Closing The Door. (Updated October 2014)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Permanent weight loss is a process. It's more than the "lifestyle change" people talk about, and a HELL of a lot more work than Redbook magazine makes it out to be. (Take the stairs. Park your car further away. Fidgeting burns calories. You lose more if you workout in the "fat-burning zone." DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH.)

Yes, your life changes, and not always for the better. Sometimes you trade off hobbies you used to enjoy for ones you learn to like. People make fun of you, out of their insecurities or because of yours. No one ever made fun of me for eating anything I wanted, but I sure do take a lot of heat because my priorities and health are more important to me than anything Starbucks is offering (even if it is free).

Through all of that, this statement holds true: nothing tastes as good as good health feels. Body-positivity has nothing to do with it - I was just as happy and confident, at some times moreso than now, when I was at my heaviest - but not being dependent on drugs for health and food for comfort is the best kind of freedom there is. No, it's never easy, but it's easier to look forward and see up rather than down. :-)

ANYWAY. Here are my before and after pictures. I had quite a few photos from 2004/2005, but in many of them I was wearing shapers/corsets, which kind of invalidates the process. In some of these I'm about the same weight, but through lifting and conditioning my body was reshaping itself.

Photo #1 - July 2003, taken at Nimbus, right after I'd reenrolled at Victory Fitness, around 270 pounds (I'm on the far left):

Photo #2 - Spring 2004, with the alien tumor eating me alive, around 225 pounds:

Photo #3 - April 2005 (?), on Shannon's birthday, around 200 pounds:

Photo #4 - July 2006, around 190 pounds:

Photo #5 - May 2007, with SLAPPYRAD, around 190 pounds:

Photo #6 - August 2008, around 180 pounds:

Photo #7 - January 2009, around 170 pounds:

Photo #8 - June 2009, after the Columbus 10K:

During 2009, I continued to ramp up my mileage, but not my weight loss. Then I began gaining again. So I cut my calories, ran more, cycled more - and gained a little. Cut again, added again. No real move forward.

Photo #9 - November 2009, around 170 pounds:

In 2010 I got hurt during a half-marathon, which effectively ended my 40-mile running weeks, and nearly scuttled running entirely. So I applied to the YMCA and trained to be a fitness instructor.

Photo #10 - July 2010, getting less firm even though working out like a BEAST:

Things were still not moving in the right direction. Turns out that as you lose weight, you have to do what's best for your body! (Duh, I know.) For me, that means much LESS cardio, much MORE lifting, and the cardio I do needs to be short and intense. AMAZING!

This took a while - I was miserable, overtrained, injured, starving and worn down. Then the bolt out of the blue - something had to give. What could happen? What I was doing (working out 45-90 minutes every.single.day, eating 1800 calories/day) was making me flabbier, not firmer.

What to do? It was coming to the point where I was so exhausted I could barely teach classes, much less have effective workouts of my own.

So, I took a whole week off. Then I put together a lifting regimen from Oxygen Magazine and 11 Athletics, went to Pilates. Took my calories up to 2300 per day. HECK YES - four pounds off in the first week, seven more in two. Firmed up, then toned up. Better energy, better attitude. NO hunger. Whew!

Photo #11 - June 2012

Update: October 2014

I've just completed year six of maintenance, and still 103 pounds down. I received my mat Pilates certification and am working toward my YogaFit 200 hour RYT certification. If you have any doubts about Pilates - I lost FOUR INCHES around my waist in a year, just by doing Pilates.

Also, I got married in 2013 :)

Photo #12:

2014 has presented its fair share of challenges - how to live with a person who can pretty much eat whatever he wants without worrying about gaining weight? Having junk food in the house...I go back to the basics of healthy eating, and keep nutrition first. I applied for and was accepted to be part of the National Weight Control Registry, which is a study that tracks the health and habits of people who have lost more than 10% of their body weight and have kept it off for more than a year.

You can apply for this! Just Google "national weight control registry." Cool!

Here is a recent picture of me, taken at a charity event in September 2014. My life has begun to turn outward again, after so many years which needed me to focus my energy inward. It's all balancing.

Photo #13:

Another, even MORE recent picture, haha - taken after a tough cycling class, to send along with the rest of this blog to the NWCR:

Photo #14:

Future plans include living the best life ever.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an amazing journey! Congrats on your success!!
    1573 days ago
    what amazing and inspiring progress! thank you for sharing your journey, it will help those who are still working toward their goal, and those of us who have hit it to stay there - this is destined for a best blog award! emoticon emoticon
    1663 days ago
  • DS9KIE
    1663 days ago
  • BOBBYD31
    your the best! i don't think i have ever seen you starting weight pictures, fantastic. you are a true inspiration
    1664 days ago
    I am amazed at your courage, and the fact you kept it up. The most amazing to me, is that you didn't do it overnight, like so many want to do. It took you time, which is the best way to work the battle. You have always kept me interested in your success, mainly because you have persevered. I understand the hard part is living with someone that can eat how they want and not have to fight the weight. But from my own experiences, it does someday catch up to them. Hopefully he will get on the healthy track to support you more, and keep himself healthy as well, as age approaches. My best friend, has this problem as well, she is trying to eat healthy, and her Hubby doesn't support it, because he has to have his fats, sugar laden cereals, and munchies in the evening. And guess what! He is the one that is sick, diabetes 2 inc. insulin and meds. Go figure.
    1664 days ago
    Now this is truly inspiring!
    1664 days ago
    Nice update! Cool that you are healthy and happy and if you were closer I would hit you up for some pilates instruction.
    1665 days ago
  • no profile photo OFFWERUN
    WOW, I am speechless--you are just one amazing young lady!!! So proud of you!!! xoxoxoxo!!!
    2203 days ago
    Wow! It's great to see the transformation you have made. It's also awesome that you compete in races and are so active (I'm trying to start with the healthy eating and then get consistent on the exercise part). Keep doing what you're doing!
    2670 days ago
    I am trully encouraged by your success.
    2846 days ago
    I am so glad to have stumbled upon your page today. You look amazing and are so inspirational!
    3157 days ago
    Amazing! I love to see progress, and I can't wait til I can do the same thing(show some pictures-lol). I would love to participate in a 5K -- someday. I just want to thank you for your motivation. Also to know it is okay not to worry what others think or worry that by saying "no thankyou" its quite all right. You don't have to give in to others, just for a "feeling" -- thanks for showing me that! emoticon
    3209 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story.. you are AMAZING and inspiration to me!!
    3393 days ago
    Thank you for sharing! You are such an inspiration! emoticon
    3400 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing this. This is very impressive.
    3402 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story. You are so right...no one ever asks if you should be eating those french fries when you're fat, but the moment you don't want to partake of something you get mocked. The other person just doesn't want their own personal guilt and we need to remind ourselves that this change is about us and not them. Hopefully, you will inspire them as you have us! Thanks so much for sharing!
    3407 days ago
    I am so glad you posted this, despite your near anxiety attacks after posting it on Facebook. This is inspiring to me in a lot of ways. Already I am dealing with friends who mock me for trying to be healthier, but me being at the weight you started with and knowing all that you have accomplished, it motivates me to do the same.

    Thanks again. emoticon
    3430 days ago
    excellent progress, girl!
    3587 days ago
    That's so awesome that you posted pictures. I can definitely tell you are feeling better about yourself because, GIRL, you start showing your legs off!!!!
    3587 days ago
    Laughed at the magazine slam, they're really not very helpful are they? Park farther away is pointless if you ride your bike to the store....
    Anyhow, that's quite the photo-story you posted, a most impressive transformation to be sure.
    3589 days ago
    You are awesome!!!!! Thank you for sharing...Hugs,Jeanine
    3589 days ago
  • BOSNER75
    really encouraging thanks for the honesty!
    3589 days ago
    GRRL you should be SO PROUD of where you've come from. Take a look at my before pictures; talk about someone who should be embarrassed by pictures.

    But, without coming from somewhere we can't APPRECIATE where we are now and where we're heading.

    You've overcome more than just having a weight issue. You've had so many other things to deal with along the way that would make lesser people give up.

    Kudos for you for posting those pictures and how far you've come.
    3590 days ago
    You are inspiring! Talk about perseverance under very very difficult circumstances! Congratulations to you for all you've achieved -- weight-loss of course but more than that -- the focus on HEALTH!
    3590 days ago
    You are inspiring! Talk about perseverance under very very difficult circumstances! Congratulations to you for all you've achieved -- weight-loss of course but more than that -- the focus on HEALTH!
    3590 days ago
    that is amazing. seriously good for you for making big changes, I didn't realize that you've lost 100+ lbs. that is just beyond...
    3590 days ago
    Wow. I can't even see you in those pictures. I am sure it has not been easy, but you are doing this for all the right reasons.

    You look great and I hope you feel as great.

    3590 days ago
    You have accomplished so much; I'm in awe of your success. It is not easy to make so many changes in your life. You should not be scared to celebrate and share your success.

    Your comment about magazine advise cracked me up. I always laugh at their money saving "tips" like save $5 a day by skipping your morning latte. Like the average American goes to Starbucks everyday.

    Good luck with your future fitness goals!
    3590 days ago
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