Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What flipped the switch

For those of us who need to lose weight, or even those who don't have a lot to lose & just want to look/feel better, there is always that one moment that propels us to get on the healthy wagon. It could be a photo, an article of clothing you can no longer fit into, or even an activity you are now struggling to do. Honestly, it could be a number of things. All that matters is you're getting healthy, and you're most definitely not alone on the journey.

I've always been the fat kid/girl. The way I dealt with being made fun of, was to make fun of myself first. I still find myself making jokes at my own expense, just ask my friends. Though, I don't see it as a bad thing. It's honestly more of a way to show that I have a sense of humor about my situation. Also, once I crack a joke, it makes it less appealing for someone else to do the same. While I was growing up, I used to play sports with the guys. I loved doing that, and honestly wish I would have just sucked it up and committed myself to getting healthy by playing sports back then. There are a number of reasons why that didn't happen, that maybe I can get into in another blog post.

Back then basketball was the love of my life. Around 5th or 6th grade I learned to play and realized I was quite good. Through Junior High and High School I played basketball in my free time with the neighborhood boys, at youth group, and at open gym through my church. Even for being large, I was good. When I would play, people actually wanted me on their team. I would take a basketball class in gym class every semester, which lead to my gym teachers always telling me I need to join the basketball team. I considered it for awhile, and in my sophomore year I was ready to try out for the team. Sad to say, once one of the things we had to pass was running the mile, I knew I was a goner. I was already quite large and running a mile in an acceptable time frame was just not something I could do. So, I didn't end up going for the try out. I honestly kick myself every day for that. Maybe I wouldn't have done all that great, but that could have also been the start to me getting healthy. Also, with my skills it was very possible I would have made the team.. which makes me think about what could have been. It's not a nice thought, and that is always a failure in the back of my mind.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I had a couple of things flip the switch in my head telling me I need to get healthy. The main one happened in 2009. In November of 2009 there was a birthday dinner and night out for my best friend Michelle. A group of us met up downtown Chicago at the Grand Luxe for dinner, and then we hit a couple bars for drinks afterwards. I had a great time, and our friends took a lot of pictures. The moment came when I saw those pictures on FaceBook. I was shocked and honestly, ended up untagging myself in most of them. I mean, I knew I was big (of course!), but I looked TERRIBLE. I hated those pictures, and after seeing them, I had a little but of a mini breakdown. I just, didn't take very well to the photos. After that, I started to make more of a conscious effort to eat better. It did take awhile for me to get into the swing of things, and I did fall off the wagon several times, but this time it finally stuck for me and I'm SO happy about that.

Those right there are two of the photos from that night. I was the heaviest I had EVER been at this point. Maybe someday I'll share the actual number with you all. I hate even looking at those photos and sharing them here, but I know eventually I'll be able to look back at them as a stepping stone. They will be a reminder of where I've come from & just how far I've come. The plus is, even after falling off the wagon quite a few times, I've lost a total of 47 lbs since this photo. So, I've already made progress, and I am proud of myself for that.

I guess the reason I posted this blog is because I know there are a lot of you out there who have already had the "oh my gosh, I need to get healthy" moment, and there are others that are just having that moment now. Or maybe you are at the healthiest point in your life, but know someone who may be going through this. Either way, I wanted to show that anyone taking that step toward being healthy is not alone. It is possible to get healthy. It is possible to lose the weight. Even if you have a lot of weight to lose like me, IT IS POSSIBLE. You just have to really want it. You have to be dedicated to getting healthy. And, there are so many options out there to get healthy.

What options did I choose for myself? I chose to do it all natural. I'm eating better & cleaner, tracking my calories, and working on moving more. Don't get me wrong, I had thought about weight loss surgery, but the idea of surgery scares me. I know I know, people go through surgeries all the time, but I'm a wuss. But, it was a thought. The reason I decided to forego the surgery was the fact that, by the grace of God I'm not a diabetic, and I don't have any health issues that would require me to go the surgery route. If I did, and dropping the weight was something I needed to do more quickly, it is definitely something I would do. I know a few people who have had weight loss surgery and are having success with it. They love the decision they made, and are feeling great! Any way you break it down, no matter what the method, getting healthy and losing weight is hard work. It takes a lot of strength, drive, and determination. We also need to remember that we didn't get like this overnight, so it's not going to come off overnight either. It takes time, and in the grand scheme of things, all the time and hard work is SO worth it.

And honestly, I want to thank all of you who read this for your continued support of my journey. Knowing I have you all in my corner makes this journey a little bit easier. And if you're also on a journey of your own, I hope my blog helps you on yours. We're in this together! So thank you for reading. I think my next entry will be my goals post, so stay tuned!

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