Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cleaning out the closets

Well, I did it. Probably one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever done. I took my XXL clothes and retired them. I have been wearing XXL for EVER. When I would buy clothes, I would automatically choose the XXL. It is my comfort zone. What I know. Being a XXL is all I have ever known. Even just the other day when I bought new clothes, I automatically reached for the XXLs...you know, just in case.

Just in case, what? In case I stay fat? In case I...fail? That isn't an option. Going back to that way of life, isn't an option. Being that size again is not a thought I even want to entertain. Because, plain and simple, it can't happen.

I will admit, getting rid of my XXL clothes was hard. It was like removing my safety net. Those XXL shirts were always there for me to hide behind when I gained weight. I could hide behind those shirts and eat...and gain...as much as my chubby heart desired.

But, by keeping those items in my closet, I was giving myself permission to fail. I was giving myself permission to gain back the weight, because the clothes were there. Now, with them gone, there is no failing. There is no going back to the way that I was.

Shopping for XL clothes is still weird for me. I feel like I still belong in the Plus size of the stores. I feel like I need to have those XXL shirts in my closet. For so long, being overweight defined ME. It was who I was. I can't hide behind this fat girl anymore. I can't stand here and give myself permission to fail.

So, I've cleaned out my closets. Giving myself permission to move forward and succeed.

It's My Time

For the past 8 years, my life has been all about others around me. I have been having babies, getting married

Monday, November 29, 2010

Perpetually Fat No More

Yesterday marked one month since I had my brutal wake up call and started working with my trainer, Luke. During the past month I had to face the dreaded halloween candy and a Thanksgiving meal X 2. When I first started this journey, I did not expect success. I have lost (and gained) the same 10 pounds (and usually gained more) over and over. I had resigned myself to living a life that was unhealthy.

A month ago, I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. It made me ill. Luke forced me to stare that fat girl down day in and day out. He made me tell her "goodbye." Slowly, but surely, the fat girl has retreated. Sure, she still is quite loud at times,  but now, I can look at myself in the mirror and see ME. The me I am supposed to be. The me that I want to be. I am not ashamed anymore.

For the first time in forever, I bought new clothes and cut and colored my hair. When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't see the "perpetual fat girl". I see someone who has overcame, and continues to overcome, what used to appear as insurmountable obstacles. A month ago, I had no confidence. I felt that I had nothing of worth to contribute.

Today I discovered that over the course of the last month, I have lost 10 1/2 inches overall off of my body. With the biggest loss coming from my hips. 10 1/2!  That is 10 1/2 more than I ever expected to lose. I  have lost 18 pounds while working with Luke this past month. I am 5 pounds away from leaving the 200's behind forever. It has been 4 years since I could say that I weighed less than 200 pounds.

This road hasn't been an easy one, and it only promises to get tougher as time goes on. But it is one that I am glad that I took. My life is better now because I chose to take that first step towards reigning in my weight and battling my food addiction.

The 2011 Chicago Marathon is in October (with as many 5 and 10ks as i can run before then)...and the finish line has my name on it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I bit the bullet and weighed myself this morning

Well yesterday was Thanksgiving and this morning was *dum dum dum* weigh in morning. I stared at the scale for a good twenty minutes before I stepped on it. I was mentally preparing myself for what I was certain I would see, something I always see this time of year...a gain. I was mentally preparing myself for the emotions that I knew would flow once I stepped on the scale. I was already planning out in my head the email I would send my trainer "Luke, I failed..."

I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and stepped on the scale. All the while telling myself it didn't matter how much the gain was, I could fix it.

I stood on the scale with my eyes closed for 5 minutes.

I couldn't look at the display. I was so close to officially losing 30 pounds. So close to reaching my goal of being under 200 before Christmas. So close. I knew that if I looked at that display, my determination would shatter. My confidence would waver.

I slowly cracked open one eye and looked down. My heart skipped a beat or two. I opened my other eye. A tear fell down my cheek.

My weight on Tuesday~ 208 pounds. 2 pounds away from officially losing 30 pounds. 8 pounds away from my first goal.

My weight today, after a yummy Thanksgving dinner last night~ 206 pounds!

That is right. As of today I have officially lost 30 pounds. I am 30 pounds less than I was in my before picture. 30 pounds.

I never imagined I would lose 3 pounds let alone 30 pounds. And to step on that scale, after Thanksgiving no less, and see that I have done it. I was true to my promise to not gain a single pound this Thanksgiving. I lost two pounds.

I feel amazing this morning. I am now 6 pounds away from weighing less than 200 pounds for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

30 pounds gone. 46 pounds away from my final goal.

Bring it!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Well, it's here. One of my favorite holidays. Thanksgiving. While it is one of my favorite, it is also one of my most feared. But, I am not fearing it this year. I am in control of things this year, not the other way around.

I  have plenty to be Thankful for this year.

*I am thankful for my kids. Thankful for their ability to love me unconditionally.

*I am thankful for Luke, my personal trainer. He works me hard. But he also has the compassion and understanding that makes him a wonderful trainer. Plus, he continues to work with me even when I am as stubborn as a mule. :)

*I am thankful for Steve. He may not understand why I do this. But, he let's me do this. I know that he is uncertain if I will ultimately succeed and that is what drives me harder.

*I am thankful for my friends. I have the most amazing group of friends that a girl could ask for. Every single one of them has a permanent place in my life. I am forever grateful for them all. :)

*I am thankful that I am was broken. Because being broken allowed me to explore options to "fix" me. Being broken made me open my eyes to my eating disorder, how dangerously overweight I really was, and that I desperately needed a change.

*I am thankful for my life. Right now. While I may not have all the material things I want. I have so much more. I have family, friends, and for the first time...my health.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I want to quit

There, I said it. I want to quit. I woke up this morning with my muscles begging for mercy. Merely lifting my arms is uncomfortable. And I am tired. More than tired, I am exhausted. I have stepped it up, big time, in antcipation of the holidays and the fact that I am so close to my first goal. I want it. I can taste it. Yet, I still want to quit.

I don't want to measure my food anymore. I don't want to count my calories. I don't want to have limit my consumption of all the holiday goodness. I don't want to have to forgo the Pecan Pie that I love so much. I. Just. Don't. Want. To.

I should quit. Yes, you heard me right, I should. Because that is who I am was. I don't like pain. I miss my Dairy Queen. And do you realize, that the Mcrib is currently at Mcdonalds? One of my all-time favorite fast food sandwiches ever. And I not have had a single sandwich. Not one. I constantly doubt myself too.

But, I won't quit. More than that, I can't. Giving up now would mean throwing away all of the hard work and dedication that I have put into this. Giving up now would mean telling Luke, sorry,but all those hours you spent with me were wasted. It would mean going back to the way I was before. Overweight. Slowly killing myself with food.

I can't quit. I owe it not only to everybody that has stood beside me and cheered me one and my family. But I owe it to me. I owe it to myself. To stick this out, no matter how tough it may be.

I think that as I have ventured further in this journey, things have gotten harder. I have had to push myself harder everytime I work with Luke, each time I step foot into the gym. I am hard on myself too. If I can't lift a certain weight or feel like I fall short of Luke's expectations, I am dissappointed in myself. I know I shouldn't be. I should celebrate being able to lift weights at all, do the crunches, do the treadmill. I should celebrate the strides that I have made.

So, yes, I want to quit. There are times I think I should quit. But, I won't quit.

"Pain is only temporary. Quitting is forever"~Lance Armstrong

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Overwhelmed

I haven't posted too much recently. Not because I don't have anything, but because I don't know what to say. There is so much running around in my head lately, that seperating the threads is a task in and of itself.

When I originally started this journey, I didn't expect it to be successful. (I know, talk about setting yourself up for failure..right?) Because, let's face it...I had failed many, many, times in the past. I didn't have a healthy relationship with food, and I knew that, but didn't know how to change that. I was stuck. So, when I started this, I didn't expect success.

I am now down to 210 pounds. I have lost 3 1/2 inches around the waist and dropped a size in clothing. I am 10 pounds shy of my mini goal of less than 200 pounds by Christmas Eve. For the first time in...forever...I am so close to achieving my goals. I feel like I can actually acomplish them.

With this feeling, comes a huge sense of being overwhelmed. I am sure that it may sound stupid, or maybe you understand, but this journey, all of its successes (and failures) have left me feeling extremely overwhelmed.

Today I met with my personal trainer, Luke. I did things during my hour with him, that I haven't been able to do. I have improved on things. I am getting stronger. And thinner. He told me that I was doing a great job. And while I should be happy, and I was to an extent, I was overwhelmed.

I never expected to be here.

I never expected to reclaim my life. And find an inner happiness that has long been absent. I never expected to be able to look into the mirror and be proud of what I see. No longer is a self concious, unhappy, grossly overweight girl staring back at me. Instead, in her place, is a girl who is finding out who she is and what she is capable of. And it scares me.

I am scared of failing. I have a wonderful support group. I have made it a point of surrounding myself with people who are geuinely supportive. People who can share my successes and help me overcome my failures. I am scared of letting them down. And for every person that is in my corner, cheering me on, there are two waiting for me to fail. Looking for ways to bring me down. And that overwhelms me.

I am in a position now, where I want to and am able to help people who are walking the path I am walking. I have recieved emails from people, thanking me for being so open and honest. For inspiring them. For helping them look at their lives and what they can do to make changes. I have never been called an inspiration before.

So, I am overwhelmed. I am trying to figure out how to best manage everything. I am working on shedding the heay armor of self doubt that has shrouded me for so long. Trying to figure out how to reach out to others. Just trying to remember to breathe.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuna and Canilini Bean Salad

Since I started on this journey, I have gotten to love beans. Garbanzo beans, Black Beans, Canilini beans. Prior to losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle, the only beans I ever ate were green beans.

The other night, the husband made spaghetti for the kiddos and himself. I don't eat pasta now unless it is whole wheat and since I am the only one who eats whole wheat pasta, I decided that I didn't want to cook pasta just for me that night. So I raided my cupboards and came up with a yummy bean and tuna recipe.

Tuna and Canilini Bean Salad

  • 1 can Canilini Beans (opt for low sodium)
  • 1 5oz can of Tuna (in water, not oil)
  • 1tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olives (optional...I am weird I like black olives)
  • 1/3 cup red onions sliced in thin strips
What to do:
  1. Drain water from tuna and dump in a bowl, break up tuna with a fork
  2. Drain liquid from beans and add to tuna
  3. add onions and olives (if using)
  4. Add the vinegar and season to taste
You can serve this at room temp.

Makes about 6 1 cup servings at just around 200 calories.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Taking On Thanksgiving

Image via Google Images
Well, it is just about that time of year again. I love this time of year. I am a holiday type of girl. If my husband would let me, my christmas tree would so be up right now (along with the inflatable snowment I am hoping  going to buy, whether he likes it or not.) I love spending time with my family, listening to the holiday music, watching A Christmas Story for the one billionth time. Oh, and we can't forget... the food.

Yes, the food. Every fat girls dream. A kitchen table filled to the gills with yummy pies and cookies. Ham and Turkey. Stuffing. Rolls. And mashed taters. Mountains of mashed taters with extra butter.

*Cue the noise of brakes screeching to a halt.*

Thanksgiving and Christmas--ah, who the hell am I kidding, the entire MONTH from Thanksgiving to Christmas--has always been a huge downfall. Especially because I had a food addiction. I had to eat it. All of it. All 3,000 and some calories. Plus the leftovers. Can't forget the cold turkey sandwiches with mayo (I promise Luke, if you read this, I won't indulge in the behaviors listed above. Especially the mountains of taters and extra butter. And for those of you wondering, Luke is my fabulous trainer. The one who opened my eyes to my food addiction.) It is so easy to undo everything that I have worked my ass off for recently. Especially because I am having two Thanksgiving meals this year. Yes two meals. I will admit, I have been worrying, a lot, about the upcoming holiday weekend. I have visions of everything that I have worked so hard for, coming undone by those mountains of mashed taters and extra butter (Did I mention I love mashed potatoes? Didn't think so.)

So, this year, I am taking on Thanksgiving. I decided that, rather than A.)Worry so much that I don't enjoy the holiday or B.)Don't worry at all and end up with a weight gain, that I am going to meet myself in the middle by acknowledging the worry and telling myself, for the first year ever, me, not the food, is in control.

Did you hear that? I am in control!

I have made a promise to myself that I will not gain a single pound this holiday weekend. (Okay, Okay, holiday season...gotta be honest here). Instead, I will be more aware of what I am putting on my plate and in my mouth.

Holidays past have found me with a plate, filled to the brim, with everything, and I mean everything on the table. Not to mention the leftovers my mom sends with me, because it is just her and my step dad. So, I binge. And I binge. And I binge. I bake cookies. I bake pies. And I binge.

Not this year! I have purchased a "special" plate for myself this year. I have bought a child's sized plate that has those little dividers on it. That will be my portion size. I will have mashed sweet potates. Turkey rather than ham. And veggies. Loads and loads of veggies. Before I eat my meals that weekend I will drink plenty of water.

I am sure that some may laugh at my plate this year....

I don't care. Because I would rather be laughed at for having a weird plate then laughed at for being fat.

So, bring it on Thanksgiving....I am ready for you.

(I think)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are You Listening? (My Plea To You)

In The Beginning (232-235 pounds)
Yep, that's me. Or that was me. The me then. Then I weighed somewhere between 232 and 235 pounds. Roughly 20 pounds ago. It was that picture that started the wheels of change turning in my head. But, it would be months before I actually acted on them. 4 months to be exact.

For the last  year, and even before I got pregnant with my 4th kid, people where telling me that I needed to lose weight. Doctors, family, friends, the reflection in the mirror. But, I tuned them out, ate another candy bar, bought the next size up in clothing and continued living my life.

Do you know that in that picture, I was slowly killing myself? With food?

I never thought that I would be one to lose 5 pounds, let alone the 20 I have shed since I have started this whole journey. 11 of the pounds came of in the last three weeks. I thought my weight problem was just a minor bump in the road.

But what do you do when you are nearly 50% body fat? Or your blood pressure is so high you could be at risk for a stroke?

If you are me, you listen. You listen to those around you that are begging you to be healthy. But, most importantly--you listen to YOU.

No one can help you  until you are ready--and willing--to help yourself. But, in order to help yourself, you need to listen.

Stop making excuses. Just DO IT.

Don't tell yourself you can't. Tell yourself you WILL

When that fat girl (or guy) inside of you tells you that you can't do this, you will only fail, tell them WATCH ME.

If I can do this, I firmly believe that anyone can. I used to sit on the couch and stuff my face for hours on end. To tired to play with my kids. To tired to do anything. When the fat girl inside told me I would fail, I never even tried.

Now, I go to the gym 3-4 times (or more) a week. I work out at home nearly everynight. I work with a personal trainer. I go to fitness classes. I am now a Beachbody Coach and hope to take the classes to teach Turbo Fire in Feb.

So, my question to you is--are you listening? Are you listening to YOU? I can't help you, no one can help you until you are ready to help yourself.

Are you ready?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I don't have a healthy relationship with food

I am just going to say it...I don't have a healthy relationship with food. It is one that leaves me feeling defeated at times. It is one that sends fear through my body when I realize that I need to eat more to reach my daily calorie count. Plain and simple...food scares me.

Now, to be fair, it wasn't always this way. At least I wasn't always scared of food. Food has always manipulated and controlled my life. But I was content with that relationship. Even if it was unhealthy. I didn't care. I was an addict. i didn't care as the weight piled on. I didn't care that my clothes didn't fit. All I cared about was my next "fix".

Then I became aware. I realized what I was doing. I realized that my food addiction was slowly killing me. It was robbing me of my time with my children, my husband. My life.

I started working harder. Eating less. Drastically cutting my calorie intake. By a lot. The first 7 pounds flew off. Then it was a one pound loss. Still good...at least it wasn't a gain.

Then, this week, after a pulled muscle and a boot camp class that had me questioning my sanity, I gained. Gained. All that hard work was for nothing.

I emailed my personal trainer (who, by the way is a godsend for putting up with my neurotic ways) "What the hell am I doing wrong?"  His response? I needed to eat more calories...of the good stuff. Then I wouldn't be tempted to over eat. There are times that I am honestly not aware that I am eating.

That scared the hell out of me. He wants me to eat more? In my mind, that is only a few hundred calories off of where I was before...you know, when I gained all that weight.

The thought of eating that much seriously send me in to a mini anxiety attack.

That is how much of a control food seems to have on my life. Every day is a battle. Each one tougher then the one that preceeded it. This is just as much, if not more, of a mental battle as a physical one.

At least, I am at the point where I can admit that I don't have a healthy relationship with food. Now, I just have to focus on making it better.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Looking For An Easy Fix?

Life should be like the Staples commercial. You know, the one with the easy button? Imagine how much easier life would be with an easy fix. Especially when it comes to losing weight and eating better. Everyone is looking for an easy fix.

Sorry to tell you. There is no such thing as an easy fix. I  have tried every diet or diet pill known to man. Each one promising me that it would be easy to lose weight. Easy. That is what I wanted. I wanted this whole thing to be easy. I didn't want to have to work my ass of in a gym. I didn't want to have to give up my Mcdonalds. I wanted to take those pills that claimed to make this easy...and be done with it.

I learned there is no easy way. Sure, I could follow those restrictive diets. Swallow those nasty tasting horse pills daily. But as soon as the diet was over or the pills were gone, I was right back to where I started. Overweight and unhappy.

I used to blame myself. I mean it was right there on the box "Lose weight fast and easy". So what was I missing? Why was I failing? What was wrong with me?

The problem was, I never learned proper coping skills. I never identified that I had a food addiction. I never developed the tools that I needed to successfully overcome this beast.

Here is the thing, if you never learn to deal with your triggers, if you never retrain yourself, you are never going to succeed. Instead, you will find yourself in a dangerous Yo-Yo situation.

It takes work. A lot of hard work. It takes dedication. It takes wanting to change. I see my personal trainer 1 to 2 times a week, go to the gym 3 to 4 days a week. Work out at home. I have modified my eating habits. I am always aware of the choices that I am making, of the food that I am eating. I sweat. I cry. I work hard.

When it comes to weight loss...there is no easy way to do it.  You have to want it. You have to crave it. You have to own it.

Even if there was an easy fix, I wouldn't take it. Not now. This journey, as painful physically and emotionally as it is, is one that has opened my eyes. It is one that has taught me so much about me. It is the one that will teach me so much more. If there was an easy fix, I would have missed out on my bootcamp class, a crucial turning point for me. Each obstacle has only served to further strengthen my resolve.

There is no easy way. But, if you want it bad enough, then you will do it. Easy or not.

The Fat Girl Inside Me Is Crying

Since I have started this journey, the fat girl inside me has had plenty to say. Mostly she has mumbled under her breath..."you know, if you stop this foolishness we can go to Dairy Queen." and "Go ahead, this won't last long"  For the most part, though, I have been able to ignore her.

Lately, however, her cries have been getting louder. The "who are you kidding"s and "You can't do this"s are nawing at my brain all day. She is holding fast to my pant leg like a two year old in the midst of a temper tantrum. "What are you DOING!?" 

I figured out that the fat girl inside me is scared. For so long, she has been in control of what I do, think, say, and of course, eat. She has controlled me. She has kept me in this comfort zone.

Over the past few weeks, I have been taking steps outside of my comfort zone. Hiring a personal trainer, going to the gym, go public about my food addiction, taking a group class. And it is scary to the fat girl inside of me.

I have spent so much of my life feeling insecure. My confidence non exisistent. The idea of actually being free from the bonds that my weight and food have placed on me is scary. I don't know what it is like to be confident. To feel secure.

Each day that I continue moving forward, I am leaving the fat, insecure girl inside me behind.  I am saying goodbye to her controlling ways. I am freeing myself from her self doubting, self destructive ways.

i am chosing to own my life. Own my choices. No matter what the fat girl says...I. Can. Do. This.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One...Two...At least I didn't puke on my shoes!

Tonight, my personal trainer taught bootcamp at the gym. I had seriously contemplated NOT going. I mean, I knew that this was going to be WAY out of my league. I am the fat girl...remember? But I went. I knew that if I was going to leave behind this fat insecure Melissa, I needed to do this. Time to step out of my comfort zone.

I started out the class by wiping out. Yep. 5 minutes into class and I fell. Hard. I can laugh at it now. But, at the time, I wanted to cry. I have a nice bruise on my side from it. I warned Luke I was a klutz...

There were times during the class I wanted to just quit. Like during the 75 jumping jacks. Or the 120 leg lifts (60 per side) or the never ending sprints. But I didn't quit. I wanted to cry. Every time Luke asked me if I was okay, I simply nodded. I knew if I opened my mouth I would cry. The pain was intense.  Harder than anything that I have done thus far.

But I did it. Even though I fell, even though I had to push myself to not stop, even though I seriously thought I would puke on my shoes, I did it.

I kept telling myself that with each step, crunch, and leg lift, I was leaving that fat girl behind. The girl that walked into that room was NOT the girl who was hobbling like an 80 year old walking out of that room.

I owned it tonight. I poured my body and soul into that class tonight. I proved to myself that I CAN DO THIS.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nobody said it would be easy...

"They just promised it would be worth it."

Isn't that how the saying goes? There is nothing easy about this. At all. Not that I expected it to be smooth sailing. I knew that there would be challenges. But, I didn't expect it to be as difficult as it has been.

When I first started this journey, I kept it to myself for the most part. I felt like no one would understand the struggles that I faced. Not to mention, I was embarassed that I was a food addict. I mean, of all the things to be addicted to, I was addicted to food.

As I have walked this path a little more, I have been more open. I talk relatively freely about my food addiction. I have a strong desire to help others who are in the same boat. I have met some wonderful people who truly support me and my goals.

There are some people, however, who don't. When I tell them I want to run The Chicago Marathon, they laugh. When I talk about what I am doing, they roll their eyes and say "You will never change". As much as I want need them to believe in me, they don't.

It is hard to believe in yourself when no one else does.

I have a wonderful personal trainer, Luke. When I told him I wanted to run that marathon, I expected him to laugh. Hysterically. Instead, he told me he knew I could do it. He sent me an email after I wrote him talking about obstacles. He told be he believed in me. I have a great group of friends. Lisa, Francee,Melissa, Aimee...all of them hold me up when I feel like I can't do this.

These are people, all of them, who are walking or have walked, the same path I am on.

Yea, no one said it would be easy....

But it is definately worth it.

And for those that tell me I can't....

It only makes me want it more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Have You Thought About Joining Team Beachbody

Right now, it is free to become a coach with Team Beachbody. Use the products you love and get paid to be fit!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Never Thought That I Would Be That Person

I have been in a serious funk lately. I wake up feeling crappy, I go through the motions of my day, I go to bed feeling crappy. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Seriously, it sucks. There really hasn't been a reason why this funk has descended on me...it is just here.

In the past, I dealt with this funk one way, and one way only...I ate. Everything. It made me feel better. Or atleast I convinced myself it did.

This time, though, eating like that was not an option that I was even willing to explore. Nope. And undo everything I have worked towards recently. Nuh-uh. No way.

So, I had to find something productive to do. I tried playing World Of Warcraft. I know, it isn't productive but atleast it kept me busy. But, I couldn't focus long enough to kill the end instance boss.

Today, I had enough of it. I was stressed to the max. The loads of Halloween Candy was beckoning me from atop the fridge. The kids were fighting. The husband was sleeping. I was D.O.N.E.

As soon as the husband woke up..I bolted. Laced up my shoes, grabbed my iPod and bag and left.

I headed straight for the gym. I needed it. I craved it.

I pounded out a few miles on the treadmill and then worked on some weights. I sweated. A lot. I pushed myself hard today...

For the first time, I was not the person who reaches for food in a stressful situation. Instead, I became that person who is proactive instead of reactive.

I was proud of myself. Because I am learning better and healthier ways to deal with stress. Instead of eating, the only thing my body wanted was to pound it out on the treadmill. All my body wanted was an hour of just me, the machines, and my iPod.

It was great.