Vacation and the Holidays

Well, it is time for me to blog again.  Strangely a few weeks ago I should say.  For those of you who follow I do apologize, I just came back from a very well needed vacation to Clearwater Beach, Florida.  I went to cheer on my friends who were walking the Susan G Komen Breast cancer 3Day.

I have been struggling to get back on track since coming back.  When you go on vacation you change your routine, it is hard to come back to your old routine.  For someone who is losing weight routine is essential.  Anything that changes what you do has a detrimental impact on your success. For example I eat at 7am 11am and at 4p, I work out at 7pm most of the time.  This is my routine.  If I eat late, I realize this really upsets my stomach or causes me to crave other foods.  Worse yet, want to jump to sugar.  If I miss a work out in the evenings I feel drained.  It is like my body is waiting for that jump in my activity level. When I don’t get it, my body complains.

So coming back from vacation was hard.  Every morning in Florida I would walk 3 to 5 miles on the beach in the water with resistance.  Well, I can’t do that in Colorado. I ate a lot in Florida, because I realized the Greek food there is A M A Z I N G.  That was a mistake to find out. But, I didn’t gain in Florida because of how active I was.  However, coming back I can’t eat as much as I don’t have the time to be as active as I was every day in Florida.

Now I am surrounded by sweets, candies, and well anything made with refined sugars.  What do I do?? I have heard the term maintain, but do not gain.  That’s what I did in Florida and I stole 3 weeks of my time to lose weight.  Do I do the same thing during the holidays? I have a friend who is giving up until January 1st, is that the right thing to do?

No–*I* finally see what I am working so hard for.  I see my path, my journey, my future before me.  I have everything I’ve ever wanted in my life RIGHT now.  I want to finish to keep the active life I have been earning, AND become more active. I can’t give away another 3 to 4 weeks hoping that I can finish in the new year.  That’s not enough for me.  I will finish next year.  2012 will be my year.  To stop worrying about finishing, and to start worrying about skin reduction surgery.  So no–Holidays–survival is not enough, victory is my only choice.  How I will I do it?! My friends–If you see me eating sugar call me out on it.  If you see me ask me what I ate today, it will hold me accountable to answer the question. Lastly, please don’t offer me your home baked goodies.  *I* KNOW they are the best, and they are tasty, but I just can’t.

Life is wonderful.  God is guiding my steps and I am so happy. I will blog again before Thanksgiving.  Thanks for your patience as I have been quiet–Any questions about what I have done or am doing, please email me TisShannon@gmail.com, comment on this page, or find me with that email address on facebook.

The Cruelty of Success

I keep saying it.  The last four years now have been a blessing.  I have been lifted out of darkness and life is so beautiful now.  For a friend, I’m going to say this.  Life is *A*MAZING!

SO many people have said–Wow you look great.  You still are big. But, you look great.  What does that mean exactly? In my eyes I am so much smaller than what I once was.  I’m not 589 pounds anymore.  I’m NOT.. So how can I still be big?? I’ve lost well over 300 pounds.  How can I still be BIG? My inches are going down. The weight is going down.  The clothes sizes are going down.  I still wear big shirts to cover up.  Cover up what you ask? The cruelty of success-Loose skin.  SO let me warn you–It isn’t pretty!

I am so frustrated by it.  I work out, feel strong. My arms are solid.  I look at the body builders in the gym and look at their arms.  I smile knowing some of the ladies have NOTHING on me……. But, yet they are in their tank tops showing off what they have worked so hard for.  Yes I can show what I worked hard for via my shrinking self.  Can I show off my arms? I am so proud of how defined they are.  I am so proud of the muscle definition.  I’m so proud there is not an ounce of fat left in them.  Yet my friends–The skin. The loose skin is over whelming.  When I take off my shirt I see my well defined arms, yet I also see what looks to me like a coat.  We all have our worries with our bodies.  But what do you do when your bodies just don’t fit you anymore?

It is so frustrating.  I still am hiding every inch of me.  I want to feel good about all my work.  *I* DO!!!!! But, I want to *FEEL* good about it.  Now, I have been talking to so many people who have started their weight loss path and they are worried about loose skin.  I didn’t worry about it at first.  It hasn’t been until the last year that it bothers me so much.  I hate what I see when I see my body.  It is a constant reminder of the darkness I lived in.  It is a constant reminder of how much I hated myself.  Someone asked me last week if the weight loss is worth it? Strangely I asked myself that on Tuesday.  I am going to yell this (as loud as you can in a blog) IT IS WORTH EVERY OUNCE OF SWEAT.  My life is so much better now.  I can walk in the mountains.  I can hike (I will get stronger at it).  I am not trapped in my house waiting for night to come so I can go shopping without getting gawked at.  Okay I still get looked at to some degree, but I am so much stronger and more confident that I can go shopping whenever I want.

Everyone has body image issues. Loose skin for someone that was morbidly obese and is nearing normal is a brutal reality.  It is something people don’t talk about, because it isn’t pretty.  There is hope.  I know in my future I will find a way to have plastic surgery.  I know that I can show off my hard work then.  I will have scars.  To me they will be beautiful reminders of the light that was brought back into my life.  I love myself now, I love the people around me who confronted me in the first place, and I know they love me too.  Most importantly I know that God has loved me in the darkness and out of the darkness.  I see the light and the direction for my life .

Tonight–I see the strength in my arms.  I felt them too (OUCH, thanks Matt Ellison). I see the beauty of well defined arms.  Yet, I also see the loose skin.  It is apart of me. I am working out and changing daily. I am thankful for my journey, as it has taught me so much.  I see the beauty of the muscle, and I imagine the outline of what my arms will look like.  For now, I am stuck with a reminder of my past.  Again I want to make this clear, *I* DO NOT REGRET a moment of every day I have spent in the gym, every ounce of sweat that I have left on the floor, or out route at the 3Day, and every step I have taken to get stronger physically and mentally.

Tonight I celebrate the loose skin as a blessing NOT A CURSE.  It is something that will be removed.  It is temporary.  Tonight I celebrate the hard work. Thanks to my trainer Matt Ellison–When I met you my upper body was broken down, and I could barely lift much of anything. Now I see my strength, inside and out.  Thank you for your counsel.  So tonight I am going to show off my arms, and the reminder of where I was. This is the cruelty of success truly.  But also the vision of hope of how wonderful It WILL be soon enough.  If you are losing weight and wondering if the loose skin will be an issue?? WHO cares.  FINISH–GET STRONGER–LOVE YOURSELF–TRUST IN GOD–Believe that all things are possible.  When you finish, worry then.  But only then.