My Weight Loss Rollercoaster

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Looks like fun, right?

It’s really not. Over the past six years, I’ve been on this crazy wild right and I’m ready to get off it for good.

Over the past eight months, I have been working hard to be healthy.  The most recent dip in the scale has come from some really hard work and eating differently than I ever have before.

Here I am at probably my heaviest along the way, the left photo is Christmas time 2011 and the right photo is Christmas 2013.

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A big change happened for me after watching the documentary, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. Joe Cross at http://www.rebootwithjoe.com, had lots of resources and material to go on this amazing juicing journey.  I was ready to make the commitment.  I bought a juicer, went to the grocery store and set out toward health.  It wasn’t about just losing weight, it was about improving my life.  I was very fortunate to have an amazing supportive husband at home that washed and chopped and helped keep me motivated along the way.  It would have been much more difficult to see my family enjoying there regular meals without his help.  He was my rock.

I went through multiple mental shifts through this time. The first being just how I felt about food.  Food was always a comfort for me.  I liked eating it and looked for places and meals to enjoy it to the fullest. After spending 60 days on juice only, I came to view food as something to sustain me not a pleasure item to make me feel good.  It really just became fuel.  I’m going to put the best fuel in me to get from Point A to Point B, and it’s still how I view it today.  Do I still enjoy chocolate?  Yes, but I no longer eat a 1 pound bag of M&M’s in one sitting.  It’s an infrequent treat that I always remember doesn’t give me the nutrients I need.

The next shift was how I felt about the scale. The bane of my existence.  The number I held myself hostage by my entire life.  Today I sit at 173lbs and a BMI of 28.  In the eyes of doctors, I’m overweight. I had to shift my thinking on how I felt about that.  While weight and BMI can be an indicator of health, it’s not always a useful test. You can have people who sit on the couch, eat fast food, smoke and drink, and have a “normal” weight and BMI.  I run three times a week, eat my vegetables, quit smoking and limit alcohol to only special occasions. Am I in the shape I want to be?  Not yet, but I’m working toward it.  Everyday I take steps to go toward that goal. It’s not fast but I know I am living a healthy life and that was always my aim.  It wasn’t about a number.

1234311_10202062047252764_1081669791_nThe picture above is from 2013.  The picture on the left was after completing my 60 day juice fast.  The picture on the right was from a couple months before starting the juice fast. My next mental shift was about how I look. We see so often in our society on what a body “should” look like.  I came to embrace all the nuances that are ME. I don’t have perfect curves, or muscle tone but I had to come to grips with how I felt about how I look. So often I looked at pictures and think “Was I that heavy?”. I had to accept that I spent many years carrying around extra weight. And while that weight gave me a different appearance, it didn’t make me any less beautiful.  I’m still the same person I was, just thinner or thicker.  The problem really was how I felt in general.  I was sluggish, tired, and not able to live my life to the fullest when I had the extra weight.  I couldn’t keep up with my children or even the stairs at work. I was frustrated and depressed with just not feeling well.  I wanted to feel better and that meant forgetting what I thought it should “look” like and just do it.

The most recent shift I experienced was in analyzing my weight loss over the past six years. Seeing how close I was to success of reaching my goal weight and gave up. I was going through some medical issues at the time, but I truly gave up on being healthy. Healthy living is a lifestyle.  It not something you can just decide to do and then stop.  I was able to reduce my pain, discomfort, and illness by changing my eating.  No magic pills or drugs.  Eating a plant-based diet and exercising has me feeling the best I have in my adult life.  I will continue to make that choice everyday.  To take care of myself and keep working toward my goal until I have reached them.  Then make new goals and keep going.  This past January, I successfully completed the Disney Dopey Challenge.  Four races, four days, and 48.6 miles.  It was such a huge accomplishment and I’m ready to keep reaching my health goals for the rest of my life.

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“Well,that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.” – Flynn Rider (Tangled)