Wednesday, August 24, 2011

100 Pounds Gone!

Weight loss charms to mark my progress.
I have lost 100 pounds since beginning my weight loss/healthy living journey over two and half years ago!  I am still a bit in awe and don't think I have fully comprehended it.  Obviously it has been a long journey and it is not over yet (I still have more to lose) but being rid of 100 extra pounds is literally and figuratively a weight off my back.
November 2008 and August 2011
I decided to make a change in how I was living my life in December 2008.  In January 2009 I joined Weight Watchers to help me on my journey.  The tools and support they provided was just what I needed along with the support from my mom and my own determination to change my life.
I was tired of feeling tired, unhealthy, sore, and uncomfortable in my own skin.  I have been overweight, actually obese, most of my life and have tried several times over the years to lose weight.  After my latest attempt in high school, I kind of gave up.  
When I went off to college I slowly began to put on more weight.  I noticed it, but didn't want to acknowledge the fact of how unhealthy I was so I ignored it and pushed it to the back of my mind.  Of course, this can work for a little while, but it had a way of creeping back up every now and again.  I was uncomfortable - getting dressed, going shopping, sitting in class, going out.  I was just going through the motions of life and if I sat and thought about it, I wasn't happy.  

I wanted to do something to change this, but felt like I had tried so many things and didn't know what to do next.  After watching and listening to an Oprah show and supplementary podcast with Dr. Oz and Bob Greene, I had my own "Aha! moment."  I deserved to be happy and healthy and the best me I could be; I was worth it.  Perhaps it seems simple, but I had never really though about that before.  
The original notes I posted in my room.  They are still hanging up!
It took me a year to lose the first 50 pounds.  The next 50, about a year and half.
I posted positive messages around my room.
I began focusing on eating less and tracking my food.  
I later added exercise- walking and some at home DVDs.  
I stopped drinking diet coke. 
I began to eat more real foods and took the time to read food labels.  
I attended a group fitness class at the university gym with a friend.  
I discovered the healthy living blog community.  
I tried new foods and loved them.
I started running and strength training.  
I completed races and eventually two half marathons.  

It took time and effort to lose those 100 pounds.  It wasn't as easy as that list makes it seem.  There were plenty of set backs, moments of doubt, and discouragement.   It is difficult to reshape how you live your life. Those are all the small steps I had to take to get where I am today.  I am OK with how long it took.  I wouldn't have learned all that I have it had been faster.  

Seeing pictures of my old self is difficult, because I know how unhappy I was and they remind me of all of the time I wasted being like that.  However, I try not to dwell on that because although that me was unhappy, I ultimately made the choice to change how I was living my life and become healthier.  I am happy and proud of that. 
I am a different person than I was two years ago.  I was much quieter then, not wanting to draw attention to myself.  I always felt like I could be myself around my family and close friends, but with other people it was different.  It's like I was locked up and didn't know where the key was so I could be me.  Some of these feelings disappeared as I grew up, but not until the past two years have I felt like the real me.  I think some of it is just growing up, but I know that it also has to do with losing weight, getting healthier, and trying new things.  Today I am a happier version of me.  I have discovered tons of new things about myself through this journey.  In my wildest dreams I thought about losing 100 pounds and I cannot believe it has become a reality!

A positive attitude, determination, and hope are the three things that have helped me in my journey.  I feel like this is who I am supposed to be.  This is how I want to live my life and that is a huge motivation to keep going!  Yes, there are still moments of doubt and negativity, but they are far less frequent.  I have changed for the better and don't plan on ever going back.

My journey is not over, but this is a huge accomplishment for me and I just wanted to share.   A big thanks to my family and the blogging community for the motivation and support; it really means a lot!