Friday, October 04, 2013
I wonder if it gets any easier, ever? I bet many of you want to know the answer to that. I would love to tell everyone that it gets easier but alas it does not.
Does it ever just become natural? Some days exercising feels natural and normal and then other days itís a fight. I win some and I lose some of those fights.
The truth is that weight loss and living healthy is like life... itís hard. You are going to face roadblocks. You will stumble and you will fall. Itís how you get up and the choices you make that determine if this is a lifestyle or just a get slim quick plan.
The hardest part of my lifestyle has been to realize that I am never going to be perfect. I have days that appear to be perfect on paper but there are other days I could do moreÖ The true test is getting through those tough days and building on that. The other hard part is to realize I have no control over anyone but myself. I canít control the food brought into the office, my husband leaving me, him seeing our daughter, other people who eat junk and annoy me because they say that want to lose weight. I canít do anything about that. All I can do is react and own the choices I make.
Those are tough lessons and they have to be relearned all the time. However, once I got that I was empowered. You only have yourself to control. How much less stress is that to know you donít need to worry about anyone else. Yes, I know we have husbands, boyfriends, children and friends... But nothing you can do will change what they do. The only think you can worry about is the choice you will make in the moment. You are powerful because itís your choice and yours alone.
I was reading comments to the blog I posted in September and it is overwhelming the amount of support and encouragement that strangers post to me. If I have learned anything else itís that you never know what life will deal you but there will be people who learn from you and that you learn from. I only ever intended to use Spark to log calories and to log fitness, but I got so much more from this site than I can ever give back. I made friends and was given a voice to reach people and to have people reach me. I try to respond to everyone; but life happens and I lose track of time. So for anyone who has ever commented, sent me a goodie or an email, please know that every word written was read, appreciated and helped.
My favorite thing I have ever said is you canít finish until you start. Every day is a start to something. Never quit on yourself because we all believe in you; you just have to give yourself the power to believe in yourself.
This is what happiness looks like
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Thatís a terrible title isnít it? Thatís a terrible for sentence, as well. It is what it is and I am hoping that when I get this all out of my system that something positive will surface. This is how I blog or I write. I ramble and eventually have an epiphany and maybe a lesson learned. I havenít blogged a lot lately so some of you may not recognize my name or my face. Let me introduce you to me.
ďHi my name is Chelle, JustChelle, or sometimes even Michelle.Ē I joined Weight Watcherís and Sparkpeople on the very same day. That day was January 17, 2011. Thatís the day I have dubbed my healthiversary. Thatís the day I stopped dieting and I started to just live healthy. Itís such a simple concept that so many want to try to not do. We so often look for the get thin quick scheme and go for the temporary results that we neglect to realize that if we want to be the best person we can be physically and mentally that itís a 365 day 224 hour a day journey. I started my lifestyle change slowly by counting points, modifying the things I ate, reading articles on Spark and getting support from the Spark groups as well as my Weight Watcherís meetings. I also started walking slowly. The weight came off and I became stronger and was doing more.
labor day 2010
In May of 2011, my husband and I walked/ trotted my first 5k. It was a Weight Watcherís event. I was dreadfully slow, but I felt so empowered because I did it and I had so much support. June of 2011, I saw a lottery for the Houston Aramco Half Marathon. My friends who didnít really get how out of shape I had been encouraged me to go for it. I asked my husband if he would do it with me and help me, and he agreed. We made the cut.
September 2011, I had lost 60 lbs and was still overweight. I was obsessed with an infomercial for a workout called Insanity. I didnít think I could do it so I didnít order it. One weekend my husband went to check the mail and came back with a box for me. He had ordered Insanity for me. Iím not sure if he even realizes that he had more faith in me than I had in myself. We did the program together. I joined A Biggest Loser challenge at the same time. I met some great supporters there in a group called the Spies. I would personally like to thank, Darlene, Lynn, Mandi and Lisa for all their support they gave me as well as every Spy that I have met.
December of 2011, I lost 100 lbs. January 13, 2012 I completed my first half marathon. Shawn did it in just over 2 hours and I took 3 hours and nine minutes. I was down 112 lbs. I was happy. I mean I was truly happy. I felt better than I ever have in my entire life. I had everything I ever wanted. I had a husband and a beautiful baby girl and I was feeling strong mentally and physically.
April/May 2012 my life fell apart. My husband left and all I had was my daughter that I would have to take care of on my own. I was devastated. I didnít eat and fell to my lowest weight of this journey. I was down 142 lbs. Iíve stayed fairly consistent at that weight but I would like to lose more.
May/June 2013, I maintained my 142 lbs weight loss and was sent an email. I was asked if I would mind talking to a magazine. I was ecstatic and nervous. I did the first interview and was told that I was picked for the magazine. I was so proud. I never had been chosen for something like that before. I know itís vain and stupidÖ but I finally felt like the kid that got picked first in gym class. I agreed to come out of my closet and let them publish fat pictures of me with my weight, something I have never published on Spark or anywhere else. I was going to live out loud. I was finally going to celebrate me. I was going to tell people to not dietÖ Live healthy. Itís my motto.
I worked hard for the photo shoot, changed my schedule, took off from work, and bought clothes I would never wear all to have my moment. The photo shoot happened and, frankly everyone was so nice but I hated how I looked in the running clothes. I felt fat. I havenít really felt fat in a long time. I tried to work through it in my head. I was still proud that I had been chosen. I told all my spark friends about it, I told all my Weight Watcherís friends (Have I mentioned that My Weight Watcher ladies Rosie and Donna have been so much support that I can never thank them enough), I told my facebook friends (some of them didnít even know I was losing weight), I told my facebook followers (look me up justchellesknockingthefatoff) and I told my family. I was finally so proud of myself.
I went on a cruise last week. I got home Saturday and bought the First For Women magazine I was supposed to be in. I wasnít in it, just my recipe. I was humiliated, disappointed, frustrated and sad. I worked my butt off and I was left off. They told me they let me know and in their defense I did get an email August 28th. 5 days. My time and effort was only worth them giving me 5 days notice to deal with what this did. They stole my joy. They made me for the first time in 2 years feel not good enough. They made me feel like the fat girl all over again. They stole my pride. They stole my heart.
I truly donít think they get it. I donít think the editors know what this journey is and how hard it is even when you are done losing weight or just trying to lose that last 10 lbs. Iím not sure many people get what losing 142 lbs is and what you go through. I donít know that people who diet and lose and gain and lose and gain truly get what this feels like.
So here it is world. I am taking my power back. I am finding my joy. Michelle Miller Andrews was 287 lbs when she started this journey. The day I looked fat that I had my picture taken for First Magazine for Women that was not good enough to use I was wearing a size small in Under Armour and weight 139.8 lbs. My shirt was a size small. However, my body was not perfectÖ My skin is not tight. My stomach isnít flat; my teeth arenít perfect, my arms are flabby, but guess what, I earned my 37 inch hips that use to be 55 inches. Oh and I wore a push up bra that day because I went from a 42 DD to a 32 A cup and I didnít want to be flat chested.
Iíd like to thank my Shamrock Sheriffís especially Tammy for kicking me in the butt this morning when I was having my pity party. Oh and Maggie, I really am disappointed that I donít get to send you the magazine.
I wanted this so badly so I could show my little girl Peiton that if you truly work hard for something that one day someone will recognize you for your efforts. I am truly sorry that the magazine didnít have the space to fit my story in because I really think; if you read my blogs that I have done something special. I really hope that one day they get that you shouldnít mislead and toy with people like that and that 5 days is not common courtesy.
Beyond that, I hope that my time on Spark has been motivating and inspiring to a few because at the end of the day thatís more than I ever started out hoping for. I hope one day no one will ever again make me feel like I wasnít worth it because I know I am. I know you are worth the effort.
This me at my 2nd half marathon down to under 3 hours
I think by writing this, even with the tears streaming down my face that I found my joy again.
Peiton.. if you ever find this blog.. your self worth and accomplishments are not determined by anyone other than yourself. If I teach you nothing else, please know that.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Iíve been on this long and winding road of a journey for a while now, to be exact 2 years and 6 months give or take a few days. I have had my ups and my downs, just like every normal person who decides to empower themselves and change their life.
Iíve been very fortunate to have gained much more than I lost and by all accounts I have lost a lot. I have quite literally lost a person. I have the picture to post to prove it.
142 lbs later, Iím a new person. I truly mean that. I have been very lucky to have achieved many feats that I never even thought about putting on a bucket list. There have been 5kís and mud races, 2 half marathons, new clothes, popular blogs and now an article with a photo shoot.
How cool does that sound? Really cool, right? It is really an honor to have been chosen as a person who could inspire another person to get off the couch and put the doughnut down and finally dare to dream of a life they are scared they never can have. You know what? You can have it, but you have to do the work, sweat the sweat and make the tough choices. In the end it will be worth it.
However, I donít want to mislead you and tell you that the road ends and life becomes this perfect Disney fairy tale with happily ever after, because frankly, it doesnít.
Iím writing this today not to be a Debbie Downer but to let you know that everything you go through is normal, itís how you deal with it that will make you or break you. I have lost the weight, I am a ďnormal sizeĒ, heck some even think I am a small size. I am a size 4/6. I am smaller than I even had a goal of becoming. That doesnít make everything perfect.
Me at the shoot (self picture :))
I was nervously excited for this photo shoot and the day was really nice. I had a fabulous team. They treated me like a star. I had my own stylist who poked and prodded and clipped into the perfect fit. I had a makeup artist and hair stylist that groomed me into a woman I hadnít seen in a while and all the while they told me how great I was. I mean everyone needs a day like that. The photographer was patient with me (I am so not a natural model) and directed me into pose after pose. They all looked at the screen and told me how awesome I looked and how great the pictures were.
I walked off the set and looked at the girl on the screen and proceeded to find every fault there ever could be.
Me after the shoot
My face was round (which is ridiculous because my face is actually fairly thin)
My knees were fat.
My butt was huge.
Negative self talk proceeded. I couldnít see the success that I am, and I am a success. You see after losing that weight and working so hard, that is the one thing I wonít even allow myself to take away from me. Yesterday I couldnít find anything right with the photos. Today, I have remembered who I am and who I have become. Itís funny the makeup artist said you just changed the outsideÖ. But honestly, I changed the inside. I was never a bad person, but I wasnít the person I am now.
I am no longer scared to try. The girl that I used to be would never have allowed her start weight to be published let alone put a picture of her entire body up. This girl, no matter how scary it seems, is doing just that. The old Chelle would never think she could run, this Chelle knows that she can only get better. The old Chelle rarely finished what she started; this Chelle wonít stop until sheís done.
Donít worry about where you are going to end up and when you are going to get there; enjoy this moment that you are in. Enjoy the control, the determination that you have right this very second. Reflect on it and memorize the feeling. Now that youíve done that, when you think you need that pizza or you think you can go for the walk or do the workout, remember that feeling that you just had and do it anyway. Because you will never regret not eating the hamburger or dessert and you will probably never regret the walk. If I canít inspire you to do anything else, be inspired to believe.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
That title is bad isnít it? I could change it; but it kind of fits. Let me start at the beginning so you understand where I am coming from. Every day I read blogs and posts from people struggling and making excuses as to why they didnít exercise or why they ate this and that or why theyíve put on 20 of the 25 lb they lost last year.
Every time I read a post I like this, I just shake my head because it reminds me of my little girl and how the terrible twoís have kicked in. I love my little pea and I would never tell her to shut up; however, I do send her to time out.
The excuses and the self pity and the Iím going to eat this because itís my right, remind me of a temper tantrum and just like a temper tantrum, the only person itís hurting is the child having it. Letís think about it like this. When pea stops her feet and refuses to go to the store or refuses to do something that I ask her to do; it doesnít hurt me. It hurts her because we then have to have a chill out period and she usually doesnít get to do whatever it is thatís in her head that she should get to do. By overreacting and not focusing on the bigger picture she is missing out. Thatís exactly what we do to ourselves when we get into that mode, ďItís not fair that I canít eat all the doughnuts in the boxĒ, or ďBut I want the pizza and the margarita.Ē We do it to ourselves when we decide we didnít eat right, so why workout. The thing is, you are not hurting me, your family, anyone else. You are hurting yourself. The extra 2000 calories you consume or the 500 calories you donít burn off, or the 20 lbs you put back on are keeping you from your goal. Itís keeping you from where you want to be.
Maybe itís time we treat ourselves like the children we are behaving like and send ourselves to timeout. Before you eat the cake or insert any gooey thing you want, take 5 minutes to decide if itís worth it. Talk to yourself like that little girl I am raising and let her know that stomping your feet and saying you want it, isnít the best way to get it. Refocus, breathe and discipline yourself.
Unfortunately, many of us that struggle with our weight and struggle to maintain will never be able to have our cake and eat it too. However, I am here to tell you from the other side, that the cake is not worth giving up my size 4/6 jeans or giving up my half marathon medal. Itís not worth giving up the clarity in my brain where food is concerned. Itís not worth the baggage I carried around from being overweight, or the hurt I didnít even know I had until I lost weight.
You are worth it.
Monday, June 10, 2013
How to Be a Success
I often times wonder why anyone would ever come to me for advice.
Then I remember that Iíve lost 140 some odd pounds. I guess that kind of makes one think that I might know what I am doing or have done.
Honestly, Iíve been living this way so long that sometimes, I forget where I came from. I forget how fat I was and how far I let myself go.
Spark considered me a success long before I would even think of accepting that I was a success. I guess if you lose 100 lbs you are a success, which is good, since 100 lbs is an incredibly difficult challenge. They arenít the only ones who believe in me, however, they believe in me so much that I am going to be in a magazine. That is huge for me. Iíve never really outed myself like that to the world before. Iím on facebook with a tips page and I blog openly here; but friends, family and strangers alike are going to see my starting weight which I donít know that I have ever really shared. But if I want to help people I need to live out loud; so this is how I plan to be a success 12 weeks at a time (actually these goals and tips can be daily).
Tip one: Commit to an eating plan that you plan to use for the rest of your life. No cheat day, no cheat meal (you canít cheat life) and just do it and track. For the next 12 weeks; just like the past 300 weeks I will track my food (not always on spark). I will know what goes in my bodyÖ Every morsel.
Tip two: Commit to working out. In order to live a healthy life; you have to move your body and probably move it a lot. The bad news is that the more weight you lose the harder you have to work to get to your goal and once at goal the harder you have to work to maintain those results. So I commit to working out 6 days a week. Some days will be harder than others but I will move my body. I am training for half marathons and marathons to keep me accountable to myself.
Tip three: Be honest with yourself. Losing weight is as much about the inside is it is about the outside and what you eat. You have to do the work; sole search, get real about why you let yourself get out of control and get real about why you want to lose the weight. Let me assure you that no weight loss will be permanent if you do it because you think society and your family thinks itís best. You have to want it for yourself and you have to want it more than any bit of cake or ice cream that screams your name because it will scream loudly. For the next twelve weeks I will be working on my body image. Although I have lost all kinds of weight, I still talk badly about myself because of all that is loose and not tight. But I can assure you that I look much better at a 6 than I did a 22. Oh and those pushups have defined some great shoulders.
Tip four: Ask for help. Scream yell, jump up and down. Donít be afraid. I will for the next twelve weeks ask for salad dressing on the side, no oil, no butter and/or everything in between. Why? Because I am worth asking for waiters and waitress to help me. I will ask my mom to hide the cereal ( a bad addiction).
Tip five: Itís fine to find motivations or encouragement from othersÖ but no one can motivate you to get where you are going until you find it within yourself.
Tip six: Leave your excuses at the door. Cake wonít make you hurt less, not exercising wonít make you not have a job or kids or make you feel better. If millions of other people can find the time, so can you and I. I promise for the next twelve weeks to fit every ounce of fitness into my day that I can (I have a photo shoot in a few weeks so this is no joke for me).
Learn to love yourself and you are half way to being a success.
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