How in the world am I doing it?

This is the number one question I have been getting since I started posting my weight loss journey. I usually answer that I really don’t’ know, it is just happening. But today I decided to put some thought into what I am doing and what is really going on with my melting of pounds.

Before I start with how I lost it let me give you some background information. I am nearly 5’9″ and in my eyes had struggled with weight all my life, but looking back at old pictures it wasn’t weight, but curves that I had. It wasn’t until I had three children that the true yo-yo of my weight began. Also, having bed rest my entire last pregnancy, add in the fact that I was having an elephant for a baby and my age the pounds never wanted to go away.

Almost 2 years after having my youngest, my husband joined the Marines so I decided not to look like the Stay-puffed Marshmallow Man when he returned. So between diet, exercise, and stress I was under the weight was down to a respectable 150. We went on to be stationed in New Orleans.

I floated within 10lbs of that weight until October 2003, when a medication I was given to combat anxiety and depression reacted badly with my body. I gained 40 lbs in water in 3 days. You couldn’t see my toes, could put on shoes it was horrible. The doctors are sure what happened but it wreaked havoc on my body.

The depression of this and other factors in my life at the time caused me to stress eat. This stress/self-medicating eating ballooned me up to 262lbs. I hated myself. I wouldn’t go anywhere without having a panic attack. I was lost on many levels and all of my own doing. Plus, how can you not eat and drink in a city founded on that very thing! In late 2004, I got a job requiring a lot of walking and dropped to 245 which began to help.

In June 2005, we were transferred to North Carolina and I decided to do something about the weight so I joined Weight Watchers. This was scary for me! I have social anxiety and to have my weight be the focus of why I was attending something was very, very hard for me. I did it anyway. On the 11 week time, I paid for I calorie counted my way down to 235.

Then John got transferred to California for training and I was alone with a toddler in a town with no family or friends. I stressed but this time I dropped to 215 instead of stress eating I was stress fasting (both are very bad for you). When Katrina hit I stressed to a whole new level, 206.

In December 2005, (as some of my earliest readers know) I was unjustly fired from my job in North Carolina. I didn’t deal with the rejection well but instead turned to writing to vent instead of as many boxes of cookies. By the time May 2006 arrived and we knew for certain we were moving back to Ohio I had reached 225 and thanks to enjoying one last summer at the ocean, I was active enough to keep me in that zone of weight.

I never could break the 200’s though, due in part to whatever the meds did to screw up my hormones. This would frustrate me so I would yo-yo eat. This combined with coming home to John’s family who loves to cook and are darn good at it (especially desserts!) I got up to 242. I felt defeated, so I took my self-loathing internally. I would dress crappy because I felt I deserved it for being overweight.

Then in December 2007, I had a break through. While watching How to look good naked, I realized that size doesn’t matter, it is the glow from within that speaks volumes. I began a wonderful friendship with a fellow writer who helped me (from Boston) discover my inner diva. Instead of doing plan to start dieting when the new year approached, I would give myself the best Christmas present: The permission to love myself, not diet, and to live every moment as fabulous as I could. I began wearing makeup again and getting my hair done. I started taking the time to dress nicely for work and for play. I just let myself be happy on the inside and outside.

On December 27 I got on the scale at 235, took my measurements then recorded them and decided I am ok with that. If that is the weight I am meant to so be it. I wouldn’t starve myself, but I wouldn’t kill myself with junk and fast fried foods. I would love my body and show it I loved it by stopping the things that were bad for me. This included my diet coke addition, sitting down and eating a giant bowl of a brownie sundae. I would hydrate myself with good things like water and vitamins. I would also not deprive myself. If I felt like a piece of chocolate I could eat it, no guilt, no beating myself up.

After the New Year came and went, I started noticing the way my clothes fit so much looser. I got on the scale and 5 lbs, then 10lbs was gone. In February it was down 15 lbs.

Which leads me to today, I am 215. Why? Because I stopped the inside hatred of myself. It was like my mind and body had been a long and hard battle for so long by calling a peace treaty gave immeasurable (and much-needed) relief to my system. I let 20lbs of hatred, 15 inches of loathing off my hips, and 8 inches off my waist of fear all go.

Do I still have bad days where I hate my body? Sure, I am human, but I deal with it directly and stop it in its tracks rather than try and mask it with a box of Twinkies. I realize that the mood of the time, will pass and life will go on.

I am trying to figure out a way for me to add exercise to the new me as well. This is hard because I hate it for one and because I have difficulty sweating (another after effect of the meds) so I miserably overheated. So this isn’t a pleasant thing for me. But as spring (hopefully) approaches me here in Ohio, I am looking forward to being outside again. Possibly walking or biking with the kids. Just another way to love my body-keep it moving.

Well, I have dispensed my knowledge of my miracle weight loss. Hope this helps and answers the questions that you have about my secret.

Just love yourself, flaws and all, and the rest will take care of itself!

Love,
Shannon