Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sisterhood "Rethink Your Shrink" Monday Project Link Up

Here we go... whew... this is gonna be a BIG one! First I will tell a bit of "my story", and then I'll post my pictures, and then finally the answers to the questions for this week's project over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.

I was a skinny child, as in seriously skinny like 5' 9" and 98 pounds in 5th grade. Once I stopped growing and reached 6' 0", the weight started coming on. I got to about 180 by the time that I graduated from High School, but I played volleyball throughout those years so I was still fairly fit.

When I went to college, the weight started piling on with all of the late night eating and drinking. During those years I reached 220 and then took it all off with a healthy vegan diet (for 2 1/2 years) and working out at the fieldhouse, and I graduated college weighing about 155 and sporting a bikini during my 3 months in Greece post graduation.

My 20s found me traveling up and down the scale again, until I met my former husband in 1998. I was about 165 when I met him, and he was a smoker so I started smoking and quit exercising (because he always wanted to go out to eat instead, and well, I was game!). We married in 1999 and the unhealthy lifestyle continued.

In December of 1999 I developed an auto-immune disease called Ulcerative Colitis, and I was placed on a corticosteroid called Prednisone. And I did not get off of it for 4 1/2 years during which I was very very sick, but only had to take more and more just to be able to barely function on a daily basis. I developed a secondary disease called Cushing's Disease from the high-dose Prednisone use (around 90 mg per day), and finally had to have my large intestine removed via full abdominal surgery in July of 2004 in order to get off the steroids and try to live a semi-healthy life. Right before I had the surgery, I hit my highest weight of 301.

After the surgery, I knew that I needed another to construct a j-pouch, but my surgeon told me that he would not perform the next surgery until I lost 100 pounds. I weaned off the steroids in September of 2004 and began the process of shedding the weight via Weight Watchers and Curves. By November 2005, I had lost 100 pounds and I had my second surgery in December 2005. After the healing period, I was finally able to enjoy my life again and I watched the scale creep up bit by bit until it was at 265 again. And that was it.

I am now at my high school weight of 180, and I am headed to my college weight of 155. I lost 2 inches from bone deterioration from the steroids, so I am only 5' 10" now (ONLY!). But now, at a packed time in my life while I work full time, commute 2 hours a day, am a single mother to a grade school child, and manage a household with her and 5 cats, I am happier and healthier than I have been in almost 15 years!

There's so much that I have left out, but that gives you a high-level picture of some of my journey. And it is still ongoing.

Before (2004)

Current (2009)

What about 2009 (and beyond) did not work? I did not reach my goal weight as planned. As I developed a fuller social life, I spent more time eating and drinking in a manner that defeated my weight loss efforts on the other days.

What were my goals? 1) Reach my goal weight. 2) Improve my mile time. 3) Run a half-marathon.

Did I fall short of achieving them? 1) Yes. 2) No. 3) Yes.

If so, why? 1) Lack of focus on following my food plan/eating and drinking moderately when out socially. 2) N/A as I achieved the goal. 3) Did not train for it.

What were my biggest obstacles? Poor eating and drinking choices when socializing. Occasional binge eating episodes. Lack of commitment to a half marathon training program.

What were my patterns? I often found myself hitting a new low in my weight and then rebounding by gaining back a few pounds, only to buckle down for a couple of weeks to reach another low and then repeat the pattern over and over. I would be on plan all week, and then blow away any progress made by overeating and overdrinking at weekend events.

What was my (most recent) “rock bottom” moment? I met a man who awakened a desire inside of me to be in a relationship again, but realized that there was NO WAY that I would enter into a relationship at my weight and with the body I had at the time. It made me want to make the change for good because I realized how much my weight was holding me back from living my life. Previously, I had lost 100 pounds but then gained back 65 of them as I slacked off on my healthy habits, so I decided to make the necessary changes to re-lose the weight and proceed on to my goal.

What are my bad habits? Binge eating. Not sticking to my exercise plan in the cold and dark months. Too much eating and drinking at social activites.

Take a look at 2009 and beyond and think about what did work. Because you don’t want to fix what ain’t broke. If something worked for you, if you felt progress somewhere, found successes, (because along the journey there are a million tiny victories, many of them non-scale related!), what were those?
All of your victories are a very big deal! Give yourself a high five, out loud, to everyone! I lost 45 pounds in 2009! I entered one-derland again. I improved my 5K time from 44 minutes to 35 minutes. I ran four 5K races. I took Zumba and yoga classes. I was able to buckle down during the week and achieve my food and exercise goals. I was more active in general and did more fun activities with my daughter.


Jenn said...

Wow, what an incredible story you have. You are one busy lady!!! Many kudos to you for striving through all that and coming out where you want to be in the end.
I wish you much continued success and fun in the coming year!

Melissa (TheDailyMel) said...

Even though we've "known" each other for a while, I never knew your whole story. You are even more inspirational to me now!!

Brooke said...

you've come a long way. i was on prednisone (sp) for a week and it just wrecked my figure/eating habits. you've obviously worked very hard to get to where you are today!

Mom of 3 boys said...

Wow what a story. I hate being on prednisone. It makes me super cranky. I can't imagine being on it all the time. Great job on losing the weight. You can keep it up.

MochaTrina@Me So Hongry... said...

You look sooooo amazing in that picture. WOW!! I am totally rooting for you and I can totally relate to the social life wrecking weight loss efforts. 2010 is your year!!

Jess B said...

Despite everything, your story seems to be one of hope. Good luck reaching your goal! You are so close!! :)

createapositivelife said...

Great post. Great story. Great successes. Great friend.

the lewis 4 said...

WOW! What an amazing story. You've come so far.

Nadine said...

"happier and healthier than I have been in 15 years" -- says it all. Congratulations on your success! This is your year!

Carly said...

What an amazing story. You look fantastic!!!!

runninginagirlsworld said...

The journey of weight loss is still a journey. You have an amazing story. I think motivation will always be an issue for most of us. I struggle with it, but push through and know how much better i will feel if I succeed in my daily or weekly goals. You are doing awesome. Keep up the hard work!

Christie O. said...

wow. what an unbelieveable wonderful story full of ups and downs! thank you so much for sharing it with us. my mom is on prednisone, that is one crazy steroid! one line that you wrote really resonated with me: how much the weight was stopping you from living life. i had that realization too and it is very obvious that you have taken your life back and are LIVING!! congratulations, and what a BEAUTIFUL picture of you and your little girl!!! Many blessings for 2010 and may you meet your goals, all of them! i know you will!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Your outlook changed in 2009. You had a much more positive spirit. Even when you "fell off the wagon" you got right back on. You tried new things (Zumba), and overall your attitude changed. Nothing tangible, but your posts were became more upbeat.

Bari said...

Wow, what a transformation! Congratulations on your accomplishments. 2010 is going to be your year!

Kris said...

I wish you all the best as you work toward achieving all of your goals, particularly your health ones. I know someone else with ulcerative colitis and she has to be highly vigilant with her diet to fend off flare-ups.

scalewarfare said...

What a fantastic post. I've read your entire blog, but feel that I "know" you so much more after reading this!

2010 just feels healthy :)