Thursday, July 07, 2011
My name is Shelby. I am 38.
I've lost 58 lbs and I feel GREAT.
When I started this journey, I was fat and unfit.
I weighed 267 and I felt like sh*t.
I was tired of looking in the mirror and hating my reflection.
My weight kept on climbing in an upward direction.
It was hard for me to even walk up a flight of stairs.
I was in a depression and was filled with despair.
One day I woke up and went to put on my ring.
And my finger was too fat to put on the damn thing.
I took my son to the park and on the way to the slide
A little girl said to her father something very snide.
"Look how fat that lady is. What a hog." was her mean tease.
I wanted to sob and fall down to my knees.
But I merely kept my head high and as I walked away,
I made the decision to change my life that day.
I went to the store and instead of buying junk.
I bought freggies and water to put in my trunk.
But my most valuable purchase, the most life changing for me,
Was the $9 I spent on a walking DVD.
It was Leslie Sansone's 3 mile "Walk off your belly fat."
I couldn't run or dance...but walk? Even I could do that.
For the longest time I could only walk a mile.
But every time I did it made me smile.
Then I got to the point where I did all 3 and wanted to do MORE.
So I hopped in my car and went back to the store.
This time I bought her 5 mile DVD
And together we walked, Leslie Sansone and me.
I started walking off my fat. My hurt. My fears.
The first time I walked all 5 miles I cried happy tears.
I have gone down from a size 22 to a size 16.
I walk 10 miles a day now. How is that for obscene?
My son looked at me once and he told me out loud
That because of the weight I had lost, that it made him proud.
And my sweet son, he is only 7.
Hearing those words from him, well I was in heaven.
I have lost 58 lbs, I am filled with joy.
That is like losing my 7 yr old boy!
I carry him around and I am absolutely amazed,
That I carried that much extra weight around for thousands of days.
I am less than 9 lbs away from reaching ONEderland.
There is something I want to tell you all and I hope you understand.
That you are worth the weight loss. You deserve to be a better you.
If I of all people can do this, then I know that you can too.
I have finally gotten my life back. My size 22 jeans sit on my shelf.
As a reminder of the girl I was when I absolutely hated myself.
I am a broke single mom and I can't buy my son expensive toys.
But I added 30 years to my life span for him and that fills my heart with joy.
Thank you my dear spark friends. For inspiring me every day.
You make me feel like I am not alone, and motivate me in tons of different ways.
I never thought I would love myself, at least not on the outside.
But finally I look at the girl in the mirror and my heart is filled with pride.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Hi everyone. For those of you who did not catch it in the message boards, I recently told on myself for a very sick and unhealthy obsession I have. I am a chronic weigher. I weigh in the morning, at night, after everything I eat, and even after every time I go to the bathroom. I keep my scale in the kitchen right next to the refrigerator. I can hardly pass by the scale without weighing. It seems to have taken control of my life. And it is SO discouraging. My weigh in day was Monday. And I weighed in at 211 for a 2 lb weight loss for the week. Which is definitely a victory. But even my damn scale tainted that. Because Sunday morning I weighed in at 210.2. I walked 10 miles on Sunday and I stayed within my calorie range, but I couldn't really be happy with my 2 lb. weight loss when in my mind I had gained .8 pounds.
I know there is a reason why we are only supposed to weigh in weekly. Because our bodies are fickle things and I think it is easy to change day by day. Weighing weekly gives us a much better gauge of how much we are losing. But even when we weigh weekly I am finally learning that sometimes that damnable scale does not reflect our hard work. I have lost 20.5 inches in 3 months. My clothes are getting looser. And the best part, is that I FEEL thinner. I look in the mirror and I am starting to like the girl looking back at me. I don't want to smash the mirror anymore.
So yesterday I did something I never thought I would be able to do. After my weekly weigh in I took my scale and put it on the top of my closet shelf. As God as my witness I will NOT weigh again until next Monday. It has only been 24 hours since I have done this but this morning I woke up feeling so good about myself. I really examined my body in the mirror and could see the changes. Before this morning, I normally just made a beeline for the scale. It is so nice to pay attention to how I look and feel and stop being so damn obsessed with a number on a scale.
I also want to share something really important I recently learned. As most of you know I had gotten to the point that I was walking 10 consecutive miles a day. I was so proud of this accomplishment. But I couldn't understand how it was possible that I stayed within my calorie range all week long, walked 57 miles in one week, and did not lose more than 2 lbs. Well, guess what? Turns out my body was in starvation mode because I did not know that I was supposed to log in the calories I was burning which in turn would adjust my daily caloric intake. I was burning 1000 calories a day and only eating 1300 to 1500 calories. No wonder my body was hanging on to everything I ate. I suck at math, but even I know that 1300 calories minus 1000 is 300 total calories. That is so damn unhealthy.
I guess I never thought there was such a thing as too much exercise or too few calories. That kind of seems like a foreign concept for a girl who weighs 211 lbs. But thankfully, I am learning things from other people that is really helping me to do the right things. So now I am cutting my miles down from 10 miles to 5, and increasing my caloric intake by 130 calories just like it told me to in my nutrition guidelines. But I have to brag about something, because since I will be working out 1 hour less a day I will never be able to say this again...but in Atlanta, out of 265 people I am currently ranked #24 in fitness minutes. So HOORAH! Go Shelby! Go Shelby! I am going to hold onto that, because it is still a huge accomplishment and a reminder that I can do anything I set my mind too.
The best part about busting my ass and walking 10 miles all week long is now my 5 mile walk is a breeze to do. I am excited to see what my next weigh in will be like now that I am not over exercising and I am eating more to compensate the 5 mile daily walk I still do.
In closing I want to tell you guys something. I have been on SP for 3 months, but I have only been active for about a week. I finally decided to open up, write blogs, post on the message boards. In one week I went from no sparkfriends to 23 sparkfriends. You guys are so awesome. I have never had a support group like this. I used to always post my weight loss victories on facebook and I had one guy even message me that he was tired of reading about how many miles I walked or how much weight I had lost. The message hurt my feelings but it kinda opened my eyes. I was looking for support but I was looking in the wrong place.
Now I have you guys. I feel like everyone of you is in my corner cheering me on. I have a place now to share my struggles and my victories. I have people who will answer my questions. I get my daily fill of inspiration and hope from all of you. This has been the greatest week of my weight loss journey in over 9 months. Because this is the first week I have finally felt like I was no longer alone. I love you guys. Thank you for being in my life and sharing my journey with me.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
"Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you. If you've never tasted bitterness, sweet is just another pleasant flavor on your tongue." Khalil Jibran.
This is my all time favorite quote. I think it can be related to all of our weight loss journeys. Because I think since we all either have been at some point in our life in the past or are right now currently sad, unhappy, angry, or frustrated with our weight, our inches, our bodies, it only means that when we hit our goal weight, size, inches that we will appreciate it that much more. Some people have been fit their whole lives. But I think those of us who will go or have gone from fat to fit enjoy it and appreciate it on a whole different level.
I also like this quote because I have had many hardships in my past. So many times in my life I have almost been broken. There were times that after getting knocked down so hard I never thought I would get back up again. But I did get back up. And once I was standing fully erect again, the air smelled better, tasted sweeter, caressed my skin softer, and I know that I had to be lying in the dirt face first before I could appreciate the air itself and stop taking it for granted.
My point is that in most cases, at least for me, you need to be restricted from something, or have never had it at all, before you can fully appreciate it. I have been near death and it is what made me appreciate life. I have been in the dark and it made me appreciate the light when it finally found me. I have been alone and then I became a mother and I discovered the power of love.
And I have been fat my entire life and when I am finally fit (and so help me God I WILL be) I will rejoice and revel in delight and I will try very hard to refrain from posting a youtube video of me dancing in my underwear. :)
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Hi. My name is Shelby. And I wanted to tell you a little bit about my story. I am halfway to my goal weight so this is not my "I hit my weight loss goal" success story, but it is a success story nevertheless because I am here to tell you, I had just about given up hope at only 38 years old. When I say I had almost 'given up' I don't mean I had planned on killing myself. Not in the way of taking a bottle of pills or slitting my wrists or anything like that. But I had pretty much had given up hope that I would ever be able to lose weight and had pretty much decided I had already let myself go to the point that I was beyond help. I even stopped buying diet soda and started buying real soda. On top of probably eating 4,000 calories a day. What was 600 more? So I guess you could say my decision to stop even TRYING to lose weight was like a suicide but a slow one. I was basically eating myself to death.
I am single and have been ever since my son's father and I split up while I was still pregnant in 2003. I was a new mother and I was single and I was terrified something would happen to my son if I left the house. I worried about possible car accidents. I worried about everything. I was also depressed and I was eating enough for 3 people and my self esteem was effected which added to my isolation. I just kept getting fatter and fatter and fatter. Never leaving the house made it that much easier to stuff my face.
I stopped isolating so much but I never changed my eating habits. I have always been on dating sites but the moment I knew I had finally given up was when I started advertising on BBW sitess. I figured I was going to be fat my whole life, so I might as well only have profiles on dating sites where men liked fat people. Then something happened, where I finally hit rock bottom. It was Aug 16th 2010. Actually 2 things happened that day. The first thing that happened was that as I woke up that morning and I went to put on my rings they would not fit. I had gotten so fat that my rings would not even fit on my fingers anymore. This was a rude awakening.
I realized I had not weighed myself in weeks and when I went to weigh I weighed 266.7 lbs. This was an all new high weight for me. I was the fattest I had ever been in my entire life. When you are fatter than the contestants of the Biggest Loser on the FIRST DAY AT THE RANCH you KNOW that you have a serious problem. So that was the first thing that happened that day.
Now I will tell you about the second thing that happened that let me know I had hit rock bottom. I had taken my son to the park. I was walking my son over to the swings and there was this Latino man and he had a daughter who was about 6 or 7. As you know, kids are brutally honest. I am 1/3rd Latina so I speak a little bit of Spanish. Not a lot but enough that I could understand that little girl when she said to her father, "Look how fat that lady is. What a hog." You have no idea how hard it was for me not to burst into tears. The only thing that would have made that moment more embarrassing was to let that man and his daughter know that even though she was not speaking in English I knew exactly what she had just said about me. It is not like I did not know how fat I had become. I was used to people staring at me and talking behind my back. But this was the first time someone had said something so hurtful to me right in front of me. And it literally knocked the wind out of my sails.
The next day I went to Wal-mart and this time instead of putting the TWINKIES and the PIBB XTRA and the DORITOS and all that fattening stuff I started putting diet soda, water, and Lean Cuisines in my grocery cart. And then I walked over to the fitness section and I did something that changed my entire life. I bought Leslie Sansone's 5 mile fat burning walk. I am here to tell you right now that the $9 I spent on that DVD changed my whole life. When you weigh close to 300 lbs exercise of any sort seems ridiculously impossible. I was too fat for step aerobics. You can't use the step if you weigh over 250 lbs. I did not have money for a gym membership and even if I did, I would be too embarrassed to work out in public. I couldn't dance or do any kind of high impact cardio workout that came on TV. It is pretty damn hard to lift up a leg if the leg you are lifting weighs 70 or 80 lbs. But walking I could do.
When I started Leslie Sansone's 5 mile walk, I could only do a mile. I slowly started working my way up to 2 miles then 3, then 4, and finally I was able to do the entire 5 mile walk. Now I usually stick to the 5 mile walk but sometimes I do 8 miles, and today, for only the second time in my whole life I just walked 10 CONSECUTIVE miles. This is a HUGE milestone for me. And this also a testament to ANYONE who wants to try and get fit. If I, at 212.4 lbs can walk 10 miles in a row, then I know any one of you can walk 1 mile. And start from there. Heck, even if you have never walked a day in your life and can only start at half a mile or a quarter of a mile, the point is, no matter what point you start at, the point is that you are GETTING OFF THE COUCH and doing something about your weight loss. Leslie Sansone says something on her video that is very basic and simple but VERY VERY true. She says, "Move your body for a better body. If you move your body you are going to get a better body." it doesn't get more basic then that. But it is the truest statement there ever was.
It wasn't that long ago that I found out about Spark People. So out of the 54.3 lbs I have lost almost 40 of it was from walking alone. The other 15 lbs I have lost thanks to SP. I LOVE spark people and I am SO SO SO glad I found it. I had no idea that I was eating way too many calories and I had no idea that out of the calories that I was eating I was eating too many fats and too many carbs and never enough protein. Not only has SP let me know the right amount of calories I should eat in a day to hit my goal weight, it has also taught me how to eat right. I know now that I am coupling eating the right way with my walking then I am going to hit my goal weight in no time.
I have gone down from a size 22 to a size 16. And I have taken control of my life again. I have given my son the best gift I know how to give him. An extra 20 or 30 years added to my life. I was so close to heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, and God only knows what else. I am less than 12.5 lbs away from being in ONEderland. It has been almost a decade since I was below 200 lbs. I can hardly wait. And then I will continue to my goal weight of 156.7. You mark my words people. I will be one of the people that will be able to say she lost over a 100 lbs and did not have to go on the Biggest Loser to do it. :)
Thanks for reading my story. I know it was a long one. But my hope is that someone, ANYONE, gets some encouragement and hope from it. Although cutting calories was definitely a part of my weight loss, the majority of my weight I have simply walked off. And all it cost me was $9. I just pop in the DVD and rain, sleet, snow, or shine, babysitter or no babysitter, NOTHING prevents me from walking because I do it in the privacy of my own home. Which I love because I am walking in air conditioning and I can wear my spandex and sports bra, making it much more comfortable to exercise in, but saves me from the embarrassment of having other people see me.
I am proof that you can be broke, and even be a single mom, and still lose weight. And if you are reading this then you are obviously a SP member. A HUGE advantage that I did not have the first 6 of the 9 months that I have been on this weight loss journey.
Thank you for reading and GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
And remember, NOTHING tastes as GOOD as losing weight FEELS.
Here are some before and after pictures. :)
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