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There isn't any shame in falling, as long as you get back up

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I joined this site several years ago when I weighted 305 lbs. I was desperate, depressed, and had no idea how I was going to conquer my weight loss battle. When I found SparkPeople I was overwhelmed and intimidated by all the resources it had to offer so I ignored it for several months. Once I allowed myself to explore the site, I finally made a profile and started to utilize its resources little by little.

First, I tracked my food. I was amazed to see the breakdown of fat, carbs, and protein of exactly what I was eating. I started to change my mentality about what I was eating and began to give my body what exactly it needed, and not every little thing I was craving. Next, I started to track my fitness. It always felt amazing to be able to account for every calorie burned and every bit of effort I was putting forth. Lastly, I became active in groups, which were great for support. Physically losing weight is an immense challenge, but mentally it can be utterly exhausting. The months went by and I kept up a great routine of healthy living, working out, and losing weight.

One day I logged on to the site to find that I was named a SparkPeople motivator. Here I was, someone who was obese their entire life, motivating others to change lives. It was surreal. At that point I was down 80 lbs and never felt better. I would receive dozens of messages a day from people saying that they were amazed by my progress, and because of me, they knew they could do it too. I would also receive messages from people who were desperate and at their breaking point from fighting the exhausting battle against weight loss and were looking for any kind of lifeline I could provide. I was more than happy to help anyone who asked for assistance and I was humbled that my life decisions could inspire others. I went on to lose another 47 lbs for a total of 127 lbs lost.

Every time I received a message, compliment or e-mail about how inspired people were, I had one recurring thought.... What if I gained it back? Now, I was eating healthy, exercising regularly and staying on track, but as everyone knows, this is a life long battle, not a short fight. Of course I didn't want to gain weight back for my own reasons, but I was also daunted by the thought of what others would think if I did. It was not easy my any means, but I maintained my weight loss for almost 2 years.

About 6 months ago I suffered a serious knee injury and had to stop working out. I tried to stick with upper body workouts, but not being able to run, box, and just walk, was devastating. I stopped working out all together and threw my diet out the window. While this was happening I felt as though I was watching myself from the outside. I would consciously make decisions that I knew were detrimental, yet I wouldn't stop. I had worked so hard to get to where I was, and I was letting it all go. I had an all or nothing mentality and it was proving to be self-defeating.

I weighed myself today and I am back up to 238 lbs. While I am nowhere near my highest, I've gained 60 lbs. My immediate thought was okay, you've lost it before, you can do it again. My next thought was, well I can't go back on SparkPeople, how will I explain that I backtracked? It's embarrassing. Also, I didn't want anyone fighting this battle to get discouraged. I was motivation for some people so what will they think? Will it have any bearing on their determination or journey? Will they think what's the point of all this hard work if it can slip away so easily? And then I also thought, really Lauren... do you think you're that important that anyone will even notice? lol More than anything, I was utterly embarrassed and felt like a disappointment and a letdown. When I was overweight I felt like everyone was watching and judging me. There are times like this when I realize I still havenít fully lost that mentality.

I thought about just tracking my food and not being active in groups or posting my current weight, I thought it would be easier that way. Then I realized that doing that was not the answer. Telling everyone yes, I lost weight and gained some back, is not embarrassing, it's life. It's also not the end of the world. I've fought the good fight once, and will do it all over again. All I can do at this point is get back into my healthy habits and stop being angry at myself or feeling like I need hide from the world.

Anyone who has ever battled with weight loss or body issues knows that it's an everyday, every hour, every meal struggle. You may feel ashamed for not being strong enough to resist that donut, or for not finding the energy to go for a run, or devastated when your favorite pants no longer zip... let it go. Think about all you have accomplished and move forward from there. I could sit here and be depressed that I once again have 60 lbs to lose, or I can be happy that I've still kept 67 lbs of it off. I can let the weight gain depress me and make me complacent so that I just keep gaining, or I can use it as a wakeup call to get focused again.

Carrying around shame or guilt is nothing more than extra weight. Iíve decided that 60 lbs is enough to lose without adding more to it. We are all human. We have good days and bad, decisions we regret and ones we are proud of, things we sit around wishing we could change and those that we actually change. Iíve tracked my food for the first time today and have updated my weight tracker. I have nothing to be ashamed about. This is just one more step in my journey and I refuse to let it define me. After all, ďitís not how many times you get knocked down that count, itís how many times you get back up.Ē

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOUL2SHINE79 6/26/2014 6:31PM

    Way to go girl! You've got this! :)

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POSITIVEHOPE 5/29/2014 3:24PM

    Hello. All you need to know about me is that I lost 80 pounds in 2009 and regained 60 before restarting is journey in December. I have now dropped 45 but I have 60 to go. The first week restarting was the hardest. The next week you feel great. Great eating healthy and great for restarting your healthy lifestyle.
Since your knee surgery was so recent, you will have to limit your lower body weight bearing exercise. Can you do water aerobics? Maybe you can go to a gym and lift weights while seated or use an Arc trainer for upper body workouts. Can you use a stationary bike? Eventually your knee will heal and you will be able to move more freely. SP has seated chair exercise videos you can look at and try. I read a blog by Indygirl who lost over 200 lbs that said she started with lifting shampoo bottles while still bedridden. Her advice was to change your inner voice from I can't to what CAN I do. It's a great concept.

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THORPE23 5/29/2014 2:55PM

    Wow! Reading your blog was like reading my own diary. I have been a yoyo for as long as I can remember. Heck, I was once an aerobic instructor and weighed 125 lbs, now I feel like a beached whale at 215. UGH. Like you said, no sense looking back. Time to look at the here and now and get back on track. If I focus too much on "what was" I will be paralyzed with depression.
Thank you for your honesty! By sharing your experience, it encourages the rest of us to forgive ourselves when we slip and to know that we are not alone. Stay focused on the positive!
Blessings to you,

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Fat Shaming

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Reposted from a friend. I absolutely love this!
A Rant About Fat Shaming-

I used to be that fat kid, the one everyone looked and pointed at. The one who got mooed at for eating and shamed for my appearance. Such things seem harmless enough to our society- but people need to know what those words and actions really do to people.

Fat-shaming is a specific variety of body-shaming. It is not the only kind of shaming that takes place, but it is one of the more common ones. Lots of folks think fat-shaming is perfectly acceptable. More than that, lots of folks think fat-shaming is actually a good thing, because with shame as a motivator, perhaps those darn fat people will stop being so fat.

It doesnít work, though -- shame is not a catalyst for change; it is a paralytic. Anyone who has ever carried extreme personal shame knows this. Shame doesnít make you stronger, nor does it help you to grow, or to be healthy, or to be sane. It keeps you in one place, very, very still.

-We need to realize that :
You canít tell how healthy someone is just by looking at them.
You canít tell how much someone eats or exercises just by looking at them.
Even if you could, itís none of your business anyway.

To paraphrase Marilyn Wann: The only thing you can tell for sure by looking at a 'fat' person is the degree of your own bias against fat people.

You have no right to walk around and deem people 'fat' and unhealthy. You display extreme arrogance and cruelty when you do. Fat is not funny. Fat is not a joke. Fat is not a motivational word. Fat hurts.

I believe now, more than ever that people need to be concerned with their health and take the proper steps to be healthy- but telling people they are fat is NOT the answer, and demonizing people for how they look achieves nothing positive.

Being a larger person does not automatically make someone fat, like being a smaller person doesn't make someone anorexic. Skinny does not always mean healthy- and large does not always mean unhealthy.

We need to promote body positivity and healthy living and stop shaming people for how they look. Just at a glance you have NO idea who that person is, what they have gone through, or what they are currently doing for their health. All it takes is one snobby comment to completely derail someones fitness efforts and send them spiraling back into an unhealthy place. I see this happen all the time, and it makes me sick.

Keep your mouths shut if the only thing you have to offer is "Oh my god, she is fat" or "You'd look better if you weren't so fat".

-If you really care about people's health and want to help them; encourage healthy lifestyle changes and be supportive. Don't sit there like some superior being and label people at your own discretion. It makes you truly ugly and unattractive.

TIP:: Take a look at yourself before you even think of judging others.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAMPERELLA 7/27/2014 7:56PM

    I just discovered your great post! Well said! Fat people know they are fat. Fat is a just a descriptor but it has unfortunately become an insult loaded with feelings of moral superiority on the part of the shamer and a perception of moral weakness and defect on the part of the fat person. For ĺ of my life I was thin, now I am fat. When I was thin I was a shamer, now that I am fat I understand the damage I did to other people. Call it karma.

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LIZ324_NYC 6/5/2013 10:40AM

    Great blog!

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VIVPICKLE 6/5/2013 10:21AM

    yes. yes. yes. that's something that happens too much, and needs to stop. everyone's body and journey is different. it's not anybody's place but theirs to say whether they're healthy, or unattractive, or beautiful.

i wish more people thought this way.

thanks for sharing!

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CELIAMINER 6/5/2013 9:47AM

    I try not to judge others by weight/size, but I confess it happens sometimes. Just as I could almost read people's thoughts on the bus praying I wouldn't settle my bulk next to them when I was obese, now I silently hope the large person coming down the aisle won't squeeze in next to me. There I said it. First step toward overcoming the feelings.

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I need to remember these moments...

Friday, February 19, 2010

I have been going through my weight loss journey for 7 months now and I am regretting not taking more time to write down the emotional aspect of it. We all know it's not easy to get up every day plan and weigh out all the food you're going to eat and resist the ever looming temptations that the day inevitability holds. There is the constant worry about getting the proper portions, correct amounts of protein, carbs and fat. Trying not to eat after a certain time and all the fun stuff that comes with trying to get healthy. Then there is the gym, hours of cardio and strength training, squats, lunges, pull ups and sit ups, pulled muscles and over all exhaustion. Back when I first started I thought this was the hard part of losing weight. What I have discovered the last several months is that the physical part is easy and simple and that it's the emotional aspects that leave me struggling and learning every day.

Everyday I wake up with a purpose. I spent so many years of my life existing and not living and I am finally changing that. It's the most amazing feeling and it also terrifies me at the same time. When I was over 300 lbs I could use my weight as a crutch from everyday life. If anything went wrong it was because I was fat, if someone didn't like me it was because I was fat, or if I wasn't happy it was because I was fat. Now that I am stripping the layers away it's forcing me to look at who I really am and what I want out of life. There are things I never even dreamed of obtaining before and now they are getting closer to being reached. Knowing you can do anything with your life is just as exciting as it is scary.

I am going to attempt to blog about the different things I am going through because every day there are new emotions, fears, and excitement that I am experiencing. I am sure anyone who has lost weight, especially a large amount, can definitely relate.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JMUTCHLER 1/16/2012 4:52PM

    You are such an inspiration...I hope that you are still working at your goals since its been a while since you posted.

You look great and are a wonderful inspiration!

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JENCAN3 8/15/2011 8:33AM

    You are a real inspiration! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You were my much needed motivation this morning.

Would you mind sharing your average food day? I love the idea of clean eating.

Keep blogging!


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CHANGE4THEBEST 3/27/2011 11:08AM


Thank you for writing your blog. You look fantastic and only 7lbs away from your goal!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/27/2011 11:08:42 AM

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SSPLAWN 2/18/2011 3:21PM

    Wow, I couldn't have said it better. Most of my problems came from emotional eating and I'm still on my way to controlling the demon. It's comforting to know and understand those that have been down the same road and had similar experiences. Thank you for shaing and I look forward to hearing more from you as you continue on your journey.
Here's looking ahead with NO FEAR!!

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BEACH_BOUND120 2/12/2011 10:23PM

    You are soo right about everything you said. Your words are so encouraging and inspirational. At this time I so needed to hear that. I wish you well on your journey and look forward to reading more of you blogs!

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AURURA 1/8/2011 10:25PM

    Like everyone else has said, you are an amazing, gorgeous, genuine, inspiring person! I can totally relate to every word of this blog post. Keep up the good work, it was worth it!

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MSNIKE 1/1/2011 9:12PM

    Amazing blog! The 2nd paragraph was on couldn't have said it any better! Congratulations on your incredible accomplishment! emoticon

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CHOCOCHIC09 10/30/2010 7:21PM

    I wish you could hear the ridiculous amount of large applause I gave you after readying your second paragraph. Thank you for this post.

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CHOCOCHIC09 10/30/2010 7:17PM

    I wish you could hear the ridiculous amount of large applause I gave you after readying your second paragraph. Thank you for this post.

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10INPROGRESS 10/4/2010 2:20AM

    Yes i know what you mean i still have 50 lbs of security blanket to lose, thank you so much for sharing. The mental aspect is the biggest block for a lot of us to get through and over to achieve true and lasting weight loss. Keep up the awesome work :o) emoticon

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SUPERFAN99 7/14/2010 6:27AM

    Your page is really inspiring. Congratulations on what you have accomplished.

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SHARONAND8 5/13/2010 4:05PM

  Oh, how I know what you mean! I actually have just gotten heavy over the past few years as my age has caught up with me, but I have been hiding behind food for years. Lately I've been able to hide behind both the weight and the food. How scary to let them both go! And how great of you to be ready to explore it, because it must be a crucial part of really getting healthy for good!

Congrats on the success you've had to far. You look great!

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SONG7:10 5/13/2010 11:27AM

    Love your willingness to open up your heart!! Keep it up - you look AMAZING! :)

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MARIEFIYA 2/23/2010 10:15PM

    Love your blog. I definitely relate to you. The emotional aspect is the most difficult part of our journey. Once I reach my goal, I would like to be able to read through everything I went through. I think this will help me appreciate what I have been through and encourage me to continue my lifelong journey. Great work girl. You are awesome and inspirational. You can do anything you set your mind to. Congrats on 85 pounds. That is such a wonderful accomplishment.


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    Amazing blog! You are amazing, and I love what this journey has given you!

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FOXYANGL 2/21/2010 9:20AM

    Thank you so much for the comments :)

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KENDRACARROLL 2/20/2010 1:44PM

    Congratulations! You're doing a super job! Keep up the good work! Yes, it's all about balance, but as you said, balancing food and exercise is easier than balancing your emotions. Clearly food and exercise can be measured and adjusted and if you do it right you and everybody else can see your progress. I found that if I have those two under control, more energy and a better attitude/outlook are positive side effects. Enjoy your journey. -- Kricket/CA

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GOALOFLOSING 2/19/2010 3:37PM

    Way to go!

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LAROSEBAUGH 2/19/2010 1:30PM

    Girllll, preach it! I felt the same way when I was over 300 pounds. I wasn't even living, just existing. I wish I had done the same, which is why I started blogging on here. It has been a rough road, and I've had many an emotional breakdown along the way that has shaped who I am today (happily!) emoticon

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    I know what you mean the weight really is a security blanket sometimes....

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