Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's so much more than "before and after".

Well, where do I even begin?
This blog post has been rolling around in my brain for so many months.  I haven't known where to begin, but I knew I wanted to write it.

When I made the decision in August of 2013, to make changes to my eating and activity habits, I really had no idea it would lead me to where I am today.  My primary goal was to lose weight and get healthier.  Yes.  I did that, and so much more.

You know that there is always a "before and after" photo, right?  Okay, I'm showing you that.  But, there are SO MANY other changes to me that one doesn't see in photos.
My "before" photo in 2013, as I began to change me.  My "after" photo taken in April 2016 after my first half marathon.
I'm beyond happy that I've lost those 77 excess pounds AND kept them off for this long.  Two years and 4 months, at this point.  But I realize that I will have to continue making healthy choices for the rest of my life.  Sometimes those choices aren't easy.  Sometimes they're VERY difficult.  Sometimes I stray a little and make the wrong decision.  Oh yes, I have my weak moments.  Moments?  Ha! Make that "hours" or "days".  But I've learned that when I go off track, I just have to tell myself that it's okay.  It's temporary.  No need for a pity party (well, maybe a short one). was temporary.  It's happened before.  It will happen again.  Stop it now and start over.
That philosophy has worked for me.  My weight varies within a range of about 4 poumds

Now. The title of this blog post.  Yes, it's so much more than a "before and after" photo.

Besides my appearance and my health, there have been so many other things that have changed as a result of my weight loss.

My self esteem - in addition to feeling good physically, I feel so good about myself.  It took quite a while for me to see myself differently.  That mental picture of myself looked a lot like the "before" photo for quite a while.  I had to get used to the new me, and really come to terms with this version of me, to think of myself differently.  It finally happened though.  I'm so happy about that!

The activities I enjoy - I still love my paper crafting hobby; very much!  But...I also love physical activities. Especially distance walking.  It feels great to get outdoors and MOVE.  I love the way it makes me feel...physically, emotionally and mentally.  When I've been working at my desk for too long, my body lets me know it's time to get moving.  On those days when I feel tied to my desk, with little time to spare, I feel deprived if I don't get some walking time.  That time I spend walking is restorative and rejuvenating.  I need it, mentally and physically.  Actually, I need it spiritually too.  I've found that my walking time is one of my best times for prayer.

Mentoring/advising/sharing - I'm really not sure what to call this one.  During the time I was losing weight and still now, so many people have asked me for advice on losing weight.  I am, in no way, qualified to give any expert advice on this subject.  I'm happy to share what has worked for me, but I know that it may not work for someone else.  It's flattering to be asked, I'll admit.  I think each of us really has to educate ourselves on this subject and each person has to ask themselves why they want to lose weight.  And, are they ready to make a lifelong commitment to these changes they're contemplating?

Comments from others - This one is really very interesting and occasionally confusing.
I've received many positive and encouraging comments and compliments on my physical appearance since losing all that extra weight.  Of course, that's a real boost to my ego and it's fun.
When shopping for clothing, I'm still surprised when a sales person refers to me as "little" or "tiny".  I shopped the plus size section of stores for so many years, so this is a complete turn around for me!
Now, occasionally someone will tell me that I'm too thin.  These are the comments that confuse me.
I'm healthy, I feel great and I'm within the "normal" weight range for my height.  And my doctor is pleased with my weight.  Occasionally, when I'm told I'm too thin, I start to wonder if they're right.
I know that I look MUCH different than I used to.  Many people were used to seeing the "before" Susie.  Since losing weight, my proportions are different and gravity has had an effect on some areas of my body.  Well...I'm not going much further with that subject.  I'll just say that body does not look the same as someone my size who never carried that extra weight.  Some areas may be a bit thin, but others have some "extra".  So, I'm always going to be a bit out-of-proportion in comparison.  Ah well.  I'm just keeping it real here!
Most importantly, I'm happy (and my sweet and supportive husband is happy) with my "after" and that's what really matters.

As I wrap up this post, one other thought just came to mind.  It has to do with how I think of myself.
My friend Connie and I walked a half-marathon together in April.  It was my first and her 3rd (I think).  After completing the race and taking a few photos, we headed over to the tent for snacks.  Gotta get that "free" banana, right Connie???  :)
In front of the tent was a sign that said  "For Athletes".  Oh. My. Goodness.  I am an athlete.  Never, ever...ever had I thought of myself as an athlete.  That was an "Aha" moment with a capitol A!

I still smile when I think of that sign.  And I'm smiling right now.  :)
And now that I stop to think about it...I smile a lot more these days.

Here are a few quotes that really speak to me.
Love my bright colored running shoes AND my veggies with chicken.  Truly!!!

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Susie! I have loved watching your journey and your positive attitude. :-)