Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Before and After of My Before and After...

Thanks to my friend Brooke, I have some new followers over on the RRR Facebook page. Unbeknownst to me, while I lay in a hospital bed almost two weeks ago, she sent a bunch of her readers over to my page; which over tripled my page likes. Pretty crazy for this small time blogger. One of the new followers asked if I had any before/after photos….which of course you know I do. I mean, how could I not?

And even though I don't consider this a blog dedicated to weight loss (or at least dedicated to my personal weight loss story) it is always fun to look back on that part of my life and reflect. Could the last day of 2013 be a better time to share? I mean, not much has changed for me (weight-wise at least) over the last 12 months, but that is actually a really good thing.

In 2011 (the first year of my adventure, starting out at 286 pounds) I hit that 100 pounds lost mark, in 2012 I reached almost 130 pounds lost, and for the most part of 2013 I maintained that loss. I am thankful to have found a weight and a way of life easy for my body to sustain.

When I first started, walking a 5K was a CHALLENGE! I remember before I started to lose weight I walked in a 5K that the company I worked for was a sponsor of. I was the last one to finish. I'm not 100% sure of how long it took but I think it was somewhere around 1 hour, 15 minutes. That's where I started. My weight was such a limiting force that the only thing I was able to do was walk, and even that was hella painful.

But I didn't quit.

Don't get me wrong; there were hurdles and obstacles and it wasn't always easy.

But I didn't quit. And for that, I am grateful.

So here it is folks…a photographic representation of my physical transformation.





On February 20th, 2011 I decided I needed to change my life…I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. 
My only full body 'before' picture. This is from April 2011, down about ten pounds give or take so in this shot I weigh ~ 275 pounds….

 April 2011

 July 2011

 September 2011

 October 2011

 November 2011

 February 2012 

 March 2012 with one of my heroes Brendan Brazier

May 2012- my first running 5K!

 July 2012

 October 2012, my fastest 5K to date

 Recognize the location? Same spot as pictured above just 20 months (and 125 pounds) later…


 February 2013 

 April 2013, after my third half marathon

 June 2013~ jump fitness at Fitbloggin'

 August 2013~ my first triathlon 

 December 2013 ~ just a few days ago, post surgery 

December 2013~ my first night out after surgery!  I can almost stand up straight :) 

There are no words to describe how this adventure has transformed me mentally and spiritually- those changes are what make dreaming big and going after the life I truly want possible.  I know I probably sound like a broken record at times but I honestly believe that I wouldn't be where I am today, and this life wouldn't be so amazing, if I didn't fix the underlying problems that caused me to gain weight in the first place, if I didn't find my self worth, self love and acceptance, and if I didn't start taking ownership and acceptance of my own life. I am so thankful that I learned how and that I continue to make positive changes in my life that allow me to grow into the type of human being I've always wanted to be.

I should also note that although I am very proud of my weight loss it is not something I think defines me nor do I see it as a measure of my self worth or value as a person. The best thing about losing weight was that it allowed me to become more active, to become healthy and fit and to reduce my chances for weight related illnesses. Those are all very important things to me. But the things that have really transformed my life all have stemmed from acceptance of self; putting myself and my health first, being open and honest about my dreams/goals, wanting more from life and not being afraid to take chances, caring and kindness to myself and others, more laughter and less stress, all of these amazing things have only occurred because I loved myself enough (at 260lbs and at 160lbs) to say (and believe) that I AM WORTH IT!

And you are, too!

So today, on the last day of 2013, I hope you can take a moment and say to yourself (and believe it) that you are worthy of all your dreams, all the love, all the happiness, and all the amazing adventures this life has in store for you! Because YOU ARE!!!!

Happy New Year my loves!

Love and cheers,