I can’t believe I got here…

22 02 2011

100+ pounds overweight.

No one wants to look in the mirror and know that in order to be what is considered a medically healthy weight, you have to lose a triple digit amount of fat That’s three numbers!!! That’s intimidating. That’s depressing. You might as well color me a failure before I even get started with the idea of having to lose not 25 pounds, not 50 pounds not even 75 mother fucking pounds.

In order for me to go from MORBIDLY OBESE (my BMI was 41.1) to Normal (24.9) I had to get down to a weight of 163…You do the math. No wait, let me do it for you.

107 pounds.

I have friends that weigh less than that.

I know that many people will argue not to look at BMI as a measuring tool for what you should or shouldn’t weigh but let’s get honest here; It’s what most of us use when we first start out on this journey. I googled “what’s a healthy weight for me” and after a few clicks on my keyboard, I was ready to quit before I even began.

You felt the same way didn’t you?

I just wanted to close my eyes and pretend that I only needed to lose 30 pounds. I’m not trying to down play anyone’s weight loss journey, but having to lose over 100 pounds just to be “healthy “puts us in a league of our own.

You know what I’m talking about.

So here I was, stuck with this number…this TRIPLE DIGIT NUMBER. I cried. I cried a lot during the first few days after I decided enough was enough. I had to take a long hard look at myself and decide whether or not this was going to be the time that I stood up and drew that line for the LAST TIME. Oh I’d done it before…lost the weight. Twenty pounds one time, gained thirty-five. Lost thirty pounds (which was the required amount before I would be approved for gastric bypass) but then when I decided that gastric bypass was not for me, I quickly gained the thirty back plus an additional twenty. Then over the next few years I would slowly gain more and more weight until I weighed 270 pounds.

I needed to be a triple digit weight loss loser.

FUCK!

I took that triple digit and changed the way I thought about what needed to be done to be successful and to make sure that this time it would be life-sustaining. I didn’t change everything I was doing. I changed one thing at a time. Instead of going cold turkey (mmmmm turkey!) with my soda intake, I replaced one can of pop with one glass of crystal light and then consumed the rest of what I normally would. Then it was two glasses of crystal lights, then three…it took a few weeks but soon enough I was down to only drinking crystal light. Then I replaced one glass of crystal light with one glass of water and proceeded the process over until I was just drinking water. It’s been over a year since I’ve had a carbonated drink and I don’t miss it one bit.

Instead of going cold turkey (mmmmmm) on my food choices I picked one thing to work on at  a time  First it was staying within a certain calorie range. I ate crappy foods but I was learning to stay within a range. Once I got comfortable with logging my food, I changed what I was eating. Not everything. Brown rice instead of white rice, more veggies instead of starch, a lighter salad dressing instead of gobs of ranch.

I changed my snacking habits one at time. Chips and donuts made way for microwave popcorn and sugar-free popsicles which in turn made way for fresh fruit which in turn made way for very little need for snacking.

I didn’t balls to walls with my exercise. I got on the wii for 5 minutes…then 10…then 20. Then I took my ass outside and walked. I took more stairs than elevators. I parked farther and farther away from where I worked. When I joined a gym, I swam a few lengths of the pool and then slept for hours out of exhaustion. The first time I ran it was 1/2 a block. Then it was for 30 seconds…60 seconds…three minutes…five. I went to the gym once a week, then twice a week, then three times a week and when I was ready, I got a trainer.

If my weight loss journey had been about that triple digit, it never would have began. Took look in the mirror wearing the 270 pound body that I carried for so long and know that it would need to shed over 100 pounds was too scary to even think about. I took that triple digit and broke it into one single digit:

5 pounds.

I didn’t need to lose 100+ pounds. I just needed to lose 5. When I got down to 265, I just needed to lose 5 pounds. When I got down to 260, I just needed to lose 5. My entire weight loss journey has been done in 5 pound increments. There wasn’t ONE goal to achieve to feel good about my weight loss. There were 22 goals to look forward too.

Are you looking at the daunting triple digits and thinking it’s never going to happen?

Stop.

Pick one thing and work on that. Make goals that are achievable. Stop setting yourself for failure. Set yourself up for success and sustainability. Each goal acheived building onto the next. Each one helping  you believe in yourself. Know that even the smallest steps brings you closer to the finish line then never taking a step in the first place.

Believe me.

I know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 responses

22 02 2011
Kelly

It truly is daunting to see that number, to have the realization that you have to lose more than 100 pounds. I’ve fought the battle many times too and oftentimes gave up before I even started. The suggestion of 5 pounds at a time makes so much sense. It’s what you told me in the very beginning and it’s what I remind myself of each week.

HUGS.

22 02 2011
Jaime

Thanks for this post, always hard when you have 200 pounds to lose like I do not to get overwhelmed. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time. I remember when you got excited about running for 5 minutes, and now look at you! You’ve done such a fantastic job, hang in there!

22 02 2011
Jennifer D

this is the hardest freaking thing for me to get past! if i have a week with a good loss, i’m ok. but when it’s a small loss i start doing the math about how long it will take to get to goal and get depressed and discouraged. i really need to do what you did and focus on the small picture, at least until the big one isn’t so big anymore. thanks, as always, for this. btw – you’re a rockstar (but you knew that!)

23 02 2011
Hanlie

I have to lose more than half my body weight… Yes it’s daunting, but I’ve decided to leave the weight loss for my body to work out. I will give my body all the nutrients, water, sunshine, oxygen, exercise, sleep, fun, laughter, mental stimulation, love and pampering it needs to release that which we’ve been clinging to for such a long time. My body seems to like that plan so far!

I really like breaking the journey down in decades like you did in your previous post. I’m going to do it like that too.

23 02 2011
fru

Awesome post about small, do-able victories!! You rock!

23 02 2011
Tanya

This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

23 02 2011
Sarah

Your post came along right when I needed it. I have struggled for the past six months to get anywhere. I had a “come to papa” conversation with myself and my husband over the weekend and have been working to get exercise back in my life because I know that is the key to my success.

Today, I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. After successfully working out on Monday and Tuesday, today I don’t feel good and just want to crawl back into bed. I have a sinus headache and period yucks. But I am not letting myself down. Even if it is a short walk with the dogs or a few minutes of Wii, I will be active today. I have to be.

Your post just reminded me that it is about small steps that add up to huge changes. Thanks!

23 02 2011
TestingTrueChange

Very good advice, glad to read your blog! It really is all about the small steps 🙂

23 02 2011
Brandon

Awesome awesome awesome Tara, I am so damn proud of everything you’ve accomplished. My sister-in-law weighs less than the amount of weight you’ve lost, that’s DAMN impressive. Nothing is too big of a challenge if you’re truly dedicated, you’re living, breathing, walking proof of that. You’ve just got to take it one day and one pound at a time.

I can’t wait to run with you this summer at Ragnar, and finally give you that big bear hug I’ve been waiting so long for.

24 02 2011
263andcounting

I’m gonna squeeze you so hard you’re head will probably pop off. Maybe I should wait until after Ragnar …. can you run headless?

25 02 2011
Bella

Thank you for this.

25 02 2011
Colleen

I tell everyone this. focus on a small number and do not daunt on the big one. I cannot believe you lost it all in a year. That takes dedication, determination, and a lot of sweat!!! Amazing amazing job, I am so glad I found your blog/story on twitter!
I am struggling right now with the BMI standards. My highest weight was 277 and I am currently 161. According to BMI I need to hit 150 to be normal weight and I am just gettin frustrated it seems I am having a hard time losing the last final pounds to get there.

28 02 2011
Joshua

Pardon my language, but HOLY $#!^ I needed that. According to the BMI charts, I am 180 pounds overweight. I really hurt right now. So, thank you for posting this.

28 02 2011
alifechangingjourney

Rule #1 you don’t need to apologize for language on my blog. To know me is too know I swear like a fuckin trucker around these parts.

Rule #2 Yes you hurt but you NEVER stop moving forward.

I’m sure there is a rule #3 but I can’t think of it just now!

PS do you have a twitter account?

11 03 2011
Tara

Thank you. I found your blog by accident, I follow PriorFatGirl on twitter and she retweeted something you said and we share the same name so OF COURSE I had to check it out and now I have spent the last two hours reading everything that you have written. Amazing. This post is truly awesome. You are an inspiration, thank you for being so honest. You have made a new fan!

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