reading my struggles and successes. I have people from all over the world following me and that is FRIGHTENING and HUMBLING. I worked hard for this, it is hands down one of the hardest things I have ever done. I quit a 3 pack a day smoking habit cold turkey and that was easier than this has been. I earned this; every blister, sleepless night, aching body, sagging skin and emotional breakdown. No one handed it to me; I did not take a magic pill or take the easy way out. I obsessed about how to eat as clean as possible, how to get enough hiking and walking in to compensate for not doing the workout dvd’s, how to justify and afford Shakeology.
I believed it when people said I had it easier because I am single, so much so I started making excuses for others that were not. But the reality is it is as hard for me as it is for someone with a family. I had no one to hold me accountable on eating, to help push me when I was down or struggling. But what I did have from putting my every moment out there on social media was each and every single one of you pulling for me. Lifting me up when I wanted to crawl into a hole and just die. Helping me push on when I hurt so badly I could barely move and just wanted to cry. For cheering me on when I had success.
What I did not realize was the emotional toll this would take on me. I really set out to just get healthier in body but it ended up being about so much more. The emotional toll has been pretty big. That said it has not been entirely bad but it definitely has emotionally exhausted me. The last few days have been tough. When I hit 100 pounds lost I thought it would be so much more than it was…. Do not get me wrong I am elated at that milestone. I can barely believe I hit it, but it was somewhat anticlimactic. I have spent the last 9.5 months obsessed with this new path in life. Even though as time went on it became much easier to do this, my every waking moment has been about how to eat correct, how to get exercise in, when is my next walk going to happen how can I better myself. I became super competitive with myself, trying to best my day prior in miles and time. It started becoming unhealthy.
I have a very addictive personality and when I latch onto something watch out. To deal with the pain of what happened at 14 I turned to drugs and alcohol, when I got pregnant I switched from that to an 8 pack of 16 oz Dr. Pepper a day on top of all that I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day for years. I gave up the soda, switched to gallons of ice tea a day and on and on it went for the next 38 years. Eventually I gave up smoking and had a hysterectomy and piled on another 100 pounds. I became diabetic, morose, bordering on a stroke or heart attack. Co-workers worried about my skin tone, I cried at the drop of a hat and was consumed with fear and guilt and I never looked a person in they eye or accepted a compliment.
In 9.5 months I have shed the last 38 years and that leaves me with….who am I, what is my purpose, how am I supposed to act and what do I do… It is almost like I am back to square one emotionally. I no longer have my obsession of the last 9.5 months to keep me going. I am crying at the drop of a hat, feel I have to explain why I feel like I do to justify it, worry that I am hurting people. Strangely enough the one fear I do not have is gaining the weight back. I know I will go up and down a few pounds here and there but I truly plan on eating and maintaining an active life going forward so that is the one fear I do not have. I have to learn to love my new body saggy baggy skin and all. That is going to be easier said than done because I have spent a lifetime putting myself down, believing when others told me I was ugly or worthless. Body issues do not go away when you lose weight at least not when you lose a lot. Fat tight skin is bad, saggy loose skin is equally as bad. I feel like I have hit a wall at full speed. I am absolutely lost….
So now I start on a new journey and this one is likely to be harder and more painful than the last one but it will be just as worth it. I am going to focus on my mental health, start yoga, slow down my walking and work on toning my new tired body. I am going to read and work on my spirituality. I am going to learn to meditate and walk slowly and to take in the world around me. I am going to volunteer at organizations and I am going to try to stop always saying no when someone wants to get in my space. It will be hard work because those walls are tall and strong. I am going to try to curb my addictive personality. I am going to work on realizing it is ok to eat a handful of popcorn now and again or even a bit of cake or pie if were so inclined. I am going to try to realize it does not have to be all or nothing that there can be an in between.
Several people commented on I should smile in the picture… I was not even thinking about my expression. I have shared many pictures over the months and most all were smiling..but that look right there… that is me feeling what I am feeling right now. Insecure, scared, and just a little sad.