In the late months of 2014 I knew I had to make a change. I told myself that 2015 would be a new beginning and despite having told myself that every year before, I really believed it. Yet December 31st rolled around and I slept til 1pm causing my generally sweet mother to sit me down for a talk.
"You asked me to quit smoking so I could live longer and I did. So I want you to lose weight," she said, "You're really heavy and you seem really unhappy."
While she missed the mark on the unhappy part (I was actually really loving life before that conversation), her words struck through me like a splinter under a fingernail--painful, and almost impossible to remove. I will always remember those words and how they made me feel. I was not mad at her. I was mad at myself for pushing her to the point of having to say something. She didn't want to lose her daughter as much as I didn't want to lose my mother.
So the next day I set out to change my life. I started slowly, just eating better foods (something I was pretty good at beforehand--people think I'm crazy because I read ingredient labels obsessively) and counting EVERY SINGLE CALORIE (the real game-changer, it's all about in vs out.) We also started taking our dog, Honey, for hour long walks to the park by our house every day and I gradually began to work on jogging and stretching out my joints. It's not about being thin, it's about being HEALTHY.
When February came, I introduced cardio via Zumba Fitness (Dancing to burn calories? Yes, please!) and I started to notice little changes in my clothes and my energy level. I started taking monthly pictures of myself and even bought an s-word (...scale...I bought a scale.)
In March, my weigh-in was about where I thought I had started leading me to think that I started at about 250lbs. I couldn't believe that I had gotten to that number. I was used to being over 200lbs because of been up there since high school, but hitting 250lbs was too much for me. I got hungry to lose weight instead of hungry to eat an entire pizza.
In April I added some Kettlebell exercises into my routine of cardio and calorie counting and lost another 10lbs. People started noticing and I knew that I was on my way. At the four month mark, I was nervous that I would fall out of my self-disciplined eating and workout schedules. Easter nearly killed me but, even though May and June were rough months for my diet, by July I was down another 20lbs.
The first goal I set for myself was to be 200lbs or less by August 1st. I needed to lose 13lbs to reach it. Once again, I had a few too many cheat days, but I tried to remember what Joey's mom (a personal trainer and owner of Healthy Measures: Pre-counted, pre-cooked meals delivered to your door) had once told me: "Don't forget that one bad day won't send you back to start. Just get up and start again the next day."
When August 1st rolled around, I reminded myself that no matter what I had made it past my four month slump and just needed to keep going. I stepped on the scale and took a deep breath. I looked down and saw three numbers: 203. For the blink of my eye I felt disappointment, but then I threw my fist in the air in celebration. I had only missed my goal by 3lbs and after losing 50lbs, I'd say that's a fucking success.
So here I am in the middle--50lbs down, 50lbs to go. I've now added some good old Jane Fonda calisthenics into my workout and have gone down about 4 sizes. I'm still getting used to my new look, still afraid to let my arms show and I still feel as fat as I was in January, but with the support from my friends and family I'm working on my confidence.
People tell me they would have never guessed that I weighed that much, and I guess it's because I carry myself well, but I'm getting tired of carrying myself. For once, I'd like to let myself be free and I know I'm almost there. I'm almost healthy and couldn't be more pumped to get there.