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What Weight Loss Felt Like For Me

A collection of "after" photos from the beginning of my weight loss history until now...2017 .

My first desire for change was in 1996. I was 22.

I stood in the mirror the day after my son was born and did not recognize my body. I'm not complaining and I wasn't surprised.  I had never been a healthy weight before. I was obese for my entire life. At that moment I was scared.

Suddenly my overweight pre-baby body was what I longed for. I said to myself that it would all be worth it, and of course it was and IS. 

As I held my newborn baby I began feeling an overwhelming joy. A sense of purpose, unconditional love and responsibility for something bigger than me. I was given the blessing of raising a child. I stayed on my path of obesity until his 5th birthday .

Life After Weight loss ...I thought it would be easier...

It took me 8 years from the day I decided to get to the picture below. 

I remember the day I took this photo. I had gained about 12lbs from my absolute lowest. At my lowest weight I was obsessed with the scale, counting blueberries during the week, eating 1000 cals a day and about 20,000cals on the weekend. I was kind of a mess.  (Sorry no photo of that )

In this photo, I was working on becoming "normal" again, and instead of weighing myself 6 times a day, I weighed myself once a week.

I was eating about 1200-1400 calories a day and had been for about 2 years. I felt lethargic most of the time, I had serious confidence issues. I  worked  so dang hard,  I felt like I was  doing all the "right" things, and my reflection in the mirror ...well I was never satisfied...

I thought I never looked like those "after photos" I Tried every angle. I ended up disgusted with my photos. I always had lumps, bumps, and stretches from my previous years of obesity. I never ever saw my progress. Everyone told me I looked awesome because I lost so much weight, but all that weight was still inside. Nobody saw the ugly feeling I had inside.

The next "after" is a year after I quit smoking..... I was 34

The day I took this photo I was longing for the body I had in the green bikini. I felt my clothes tightening, and had to buy new ones. I was so mad at myself for not keeping the weight off. I was embarrassed. I didn't want people to see me. The body I previously put down, and felt so horribly about had slipped away.   I had successfully quit smoking, though, and I felt empowered from my new freedom.

I still really wanted that "after" photo. I began taking all kinds of metabolism boosting pills that promised weight loss, happiness and confidence. I upped my exercise to about 2 hours a day, and drastically cut my calories. I was also in a hormonal shift. My metabolism adapted to all the cardio I was doing.

This was the day I committed to getting back into my green bikini.

I felt like I was never enough...I must be doing something wrong...I am not worthy enough to like my body...

The next photo was taken after I completed 42.2 km full marathon. I was 39. I thought for sure running a marathon would get me to my after picture. Instead of being grateful for what my body could do, I felt like I still wasn't enough. I thought maybe if I was smaller I would have run faster, and gotten a better time.

 A Few Years Later....It Happened...My After Photo I was 42.

I followed a plan. A fitness program that included strength training, and a nutrition program based on whole foods. I ate a lot more than 1200 calories per day...more like 2700.

I don't say that often because it scares people. I had to gradually work up to it, and it was quality food.

I didn't drink any alcohol for 9 months,and I practiced flexible intermittent fasting once a week .

AND I took about 10-12 photos and slapped a filter on it. I was flexing all my muscles ,

It's harder to see them, but the lumps and bumps are still there. And you know what? I still wasn't completely satisfied. I had more work to do inside to find out where my negative voices were planted.

I don't think our body shape defines success. I spent so many years feeling I wasn't good enough because of my body.

I believed something was wrong with me because I couldn't achieve it. I forgot the feel good of healthy in the pursuit of a look. I added to the mounds of "before and afters" that plague young girls minds like they did mine.

And guess what...I'm still me. I still was not entirely happy with that photo. Nor was I happy with the reflection in the mirror.

Truth is...I can take 2 photos side by side in different light, angle, time of day, whatever...but both pictures are still me. They will look drastically different.

This is me now...

The 3 most important things I've learned are to keep challenging myself physically and mentally, to love my body in all it's frumpiness, or muscularity, and to help others truly love themselves. Choose health  to feel good first. Trust the process, and you will win no matter where you before is .

One more thing...The 'before" is just as amazing as the "after" The in between is the key to sustainability. Stop saying I'll be happy when...._____. Really what happens after is the rest of your healthful life. Be sure to be kind to yourself, because we don't have enough time in our lives to be unhappy. Let that ish go <3

 

 

 

 

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