The Slowest Loser: Five Years and Counting

On January 21, 2008, I stepped on a scale for the first time in months and saw a number I never thought I would see: 261.4. That day sparked the beginning of a journey for me, a journey to change my life and lose 100 pounds. I blogged about it here.

Five years and one baby later, and I now weigh 167.6 pounds. I know that when I began this journey, I never would have guessed that five years down the road I STILL wouldn’t be at my goal weight, but I also know that there are few things I could have truly anticipated. If I did know how hard and how long I would struggle, I don’t know if I even would have tried to lose the weight at all. There is a reason God doesn’t allow us to see the future. 🙂

To prevent myself from being all Negative Nelly about the fact that I am not at my goal weight, I decided to make a list of things I accomplished in the last year. Over the last year, I:

1. Lost 16.6 pounds.
2. Completed my first half marathon.
3. Achieved a new 5k PR (personal record).
4. Fit into size 12 pants.
5. Fit into size medium shirts.
6. Completed 30 consecutive days of exercise (with a fantastic group of people on Facebook)
7.Tried Weight Watchers and had success with it.

Honestly, the past year was really tough for me. I struggled to lose the last of the post-pregnancy weight (if it can even be called that–my daughter will be 2 in March).  I felt as though I would never reach goal, and I was frustrated by my seeming inability to control myself around food.  Then I got the shock of my life in the fall when I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and for once in my life, weight loss was the farthest thing from my mind.  In the first weeks after my diagnosis, my only focus was to get well. That still is my ultimate focus, as the medications I am taking have not led me into remission yet. But the best way that I can help my body is to treat it kindly, and that means I need to start taking nutrition and exercise more seriously. I allowed myself to become lazy and undisciplined, and I am going to have to jump off the lazy train if I am going to shed these final 10 pounds.

And now, a pictorial walk down memory lane:

On my honeymoon, June 2007. I don’t really know what I weighed at this point.
March 2008, about 2 months after I started trying to lose weight. I had lost 15 pounds at that point.
March 2009, after I FINALLY saw 199 on the scale.
July 2010. I was actually a month pregnant in this picture and around 170 pounds. I think I look better in this picture than I do right now.
October 2011, around 185 pounds
After my half marathon on March 31, 2012, around 175 pounds.
Today, at 167 pounds: 

It’s hard to believe that it’s taken me 5 years to get to this point. Apparently I am going for the “Slowest Loser Award.” While I am tempted to beat myself up about how long it has taken me to lose this weight, the fact remains that I have lost 94 pounds and have entered every year for the last  5 years  at a smaller weight than the year previous (excluding the year I was pregnant). Though I didn’t achieve my original goal of losing 100 pounds in a year (I laugh at that goal now), I have managed to keep off a significant amount of weight for a long period of time, and I have never done that before.

If nothing else comes of this blog, I want the people reading it to know that weight loss is possible. You may not lose 20 pounds in a month, but if you lose one pound, that’s one less pound you’re carrying around with you. You may not ever be a size 2, but how you live your life matters more than the number on the inside of your pants. You may feel like you will never get to your goal, but isn’t it better to try than to just wonder if you could? You may feel like you have too much to lose and that you’ve tried countless times before, and I get that. I have been there. I spent most of my life overweight, and sometimes I thought that’s just the way it was meant to be. But you know what? All it takes is one day. Make healthy choices just for today, and then tomorrow, do it all over again.

You can do it. I can do it. Start today.

Friday Five: Things I’m Celebrating

 (I realize I haven’t done a Friday Five in approximately 1.5 years or some such ridiculous time span, but it’s never too late to begin again!)

1. I’m wearing pants I haven’t worn since being pregnant.

2. I’m at 183.2 pounds.

3. My baby girl has 2 more teeth, making the total teeth count 4. She currently has 1 on top and 3 on the bottom, and I hope she gets another on top soon so she won’t look goofy. Not that she could ever look goofy because obviously she is the cutest thing ever. Here she is attempting to leap off the recliner. (No worries, Stephen was holding her).

4. It’s payday.  As Stephen said this morning, “Payday is yay day.” 🙂

5. It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means time with Stephen’s family in Illinois and time off work!

What are you celebrating?

Donut=Do Not

One thing that is great about starting my day with the Lord is that I have time to pray and ask Him to help me through the day.  So yesterday (and today as well) I prayed that God would give me strength to go through the day making healthy choices.  I prayed that He would keep me strong against temptations.  I gave to Him my day and told Him I wanted to hunger for HIM, not food. 

I was in a great mood when I got to work, feeling at peace and satisfied.  Then I opened my work email and read that one of my coworkers had brought in donuts for everyone.  I almost said out loud, “Seriously, Lord?  You’re going to test me already?”  I resolved then and there that I would not touch the donuts, so I went about my business.  Fortunately for me, the donuts were downstairs in another part of the building, so I didn’t have to face them directly.  In fact, by mid-morning I had completely forgotten about them.  All was right with the world. 

Then I had to go downstairs on that side of the building to hand over a check.  It was almost time for lunch, and my stomach was rumbling with hunger.  I was almost to my destination when I spotted it: that all-too-familiar white bakery box that I KNEW had delectable donuts inside.  I didn’t stop then but headed to my destination, but in my mind I was thinking, “Okay, I will just look and see which ones are there, and if my favorite is among them, I’ll eat it.”  Then as I got closer to the donuts, dreaming about eating one, I stopped myself.  What was I doing??  What kind of logic was I using?  Uh, sure, Erin, glut yourself on a donut, only as long as it’s one you REALLY like.  Good grief!  So I marched right past that box of donuts and back upstairs to my desk, not looking back. 

And you know what?  I was actually a little sad for a few minutes, but I would have been much sadder had I actually given in and had that donut.  That day, the donut lost, and I won.  The war continues, but I have experienced victory in at least one battle. 

Sometimes the Little Things Make a Big Difference

Back when I was 261 pounds, I hardly EVER wore skirts or dresses. The reason? I hated my legs, and I especially hated the way my thighs would rub together whenever I walked in a skirt or dress. After a few hours of that, my inner thighs would be red and irritated. Wearing skirts just wasn’t worth it.

However, now I’ve been wearing skirts more and more recently, mainly because I’ve gotten over some of my dislike of my legs and because it’s just too hot to wear pants! Today when I was walking to my car on my lunch break, I realized something:


I couldn’t believe it! I was ecstatic. I don’t remember my thighs ever not rubbing together. I drove home with a smile on my face, basking in the joy of my newfound realization. I may not have seen a ton of changes in the scale recently, but I am so happy to have noticed this one tiny change in my body. I still have crazy thunder thighs and will probably never be comfortable wearing shorts that don’t cover most of my thighs, but at least I don’t have to worry about that pesky chafing!

I had Stephen take an updated picture of me in front of our house to celebrate this momentous occasion (pardon my hair-it was a lazy hair day):

And for comparison’s sake, here’s a picture of me taken on March 30, 2008, roughly 2 months into my weight loss journey:

What little thing can you celebrate today?