What started out as an innocent picture began my journey.
My friend Marilyn came down to South Florida and wanted to meet me. She is one of my wonderful friends that I have been blessed to “meet” on Twitter. I actually thought I looked good and didn’t hesitate going down to meet her for a drink. The shirt I am wearing was so tight that it was cutting off the circulation in my arms. The Capri pants I am wearing was the stretchy kind of “jeans” (like in Nacho Libre.) It was hot out that day (or it could be the 54 additional pounds I was carrying) but all in all, I thought I didn't look half bad. Then came this picture. Marilyn showed me on her phone after it was taken and I went into serious denial. "Oh, it can’t be that bad, it must be the shadows, I’m turning a little - isn't that supposed to make me look thinner?" And then she tweeted it to the Twitter world. Please don’t get me wrong. I am in no way angry at her as I thought it was a “lovely” picture until I got home and went on twitter and saw the “actual size.” Oh......... my........ gosh……………
I think the first thing I did was cry. Everything I tried to justify went out the window. I knew I had “hit bottom.” The next day, I bought a pair of running shoes. Whatta joke. Me running? The only running I did was to the bathroom during commercial breaks while watching football on my couch. But off I went, around the block. Praying to the baby Jesus that if He was going to take me, He’d better do it now. My ankles, knees, feet, arms, shoulders, ear lobes were hurting. I thought - fughetaboutit - I ain’t doing this anymore. Hurts too much. Then I looked at this picture again. So the next day - went a little bit farther. I pretty much was shuffling at that point. Not pretty. No really - not pretty. My biggest problem was that I was making deals with myself like - if I “run” I’ll be able to eat that (whole) pizza because I exercised that day. Stuff like that. Let’s see, did that work? Um……..no.
Then came my friend Jo who doesn't have a mean bone in her body says as sweetly as possible - “um…. you want to try Weight Watchers with me - you know, not that you need it or anything (obviously she had her big ole blinders on) and we can do this together!” She was so excited to do it - how the heck was I going to say no. I, of course, thought she didn't have to lose anything but she wasn't comfortable in her skin and I sure as hell wasn't in mine. So I agreed.
Geez - looking back on this picture - again - I didn't think I looked so bad. (Nice 3 chins I have…..)
We walked into the building and waited on line to get weighed in. Now for all you doubters - it really is a covered area where NO ONE but you and the WW leader can see your weight. Now, I had “weighed” myself on my wonderful scale at home. No big deal - it can’t be that bad….. So this woman asks me (with a smile) to get on the scale. I put my right foot on and you’d think I put my foot on hot coals as I took it off just as quick. I looked at her and asked - “can’t I just tell you what my scale said at home?” She said ……."no." Ok - here we go. As the numbers were sky rocketing upwards - my head started to spin. I’m an honest person but even to this day - I can’t tell you that number. It made me instantly start to cry. This woman didn't hesitate to say - “don’t cry - that’s why you’re here!” Of course I said “yeah, yeah yeah.” I sat down next to Jo and we looked shell shocked. Jo looked like she felt so bad inviting me but quickly said (and to this day - I have never appreciated those words more) “look at that number - you’ll never be that again.” As I type this - tears are in my eyes, as truer words never spoken.
As time went on - so did the weight loss. I got what it meant to portion my meals. What was WORTH eating and how great the (non-food) rewards were, such as smaller size pants! I did a 5k race (not that I knew I was going to really “run” it) and lived to tell about it. Then came another 5k race with Jo!!
Don’t get me wrong - this 5k race was probably only half way to my goal. That was the other important lesson I gave myself - why wait to do things if you can try NOW! At this point my self confidence was shinning more and more. Then came my trip New York where I had a few things on my bucket list and was so blessed to have them come to fruition like walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.
This picture was taken by JD and it so captures my utter joy of completing yet another bucket list item.
In March of this year was the Mud Run that I signed up for in August of last year thinking - I have time to get out of it…….. Not only did I do it - but I finished it. Oh my gosh - whatta feeling. (and yes - it was like “dancing on the ceiling!”)
Only race I ever did that offered beer instead of water at the finish line!! Oh that tasted so good.
I was doing well with watching what I was eating and exercising but…..wasn’t losing anymore weight. Then at 2 o’clock in the morning - was an infomercial for Zumba. I found a class near my house that you paid per class. So I dragged my Maria (because I wasn’t going to do this by myself) to a class on a Friday night. This is after the first class we took.
No words necessary. What I can say - I was hooked but not Maria so much…. I began going because it was actually fun. My Latin roots came out and it was more like dancing than exercising! I did what I could and faked the rest. Oh who cares. I was there and sweating my arse off. Then the weight began coming off. Slowly but it was coming off. I then decided to join a gym where there were other classes to take and low and behold, I hit my goal weight. Down 54 pounds to date.
Today I went to Weight Watcher’s and was brought up to the front of the room and couldn’t even speak. Tears rolled down my face as people who I didn’t know and people that have been supporting me for over a year were clapping and crying with joy with me. I know I did it for myself regardless of what life threw at me. I also accepted support and love from people that genuinely wanted to see me succeed. I know this is only the beginning to sustain this weight but, I am confident with the help of others and God - I can do it. My undying thanks to:
my “crew!” - Matt, me, Frank (WW Leader) and Jo. Can’t wait to celebrate when they hit goal next!!
It began with a picture and ended with a picture. Ton o' blessings until next time.