50 pounds down physically and mentally (with pics)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

May - June 2010
"I am fat and disgusting. I hate the way I look in the mirror. I see people looking at me and wonder if they are thinking "that woman is huge." I don't bother with new clothes or makeup because what's the point of putting lipstick on something ugly. I have never felt pretty or beautiful or sexy...
I'm not worthy of anyone. I am unlovable. I will never get healthy. I will never not be depressed. I can't understand why my husband would ever want to touch me. I will never be a normal person. I will never be happy. I am weak. I am a monster."

I was a year into therapy. My therapist had convinced me that years of depression and emotional chaos was due to sexual abuse I had experienced as a child. She suggested I write a series of letters, a set of which was to myself. What you see above is an excerpt from my insecurities letter to myself at that time.

I was still emotionally shattered at this point. I was in a verbally abusive marriage with a man who treated me like crap on the bottom of his shoe. I was killing myself physically and emotionally caring for him and his son. But I felt that was what I deserved. That was my punishment because I was a monster. Somehow that abuse as a child made me different and terrible, so I deserved no better. I stayed fat because it kept the rest of the world from getting to close. That fat was my security blanket. Not only did I have all that fat, I had a truckload of pain, hurt, and sadness buried in there too.

Soon after I wrote that entry, I decided it was time to try losing weight. I was struggling with PCOS, fatigue, and anxiety. I could barely hike without fear of twisting an ankle or falling down. I felt unstable on my feet and clumsy.

On June 27th, 2010, at 253 pounds, I began:

This time, with keeping carbs below 55% and protein high, I finally found a plan that worked for me. I dropped over 30 pounds and was feeling pretty good. Then two days before Christmas that year, my husband admitted he was in an "emotional affair" with a girl almost ten years younger than him that he had met at work. He wanted a divorce, which would be the 2nd one for both of us. Many would have given up. Somehow I found the drive to continue on and dropped almost another 20 pounds. I juggled full-time work, graduate school, and losing weight.

The divorce came and went. I was involved in a bad relationship with a bipolar man who pushed for me to open up to him, then left soon after for a woman at least twelve years older than him who was a teacher at our high school when we attended. I tried online dating, met someone who had potential, but who soon disappeared after I started letting my guard down three months later.

I began student teaching. At this point, I really stopped even trying to maintain what I had lost. I was down about 48 pounds, but the stress of no income and full-time student teaching left little room for weight loss. After student teaching, I took on a factory job just to get some income. I couldn't find a teaching job and things were looking bleak. I finally found a job similar to my old email marketing position at a different company. It's not what I want to do, but it is getting me back on my feet. I filed for bankruptcy. I graduated from my Master's program with a 3.9 GPA and received my teacher certification.

During student teaching, I reconnected with B, an old friend from undergrad. We started a relationship seven months ago and now, scary as it is, I am started to let down some of the walls that had been built up all this time. I also realized I had regained ten pounds. So it was time for phase two, starting at 211.2 pounds.

Friday the scale read 202.4. Which means 50.6 pounds lost from my highest at 253.

What a difference 50 pounds makes:

Left: 243 - Middle: 220 - Right: 210

I no longer need a hiking stick when I hike for fear I might stumble. I can hike 5 miles in 2 hours. I'm to the point where I can jog the majority of 2.5 miles (knee issues nonwithstanding). I've dropped from a size 22 to a size 16 pants, from a 2X-1X shirt to XL. I've dropped at least one cup in my bra size. I've went from sleeping 10-12 hours to 8 or 9 hours feeling about right. I rarely drink regular soda.

However, to me, the loss of my emotional weight has been more important. I have let go of 50 pounds of hurt, pain, anger, and sadness. The moment I started thinking I was worthy of more, right after I wrote that letter, was the moment I started being successful. As the inches and pounds dropped off, I also worked to lose that mental burden of feeling unworthy, undeserving, and disgusting. Even through all the turmoil, I have found inner strength I never knew I had. I deserve to be happy and feel complete at any weight. I am beautiful no matter what. I can handle anything that is thrown at me. Once I saw this, my outside started to resemble my inside.

Just know you can get through. You can perservere no matter what life throws at you. It's not easy and it's not a cakewalk every single day. But it does get easier and before you know it, two years have gone by and you cannot believe how far you have come.

I'm not sure where this next phase of life and weight loss is taking me. The first phase was not what I had expected when I began, and I anticipate this will be the same way. But I'm ready for it and I will be stronger and happier when it is complete.

September 2012
"I'm worthy of someone who loves, values, and respects me. I am healthy and will continue to be healthier. I have my moments, but I am no longer depressed. I feel sexy and confident and certainly have B's attention. I may never be a normal person, but I love who I am. I am happy. I am strong. I am not a monster."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are an unbelievably strong young lady and you're just adorable. I so happy that you've gotten a grip on those demons and have commenced to kicking their collective behinds! Thanks for sharing, your honesty is truly motivating! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3064 days ago
    You are beautiful!
    And your beauty is precious because it's not only on the looks, but also in the inside... And there aren't many people who can have both!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    3067 days ago
  • _JULEE_
    Nothing short of emoticon you ARE!

    3069 days ago
    Congratulations emoticon
    3071 days ago
  • KAESEA78
    Wow you are awesome and you look so good in the jeans at the bottom. You have so much to be proud of!! I feel like I could have written that original letter myself. I hope that one day soon I can begin to love myself too. You are an inspiration!!
    3071 days ago
    What a great blog! And what great progress! Your therapist has done a very good job making you see that you are very worthwhile! And there are tons of people you just helped and inspired with your story.

    You've come a long way baby!! I am working on my first 50 pounds before I even THINK about the additional 50 I will have to lose after that.

    But I just read your blog while trying to cut my cast off my broken leg - it is driving me insane and I can't get to the doc for another week. So I am doing all I can to make this cast last another week, but I am not sure I can do it for health's sake (it smells so bad), as I keep exercising for almost 2 hours daily and the sweat has taken its toll.

    But you kept my attention the entire time, I promise you. You have come for far and overcome some truly overwhelming obstacles. You have inspired me to keep fighting and kicking and screaming every day to get those fat cells to move off my behind!

    I raise my glass to you as you are "one hot little dish" now and I know you feel like it too. Keep your chin up and keep rocking it!
    3071 days ago
    Wow, very inspiring, brave, and emotional! I've felt worthless and ugly before and I agree, I don't know if it's a bigger achievement to come through the physical or the emotional. Kudos to you for working (and succeeding) on both!

    Keep up the GREAT work!
    3071 days ago
  • KELLY19770
    I'm not sure which is the most inspiring:the physical or the mental! You have came through a lot! Very inspiring!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3071 days ago
    Congratulations on such huge changes to your inside and outside on this life's journey. You are indeed worthy of all the great things in life. Thank you for being such a great motivator!
    3071 days ago
  • KIMPY225
    Thank you for sharing all of that with us. I know how tough life can be at times. I am so happy you are more confident in yourself! You are in control of you!
    Keep up the wonderful work! I love the picture progess! You look amazing!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3071 days ago
    Congratulations!!! That is so awesome!

    I wish you much success in the future!
    3071 days ago
    You are so freaking cute! Thank you for sharing your story. This is so inspirational and it doesn't hurt that you now have an ass that could star in a rap video.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3071 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12088077
    SO beautiful! You are just lovely and I am so so so so so glad that you can see that you are not gross! As women we internalise other people's perceptions of ourselves so easily and it becomes a self fufilling prophesy. But CHANGING what you tell yourself- that my dear - is something to be extremely proud of. Sure, everyone can see 50lb loss- and that is a big accomplishment in and of it's self, but being kind to yourself - that's something that is lesser recognised but infinitely more important.
    3071 days ago
    What a wonderful journey of discovery. I'm so glad you decided you were worth something, because you ARE!! You are looking fabulous, and we will all be here to continue to help you on your journey. =)

    emoticon emoticon
    3072 days ago
    emoticon Congrats on how far you have come with your journey so far.
    3072 days ago
    You look absolutely amazing and I am so very proud of you. You have been through a lot but persevered through it all. What an inspiration you are! You rock!
    3072 days ago
    You are strong, beautiful, and have value. May you continue to fall in love with yourself.
    Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon
    3072 days ago
    NO YOU ARE NOT A MONSTER!!! The person that hurt you as a child IS the MONSTER!!!. Your story is incredible because you came up out of the muck & mire. You are stronger than you thought you ever were, this story will help others. To take the awful things you did through marriages & come out with a high point average is awesome & working full time to boot!!!!Sometime maybe you could go to speak at a women's shelter & tell your story & how you came up out of it,you can give others hope, sometimes that is all we have to cling onto. You are the emoticon you never gave up you climbed the mountain made it over & you are continuing to climb sometimes the roots of the mountain get us tangled up & try to hold us down, but we need to hack through them & continue on. emoticon Take care
    3072 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story. You sound and look great. Congrats on your journey to self happiness.
    3072 days ago
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