6 Years Ago….

Face Before/AfterI’m a sucker for all those timehop/memory features things that social media has these days. It’s always fun to remember what was going on in my life in the past. Today is one of those days I don’t need a reminder of. You might already know my story in some aspect or maybe you read about it but I wanted to share it again for those who maybe don’t know. 6 years ago this very day, I made a decision that would change the entire course of my life. I decided enough was ENOUGH. I was tired of being overweight, tired of my knees aching, tired of being a slave to food, tired of using food as a means to soothe my emotions, tired of not being able to wear any cute clothes, tired of accepting that I was just “big-boned” and tired of being trapped within my own skin. I had gotten to a point where I was starting to accept that I was never going to be anything but overweight/obese. For my entire adult life I had been this way and it seemed impossible to be anything else. I had tried diets, workouts, but nothing ever stuck and often times after losing a little weight, I’d gain it all back and then some.

Before & After6 years ago I was 244 pounds and there were times before that when I was even heavier. Today I am about 85 pounds lighter but my weight still fluctuates, last year I was at my lowest weight and that brought my total lost to 108 pounds. Since then I’ve gained a little bit back because I was less active because of back pain and even fell back into some old habits, but what changed 6 years ago is still true. For me it was two BIG things and although they might sound a little obvious, I assure you, it’s not just that cookie cutter “Diet and Exercise” change. It’s a little bit simpler than that and less daunting! I tell everyone.. if I can do it, anyone can.

So here’s the two MAIN things that completely changed everything for me:

  • Learning more about nutrition and how to make BETTER choices but most importantly, KEEPING TRACK of everything you eat. That might seem tedious, and it definitely takes an adjustment but it was incredibly ground-breaking for me because a lot of my problem was the amount of food I was consuming without even realizing. The mindless snacking, the bites here and there, the handful of this and that, the going back for seconds and not paying attention to portions. Just being accountable to keeping track of everything that I ate, really helped me to see what I was doing to myself. Here’s the thing, you can STILL EAT the not-so-healthy stuff. Just try to make wiser choices majority of the time. You hear all the time “moderation is key” and it’s pretty true, but you also have to know yourself and your pitfalls. For me, I really have to be wise about eating anything with sugar, because I have a bad sweet tooth and a sugar addiction, but I don’t completely deprive myself either because then you want it even more and when you mess up (and you will!) then you spiral back out of control!
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  • Getting Active. Plain and simple.. I know, I know… *insert a collective groan here* No, seriously.. don’t groan, don’t roll your eyes. It’s not as bad as you think! It honestly doesn’t take much. When I first started, I didn’t join a gym, I didn’t dive right in to a hardcore workout. I slowly added activity. I looked at my daily routine and tried to pick out the periods of time where I was being a couch potato and I simply replaced that with activity. You don’t have to give up Netflix to lose weight. I watched the same amount of TV and movies, I just eliminated the part about being glued to the couch. I stood up and marched in place while I watched tv. That’s it. That’s all I did to start. After that I added more and more. When I had lost most of my weight I was then fast-paced walking around 3 miles per day plus doing a 30 minute workout of my choice. I notice Fitbit added this new goal where they encourage you to have 250 steps for at least 9 hours of your day. It’s the same concept. The more active you are, the more calories you burn! Get active! Any way that is easy for you!
  • Beyond that.. a lot of it is a perspective change. Believe you can do it. Tell yourself you’re going to do it. And remember that you will have bad days, you will fall off track, you will still gain weight here and there… but don’t let it defeat you. A weight loss journey isn’t about watching the scale go down EVERY DAY or EVERY WEEK (it’s going to go up and down). It’s remembering where you started and your OVERALL progress and the downward trend.

    16-04-12-11-46-55-689_decoSo it’s been 6 years of ups and downs on the scale and ups and downs of life. Yes, I lost a lot of weight and my appearance has changed but if you ask me what changed most through this process, it wouldn’t be my appearance or my health. Making that decisions 6 years ago ended up being far more than just a healthy change. It was a life change. My personality evolved. My confidence boomed. It empowered me to believe I can truly do ANYTHING I put my mind to. Since then I have been more brave, I have been more social, I have been more able to step out of my comfort zone. I still can’t even believe myself sometimes. I used to be a very different person 6 years ago. So if I look back, one of the main reasons I am thankful for making that initial decision is because it gave me LIFE! It’s enabled me to actively pursue finding my purpose in life. It’s enabled me to do and try things I never would have tried 6 years ago. It’s unlocked a passion for health and fitness and encouraging others through their own journeys.

    Recently, even I have forgotten about that passion and today and right now as I’m remembering where I was 6 years ago, what I was facing 10 years ago. I’ve decided to get back on track. To find my will power again and to remember again, that I am stronger. I am stronger than that craving. I am stronger than that desire to be lazy. I am stronger than using food to soothe my emotions. For that matter… SO ARE YOU! So if you find yourself in that place that I was (and currently am), please don’t feel defeated. YOU ARE CAPABLE! And YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

    It’s very much a battle and a war with yourself that you are fighting, but you have to also be doing it for the right reasons. Do it for your health! Do it out of gratitude for being alive and having a body. Do it to stop taking your health and life for granted. Do it to extend your life. Do it so you can be a blessing and an inspiration to others. You’ll find if you have the right reasons, you will do far more than you ever expected or imagined!

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    Philippians 4:13