Date: March 22, 2017
Time: 4:40 pm
Weight: 300 pounds
Attitude: Strong, Cautiously Optimistic
Just doing a little informal check-in.
Since September 2016 (so that’s like 7 months or so) I haven’t missed a single work out. Even if I’ve been sick I’ve committed to doing something to keep my head in the game and my muscles stimulated. Even though I’ve only experienced a 20 pound weight loss since my last blog a year and a half ago, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.
Muscle does indeed weigh more than fat and it’s the most evident in my face. In the “before” face on the left I actually weighed like 10 pounds LESS than the “after” face on the right. My cheeks are less full now, my chin is less “waddly”, my eyes and smile both seem bigger without all the fat pads.
Over the last couple of years I’ve had to learn the hard way how to lose weight the RIGHT way, the way that yields lasting results. Follow this timeline with me for a moment:
- June 2013 – 400 pounds
- November 2013 – 330 pounds
- March 2014 – 295 pounds
- May 2014 – 285 pounds
- December 2014 – 330 pounds
- April 2015 – 345 pounds
- June 2015 – 320 pounds
- May 2016 – 370 pounds
- September 2016 – 355 pounds
- Now – 300 pounds
The first time I decided I needed to lose weight was just after my brother’s wedding. I hated myself that day, but I love my brother more so I just celebrated him and his bride without letting my self-loathing interfere with their occasion. I strategically held those flowers in front of me for every picture and resigned myself to my status as the “fat sister”.
After I lost 70 pounds in 5 months, I fooled myself into believing that if I could lose a lot of weight by eating 1500 calories a day and exercising for an hour that I could lose even more weight even faster if I only ate 700 calories a day and exercised for 2 hours! This led me down a slippery slope and by April of 2014 I fasted for most of the month and I spent upwards of 4 hours a day in the gym. (This was also the month that I experienced my deepest, darkest depression in years – I see the correlation now!) Yes, I lost weight and I was smaller, but I was miserable. And I still hated myself.
So, by the summer of 2014 I halted any weight loss efforts, and I realized that my first priority had to be to fix the mechanism between my ears – that is, my mindset. I spent most of 2015 dedicated to self-growth and healing old emotional wounds, devouring self-help books left and right. I learned valuable lessons about loving myself and maintaining a positive attitude.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to maintain self-love. Combined with a health scare, I managed to gain back most of the weight I’d lost. The thing is, I lacked the discipline to adhere to consistent healthy habits because I didn’t think that I was worth the effort.
In the summer of 2016 I began talking to a counselor about some of the things that I’d struggled with and that helped me lose about 20 pounds, but my life changing moment came in August of 2016. I found Amy Jo Berman’s coaching for actors. It took a little “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of financial wizadry to pay for the course, but I knew instantly that the training she was offering at the time was EXACTLY what I needed.
Here is a link to her blog 3 Steps to Transform Your Acting Career with a Simple Mindset Tweak that gives a little sample of what I’m talking about. Step 1 in particular has led to a dramatic paradigm shift in my thinking that I have applied probably every moment of every day. I don’t think anymore, “God, I’m so fat!” as if that’s the big “problem” – I focus instead on the solution – eating well and exercising.
And I haven’t missed a single work out since September! I’ve been steadily folding in healthy eating habits so that now I eat healthy every single day. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve actually kept a New Year’s resolution! Since January 2, 2017 I’ve only eaten junk food on 7 days – a rousing success! I keep meticulous track of my progress and I don’t beat myself up when maybe my progress isn’t what I expect.
I am so proud of myself for all that I’ve done and I’m so thankful for Amy Jo Berman who thoughtfully prepared content in exactly the way that I needed it. As far as weight loss, I still have quite a way to go until I’m at goal, but every day is gift and I am no longer burdened with even a hint of self deprecation. I love my body and I am thankful for everything it does for me. As long as I stay focused on the possibility, on the question (Step 2 in AJB’s blog!), I feel limitless. And I have no doubts that the future only gets brighter! How does it get even better than this?!