Looking back…

19936_1327943155387_692089_n      When I was obese I used to think of what my ‘Super power’ would be, if I had one. I realized after giving it some thought that I had one- I was ‘Invisible-Man’. So many times through my life I felt like I was invisible, no one saw me for who I was inside- hardly anyone would look me in the eyes when they talked to me. Going out in public to shop or eat out was a very stressful thing. There were sometimes when I went out without my super power armed and there were times when people looked at me there was a look of pity, mixed with a look of disgust…then they would quickly look away as my ‘invisibility’ took over. Looking back at it & reading my old journal entries, it was a self defense mechanism. I was not ready to accept the truth that I needed to change. So I continued doing my best to be invisible, sometimes being harder than others.
     When I flatlined in 2010 I had to have an emergency surgery to bust the blood clots in my lungs- while I was awake. I lied on that table, my layers of fat taped up over my shoulders, there was no invisible power…only the harsh reality of what I had done to myself. That ‘invisible-man’ power that I so often resorted too, was nothing more than denial. As I looked up at the mirrored light above me while they went in through my groin and awaiting their orders to hold my breath etc I knew for sure that if I made it through things were going to change. My biggest regret is that it took me such an extreme moment to wake up.

Gym, 5.5 mile walk, meals planned for the week. All complete! Time to relax!

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From 511 to 195: getting closer to my goal!

From 511 to 195: getting closer to my goal!

As of this morning I have lost 316 lbs. I now weigh 195! As I near my goal weight I look forward to increasing my strength training and further evolving my body to be as fit as it can be. No surgery, no diet pill, all from clean eating and exercise. Proof that it is possible! Just believe and focus! Thanks again everyone for all your support and well wishes all these years. Facebook and social media overall played part in my support and keeping me accountable to pressing forward.

Food: A troubled relationship

Image4 years and 4 months ago I lied in the hospital, knowing I needed to make changes but really had no idea what to do. After getting out of the hospital and getting home I knew my relationship with food was going to need some work.

I admittedly went about things slowly, while I learned how my body worked and what it would need to work efficiently. I remember one night, lying in bed…having already lost 200 lbs I was very focused up improving my overall health as well as lose weight. That night I remember turning the light on (both in my head and in my room) and writing 3 words: Food equals fuel.

I then dived deeper into what my body needed to run optimally. I no longer wanted to rely on vitamins for my nutrients and wanted to get them from what I ate; but to do that it meant I needed to really eat right.

So I began to break down what I ate using MyFitnessPal and was enthralled by what some foods brought to the table and how many foods that brought nothing except empty calories.

I began planning my meals for the week, making sure the days were balanced and delicious. Then I would go out and buy all the ingredients. I do all my own cooking (except rare occasions) as I want to know what exactly my body in consuming.

Looking back now, I know once my relationship with food was rebooted, and getting what my body needed vs what my head thought I wanted, it became so easy. Each meal was more satisfying. Each sip of water was more quenching. Why? Because I knew getting the right amount of nutrients in my body and the right amount of liquids was making my body run better and in turn make me feel better & even my skin looked better.

 

 

If only it knew…

Sometimes I will catch my reflection and will stop short.
“Who are you?” If only it would respond. If only it knew. If only.

I sometimes wish the mirror were a time machine, a way to connect with that person from 4 years ago. What would I say to him? I was asked this very questions in my Tips of the Scale interview. Having had more time to think about it, I now know what I would ask.
“Why?”
“It’s not too late, why just give up?”
“Whatever you are going through, food isn’t going to make things better, is it?”
“Why not try?”

As I look away from the mirror briefly, my gaze returns to the mirror and there I am looking back. I’m older, I’m wiser, the pain behind the eyes have been replaced with a smile & a sense of wonderment.
As I put on my walking shoes, my thoughts are on if I can beat yesterdays time, not on wishing the day over with.

But even still, sometimes I will catch my reflection…mirror

Some things I learned on my journey to better health

Water is your friend. It is a big part of us. Did you know: The average adult male is about 60% water. The average adult woman is about 55% water. Drinking water is SO important to keep your system running great. (like when a brook begins to run low on water and it begins to stagnate, never a good thing) A good rule of thumb for water: Take your weight and divide it by 2. Then the total in weight is what you should drink in oz. For example: Joan weighs 240: 240/2 equals 120, there fore Joan should drink around 120 oz of water.

Eat smart. Everyone has their own journey, their own choices…but everyone agrees that eating smart and balance diet is a great option. Overly processed foods are horrible for you and your body. Highly recommend food logging. Check out something like myfitnesspal.com, a great calorie counter and make you mindful of what you’re taking in vs what is really needed.
Move. Any type of activity is better than no activity. Start with something you are comfortable with. It might be walking or moving your arms and legs or could even be something like making sure your move around every hour you are awake.

Set mini goals that are easier to achieve (lose 20 lbs, walk 2 miles etc, when you achieve it set another goal, with final goal being healthier.

Really understand that the reality is: The weight did not come on over night, therefor it won’t come of that way either. Look at it as a journey, NOT a quick fix. Pills, drinks and meals that promise things that sound ‘to good to be true’ more often than not, it turns out to be just that, wasted money and wasted time.

I Highly recommend either a weight loss forum or a social network like ‘fitocracy’ for support. They have good tips, often from people that are approaching their own goals. It can feel endless and often times you wonder ‘why?’ but being on a support forum reminds you ‘Why!”

Stay focused. While your final goals is to be healthier, everyone experiences temptations. It could be that forbidden sweet or skipping your exercise in favor of doing nothing. It happens, but in time you’ll begin to realize that you’re only hurting yourself.