How I lost over a 100lbs… It was so much more than just working out and eating right!

I could  have been 150 lbs or 300 lbs when I looked in the mirror and I would have still hated what I saw.

I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “how did you lose so much weight?” I always tell them it was a lot of work. I done more than, what the initial thoughts were that come to most people minds. I didn’t have weight loss surgery or take a bunch of diet pills. The thing is losing weight for me was more than, just working out and eating healthy…  It was more than, a lifestyle change. It was my an entire life that was changing.  I woke up and looked into the mirror and was tired of being miserable. Enough, was finally enough.  When I say miserable –  I mean more than just being fat, fighting depression, self-criticizing thoughts that never ended, feeling lonely and unappreciated, and hating the person I seen in my reflection. Losing weight for me was one of the many steps in my journey of learning how to find, love and forgive myself. 

This journey turned into more than just trying to lose weight, because I wanted to be happy. I was tired of being depressed, but my life wasn’t taking it easy on me. Most of the time people who are over weight, suffer from some type of depression whether it be mild or severe. Eating badly is more than, just a habit. I didn’t care how much or what I ate! For the longest time,  eating was how I dealt with emotions. I was an emotional eater and never realized it. Or maybe I did realize it, but never chose to fix the reason. 

Depression and emotional eating is a horrible combination to have together! Go ahead add broken and lonely into that combination; I was a HOT MESS! I felt like my life had been one nonstop battle. Sexual abusive childhood, divorced parents, broken home, abandonment issues, trust issues, my first-born son dying, fighting cancer twice, fighting a rare heart syndrome, blood disorder and everything else life had piled on top of me. It all had taken its toll on me. Eating I guess, was part of the way I coped with everything.

For so long, I lived each day on auto pilot. I was going through the motions to push through the day; which I coped with the same way as I had done the days before.  I functioned…but just barely. I was just doing what I needed to do to survive.  At my largest weight, I was pregnant with my third child and was at 305 lbs! After I had my son I said I was going to lose weight 100 lbs and then get a boob job. I know, I know… but that is what I wanted for myself.

So right after I had my son, I started eating healthy and taking a diet pill that was popular among the women in my office. I tried the diet pill, eating right and lost very little weight. The diet pill didn’t help me or not as much as I wished for it to, so I stopped taking it. I started off very motivated, but that motivation slowly faded away; as it always does in most cases. So I asked myself… Why am I trying to lose weight and am I really doing this for myself?

I decided to start a photo diary. That way I could use the pictures of myself instead of using the scale. I figured I would only weigh myself when I could see the difference in the pictures and in my pant size. Pictures were what kept me motivated and the scale only frustrated me.  Every time I lost a pant size I took a picture. I started the picture comparison, eating healthy, and working out. I stopped eating anything white (bread, rice, pasta and so on), increased my protein daily amount, and I quit drinking sodas. I started walking everyday a little each day and slowly added more distance each week.

I eventually joined a gym and got a trainer to help me, but that only last about 3 months. I had learned basically everything I needed to learn and could do a lot of it at home.  I started to drop weight at a steady pace at this point. Each time I hit a mile stone I would post a picture to my Facebook page and the support from friends helped me stay motivated even more.

I wanted to lose weight to be happy, but what I realized was I could look in the mirror at 300 lbs or 150 lbs and still hate what I seen.  I didn’t understand…. Losing weight was supposed to make me happy.

I realized that my happiness had nothing to do with my weight nor my looks. It had to do with how I saw myself in the mirror and whether or not I loved myself.  .  . I didn’t.

I had to learn to admit to myself that everything was not okay, that if I wanted to be happy I would need to remove everything in my life that was draining me emotionally, mentally and physically. I had to learn to feel again and process everything I had been eating! I can assure you… This is not easy.

As this point in my journey, my life was at a new maximum stress level; I ended up separating from my husband and filing for divorce. I lost a lot of people I thought were friends and felt like a failure for my marriage ending. For an emotional eater this was my worst nightmare for weight loss.

Even though I was going through so much I started to work out more aggressively. I started working for a life I wanted for and my children.

Once I learned how to take care of myself emotionally, mentally and physically and then forgave myself for allowing myself to become what I had; the weight continued to fall off.

I found a value within myself and a meaning for my life. Finding value in yourself and meaningfulness in your life will help you battle the resistance between the life you live every day in the pursuit of happiness and self-worth vs. the meaningless and negative sadness you feel or think within yourself. If you don’t have a clear defined and understanding of what adds meaningfulness and value to yourself and life; it becomes easy to lose your self-worth and become deeply depressed. At times we forget that our journey in life from the successes and failures, the happy experiences and the bad ones; all add some type of value to our life, through the endurance of  them. That sometimes suffering actually gives us meaningfulness to things we take for granted, but seldom realize we have. That being grateful and appreciating our life can set in motion our overall satisfaction and deeper quality of not only our happiness, but life. We often confuse the content for the quality of our life.

It is easy to get into routines, settle for good enough, become uninspired, and lose appreciation for things. We live our lives going through the motions and in accordance to responsibilities, accidental happenings, and deliberate planning …. all in the pursuit of “happiness.”  We base our self-worth, respect, and value on material items and looks. I realized that my weight loss was the results of the choices I chose to make. I learned to love myself for the first time and for once it had nothing to do with my size of my pants. 

Battling weight loss and….. well everything else can become so difficult when you aren’t addressing the entire picture. Learning to look at everything in my life, the good and the bad, accepting some things and changing other things , my respect for myself also improved. It was more than just about me. It was about everything in my life. By learning to love and value  myself I became a better person and mother.  I learned how to let go of the pain I had been toting around with me everyday.

Regardless of your size… support, love, and encourage yourself to be the best person you can be. We are not all meant to be the same size or color and are all uniquely different and beautiful!

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