Am I? Or am I not shrinking?

Weight loss is—Important–

Weight loss is—Essential to live the life I want to live–

Weight loss is—The hardest thing I have done in my life–

Weight loss is FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!

I am 3 years into a journey that has taken me to new highs and new lows.  It pushes me to want to finish strong, yet finishing strong just seems so hard.  I am on track, I am working out, I am walking, and eating right more often than not.  So why is it so hard to see progress?

In weight loss you are focused on numbers.  Initially I weighed myself every other day. I measured myself every week.  I was so big.  I could never really see the changes.  It gets frustrating because you want to be done, you want to be seen for who you are becoming.  It took me 2 years to be able to see that I didn’t look like my original photo.  The games your mind plays on you.

I actually stopped weighing myself and just went to inches.  It is cool to say I used to be 72 inches around..(I was as wide as I am tall).  Now I am 49 inches at my widest.  I went to measuring because when you work out and give it all you have and either stay stagnant or only lose a pound it upsets you.  However, when you see you’ve lost a half an inch, well… THAT is a big deal!  I also started to take a facial picture every week.  I can scroll through those to see changes.  It gives me hope that I can and will get to and reach my goal.

So what is next for me? Patience.  I have to keep doing what I am doing. I can’t feel pushed to finish or pulled back into bad habits. I need to keep working towards finishing my goals.   I noticed in the last few days my thoughts constantly going to I just want to be done.  I don’t see enough change, I don’t see enough progress, I want more.. This morning I had to really refocus.  This is not about quick, this is not about short cuts, this is about losing a LOT of weight in a safe manner.  This is about losing a LOT of weight in a way that my body lets me.  I am not a victim of slow weight loss, I am at fault for allowing myself to get so big.  It will take time for me to turn around the damage that I did to myself. Do I always have patience? No I have every reason to want it to hurry up.  But in reality I am trapped in what my body will give me. Though—–I am learning patience and have been for 4 years.  I just wish I didn’t have to be so patient sometimes. <Laughing>

I wanted to mention an email I received from Derek in Canada.  He contacted me about what it will take to turn his life around.  I emailed him back, and was encouraged by his response.  He had a day off and felt so good about wanting to change he cleaned up his house.  You know, weight loss is also about caring about yourself again.  Caring about how you look, caring about your outward appearance and how people see you.  The more I lose, the more I notice I want my clothes to fit better, I want my hair to look better, I want to show off the work I am doing.  Derek, keep working on yourself. I know you can and will achieve your goals with time and patience!! Work on your own N.E.W.S.T.A.R.T.!

So–Am I shrinking? Is there a difference?? Am I doing it fast enough? Soon enough? Is it worth it?  You be my judge.

Me Now

589 Pounds

Invisible Me

I was pondering how to address this topic.  I know this is something that really bothers me more than anything that I have gone through.  You would think that the weight is the hardest thing to deal with when losing weight.  Yet, it isn’t.

For me overcoming judgement has and is the hardest thing I do everyday.  When I first started my journey at 589 pounds, I decided I needed to go to the gym.  This coming from someone who hid.  If I needed to shop, I would do it at 11pm at night, because I didn’t want to be seen.  I didn’t want to be stared at.  I didn’t want to be judged.  Yes, I know a lot of that is within me.  But, a lot of it is real.  I am 6′ tall, and I was 589 pounds. Oh yes, don’t forget I was 72″ around at my widest.  That is a BIG lady.  That is someone that garners attention.  I get it to a degree.  I felt like I was a one woman freak show.

So when I went to the gym, I had a swim suit that covered me from my knee’s to my arms.  It looks like a wet suit… I walked into the gym in sweats, and a hoodie. I would zip the hoodie up, put the hat on, and pull the strings. NO one could see me.. I’d punch into the gym and walk as quickly as I could to the locker room, then the pool. Never looking anyone in the eye.  To me. I was invisible.  If I couldn’t see people staring, then they weren’t.  This is how I shopped, head down, never looking at anyone, never talking to anyone.  I didn’t want to be seen.  I was invisible.

So what happens when you start to lose weight? Your body starts to change.. You feel better about yourself.. Yet you’ve made yourself invisible. That is another mental part of weight loss.  Now you have killed your confidence, you can’t look at people, and you are afraid to connect and lose the ability to communicate effectively.

One of the best things to happen to me was hiring Matt Ellison as my trainer. Initially when I started working with him.  You work out in the middle of the gym where everyone can see you.  I would look around and see eyes.  My head would go down and I would start to have panic attacks.  My trainer would get closer to me, get my eyes to his and say “Look, it is just you and I here. Nothing to worry about. Lets get this done.”  A lot of my struggles with the exercises initially were simply panic attacks.  I was so afraid people were watching.

Yet when I worked with Matt, he’d often yell, head up, eyes forward.  I didn’t know then the impact he was having on me.  It was about connecting to the people in the gym.  It was about SEEING people, and being seen.  I credit that with allowing me to be able to put myself more out in the public eye.  Yes, even walking the 3Day 60 mile walk in 2009 didn’t push me, like working out in the middle of the gym did.

Now when I walk around a store, my head is up and my eyes are forward. I see people, and I know I am being seen.  I’m getting stronger about that.  But, when I go to new places, or when I do new things.  This is where those internal voices come back, they prey on my weakness.  My worries about being judged. This is where the panic comes into play.  I have tendency to find my head  down a little more then my “new” usual.  I struggle to talk to people, or when I do I talk really fast.  I’m nervous, and I am constantly looking for my way to escape.  I become really shy.  YES me, really shy.

Socially right now, I am learning how to react and interact with people. Sometimes I feel like I am doing good, and other days I feel like the world is closing in on me.  When you see someone who is bigger.  Understand that they, just like you feel horrible when they are judged.  Just simply say hi with a smile. Don’t judge people for where it looks like they are in their life.  You may never know the truth.  It could be a woman who has lost 300 pounds and has about 60ish to go, and is just trying to get her body back.  Or a man who has lost 300 and is just trying to figure out how to live his life well after being successful in his own journey.

You all know the old saying, don’t judge a book by the cover . Let me tell you this books pages have so much to give.  Yet the cover is still a little scuffed up.  I will be rebound, but I will never look at people the same way again. In this way my invisible life has been the greatest gift ever given to me, however it is also the hardest lesson I have ever learned.

Luke 6:37-42

 

The Joy Of A Click!

Hello all–Sorry I missed a blog or two. But I was travelling to Chicago to Participate in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day 60 Mile walk.

So what does the title have to do with Susan G Komen? Absolutely nothing.  The title is a celebration.  This time in travelling I sat in my plane seat, and fit.  Much to my excitement, not only did I fit, but the seat belt clicked without an extension.  This is the first time travelling in a long time that I didn’t need an extension. Small victories equal big celebrations.

This is a short post, as this lady is sore.  SO just a tip.  Count your calories as you eat, not after. Make sure you are getting 1800 calories or less (depending on your activity level).  Make sure you are being honest with the count. If you don’t, you’ll constantly look at the numbers and know they are off.

Have a great Tuesday! Will post something else when I recover from the weekend!

Shannon

Inner Voice

Have you ever wanted to set out to do something so bad that you just pushed yourself to the brink sometimes?    That is my weight loss.  I want more than anything to be finished with the weight loss journey so I can get on with the next part of my journey, and focus on just being an active woman.
Yet my struggles today still, are the same struggles from when I started.    We each have those inner voices.  The strong and courageous one that says you can set out to do anything, and make it happen.  We also have that other inner voice that robs our spirit, and constantly states,  I can’t do it anymore,  I want to quit, I want to give up.   Perhaps you are like some that have that negative voice that also says, I’m not worth it.    My journey the last four years has been about controlling that negative voice. Turning it off, and listening to the courageous inner voice.
It sounds like a simple plan, but it has been the hardest part of my journey.  Surrounding myself with the “right” people has been such a blessing.  For each person I hold close are those people who mirror that positive inner voice and push me. I have been open about my life and my story, and it has brought me the most incredible people into my life.    Today, that inner voice is loud.
I have been hanging out with my friend “LA” for a few months now.  He knows my story, my challenges, and even the fact that the negative voice held me in darkness for a long time.  Yesterday he and I set out on a hike.  It was the most challenging hike I have been on.  Yes, even more challenging then my failed attempt at Bierstadt (a 14k foot peak in Colorado).  The hike was only 5 miles round trip, but it was up hill.  In my head I started to hear the excuses, my foot, my knees, my conditioning for cardio because of the injuries, and I just can’t do it.  I was slow, because I kept panicing, and getting my heart rate up.  My heart felt like it was in my throat.  I wanted so much to give up.     I kept moving forward telling “LA” that I wouldn’t quit. I wouldn’t give in.  I am fighting myself that was my biggest struggle.  I was sore, my knees were holding up alright.  But, my spirit-that couragious voice was failing me. I started to panic again.
“LA”-He stopped, and waited for me.  Hollaring down, just 100 yards up. Just 20 yards. Set goals, take aim, walk and keep moving.  He wouldn’t let me give in.  I would sit down, and he would push.   I would falter, and he would be concerned, yet he wouldn’t help.  He knew this was my struggle. This was me, not against a mountain.  This was me against this darkness that held me down so long.     I walked over a ridge to see “LA” and his dog at the summit, over looking Longs Peak (a goal of mine).  I wanted to cry, but all I could do was smile.      Now the trek downhill wasn’t easy (because it was at a pretty serious grade).  I am sore today.  But, my spirit?? Wow, is the voice loud.  I can do anything I set out my mind to do.  I have worked hard to get stronger, and *I* am strong.  I can rely on the people I have surrounded myself with to be there for me when I am at my worst.  Most importantly, no mountain is too high for this Lady.  Weight loss is nothing compared to the hills I will climb.  But *I* know I will climb them all with a smile on my face.
I am truly blessed!
Let me know if you have any questions about my journey and my goals.  I’m brutally honest with what I have done to lose weight, exercise, and even my struggles! Let me know how I can help you!
Sitting at the top.

I made it-Slowly, but I got there-Thanks "LA"!