It's been -- without any embellishment -- one of the best things that could have ever happened to me!
When I started on February 3, I was 198lbs. This was my highest recorded weight, save for my pregnancy weight which was 225lbs.
9 months pregnant. 225lbs.
That number seems so surreal.
I always thought I was a "bigger girl," but I never was ... until I was. I think it was about 2005 when my weight began "creeping" on ... and I didn't get pregnant until 2012, so what does that tell you? YIKES!
This photo was taken a few weeks before I found out I was pregnant. And this was how I'd been looking for a few years. Not impressive. Hiding from the camera, self-conscious -- not like the real me at ALL!
Anyway, this was me a year ago to the day:
198lbs. 4 weeks post-partum.
Then, one month into the process (or journey, or transformation, or change ... whatever we choose to call it):
And then, a few months later still, September came, 7 months in:
Before you know it, September turns to February, making me 365 days in, 61.2lbs lighter and over 60" smaller:
If anyone else had told me that they'd lost the same amount of weight, it would sound so different in my head to me: that is to say, I recognize it as a significant loss for someone else, but in my mind and my sight, I still see the same girl from April 2012, sticking out like a sore thumb from her group of fit and thin friends.
It's not all in the numbers.
I refuse to get rid of my scale because numbers certainly are a part of it -- and if we're talking numbers, I'd still like to lose about 15-20lbs and tone up -- but it's brought me so much more.
Now, I can run 5K.
Now, I look forward to working out.
Now, I spend time getting ready for a night out WITH my girlfriends, and not alone because I'm too self-conscious.
Now, I can shop in the Junior's section of JCP:
Yes, that is a kid's dress that I bought a few months ago that's actually a bit loose now.
Now, I look differently than I did in the same clothes from a year ago:
Yes, those are the same jeans from February 2012 to December 2012.
Now, I have a defined jaw line and don't worry about how many chins I have in my photos:
I'm hesitant to put this out there because a good, large part of me still harbours some self-consciousness. I don't feel "there" in my mind, but I'm working on playing catch-up.
When I started with MFP I'd look to the Success Stories and be blown away by what hard work and dedication could derive.
I'm a big supporter of paying things forward, so on the off-chance that the success I've had so far serves to keep someone here who is close to quitting, causes a newbie to stick around a little longer to check it out, or pushes someone who is close to their goal to keep reaching it ... well, then I'm happy to have shared, despite my hang ups.
It is possible to live without deprivation and be successful.
I have a small child at home now. My best friend passed away in May and I was devastated. From January 2012 to December 2012, we traveled constantly, going on 8 trips and vacations. I returned to work in December 2012, working rotating shifts in a demanding field.
And I still am continuing my loss.
The only thing I gave up was excuses.
I've got to thank my MFP family because, really, that's what they are: family. I've got friends who have been around since close to Day One and seen me through my incessant blog ramblings, my peaks and my valleys. YOU men and women have shown great success and it is your motivation, support, and dedication to yourselves that have helped me to realize that I, too, can offer that to myself and to others. I'm proud to call you my friends.
My best friend was my grandmother, and to have lost her in May was quite sincerely the most challenging thing I've ever had to endure. She was only 65 and had so much left ahead of her. My heart still has holes, but I am thankful to have my little family, and my daughter tries to fill them every day.
My grandmother always taught me to take pride in my appearance, and when I was pregnant she asked me if I was "going to try to lose the pregnancy weight right away." It was her words that resonated with me last year on this day and made me get busy. I wish she were here, because I know she would be proud.
I'm not blind to the fact that I've still got work to do .. or that what I have achieved could have been done in a fraction of the time. But, for once, I am looking forward to meeting my new goals.
Because that's what you do when you meet goals -- you make new ones.
Whatever your reasons and motivations, know that they are valid and they are worth it.
Best wishes to everyone continuing on their path to a happier and healthier lifestyle.
You, too, can stick with it ... and you'll be so happy that you did!