Today I Reached My Goal Weight & A Tidbit of "My Story"
Friday, November 05, 2010
Three and a half years ago, I stumbled onto sparkpeople thanks to the recommendation of a friend and entered my then-highest weight of about 250 pounds, and a goal weight of about 165. Unfortunately, as we all know this journey isn't always linear, my weight tracker climbed a little higher within the next year and a half, and I topped out at 278 pounds. At the time, the idea of losing 113 pounds seemed completely insurmountable, a mere pipe dream if you will. For the majority of my time on sparkpeople, I watched my weight ticker climb down and back up again, believing in my heart that if I could just lose weight, all of my problems would melt away or somehow become easier to manage, AND believing too that as badly as I wanted it, I was never going to reach my goal. Not ever. NEVER.
I was wrong on both counts.
Confession: sparkpeople is not the only tool I've used to help me meet my goals. After having an incredible experience in March 2009 with an amazing integrative physician, I was inspired to work with a great therapist with an orientation in mindfulness and Buddhist practice--who taught me to live in the now, accept myself exactly as I am, and not delay happiness, peace, or self-love. Through the work I did with her, I learned that my problems with weight and food had very little to do with the food itself and my knowledge of what and how to eat. Instead, my weight and my relationship with food were very much symptoms of bigger problems with the way I was living my life--devoid of self-care, always in the interest of pleasing others, burning myself out, putting others first, and a litany of other imbalances. Through the work I did with this therapist, I was also able to open myself up to something that had been suggested to me numerous times over the years, and I joined Overeaters Anonymous. This program gave me the framework to explore, understand, and tackle the areas of my life that needed to change so that I could develop a life and skill set that didn't require the use of food to get by, provide relief, or feel better. In the course of the following year, I learned to take care of myself physically and emotionally, put the brakes on all activities that were burning me out, developed healthy relationships and healthy boundaries, confronted demons old and new, learned to put myself at the top of my priority list, and developed a whole set of alternatives to using food for comfort, coping, and happiness. In short, I constructed a brand new life.
Sparkpeople has been key in this process, providing me with a community that supports me and whom I can support, allowing me a space to share my journey and share in others' journies, even in simply giving me a space to track the calories I burn and the calories I consume. I've made friends here I will keep for the rest of my life (MSILVER94 and MOJO-RISIN, where would I BE without the two of you in my life?? I hope I never have to answer that question). The journey to lose weight is never easy and never without complications. But the support systems I've had in place truly made the process much more simple than I ever imagined it could be when I was 278 pounds and struggling, alternating between numbing out with food and wishing, truly, for escape and even death.
Thanks to the support systems I have in place, today I've lost 113.5 pounds, come off of all medications, brought my cholesterol down 30+ points, lowered my blood pressure dramatically, went from a size 24 to a size 10-12, went from being "morbidly obsese" to "normal" on the BMI chart, can bike 25+ miles at a time, learned how to swim and can swim over a mile, went from not being able to run a quarter mile to running 7 miles, and am beginning training for a triathlon.
None of these things would be possible without all of the support systems I have in place--that includes you, sparkfriends! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and every one of you who have encouraged me, picked me up when I fell down, inspired me, and reminded me every day of who I want to be and just how much the power to achieve that is in my very own two hands. An especial thanks to MONEYGOOSE, my husband, who inspired, supported, motivated, celebrated, sacrificed, adjusted, and did just about everything else humanly and inhumanly possible to help me--his role in this journey for me really forced me to rethink the entire meaning of partnership.
As we all know, the journey doesn't end when we reach our goal weight. In fact, I've already modified my weight loss goals to keep going a little further. I've also got triathlon training on the docket, and MANY fitness goals I intend to work towards in the coming year--including some races and competitions, and some strength training. I also believe the work we do towards being our best selves and keeping our lives in balance is truly never done--and that we only get to keep and enjoy our own successes by sharing and supporting others in theirs; this is not a job I've ever taken lightly.
Anywho, here I am! Thanks for the continued support, sparkfriends. Sending much love and positivity your way. On to the next leg of this journey!