Fall 2010 blowing in. Milo enjoying the change of weather.
Niko getting herself a belly rub from my sweet nephew
Well hello there...
NIKOBLUE is a SparkPeople Motivator!
My name's Becca, and I'm a graphic designer from Central Texas. I live with two gorgeous rescue dogs, Niko Blue, a 7 year old female Akita, and Milo, a 4 year old male Great Pyrenees. I was born and raised in Texas, and have lived here all my life. I'm currently in a mid-size town in the Austin area, but have hopes to move to Ft. Worth within the next eighteen months. It's my absolute favorite city, super laid back with a great art and music scene. Plus one of my beautiful sisters lives there and it'd be great to be closer to her.
Here's a little about my body journey:
In January 2005 I quit a soulless and joyless corporate job. I was incredibly unhappy and longed to get back into the graphic design field I loved. I was out of work for about six weeks, and it was those six weeks that changed my life. Without work taking up the long day, I had no choice but to spend time with myself and quit hiding from what I'd become.
I started getting heavy when I turned about 14, in 1988. I was shy, insecure, and afraid of attention. So I ate. Ironically, I ate because I wanted to be invisible, but the contradiction of that motivation never occurred to me.
When I graduated high school in 1992 I was about 258 lbs. Hating yourself is a vicious cycle of destruction and I hadn't recognized it at that point. I knew I hated being fat so that's what I concentrated on. I skipped college for a year and during that time started exercising with my mom. I lost 80 lbs and got down to a size 12. It was the smallest I'd been since 7th grade. I thought I was happy.
I got a job, dated a little, and started college. I thought I was cured of fat. I eventually quit exercising regularly, excusing myself by saying my schedule was too busy and that I'd start again before I gained the weight back. I didn't know then it didn't work that way. I didn't know how easy it was to slip back into bad, yet oh-so-comfortable, habits. That was about 1996.
Fast forward to January 2006. I'd gained 122 lbs. That was the 80 lbs I'd lost previously plus 42 more. That put me right at 300 lbs. When I visited the doctor and got weighed, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. 300 lbs!? I was humiliated. I had managed to convince myself that maybe I was a little bigger than when I had graduated high school, but not much, right?
The doctor was kind but she was very direct about my health and my future. Health concerned me much more than it had 10 years before. I was nearly 32 now, and mortality was much more real to me than it had been at 22.
So while I was looking for a job, my days were pretty empty. I finally realized I had run out of excuses. I couldn't pretend to be happy, or satisfied, or any of those things you tell yourself despite the fact that you avoided mirrors, glass, anything that might show you what you were. I had an elliptical machine that had gone unused for about a year and I made myself start using it.
I did 20 minutes a day at first. Slowly that built up. I avoided the scale for months because I didn't want to be disappointed with my progress. I knew I was slow and out of shape. I knew I was looking at years to get to the weight I wanted to be, 150 lbs. When I finally got the courage to weigh myself, I was down to 260 lbs. I had lost 40 lbs when I had estimated 25. I was beyond happy.
I kept losing and losing and losing. I eventually ditched the elliptical when I hit about 215, bored with the redundancy. My brother had been an avid cyclist so I made him go with me to buy a bike.
I started frequenting a bike forum and was inspired to start commuting to work by bike. It was terrifying at first. On the elliptical, I was in private. I could sweat and toil and struggle without witnesses. But on a bike I'd be out there for everyone to see. Would people point and laugh? "Look at that fat girl on a bike! Who does she think she is?" And unlike the elliptical machine, I couldn't quit in the middle of a bike ride. I'd have to get myself home somehow!
I hit my goal of 150 lbs in July of 2008. That same month, my father found out his cancer was back. Facing his illness and impending death was extremely stressful. I had barely begun to feel good about myself again, and to trust myself as far as my own health went. It was too easy to slip back off the bike again.
I remember visiting with his family during his illness. My aunt hadn't seen me since I had lost all the weight. My dad was so proud of me. Told them how I rode my bike to work. I was proud but a little guilty at the same time. I hadn't ridden regularly in a couple of weeks. And my dad was normally so reserved. He was very loving, but didn't brag about his kids. To hear him say that made me realize how proud he must have been. My father died in October that year.
His death was hard. I had fallen off my healthy wagon. I knew I was in danger. I rode my bike periodically but could not find that will inside me to make that commitment again. It was hard work! It took daily dedication! And I was tired of it dammit! I had just lost my dad!
After my dad died, I regained about 40 of the 150 lbs I'd lost. I am still working on getting down to that 150 lb mark again, but I've really made a lot of important growth over that time that is really more important than a number on a scale. I have finally figured out that I can find happiness within. While I do want to lose more weight, and feel healthy and strong and athletic, I've finally realized "being 150 lbs" won't bring me the satisfaction and fulfilling life I crave.
I am happy with where I am bodywise and am practicing something new - maintenance!
Right now, trying to run 3-5 times a week. Getting into a maintenance routine and tweaking as needed. It's getting too cold for me to ride comfortably but still hope to get on the bike a couple times a month during the warmer days.
Secrets of Success
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