This is the blog I've been waiting to write for a LONG time. 113 pounds of collecting reasons why it I will NEVER go back to where I came from and incentives to keep right on going. This is the final chapter in my Onederland Blogs.
1. I haven't given up anything I really love - but the things that I REALLY love have become more clear to me now. I like cheeseburgers, but I don't think that I ever really LOVED cheeseburgers. And that's a revelation to me.
2. I have a cute chin! (Just ONE cute chin).
3. My feet have shrunk. I've gone down almost a whole shoe size already with more to lose.
4. I don't snore anymore. The sleep apnea was getting really bad at my heaviest and now I sleep like a baby.
5. Add to that - better sleep. I don't wake myself up in the middle of the night anymore and I wake up feeling relaxed and rested. I'm actually TIRED, both physically and mentally when I go to bed, so my sleep quality reflects that.
6. I'm not scared of public bathroom stalls anymore. I can actually fit in all of them. It used to be that I would head to the accessible stall first so I had enough room to turn around and close the door. Now that isn't a problem anymore.
7. I don't crave greasy food anymore. I CRAVE cherries, and watermelon, and lettuce - believe it or not. I still crave chocolate, but I don't crave Chipotle like I used to, and certainly not McDonalds or Wendy's.
8. I believe that running a marathon is possible and I plan to sign up for and run Chicago 2012.
9. I have clearer skin. Far fewer breakouts and the ones I do get don't stick around as long.
10. My body doesn't hurt anymore. I haven't had a bought of plantar fasciitis in over a year, my back is much happier in the mornings and the only time I really HURT is when I give myself DOMS from kicking some workout ass!
11. I take up less room on the bus. And this still surprises me every time! I always shy away from the middle seat cause I don't think my big butt is going to fit in it, but lately, it has and it does!
12. My eyes appear bigger and my eyelashes appear longer. This is awesome, and something that totally shows up in pics of my face.
13. I don't look like this anymore:
14. I can run for 6+ miles without stopping and I plan to run for much longer and further than that!
15. I have amassed a large collection of safety pins from all the races I have done over the past year.
16. When I sleep, my bed doesn't sink to one side as much anymore. I don't have to flip my mattress as often from the wear.
17. It is SO MUCH EASIER to shave my legs and my bikini area - let me tell ya. Hoo boy!
18. I have collarbones!!!
19. I can see ALL THE WAY to my toes - without sucking in or bending over.
20. The last time I bought a bra I actually went UP a cup size! My rib cage has gotten so small that my boobs are actually bigger. SCORE!
21. My morning stretching routine has gotten easier and I am much more flexible again. I used to be very flexible as a dancer when I was small, so I am loving rediscovering my flex!
22. Men have really started to notice me again and I am being flirted with and hit on all the time now. Definitely something that takes getting used to, but it can be flattering as long as it's not obnoxious which it has been in the past. The types of men who are flirting with me have changed, so it's less creepy now.
23. No more heartburn! I used to live on one Prilosec a day! I haven't taken one of those babies in over a year.
24. I'm not afraid to go to the doctor anymore. In fact - now I WANT to see her cause she gets so darn excited every time I go in. She's very proud of my accomplishments and so am I.
25. My blood pressure is normal. Finally. I have battled high blood pressure for years already and now it is exactly where it should be.
26. Money that I used to spend going out drinking and eating I now spend on new tech gear! I have quite the collection. It's a new addiction.
27. I don't look like this anymore:
28. I have dimples! (And not just the ones on my butt).
29. I am training for a 10K and a 15K that I will run this year (though I'm planning on being able to run a Half distance by the time I get there anyway).
30. I know what it feels like to be hydrated. And my body now knows when it needs water. I always thought drinking 8 glasses a day would be the most difficult task, but now without it, I can't function properly in my day and I often drink way more than 8.
31. I used to claim that I couldn't eat certain foods because of a sensitive stomach - fatty foods, salty foods, some types of lettuce, etc. etc. used to give me horrible indigestion and send me running for the bathroom 30 minutes after eating. Turns out it was my body's way of dumping all the crap I was throwing down there. I can eat WHATEVER I want now with hardly a repercussion, the difference is that now I don't want to!
32. I don't think twice about walking a few blocks to get somewhere anymore. I used to be a perpetual bus waiter. To think of the amount of time I wasted waiting for buses when usually I can beat the bus wherever I'm going if I just put one foot in front of the other.
33. And to that note, I take more of that extra time I have these days not waiting for buses, but smelling the flowers. Quite literally. I will opt to walk home and just enjoy the beauty of the city, the smell of the blossoms or the grass. I am clearly loving life and appreciating the little things and it is such a wonderful transformation.
34. I can pull my knees all the way to my chest now and wrap my arms around my legs. That used to be a pipe dream for me!
35. I LOVE HUGS! At my heaviest, a hug was usually an awkward negotiation of boobs and spare tires and how those squished up against the other person resulting in a two second, manly, back-tap session. Now I am quite happy to throw my arms around an individual and SQUEEZE! And I love, love, love when that individual can fit their arms all the way around me and squeeze in return. Hugs are awesome.
36. I can paint my own toenails without passing out from sucking it in and holding my breath to bend over.
37. Ummm, shhhhh - I LIKE FREGGIES!!! Like, a whole lot. Like, I already told you I crave them. Kale - you sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. Excuse me while I go make out with this peach....
38. I can feel my ribs. Holy crap, that's awesome.
39. My monthly cycle has finally normalized and has now become completely predictable. In learning how to listen to my body, I have learned to listen to that rhythm as well and it has made cravings and pains and the monthly rigmarole so much easier to deal with. Not to mention they have gotten so much lighter and shorter, it's not as much of a hassle any more.
40. I can sit cross legged in my office chair. Like indian-style cross-legged. I'm that tiny. Hahaha. I've gone from worrying about even fitting in it with my thighs touching both sides and sometimes hanging over the edges giving me attractive side-thigh bruising, to being able to fit another whole person in the chair WITH me. Yes!
41. My boyfriend LIFTED me this past weekend. Like, scooped me up and carried me. Granted, he is a former body builder and Strong Man competitor (cause I still weight almost 200 pounds), but HE FRICKIN PICKED ME UP and I just about died from a) hotness, and b) disbelief.
42. I order race shirts a size smaller than I am when I sign up because I know by the time I get there, it should fit.
43. I have a lap. My cats LOVE this about me now. So does my plate of food at summer BBQs.
44. I have been looking forward to shorts and tanks and bathing suit season. I know - I'm crazy.
45. I lose clothes to the "Too Big" pile every time I do laundry.
46. I am wiser about this whole journey to a healthy life thing, but I still make mistakes. There will always be set-backs, but the difference in me now is that the set-backs don't make me want to give up, but instead make me want to push harder to keep going.
47. I have learned the importance of REST DAYS. My body works better when I allow it proper time to heal. Resting is not a bad thing, and it should be part of the weekly schedule.
48. I hate to say it, but fat people (sometimes) have a smell...and I had that smell. And I was terrified every time I smelled it. It's the smell of not being able to reach all the places that need to be cleaned and/or having sweat and dirt and other matter collect in places (ahem...belly button) that then fester and ferment. Happy to say that on the cleanliness front, I can now reach and clean ALL my places. Phew!
49. I actually jumped at the sight of my shadow the other day. I thought someone was following me cause the shadow was long and lean and seemingly much taller than me.
50. I don't look like this anymore:
51. I have learned the importance of stretching every day. Not only to keep my muscles and joints limber, but also so that I can appreciate the changes happening in my body from a non-scale perspective.
52. My fingers and hands have shrunk so much, my high school class ring that didn't even fit my pinky at my heaviest, is now falling off my middle finger.
53. My boobs don't suffocate me anymore. Nuff said.
54. Airplanes are more comfortable - I don't have to worry about belt extensions, I don't have to worry about spilling into my neighbour's seat and I can get the food tray ALL the way down with room, thus not having to worry about spilling my dinner all over the place from having the table resting on my gut.
55. I'm not afraid of climbing ladders anymore - which I have to do frequently at work.
56. Speaking of work and seat room - I can go to see a show at the theatre without having to worry about spilling into the next seat and making my neighbour uncomfortable.
57. My health insurance premium went down! Make sure you get yours adjusted as well if you lose a significant amount of weight. It makes a big difference!
58. I've learned the importance of planning out my weeks, budgeting my food and my exercise, recipe planning, and making my lunches. When I don't do it, I get off track easily - so it's just as easy to plan and be prepared.
59. My calves no longer touch. Thighs - I'm coming for you next!
60. I have continued with my therapy through my loss - it is one of the main reasons that I am capable of doing this and why I believe I have been able to accomplish things so quickly. Therapy helps me through the mental battles that we all fight so I have room in my life to worry about the physical battles.
61. I know what it's like to cross the start line and finish line of a HUGE organized race. I still haven't decided whether I truly love racing, but I know I love running, and having those token mementos from races is kinda cool.
62. I have learned the importance of cross-training and how that affects my overall athleticism. I swim, bike, run, Zumba and strength train and have found this to be the ultimate combination for fitness and speedy weight loss.
63. Stairs are easy now! I still dread them and the novelty of the escalator will never grow old for me, but at least I know I can climb a few flights now and not even be winded.
64. I can cross my legs! I can't tell you how long I have been waiting to be able to do that. I actually feel like a proper lady.
65. I am more sure-footed. I'm not afraid of falling all the time (which I used to be because I used to do it all the time). Going down stairs used to terrify me because I was so afraid of falling, but now I can run up and down without even thinking about it. I have my dexterity back again.
66. I used to think (and say) that my brothers lucked out and got the "hot genes" in the family because I never felt like I measured up to them physically. I don't believe that any more. I am discovering my own beauty every day and I'm feeling darn lucky now to come from a great gene pool in every way.
67. I know the difference now between being physically hungry and emotionally hungry. I still don't always eat at the right times, but knowing and feeling is half the battle.
68. I can now shop in ANY store I want. It's overwhelming and exciting, but DAMN, it is SO AWESOME!!! Size M-L off the rack and still losing!
69. This is the sex number, and everyone says something about the sex being better, so why disappoint? SEX. IS. AWESOME. And so much more bendy.... that is all.
70. I don't have to fret about booth or chair when we go to a restaurant. Booths are just fine now - and quite comfy!
71. I don't look like this anymore:
72. I'm surprised almost daily by my endurance level. Both in every day things and in planned exercise. When I can push for that extra mile and attain it - it's such a great feeling!
73. My fear of death and dying has gone away. It's a horrible thing to live with. And I had gotten to the point of dreaming about death as well. Now it's all about life! And living every day to the absolute best of my abilities and dreams.
74. I know if I eat an extra cookie, it's not the end of the world. And chances are, if I run far enough, it won't even slow me down. Indulge in life - you only get one opportunity to live it. And cookies are awesome.
75. My laptop actually fits ON MY LAP. Huh. Novel concept.
76. I'm a scale cheat. There I said it. My scale only has one direction - DOWN. If I'm up on a week, I'm up. But I don't record it. The disappointment over not losing weight in a week is enough, I don't need to punish myself with recording a gain. So I leave the ticker where it is and work even harder the next week to get back to that number and keep right on going. Feel free to use this method for yourself - I think it works great.
77. Rewards and timing of rewards are very important. Sometimes you're not close enough to a goal to give yourself an award, but you really need a little something to Spark your motivation. So do it. Find a way to reward yourself anyway - because we ALL deserve it and should have everything we want from life and then some.
78. I actually like having photos of myself taken now. I'm surprised every time it happens at how good I look - haha! There's no "good side" of my face anymore, no more straining to make sure that my angle is flattering, resulting in a forced and awkward smile and a twisted torso. I smile from the heart now and I mean it.
79. Like this:
80. I am planning active trips and vacation time and I LOVE it. I am beside myself with excitement about my trip to Africa in August where for the first time in my life I will be able to keep up with my highly active brother and our cousins, camping, backpacking and roughing it through the Kenyan and Tanzanian Safari. Also planning a camping/hiking/kayaking trip for the long weekend with my new boy that I am SO excited about. I want to get out and play instead of laying in a chair in front of the tv all weekend and that is a huge accomplishment and sign of the change in my life.
81. My sit bones get sore if I sit for too long, so I have to get up more and stretch and get more water from the water cooler. I have a boney butt y'all!
82. I ride my bike to work. That's crazy. I'm saving bus money and getting exercise and I actually LIKE it. Funny that.
83. I have discovered a ton of new, healthy recipes here on Spark and I have loved getting to know my kitchen again. I am addicted to cooking, and I am reaping the rewards of doing it the healthy way.
84. My iPod is full of "get up and go" music. When I buy music anymore it's because it makes me want to move and I look forward to getting that next new running song. P.S. The new Gaga album is brilliant for long runs. Loving it!
85. I don't look like this anymore:
(and neither does Kathy! Hot Mama!)
86. My already-started Christmas list and birthday list and general wishlist is majority fitness related. I can't walk through the Active Wear section in a store without drooling. What's gotten into me?
87. I buy Febreeze Sport like it's being discontinued. Seriously, sweaty people, if you haven't tried this stuff, you need to.
88. I have gone through 4 Zumba punch cards (that's 40 classes and at least 20 more NOT on a card) since I started attending classes. My instructor wants to do a weight-loss feature story on me that will go out in her monthly e-blast. It's not only Zumba that has contributed to my weight loss, but in her I have found a true friend and inspiration and I love the sport of Zumba now cause it's so darn much fun.
89. I have discovered the importance of sleep and getting enough of it. I mentioned before how well I am sleeping now, but knowing when it's time to turn off the lights and call it a night and when to wake up in the morning have also greatly helped my weight loss efforts.
90. I now know the proper size and fit of a sports bra. This is essential.
91. I have started a blissful new relationship with someone who is as active and health-involved as I am because I am capable of being in a relationship like that. I realize that I am now attractive to the types of men that I have always wanted to be attractive to, but that I was never in a league to play with before.
92. I have discovered the joy of blogging and find release in my blogs and a wonderful camaraderie with my dear Sparkfriends from doing so. Though my blogs will always continue to be for myself and to document my own journey, I value each and every "weigh-in" from my friends along the way. Sometimes (as I found out only a couple of blogs ago), all I need to do is write about it and it will happen!
93. I am rejoicing in being a "normal sized" person. It still doesn't feel like I am. I still have a long way to go. But in today's society, I am normal. That doesn't say very good things about us as a culture, but for me, it's a nice change.
94. I don't look like this anymore:
95. Doing chores around the house isn't such a burden anymore. I don't break a sweat doing laundry, I don't wheeze when I'm vacuuming and bending down to clean the tub doesn't result in popping a gasket.
96. I can get up and down from a bar stool when I go out with my friends now with ease. I'm still a short-ass, so it still requires a little jump manoeuver, but I can do it without flashing the bar or tipping over the stool or having to wipe my forehead once I make it up there.
97. When I get home from work at night, instead of running straight for the television or the fridge, I pour myself a nice, tall glass of water and head outside to enjoy some time in the evening watching my cats play in the grass.
98. I'm muscular. Even though the extra skin has started to collect in areas that I know will continue to be a problem, I'm ripped in other places! My arms and legs are really starting to become defined and I love feeling my muscles work, and work hard.
99. I have spent the last year getting to know all of you as well as myself. It is an honour and a privilege to be doing this alongside one of the best and most supportive communities in the world. Thank you for all you have done for me. I only wish I could begin to repay the love and gratitude.
100. I have lost (so far) a total of 113.4 pounds and counting.
101. I have lost 10.5 inches off my waist.
102. I have lost 10.5 inches off my hips.
103. I have lost 3 inches off my neck.
104. I have lost 6 inches off of each of my thighs.
105. I have lost 4 inches off of each of my calves.
106. I have lost 4.25 inches off of each of my upper arms.
107. I have lost 8 inches off my rib cage.
108. I have dropped 12 dress sizes (from a 26 to a 14).
109. I have dropped 12 shirt sizes (from a 24 to a 12 or M-L).
110. I have dropped 12 pant sizes (from a 26 to a 14).
111. I have amassed over 14,500 fitness minutes since starting Spark in April 2010.
112. I have no doubt that I will continue towards my goal and achieve every last thing that I want to out of this journey and out of life in general. Things are so beautiful right now and I have the spirit and drive and sense of adventure that I have always had, but now am able to access and use to the best of my abilities.
113. And now I look like this: