Finding me again

Six years ago, I was pretty happy with myself physically.  I worked out with a trainer three days a week, and ran on the treadmill every day.  I watched what I ate for the most part, but felt little guilt or effects when I treated myself to something sweet.  Which I did often.

I was strong and felt great in a pair of jeans. (Truth be told, no woman really feels great in a swimsuit, even when they look fantastic in one).

Then I got hit with a hurricane of crippling health issues.  I've shared that story before here.  To say it was brutal is a complete understatement.  I went from being an active, healthy mom to a bed-ridden depressant who medicated with food.

Getting diagnosed with Crohn's disease was only the beginning.

It was followed a few year or two later with a move to a new city.  One that was harder to adjust to than any of our previous moves.  I struggled to plug in and find my place.  I cried often and felt totally alone.  It was a devastating move for my kids, as well.  You can read about that here and here.

All this stress led to a complete and total physical breakdown.  Pounds piled on until it became too hard to exercise with any regularity.  I felt horrible in my own skin and ate like my plane was going down.  Over the course of four years, I gained nearly 40 pounds.

I hated how I felt physically.  I hated how I felt mentally.

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I looked at photos of myself and cringed.  This was not the girl I knew.  This was not who I was supposed to be.

Several times I tried.  I did challenges with friends.  I joined weight loss groups.  I started and failed multiple times.  In January of last year, I joined Weight Watchers (for the umpteenth time).  I found myself succeeding on the program and dropped 15 pounds.  For the first time in a long while, I had hope that I might actually be able to get control of my weight.

Spring break came, and with it a vacation out of town.  When I got home, the number on the scale was higher than it had been when I left, so I told myself I would skip Weight Watchers that week, and hit it hard the next week.

I didn't go in the next week.  Or the week after that.

A few months went by, and I put back on five pounds.

I was depressed and felt that I would never be able to really get the weight off.

In June of 2015, I decided to try again.  The local company I chose was NOT cheap.  They offered accountability with a nutritionist and personal training.  I decided to pre-pay for six months (though I told myself that if it didn't take, I would be done trying and make peace with my fat self).  It cost a small fortune;  I ponied up $3,000 for six months and felt sick to my stomach that I'd just thrown my money away.

The nutritionist was there to give me general guidelines and provide accountability.  I already knew what I needed to do:  Eat less and move more.  She was there to review my food logs every day and give feedback.  I felt I had three choices.  I could:  a) not do it and continue gaining weight, thus throwing away all the money I had paid for this; b) lie on the food logs and have the results show up in our monthly weigh-ins, to which I would pretend I had no idea why I wasn't losing weight, thus making me look like an idiot; or c) actually do what she was telling me and try to lose weight.

I chose the third option.

It's been eight months since then, and I am down a total of 37 pounds.

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I am three pounds away from where I was six years ago, and am planning to lose another 11-15 pounds total.

Words cannot describe how fantastic it feels.  It is a hard-fought battle, and has taken discipline, effort, creativity, and vigilance.  I have had plateaus (just came off a one-month plateau, UGH) but have found what consistently works for me.

I have gone from a size 14-16 to a size 6-8.  I feel so much better in my own skin and have eradicated nearly all my Crohn's disease symptoms.  I will continue to take the medication for that, but I feel SO GOOD.  I feel healthy.  I feel strong.

I feel like me again.  

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post:  What I'm actually eating.

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