Technically my weight loss journey started in 2016. I started the year at 325.4 pounds and I lost 51 pounds that year. However, 2017 is when I made real progress. I started 2017 at 274 pounds and I lost 124 pounds by the end of the year.
People often ask me how I got started. What pushed me to make a real change?
The truth is I finally reached my breaking point. My life was literally falling apart, and everything around me was completely turned upside down, I felt hopeless. The only thing I could do was take control of the one thing I had real power to change- my weight.
In early 2017 I was at a point where I saw the storm brewing. I knew I would lose my job, I was unhappy in my marriage, my kids needed me and I was always busy working, we could not afford our bills, and I did not know what to do. Something was going to have to give. A big, scary change was coming and all I could do was brace myself. It was the most powerless and weak feeling I have ever experienced.
As bad as I knew it would be, it was worse. It was a year of loss and hurt. There were good times, yes- people who supported me and my family, and many weight loss victories, but my head is still spinning from the chaos. I lost my job, we lost our home, one car was repossessed and the other broke down, my dog died suddenly, as I was powerless to stop it, we got a new (used) car and it broke down too, my kids were struggling, people who I considered close friends betrayed and hurt me, and worst of all- my relationship with my husband felt unstable.
As the year continued to get harder and harder- when I was fired, while I mourned the loss of my dog, as I packed up my home and had to get rid of all my stuff to move in with my mom, while I struggled to get my kids to school because we didn't have a car, when I told my husband I wanted a divorce- I kept fighting for my health. To protect my own heart and sanity, I made weight loss my first priority.
My weight loss journey is what kept me strong and gave me confidence. It was my way of coping. Dealing with everything else felt small while I was experiencing the pride of countless victories! I had better health, more energy, and a rapidly improving figure. All the pain was dwindled as I celebrated buying clothing in smaller sizes, being able to climb a mountain, getting under 200 pounds, reaching all my goals, including my big goal to be half my former size, then getting to a healthy BMI for the very first time in my whole entire life.
Not everything happened the way I expected it to when I braced myself for devastation. Reaching a point where divorce felt like the only option, forced my husband and I to acknowledge the issues that drove a wedge between us. We were able to put everything out on the table and instead of being the final nail in the coffin, it was the opportunity to repair and revitalize our marriage that we really needed. Now we are supporting each other, appreciating each other, and enjoying renewed passion and love. I'm incredibly thankful for him, the forgiveness he has given me, and the openness to change he has shown. The love I feel for him, and from him, fills my heart with joy!
Relief is finally happening. We are now at a point where it feels like we can move forward, after a year and a half of constant struggle. For the first time in too long, I can breathe. My husband can breathe. My kids can relax, feel stable, and we can focus on enjoying our lives.
There are things I could have done differently through the past year and a half, but I dealt with it all the best I could. At times that meant putting my head in the sand and accepting that I had no control over the chaos. Those are the times I worked harder to lose weight.
There is a lot to repair now, but at least the path ahead is recovery. Of course life could throw another curve ball at any time, but I am stronger now. I feel like I can deal with whatever comes my way. At least for this moment I get to count my blessings. My marriage is stronger then ever, my kids are thriving, and I managed to lose 175 pounds while I was experiencing one of the worse periods of my life.
This story may not be so motivating, but it is my truth. If I sound like a whiner, please know I understand it could have been worse. I'll never stop being thankful that it wasn't worse.
The best advice I can give to someone who needs to lose weight, is don't wait until you reach your breaking point. Take control now. Start by writing down a list of reasons your life will be better, you will be happier, you will be stronger. Get a real solid understanding of your why, and start today.