Nudist Colony? Anyone…??

suit (2)I did the worst thing imaginable the other night. I mean, I did something horrible and offensive and just plain dumb. I did something that would make Joan of Arc throw in her sword and shield and opt for a telemarketer job.

I TRIED ON A BATHING SUIT! (Audible gasps and panic ensues)

I have lost over 250 pounds, I have been working out and I can actually feel some muscle developments (ok, the muscles may be located within my finger joints…but it is something)! So, I was at Target and I thought, “why not?” I deserve this! I imagined how amazing it would be. I had the whole scenario in my head. I would slowly turn around, wind blowing my hair, and behold the image in front of me.

I just didn’t count on the imagee making me stifle a scream (or my daughter complaining about blowing my hair with her mouth).

OK, I have lost 250 pounds. But when you lose that amount, your skin cannot just pop back into the shape you once had. All of that loose and hanging skin has to go somewhere, or does it? Nope – it doesn’t! It just sits there and hangs. Looking at you with a smirk. You thought you were doing well with your arm weights, well BAM! there’s some hanging armpit skin to snap you back into place. You thought you had lost belly fat? Well BAM! Here is a flap of loose skin that could block the sun off a small community.

Seriously though people, I was tucking like I was working at a Build-A-Bear store.

So I angrily threw the bathing suits on the floor and marched out of the dressing room, telling the attendants that there was seriously something wrong with their mirror – it belonged in a fun house.

I headed to the Starbucks inside Target. I wanted to order 2 cake pops and just be done with it. I could remove the bathing suit sight with every bit of sugary gooey goodness. Right?

I knew I wouldn’t do it. I wanted to buy something horrible for me to ease my emotions. However, I got an unsweetened tea and sat down to evaluate my situation. I dropped my money on the floor and bent down to pick it up. When I did, I realized how easily I could bend over and touch the floor.  OK, I get it, the cosmic forces were teaching me a lesson. And I get it.

I sat down and thought about this excess skin. I don’t need to hide away, I have done that my whole life. I am not that person anymore. My body is not and never will be perfect. Some of it is because of the way I have treated it over the years and some of it is wear and tear (nursing 3 babies doesn’t help). But it is mine.  I am responsible for this beautiful shell that keeps my feelings intact.

I will not shy away from my body.

It is a beautiful thing I am doing. I am losing weight and taking care of myself. Others may not know my struggle and they may just see the skin. I see so much more. I see a woman who had enough and reclaimed her life and her body. That excess skin is there to remind me of what a tremendous journey I am on.

This journey is not easy. There will be times when I get knocked down, times when I need to get extra support, times when reality kicks my stability to the ground. But there will also be many more times of quality days with my family, tears of joy at the doctor’s scale, walks with my husband and realizing I AM worth this struggle and I CAN do it.

So watch out swimsuit companies…I may just become a nudist!

 

Numbers Don’t Lie…Or Do They?

Image result for weighing inSo – I weighed 255 at the end of January and now it is March. I weighed in January because that was my last doctor’s visit, that’s how I know my weight.

I only weigh at the doctor’s office, never on scales at home. Why? Because my whole life has revolved around that scale. People always say:

“Don’t weigh yourself every day!”

But I did. Every time I started a new diet, the scale became my obsession. Every morning, I would remove all clothing and jewelry and I would shave…just in case those hairs weigh more than we realize. I would then step on the scale and the cycle would begin.

“I gained a pound yesterday, I will not eat any meals today and just drink water

“I have weighed the same for the past 2 weeks, something is wrong, I am just giving up!”

The number on that scale dictated my self-worth. The number on that scale told me whether I was a failure or a success. The number on that scale decided for me if I would get dressed and go out into the world that day.

I can remember in elementary school when they would weigh and measure the students, I would dread this day more than anything. I would try to get in the back of the line so no one could hear my weight. That was at 12 years old!! For over 40 years, I have let a scale tell me who I am.

When I got to my heaviest, I avoided the scale like the plague (is that politically correct to say?). I even avoided the doctor because I knew the first thing they would say was “let’s get your weight”.  I didn’t need to go to the doctor, I knew I was obese. I knew everything that was wrong with me was because of my weight.

So in 2017, when I got on the scale at the doctor’s and weighed 478 pounds, I knew I had to face some facts.

I changed everything in my life. My eating, my sleeping, my exercise and my attitude. I also changed the way I weigh (like that?).  I would not let myself become a scale victim. I decided to only weigh at the doctor’s office every 3-4 months. When people would ask, “How much have you lost?” I was able to say “I don’t really know.” The number was not what was important. The fact that I was getting my life back was the most important thing to me.

So numbers do lie. The scale numbers may tell you that you can’t do it. Those numbers may cause you to ridicule and judge yourself, but you are so much more than that number. Just like I am. Just like every person is.

So if you want to make a change, do it for you. You are beautiful, you are worth the effort and you are definitely more than a number. It may not happen overnight (she said TWO YEARS LATER!) but it will be worth every bit of work you put into it.

Make that change.

 

Positively Charged!

bus

When I was growing up, my father was a HUGE Zig Ziglar and Positive Mental Attitude fan. He was also a bit of a latent hippie. It was the ’70’s and we rode around in a Volkswagen Bus with different colored flower stickers all over it. So, yeah, as a young girl being dropped off at school…well, it could be pretty embarrassing. Plus, when he would drop us off at school, he would park in the front and make us repeat a Paul J. Meyer quote:                                          

“Whatever I can vividly imagine,  ardently desire,  sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

Now, yes, there was a car line. And no, he would not let us out of the bus until we had repeated the quote word for word. Very embarrassing! I just knew the cutest guy in class was sitting in a car behind this blinged out VW bus watching me just sit in the passenger seat.

Jump ahead 43 years and I can still repeat that quote word for word. So can my children. It has helped me through so many difficult tasks in my life. In fact, two years ago at 460 pounds, when I decided to do something about my life…that was the first thing I wrote in my journal. And it is the first affirmation I say to myself every morning. 

After all these years, I have realized something. My father was pretty smart. At my lowest, when I thought there was no hope for me…I could still vividly imagine myself being able to walk through the mall with my daughter without losing breath and having to sit. I ardently desired to be in a more healthy body, oh did I ardently desire this! And then those last two: sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon. 

After failing at so many diets and so many attempts to exercise, how could I possibly sincerely believe I could do this. And tell an overweight person to enthusiastically cut back on the carbs and see what happens. It won’t be pretty, trust me.

But Paul J. Meyer knew something that I did not know. Once I start imagining and desiring, then the “believing” and “acting upon” fell right into place. The more I saw myself being below 400 pounds and wanting that, the more I began to move and to eat differently. At 400 pounds, I began imaging 350, then 300, then 250 and now I am seeing myself at 200 pounds and going strong.

And a funny thing happened along the way, I began to stop hating myself. I stopped blaming my weight on my situation. I spent more time outside with my daughter. I traveled. And I SAT IN THE MIDDLE ROW FOR A PLAY (a really huge deal for a person who used to spill over the seat).

So when my father was trying to instill some positive thoughts into the mind of a 12 year old child, I doubt he ever thought that it would save that child’s life 40+ years later.

But it did. 

 

 

 

NSV – do you have it?

booth1So…if you have a weight issue or even a body issue… it is so easy to become a slave to the scale.

“I had that burrito last night while I watched Jimmy Kimmel, how much did my weight change?”

“Yes! I weighted .70 less than I did yesterday. Time to celebrate!”

However, I was awakened to a new revelation this week. NON-SCALE VICTORIES! Here is what happened: We walked into a restaurant and I went over to a booth and thought “Should I try?” Something with this new attitude in my life made me go ahead and try to sit down. AND I FIT! I fit in a booth for the first time in many many years.

You have to deal with this issue to understand what I am talking about…there is nothing worse than having to constantly worry that there will be no tables available if we go out to eat. Or looking up new restaurants on-line to find images of the inside so you know if there are tables available or space to move between the tables.
Then there’s the time you get into someone’s car and you have to attach the seat-belt before you sit down because it will not fit around you. I can remember attending my nieces wedding and almost squatting through the whole service because I was afraid the chairs would collapse underneath my weight. Or when your son graduates, and you have to plan to attend the ceremony around places to sit when you cannot walk any more. Or asking your daughter if it is OK if you don’t attend her volleyball tournament because you don’t know the layout of the new gymnasium.
These are all obstacles that people face every day. And it’s easy to say, “well. Then lose weight!” but it isn’t that easy to do. I have lost almost 180 pounds, but I have tremendous support, I mean tremendous support. My husband, my children, my family, even my community supports me. What about the person who doesn’t have this? What about the person trying to overcome an obstacle on their own? One of my missions through this journey is to make myself available to any one who feels the way I did.
I know that the healing begins on the inside, it did with me. I had to fix my insides before I could ever begin successfully working on the outside. But it is hard to do. Don’t try to make all the changes at one time and take time to notice your NSVs!
I looked down at my shoes the other day and realized my shoes were tied in the middle rather than on the side – NSV!
I went to the mall with my daughter to shop for her homecoming dress – NSV!

Don’t be a slave to the scale, let your body and mind tell you if you are heading in the right direction. Then celebrate that victory and love yourself…because you (and I) are worth it!

Let me know of your NSVs and we an celebrate them together (not with food of course)!