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. :)