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    POOKASLUAGH   110,670
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Four Years, 100+ lbs, and a Change in Focus

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My weight loss journey began November 27, 2009. In my first year, I lost 15 lbs but didn't really know what I was doing and ended up quite depressed at the lack of results. In my second year, I got serious, educated myself, and found Sparkpeople all within a few months. I lost 51 lbs that second year, for a total of 66 lbs lost. I hit a wall in my third year, and began to struggle with a bunch of health issues, most notably severe insomnia. I still managed to lose 29 lbs, though, taking my total loss to 95 lbs.

Now, the end of my fourth year on this journey is coming to a close. My actual loss this year isn't terribly impressive. I hit my first goal of losing 100 lbs in February, and have since then mostly been in maintenance mode. Happily, I did find the source of my health problems - gluten - this year, and have lost a few pounds since switching to a gluten-free diet. My total loss for this fourth year of my journey is anywhere from 8 to 11 lbs, depending on the day. Like I said - not terribly impressive.

But!

Things couldn't be more different this year than they were last year at this time. Last year, I was exhausted and miserable and frustrated and sick. I wanted to give up, but forced myself to keep going. For much of this year, I've felt the same, but over the last few months, things have changed. Removing gluten from my diet has improved my health - and thus, my happiness - by leaps and bounds. It's amazing what good sleep will do for you! But it's not just that, not just the improved health - part of it is my attitude, as well.

I've been thinking a lot lately about scale obsession and body scrutiny and calorie guilt. This could turn into a monster of a post, but instead of going into a ton of detail about all my thoughts right now (will blog more about this often in the coming year, I think!), instead I want to just say that in moving into my fifth year of weight loss, I want - NEED - to change focus. I am tired of seeing a number on the scale - or a fat roll, or a stretch mark, or the amount of calories I ate in the last week - when I look in the mirror. I don't want to see these things. I want to see ME. No, I am not perfect. My body still has fat rolls. It has plenty of scars and stretchmarks. It is not the youthful body it was when I last was thin, and given what I've gone through in the last decade, it never will be again. And that's...okay.



Sparkpeople posted this picture on Instagram not long ago, and it dovetailed perfectly with the things I've been thinking lately. As I move into my fifth year on this journey, I want this to become my motto. It is time to break away from the microscope that I force myself to live under, slave to the scale and the measuring tape and the size of my jeans. It is time to break away from the high school clique in my brain that notices every roll and scar, and then chastises me for them. It is time to embrace myself, love myself, love my body - to appreciate what it can do, to appreciate what it is and what it really looks like.

I am not fat.

It is time for me to acknowledge that. I may not be at my final goal. I may not be as thin as I'd like. But I am not fat. I am at a healthy weight. I have a lot of muscle on me. I am athletic and fit and strong. No matter what the mirror, scale, or photos might show my warped mind when I am feeling depressed and sullen and hopeless, I am NOT FAT. I have said the words, I have declared them...and now it is time to take them in, soak in up, and learn to believe them.

This is me, last year, at 160 lbs:



This is me, over the last month, anywhere from 149 to 152 lbs, depending on the day:











There isn't a huge difference between this year and last, in terms of size. But you know what? All I could do, in that first picture, was grimace, pretending to smile - a grim, determined smile. And in these others? Well, it was hard to stop laughing long enough to JUST smile.

This is what I want. I want to be happy and satisfied and full of laughter. I want to learn to love myself the way I ought to be loved. That is what this next year will be about. Not about the scale or about an arbitrary goal made long ago. Not about imperfections and shame. Just love, and laughter, and empowerment, and embracing myself for who I am.

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Happy fourth! Year five is going to be fantastic!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIJ7 4/30/2014 9:08AM

    Great blog! I love your progress, both physically and in your thinking.

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LORIVIOLA 4/13/2014 11:14PM

    emoticon for this fantastic blog! emoticon

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GRAMPIAN 2/6/2014 6:07AM

  Well done! emoticon

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ANGELN325 1/28/2014 6:41AM

    I think sometimes that health perspective has to be looked at. I've been a failure when it comes to weight loss. However, there are other successes I've seen like I don't get sick as often. So at least I have that!

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NASFKAB 12/27/2013 1:55PM

  awesome

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PENOWOK 12/10/2013 8:43PM

    I think you look amazing! And you did it the right way...not overnight but over time for a permanent correction in eating habits and lifestyle!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 12/10/2013 10:16AM

    emoticon

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POET_CHICK 12/5/2013 9:39AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BUNNIELIGHT 12/3/2013 3:27AM

    Congratulations! You look great! I think this is going to be my best year yet as well. :)

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GRACILU 12/1/2013 10:31PM

    emoticon

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JENRAQTAY87 12/1/2013 7:24PM

    Sounds like the next year will be the best year!

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1DRWOMAN 11/29/2013 6:26PM

    Congratulations on all your success!!!!! Fantastic!

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JMARIES51 11/29/2013 6:24PM

    What a wonderful blog. You must feel so proud of yourself to stick with your journey through all the tough times. And you must feel even more awesome to have found out that gluten is your health problem. Good for you and congratulations. You are emoticon

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NEWTINK 11/29/2013 6:05PM

    You are doing amazing emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 11/29/2013 2:08PM

  you communicated that so well, I think I understand better. No one wants to diet forever, and have to be so careful they think about it all the time.

You look happy and pretty. emoticon

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LINDAK25 11/29/2013 1:50PM

    Life is so much easier with a good night's sleep! It's fantastic that you realized you can't tolerate gluten. It's never just about losing weight is it?. It's about understanding what your body needs, accepting yourself, and learning to enjoy life. You've done it! Congratulations.

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JRTITTLE 11/29/2013 10:22AM

  emoticon You are an inspiration! Congratulations on your journey so far!

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RENATA144 11/28/2013 10:18PM

  emoticon emoticon You are an emoticon Inspiration !!! Keep up the great work !!!! emoticon

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KATTREE 11/28/2013 4:36PM

    I love your story it is so encouraging.

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NILLAPEPSI 11/28/2013 4:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 11/28/2013 2:51PM

  You look marvelous. emoticon

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4RASCALS 11/28/2013 11:45AM

    emoticon on your success. Keep up the healthy habits. Your smile says it all. emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 11/28/2013 10:53AM

    Well said! You look wonderful in all your photos! emoticon

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KANOE10 11/28/2013 9:17AM

    You look wonderful. I thinknlovingnyourself is so important. You are a great success story and are an inspiration to us all.
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ISHIIGIRL 11/28/2013 9:02AM

    You nailed it sister! Good for you. I have been struggling with the very things you mentioned here. Embracing the new you is the best way to be and you are definately not fat, as you said! Great Blog!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 11/28/2013 5:08AM

    love the new hair cut love and yes there is a big differance in the smile.glad you found out the problem.can only get better now.keep on keeping on you look great. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REBBLTX 11/28/2013 3:24AM

    Amen, sister :) emoticon

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ASCIESZKA 11/28/2013 3:12AM

    Thank you for sharing!

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ROXYCARIN 11/28/2013 3:10AM

  emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 11/28/2013 1:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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C8TSON 11/28/2013 12:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon So proud of you for all of your accomplishments! You are truly an inspiration for me and I know for many others as well. May your fifth year be wonderful! emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/28/2013 12:30AM

    emoticon

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JIBBIE49 11/27/2013 11:48PM

    emoticon Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. emoticon

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SUPERDAD55 11/27/2013 10:30PM

    You look ten years younger, I love the new hair cut.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 11/27/2013 10:19PM

    emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 11/27/2013 9:32PM

    emoticon

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CORNERKICK 11/27/2013 8:37PM

  emoticon

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CICELY360 11/27/2013 7:42PM

  good for you

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JUSGETTENBY42 11/27/2013 7:23PM

    emoticon

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IDICEM 11/27/2013 6:48PM

  Thank you for the great blog! You've done a great job and have some good insights. And may I say, you and your smile are lovely. Keep it up!!
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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 11/27/2013 6:19PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 11/27/2013 5:27PM

  What a WONDERFUL blog!!! emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 11/27/2013 5:27PM

  What a WONDERFUL blog!!! emoticon

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ONTHEPATH2 11/27/2013 3:15PM

    I agree - we put way to much in that number on the scale, the number on the size tag or the number on the tape measure.

You are beautiful. You are healthy. You are NOT fat! You changed your life. Awesome job!!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 11/27/2013 2:58PM

    Amazing! Love the change in your outlook as well as the physical changes that I celebrate with you! Love the decision to embrace yourself, love yourself, love your body and to appreciate what it can do, to appreciate what it is and what it really looks like. That is a life changing decision that is so powerful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDY143 11/27/2013 2:26PM

    Beautiful, just like YOU "CHEERS" emoticon to year 5 emoticon

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JSEATTLE 11/27/2013 1:26PM

  You are doing GREAT, Stay Strong and keep on Smiling and Laughing!!

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DIANNEMT 11/27/2013 12:04PM

    You look great! You are NOT fat!!

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MINERVASPARKING 11/27/2013 11:52AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing. Your posts are always so inspiring :D

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MAMAMACK44 11/27/2013 10:51AM

    Congratulations on your success!! emoticon

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