My Journey to Healthy

I was encouraged by our Pastor to join a Bible study called W.I.L.D (Women in Leadership Development). I typically would look for reasons to get out of adding another commitment to our already busy schedule but I really felt that God was calling me to this experience. Yes, it meant a night away from my family but honestly… deep down in my soul, I knew that I needed it. For me.

The first night of the study was an introduction to the 6 week course and what the real goal of the Bible study was. On that first night, I was lead away from my comfort zone in the most amazing ways. I was challenged and encouraged to look inside and answer some really difficult questions about myself that I had never even considered before.

After an emotional evening, before the close of the night, we discussed the final project of the class. This passion project was a challenge for us to really explore our passion. As a part of this project, we were told that we would be standing in front of our friends and presenting our passion project. The only real guidelines or limits was that of a five minute time frame for sharing. My original thoughts… oh my, how does one fill five minutes talking about something that you’re passionate about? Silly me.

My 40 minute car ride home consisted of a phone call to my husband to let him know that I was on my way home. In that short conversation, I was able to express how excited I was that I had stepped out in faith and committed to taking this class. The rest of my ride home was spent thinking. I knew, from the moment that I was told I would be presenting a passion project, I knew what I wanted to talk about. Something that I have been ignoring for far too long. Me.

So, the next evening began my amazing journey…

In September of 2013, my husband and I began a weight loss program called Advocare. We were both skeptical and had already started preparing ourselves for failure, before we even started the 24-day challenge. However, we both had also decided that we were miserable and felt horrible every day, we knew that there had to be something better for us.

On the night before day one was to begin, I was asked to take accurate measurements and weigh myself as a baseline for where I was when I began the program. A starting line, of sorts. I was so embarrassed by the results. Worst of all for me was the fact that I was weighing in at 363 lbs. I had never weighed that much in my life…and I could literally feel every ounce of the weight, pulling me closer to the Earth.

This program was no joke. I started the day with a supplement and a caffeinated beverage, followed by a herbal cleanse drink. Ew. Next was my breakfast (something that I had not actually had time to eat for years). Then a sensible lunch and dinner. All the while, drinking one half of my body weight in ounces of water. Yep, you read that right… I had to drink 181.5 ounces of water, in a day. That is a gallon and a half of water, people. Let me tell you, as a person that would drink one two liter bottle of Coke a day, drinking that much water was next to impossible for me.

By day 4 of this program, I was ready to throw in the towel. I mean, I have never had to detox from drugs but I was sure that my body’s reaction to this program was much like that of an addict having to quit their own drug. Which made me realize that I was addicted to food. That was a difficult thing for me to admit. I had spent a good part of my adult life, letting food control me. I had let that happen. I felt so ashamed.

At the end of the 24 days, my husband was able to lose 22 lbs. Good for him, right? Me? Oh yeah… I lost a mere 17.4 lbs. Sure, that is nothing to scoff at but compared to what my husband was able to accomplish, my weight loss looked pretty pitiful. I didn’t allow this to stop me though. I continued on with the program and made some adjustments to better fit my life.

I began drinking two meal replacement shakes a day so that I could “eat” with out having to try to fit preparing two healthy meals into my already packed schedule. I was even able to adapt some of the recipes so that my husband and oldest two children would eat them. I consider that a win. Two months into the program, I was pleased to see that my weight loss was now at 27 lbs and to me, that was something.

That is when my body decided to plateau.

My husband and I decided to join a gym and start to work off some of the calories, building and toning up in the process. He was able to dedicate an hour in the morning before work, while I went to the gym for two hours and closed the place down every night. This is when I really started to notice the change in my body. I could see the physical effects of my choices and, for the first time, it actually felt good to look in the mirror.

At month 5, I had lost 44 lbs and began to plateau again. We chose to do another 24-day challenge, as it coincided with the New Year… and some resolutions that were being made. We also fit room in our budget for a personal trainer. We shared sessions so that we could be given more tools to really push us to the next level. Boy, did it ever make a difference.

By March of 2014, I had lost 60lbs. The best part, I felt amazing. One day, I asked my oldest son what he thought of my weight loss. He said, “Well, I don’t really see the weight loss.” Instantly, I felt defeated. He then said, “but you sure are a whole lot more fun to be around!”

YES! Yes I was more fun to be around.

In all, my husband was able to shed 87 lbs in 14 months. I was able to drop 103 lbs in the same time frame. By November of 2014, I looked and felt better than ever… just in time for my brother’s wedding. We were so happy because we were able to maintain our healthy lifestyle but also hold each other accountable, keeping the weight off.

And that is when life got complicated.

Now, three years later, I find myself looking and feeling worse than I did before we started the program. No, I am not back up to 363 lbs, but I might as well be. The disappointment that I feel is almost overwhelming. I am ashamed that I have allowed myself back to this point. The point where I no longer feel beautiful. Where I no longer try. Where I have allowed myself to give up.

So, I’m bringing sexy back, baby! Enough is enough. I knew, as soon as I was presented the challenge of creating a passion project…this was God’s way of telling me that my passion needs to be refocused on myself. Honestly, if I don’t feel wonderful about myself, how can I possibly be able to help others to feel wonderful about themselves?

This blog is going to be used as an accountability tool for myself, but hopefully it can be used as a tool for others as they may be able to relate to a lot of what I am writing. Please don’t expect that all of my posts will be well thought-out. That typically isn’t how I write. I am pretty off the cuff about things as I have a difficult time sugar coating. (I’ve been assured that is an endearing quality)

My hope is that my readers not be ashamed to ask questions or keep me in line. Who doesn’t need a reality check from time to time? There are no judgments here, just understanding and love.

The Bible says, “For the body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14 KJV)

C’mon, let’s do this together.