Today is my 100th post since I started blogging almost one year ago. 100 posts ago, I weighed about 275 pounds and was so TIRED. I was tired of starting and stopping and starting and stopping in my weight loss efforts, and I just wanted to do it once and for all.
I consider it the greatest blessing of my life that I was selected for Push Fitness’s and Daily Herald’s Fittest Loser contest. As a result of those 12 intense and life-changing weeks, I feel like a whole new person. I’ve dropped only a fraction of the weight I need to–about 50 of the 100 pounds–but those 50 have made such a difference.
To see how life can change in just 50 pounds, I decided to pull up the “20 reasons I want to lose weight” list that I created last September and see how many things have already happened. The ones that have come true are bolded.
1. So I can fit comfortably in an airplane seat and not feel like I have to apologize profusely to the poor soul forced to sit next to me
2. So I can ride all the roller-coasters in the world with no worries as to whether I’ll need a seatbelt extender (I’ve never needed one, but I did need to sit in one of the larger-size rows on The Hulk in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. To this day, I break out in cold sweats thinking about it.)
3. So I can go clothes shopping and buy 0utfits simply because I think they’re gorgeous–not because they’re the few items in the store that flatter me. (Seriously, how do thin people not go broke? I’d buy EVERYTHING if it fit me.)
4. So I can “match” the rest of my family. My brothers and cousins are all amazingly attractive. If I could lose the weight, I feel like I’d fit in better.
5. So I don’t feel the need to make fun of my own weight before someone else gets the chance to judge me based on it
6. So I can love all the pictures I take the time to scrapbook—and not worry about holding my purse in front of my stomach or cropping off the tummy bulge
7. So I can feel pretty. I wonder what that’s like.
8. To improve my health
9. To be able to have kids
10. To be so proud of what I have accomplished
11. So I can take multiple flights of stairs without getting winded
12. So running a mile doesn’t sound almost as impossible as running a marathon
13. To prolong my life so I can enjoy every minute with my husband, family and friends
14. For professional advancement (my company has never judged me on my weight, but I’d be terrified to interview elsewhere because we’ve all seen the 20/20 specials where the fat girls don’t get the job, despite evenly matched qualifications)
15. To feel like I have control over food, not vice versa
16. So I can stop comparing all the Biggest Loser contestants’ weights to my own
17. To look on the outside how I feel on the inside
18. To feel more confident in social settings
19. To play sports without feeling like a fish out of water
20. To have more energy!
Seeing all that bolded text is pretty awesome. Even though I am still heavy, life has completely changed. I fit comfortably into the airplane seat (and marveled happily at how much extra belt was left over once it buckled!) AND I fit into the Harry Potter ride at Universal–a ride I most certainly would have had to skip last fall. And it was FUN! It was so much fun, and I am so grateful I got to experience it.
Items 3 through 6 are sort of halfway accomplished–which makes sense, since I’ve halfway accomplished my goal. I am OUT of plus size tops, except for blazers. The first time I realized I could head over to the “regular” area at Kohl’s, I pretty much danced down the aisles. I also feel like I look less enormous next to my family, and I almost never crop the stomach off photos of myself anymore.
The BIG one was item number 7. When I saw photos from the day of the Fittest Loser celebration, I was pretty shocked to find myself thinking, “Wow, I look pretty in this one!” It was incredible. A photo from that night is below and my “before” photo (8 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight ever) is here.
I am pretty thrilled about items 8-10 as well. I have definitely improved my health. My blood pressure is lowwer, my cholesterol level is significantly better and my waist is nine inches smaller (which lowers heart disease risk). And, I have reached the magic number that my doctor said I needed to reach to get pregnant. I remember the day I hit that milestone and how thrilled I was. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
I am also really proud. I just wish I could make myself prouder. I’ve been gaining and losing the same eight pounds since the contest and it’s so frustrating. But reading this list has been a perfect reminder of why it is just plain worth it to sacrifice and see some real results.
Reasons 11 and 12 are two of the things that have changed most dramatically. I can walk up all 10 flights of stairs at work. At one point in the contest, I did 24 flights in a row. That’s something I could never have fathomed a year ago. And I not only can run a mile without stopping now, but I can run 5Ks. My first one was in April and my second is later this month. I’m not sure if even child birth will match the euphoria I felt when I finished my first one.
I hope number 13 has been accomplished, but that’s not something you can really ever know until you’re dead–so I hope I get to wait a long, long time before I find out if that one happened!
Reason 14 came true before I even lost a pound. My company promoted me to manager last fall, and I really love what I do.
I worry that 15 will never completely happen, but it’s a little better.
The others are pretty self-explanatory. The increased confidence and energy are two of my favorite things about this whole process. I just love my new life!
I know it probably sounds weird because most people would look at me and still consider me to be very overweight. But this is a mental journey even more than a physical one, and I feel a huge, huge difference.
I ended last year’s “reasons for losing weight” post with this quote and I think it’s worth repeating:
When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” ~Author Unknown
Are you looking to make a change in your life? If so, I’d recommend writing down all the reasons you want to make it happen. I’m so glad I did this last year because it’s given me so much hope and so much happiness to see how much things can change in less than 365 days.