Today is an anniversary for me because one year ago I decided to lose some weight. Mourning over the loss of my grandfather the month before, I often thought about how much I reminded him to take care of himself as he grew older. He always gave me a smile and told me he would, but he reminded me that he wouldn’t leave any sooner than the good Lord intended. I miss him so much. But thinking through the grief, I knew that I needed to do better with my own life.
I won’t bore you with the details of a long life battle with weight, body image, dieting, exercise, and numerous failures. I mean, obviously, if I got to this point, I didn’t do something right. But last year, I found myself at 320 lbs and pretty miserable about the weight I looked and felt physically. The weight held on after I gave birth to my daughter 2 years prior (60 lbs gained during the pregnancy), and I finally reached the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.
So I found a tiny notebook, marked the date, my current weight, how I felt, and my goals. To be honest, I had no real expectation of progress. I had been there and done it all before, but I figure writing something down was better than nothing. Not only that, I figured it would be a good idea to hold myself accountable to someone. So I told my husband when he came home from work that day. When people at my church asked me how things were going and how they could pray for me, I told them what I was trying to do.
To be honest, it was pretty embarrassing to do it….to keep telling people that you know you’re fat and trying to do something about it, while they stare at you wearing single-digit sizes. But hey, fat is fat, and I needed to do something about my own life. Not only that though, I surprisingly found some amazing encouragement from all of the people I told. They were really rooting for me, and not in a pitying sense. So, strangely, knowing that a lot of people who I would see at least weekly were all up in my business, I went to work.
So I started walking. I counted calories. I brought a special bowl that was smaller than the other bowls we have to eat cereal out of. And I used a smaller plate for dinner. I tried to make sure I never rewarded myself with food, and I read tons of articles and blogs to keep myself motivated. But more than that, I prayed. I prayed a lot. On days I didn’t feel like it anymore, I got before the Lord and asked for grace and strength. On those days were I ate the cookie, I enjoyed it, and then I asked the Lord for help to restrain myself from eating anymore. It was hard work.
Yet, I also rejoiced when I saw progress. Every 5 lbs down was a major victory for me. By mid-September I had lost about 30 lbs, and I had NEVER lost that much weight ever in my life. I also encountered health struggles I didn’t know I had like severe anemia and swelling in my legs. But praise be to God, both of those issues have gone away.
My two biggest victories occurred in December and January. On December 31st, I weighed myself, and I had made it through the entire holiday season without gaining a single pound. Granted, I didn’t lose any weight, but sitting around soul food (plus cooking it), I thought for sure I wasn’t going to make it. But on December 31st, I weighed in at 277 lbs. My next victory came about two weeks later.
In January, I was going through my drawer and found the box with my engagement ring and my wedding band. I hadn’t worn either ring since my third trimester with my daughter…..about 3 years prior. It always made me sad because I couldn’t wear either one, but that was one of my main goals….to get those rings back on to my finger. Well, this January, both of those rings fit. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so elated! It was also nice to see my husband smile about that too.
But also in January, my husband (because he’s crazy….cute and smart, but crazy) decided to do a sugar free challenge and go without sugar for a month. Because I’m crazy, I decided to join him. In addition, we both decided to give the Paleo diet/lifestyle a try for the month too and see whether or not it was worth doing long term. Well, both of those choices had pretty dramatic effects, and I found myself just shy of losing 10 lbs that month alone…along with a wheat allergy I didn’t know I had and my usual dairy intolerance.
Well, fast forward to April, and as of today, I am 259.8 lbs! I am so excited, extremely excited!!!! I don’t know the last time I was in the 250s….actually, I don’t even remember gaining the weight between 195 to 270. But regardless, I have lost just above 60 lbs in the past year, and I can only give God the glory for that. I’m even more thankful that I’ve lost in a way that is very sustainable for me, and so that I don’t have to freak out as I get older and life gets more hectic. I know the journey isn’t over for me personally, but this past year was one huge step in the journey. My husband and I are hoping to become pregnant later this year, and I don’t plan to be psycho about it. However, I do plan to exercise a lot of wisdom and not give in to every single craving I might have. Ultimately, I plan to continue to lean on God to give me the strength to keep it up in the long term.
So, this wraps up my thoughts for the day on this topic. No, I don’t have any “before” and “after” pictures to post…mainly because I was too ashamed of myself and too scared that I would fail and see absolutely no difference later. But here are some pictures that were taken of me during the time period.
All of these pictures have made me realize how camera-shy I’ve been over the past years. I hope to do better in the future. And I hope that I not only have an inner (or spiritual) life that I don’t mind sharing so publicly, but I hope I have an outer (or physical) life that can be shared as well. 🙂