Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dear friend

Oh my.Time flies.Sorry I haven't posted.My new goal is to post every Sunday---at least for the next 3 months. That's my plan. I'm teaching a lesson at TOPS tomorrow about being focused and having a plan to have a very successful last quarter of the year. Blogging each Sunday is part of my plan. Perhaps next Sunday I will post details of my plan for the quarter.

Since I've been here last, I have hit my 80 pound mark. Yay! I can now fit (barely) into a size 20 skirt but I'm still wearing my size 22 skirt because the only 20 skirt I have has a split up to the kazoo and I need to sew a pretty piece of material in that before I wear it in public. I started my weight loss journey as a size 30.

I met someone recently who didn't know the 331 pound me. This friend is also on a weight loss journey So, the point of this post is to tell about the 331 pound me.

Dear friend,
I wonder what you see when you see me. Do you see me as morbidly obese? I am still classified as that, I think. In my mind, I'm no longer morbidly obese. I still have 60 pounds to lose,but after having lost the first 81 pounds, I'm feeling pretty healthy and confident these days. And so I wonder if you see me as healthy and confident or if you see me as obese. Not just you, but I wonder about people in general--how they see me. Not that it matters--I am what I am. And I know that I'm on my way to my goal weight and then no one will see me as obese.

Regardless of how you see me now, I want to paint a picture for you of my life 2 years ago and before. I've always been big. Really big. Maybe I could blame various people and various things for that, but that doesn't matter. For whatever reason, I've always been a big girl.

I have an outgoing personality but in my teen years, that personality was choked and died from ridicule from my peers. I had horrible teen years. Long story short, I was the school reject. It was so bad, I thought about suicide. But I was too scared. So I just became a hermit.

Fast forward to the early 2000's--I'm a mother of two kids and I weigh 331 pounds. My clothes are homemade because I couldn't get them to fit me. I owned one store bought skirt and it was a size 30. The rest were homemade. And they weren't pretty. They were horrid. Not that it mattered, because no matter how nicely I could have dressed---even if I could have afforded clothes from a specialty store---my obesity would still have been the first focus and thought of all that saw me.

I was so tired. I woke up late. I was always sleepy. I HAD to take a nap every day, just to survive. Things like washing dishes totally wiped me out. I was addicted to food. I would get a box of little debbie brownies and eat the whole box and then call my husband and tell him that I felt like I was going to pass out (duh, Amy. You just ate a box of brownies. Think that might be a tad bit much sugar?) I didn't want to be the way I was, but I couldn't break free.

I could eat massive amounts of food before I could feel full. Of course, during all this time, I lied to myself and told myself that I ate normally.

We went out to eat with our church one night, and the only place to sit was booths. I didn't fit. I was humiliated. I spent the entire time refilling people's drinks for them, getting a spoon, going to the bathroom, etc., just so I wouldn't be sitting down, because I couldn't.

Speaking of church, I felt ashamed to be so big because I felt like I was a reproach, a blemish, a flaw, a defect in the body of Christ---because of my obesity.

I wore out shoes incredibly fast---probably from my weight putting so much pressure on them.

My back hurt and sometimes it would "go out" and I couldn't do anything but lay down on the couch for days.

I couldn't fit the seat belt in the backseat of my husband's car or in my van.

We went to a concert in a school auditorium that had movie theater style seating. Truthfully, I didn't fit but because I was so embarrased, I forced my fat to squeeze in between those arm rests (and overflowed into the surrounding seats). It hurt so bad. I was in pain as I sat there and ripping myself back out of those seats was even worse. If I remember correctly, it left scrapes on my hips that bled.

I joined TOPS and ho-hummed around and didn't really do much. I gained 5 and lost 5 over and over. Finally, I lost 20 and then I spent about 2 years just sitting there juggling 5 pounds.

I met a friend who decided to take me under her wing and help me. SHE WAS A GOD-SEND. She spoke positive things into my life (such as the day when she discovered that I didn't like fruits or veggies and she said something to the effect of "Well, since you are going to become the TOPS queen, you are going to learn to like them" instead of "You can never become the queen since you don't like them". Guess what?! I do like them now! She started me slowly with bananas and taught me to learn to like new foods. You really CAN retrain your taste buds!). She read my food diaries and made comments about my choices. She REQUIRED that I exercise 6 days per week,eat my fruits and veggies, stay in calorie range and drink enough water. I texted her every single night and gave a full report of my calorie count, number of fruits and veggies, amount of exercise and amount of water. She was tough on me. But that is just what I needed. Even now,when I see that I am slacking up a bit, or when I'm pushing hard for a goal, I will go back to texting her.
I was improving but I still felt very addicted and bound to some very unhealthy habits. I felt that those addictions had more control over me than I had over my own self. It was also at this time that I went to a health seminar that mentioned that the pH level of diet soda is only one number different than that of battery acid. (NOT GOOD!)At this point, I had 113 pounds left to goal (or maybe it was 118--I can't remember which number). So, I decided that I would go on a 113 day fast from dessert, fast food, and soda. It wasn't easy. But I did it!!!!! The fast did 2 things for me that were obvious-- it proved to me that I COULD say no to temptation and it got me past the withdrawl symptoms (which are very real) from these addictions. You'd think I'd lose a ton of weight during that fast. I didn't. I overcompensated with way too much mac & cheese, etc. But it did show me that I could do hard things. And now, I'm not a soda drinker.

September 2011, I made a focused effort to be happy. I actually wrote it down as a goal>>>This month I will be happy no matter what! It did wonders. I started reading motivational literature. I started thinking positively and listening to happy music. I told myself that I was pretty. And the weight loss increased in speed. I do think the brain is the best weight loss tool we have!

Now all the seat belts fit, I can fit in any booth or theater seat, and this weekend....I.....(wait for it....) I KAYAKED! (think canoe). Yes, I kayaked! I fit in it! And I even fit the life jacket! You know, like a normal person! *high five* Being normal is so much fun :)

So here we are with 3 months left in the year. Tomorrow at TOPS, we are all going to establish goals for the remainder of the year--- weight goals, physical fitness goals, and miscellaneous goals. My weight goal is going to be to end this year with a 100 pound loss. Depending on what I weigh at tomorrow's weigh-in, that may be a 20-25 pounder. I will have to focus. I will have to push and work very hard. But I can do it. And guess what? You can do the exact same thing. I know you can. I just want to give you a big hug and jump up and down with excitement about the new freedoms you will be finding very soon as your health improves day by day! Every day, tell yourself "Today I am heavier than I will ever be again...tomorrow I will be lighter and smaller and healthier than I am today!"

Goodness, I love this! How exciting!

Until next Sunday,
~Amy aka thatTOPSlady