10. Sitting comfortably in an airplane seat. I travel for my job. I remember on April 10th of last year our team flying out to California. I recall having to take a window seat next to a random guy. My hips and thighs were so big that no matter how hard I tried to avoid it, my thighs were touching his legs the entire flight. I tried to turn a little in my seat so that I wouldn't make him uncomfortable and I remember the feeling of my belly fat pinching into the band of my jeans. I usually fly Southwest and if you are not one of the first to board, you have to do the akward stroll through the cabin hoping someone would elect you to sit in the seat next to them. I knew I couldn't go through that again. Today, I sit comfortably on planes. I can walk through the cabin without having to turn sideways. People don't seem disappointed when they have to sit next me.
9. I look forward to doctor's visits now. Before I knew my blood pressure would read high and it was mostly because of the anxiety of having to step on the scale. That feeling is gone. I still have weight to lose but my doctor sees how far I have come and congratulates me. Now I look forward to going so that I can guage my progress.
8. Less hair, acne, body odor, discharge, easier periods.
7. Last month I ran my first race of the year, a 5k. It wasn't a certified course. But that day sticks out to me in so many ways. It was the first race that I felt like an athlete. I have run 5 or 6 races before this. While I did good in most of them, I didn't feel like an athlete. I felt like a chubby girl with something to prove. At the start of this particular race, my honey took some pictures of me.
That was the first time I looked at myself and thought, "I look pretty slim." I was shocked. To top that day off, I ran alone, without music and for some reason, I couldn't stop smiling. I warned my honey that it would take me about 37 min to reach the finish line and told him to relax. Before I knew it the finish line was ahead of me. I finished the run in 28:18! When I got my ranking, I was dead in the middle overall BUT was in the top 25% of women!! That was a long way from my first 5k just 9 months before.
6. I get to wear a standard size, designer wedding dress.
5. I get noticed AND ignored. People are finally looking at me first and not my weight. People don't immediately count me out because I am fat. People hold the door for me more often. Customer service has improved. People compliment me. They complimented me before but there was always an asterisk attached to the compliment ("You really know how to carry yourself . . .for a woman of size" or "You have the prettiest face.") At the same time, I can now blend in. I don't stand out like a sore thumb. I am not the fat girl in the picture. I am just "normal."
4. I can tolerate myself naked.
3. I feel prepared. Any other time I have lost weight, I have done it in a bubble. I secluded myself from the real worl and real temptations. The moment I was exposed to those things again, I fell apart and gained the weight back. In January, I decided I was going to concentrate on living as if I was in maintenance mode. I knew I wouldn't lose as much weight, but I wanted to make sure I knew how to live and still be healthy. Well, since then, I have only lost about 6 lbs. But I haven't gained. I haven't felt deprived once. I have had fun. I never stopped working out. I never allowed myself to go haywire. I feel that WHEN I get to my goal weight, I will be ready to manage that weight.
2. I can breathe. I cleaned up my health. I had just been diagnosed with sleep apnea two months before starting this journey. My loud snoring kept my fiance up at all hours of the night. I would wake up for air sometimes. Now I can run! I have no problems with breathing at all while I do it. I sleep soundly and have not had a reoccurence of sleep apnea in about 9 months.
1. I have a new lease on life. It may sound cliche, but it is true. So many things have happened over the past several years. I had my daughter 3 months premature, her dad and I divorced, I lost my home to foreclosure, my daughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and ultimately she passed away before her 2nd birthday. That was a horrible, horrible time for me. After she passed, i was disgusted with myself for abusing the healthy body that I was given after watching her fight daily with a broken body. It was disresepctful. I told myself that Alicia didn't have a choice or capacity to fix herself, but my health was completely up to me. In the three years since her passing, I have lost weight and gained it back. But I have also rebuilt my life. I see my weight loss journey as a way for me to take control of my depression and anger. I am now able to inspire other women. I am able to pay my daughter respect by respecting my body. That is the hugest NSV for me.