This is the blog I have been waiting SO LONG to write. It has been 11 months, 1 week, and 2 days since I first began my weight loss journey. And finally, FINALLY, my hard work has paid off. This once super obese woman (for those of you who don't know, that is one category HIGHER than morbidly obese), has finally made it to ONEderland.
My journey began on August 16, 2010, when I woke up to find out that I had gotten so fat that my rings would no longer fit on my fingers. I had avoided the scale like it was the Bubonic Plague for God only knows how long, and I knew that it was time to face the music. It was time for me to step on the scale. I knew I was not going to like the number that I saw, but I was not even close to prepared when I saw that the number read 266.7 lbs.
My first thought was, "This cannot be right. There has GOT to be some mistake!" The irrational part of my brain thought that maybe my cat was standing on the scale with me. (Yeah, right. My scale was barely big enough to hold me in all my girth, much less a 12 lb cat wrapped around my ankles.) Still. I could not register the number I saw to be the truth. Even though I knew in my heart that it was. I stepped off the scale. Stepped back on. Off and on. Off and on. Praying and hoping that my scale was broken. I changed the battery in my scale. The number stayed the same. My scale was not broken. It was me that was broken. I weighed 266.7 FREAKING pounds. And that was the cold hard truth.
At first I was in shock. Then I was horrified. Then I got angry. Then devastation set in as I burst into tears. Disgust consumed me. Followed by a sense of such overwhelming hopelessness and despair that I crumpled to the floor and began sobbing so hard that I was almost to the point of hyperventilating. If you had of seen me you would have thought that I was auditioning for the leading role of a Lifetime Television for Women movie! I was in that bad of a state.
I weighed 266.7 lbs. I was GINORMOUS. I was fatter then the fattest female contestant of the first TEN seasons of the Biggest Loser. That is one bitter pill to swallow my friends.
Something had to change. I had to change. I was only 37 years old and the number on the scale forced me to face the reality that I was eating myself to death.
I am a single mother. I didn't want to eat myself into an early grave and have to lie in an oversized coffin, leaving my 7 year old son an orphan. I was done with being complacent. It was time to do something about my weight. It was time to take control of my life again.
I hopped into the car and drove to my local Wal-mart. For the first time in my life I made healthy food choices. Then I did the most amazing thing. I went to the fitness section and as I was browsing at all this exercise equipment I could not afford and all these crazy workout videos I knew I would never be able to do I stumbled upon Leslie Sansone's 5 mile fat burning walling DVD. I did a double take. Weighing almost 270 lbs, I was EXTREMELY limited on what kind of physical activity I could do. Just the WORD exercise made me want to break out in hives. But WALKING? Now that was something I felt like even I could do. So I bought the DVD and came home and started walking. And I have been walking ever since. As God as my witness, the $9 I spent on that DVD changed my life. To this day I don't think any kind of gym membership or piece of exercise equipment could have made more of a positive impact on my life than Leslie Sansone's walking DVD did.
When I started walking I could only do a half mile. But I kept on walking. I walked and walked and walked. Eventually that half mile turned into 1 miles. That 1 miles turned into 2 and then 3. And then one day I found that I was able to do the entire 5 mile walk all at once. I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment as I finished walking 5 consecutive miles for the first time. I was whooping and hollering. There I was, happy tears streaming down my face, laughing and crying at the same time. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. There is something so powerful when you start to cry just because you are so damn happy that laughter itself just isn't enough.
After 8 months of constant walking, I had managed to walk off 40 lbs. Then a classmate of mine told me about Spark People. It was here that I learned about how much food I should eat, and what kinds. Although I was making much better food choices then I had been before I started my weight loss journey, I discovered that I was still eating way too much. I had no concept of portion control. I may have switched out my McDonaldald's for Lean Cuisine meals but I was still eating 2 at a time. Armed with the knowledge of eating right, coupled with my daily walking, the pounds really started to melt off. And in just 3 months I had lost an additional 27.3 lbs.
Which brings me to today. As of July 25, 2011 I have lost 67.3 FREAKING pounds!
Of course this does not seem to impress my Mii in the slightest. Even now, as I stand before you in ONEderland, every time I stand on my Wii Fit Step she still says, "Oh!" in that disgusted and exasperated tone. Then, like always, she proceeds to tell me I am STILL obese.
I have changed so much over this past year. But SHE sure hasn't. My Mii is still a mouthy little B!TCH. Were it not for the wrist strap on my Wii controller I would have hurled it at her a long time ago, probably breaking my TV in the process. Thank you NINTENDO. I think it was a vertically challenged female that came up with the idea for the wrist strap. :0)
But like I said, while my Mii stays the same bitter unhappy animated woman, this woman here, this now 38 year old woman writing this blog, has changed so very much over the past year.
I used to be the girl who, when it came to fast food, would go to McDonaldald's get a large chocolate milkshake, an extra large fry, and TWO filet o' fish sandwiches with EXTRA tartar sauce.
Now on the rare occasion that I eat fast food, I go to Chic-fil-a and get ONE Chargrilled chicken sandwich with NO butter on the bun, a fruit cup, and a water with lemon.
I used to get winded just by walking to my mailbox and back.
Now I walk 10 miles a day. 10 CONSECUTIVE miles a day. Twice this past month I pushed myself extra hard, just to see how strong my body had become. I ended up breaking my own walking record by walking 13 consecutive miles one day and then a week later I walked 14 consecutive miles. That is more than half a marathon!
I am proof that you can be FIT even while you are still FAT.
I used to go to the store and buy beer by the case.
Now I buy water by the case instead.
I used to avoid mirrors at all cost, because when I looked into a mirror I felt like I was at a carnival looking into one of those funhouse mirrors. My image was ghastly, and giant like and my body was extended all out of proportion. But I was not at a carnival. So the mirror was obviously not the problem. The problem was the woman who was standing in front of it.
Now guess what I do? I stand in front of the new FULL LENGTH mirror that I just recently bought. I sit there and examine my body and all the changes I see in it and I am filled with admiration. Finally, I am proud of the woman who is looking back at me.
While that $9 DVD Wal-mart purchase was made because I so desperately NEEDED to change my body, that $11 purchase of my new full length mirror is proof that my body HAS changed.
Words can not describe to you how amazing it felt to me after hanging that mirror on my closet door when I looked into it for the very first time. After decades of being riddled with shame, insecurity, and self loathing, I finally looked at myself with an expression that was new to me. It was one of love.
And last but not least, for those of you that have not fallen asleep on me or have found that their laptop battery went dead (I know this is longer than the first edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, but I waited a year to write this, so I had a lot to say!), here is where we come to the part of my blog that I mentioned in the title. The part about losing a boy and a cat.
One of the most significant and motivating things I have done to keep myself from getting discouraged is simulating my weight loss. There were so many times (especially in the beginning) when I felt like I could not SEE the weight I had lost. So I found a way to FEEL how much weight I had lost. Throughout various weight loss markers on my weight loss journey, I would pick up something that weighed exactly as much as I had lost, and carry it around.
When I lost my first 10 lbs I carried my cat Patches up and down my stairs.
When I lost 22 lbs I carried both Patches AND Dexter (my other cat) up and down my stairs.
When I lost 32 lbs I went bowling with a friend of mine. I took one 16 lb bowling ball in each hand and walked from one end of the bowling alley to the other.
When I lost 40 lbs I carried a 40 lb bag of wild bird seed up and down the pet food isles at Wal-mart.
When I lost 55 lbs I carried my 7 year old son up and down my stairs.
And without further ado, here is a picture of me holding my 55 lb son, who is holding his 12 lb cat. 67 lbs of weight I am struggling to hold long enough for the picture to be taken (no way in hell was I going to carry those 2 up and down a flight of stairs), amazed and astounded that I used to carry this much weight around with me every where I went.
Thank you so much for reading this. I am only 8.4 lbs away from being out of the obese category ALL together. And I have only 32.7 lbs to go until I have lost a total of 100 pounds. And guess what? When I get that 100 lb trophy (and you better bet your bottom dollar that it IS going to happen) I will be able to say that I lost 100 pounds without having to go on the Biggest Loser show to do it.
Here are some before and after pictures of my face and body followed by some pictures of me that I took today in a mini-skirt.
Oh, and remember those rings I told you about that my fingers had gotten too fat for? Those were size 10 rings. For my ONEderland reward I majorly splurged and bought myself some new rings for the first time in probably over a decade. And this time I had to buy size 9 rings. :0) Double Booyah!
Here is a picture of the new rings I bought for myself today from Amazon. I can't wait to get them in the mail.