Friday, January 04, 2019

13 years and Counting: A blogiversary

How crazy is it that I have been writing about weight loss (and sadly enough gain) for 13 years!  (This weekend is the actual anniversary day.)  It has been a wild ride for sure...I have had amazing success and suffered setbacks and failures.  This is my journey and I have learned a lot and continue to learn a lot about weight loss AND myself.

So here is a thirteen year in review and some lessons learned along the way post.   (If you have been reading a while, you may recognize part of this post as a blatant steal from a blogiversary post a few years ago...I couldn’t say it any better so I copied and updated!!).  I have struggled with taking pictures of myself along the way.....a regret of mine.  (pictures are SO important on this journey) so the pictures are somewhat sparse in the earlier years of my journey!

I started this blog as a heavily overweight woman.  Here is a picture or two from that time....or rather, these pictures were taken December 2005....the closest pictures of myself I could find to the 10 year anniversary of this blog.   I was probably right around 260 pounds at this time....and had already lost roughly 50 pounds.

Not easy to see........

But I had a mission.  I was going to lose the weight.  I sadly, was losing the weight for the wrong reasons.....NEVER lose weight to try to make someone love you the way you want to be loved.  They need to love you for you and not the number on the scale or the size of your body.  It took me quite a few years to figure that lesson out. 

Right or wrong reasons, I started working  diligently on this weight thing!!!! I walked.  I rode my bike. I became a collector of exercise videos and I actually used them....EVERY DAY!     I watched everything I ate.....and guess what?   It worked!   I can see my face had started thinning out in this picture.

By mid 2007 my weight was lower than ever and I was feeling fantastic!!!!  I wasn't done  I kept moving!  I kept working it!  And the weight just kept dropping!!!

By 2008 I had reached my goal weight (as prescribed by my doctor).   Oh my word.  I can't even describe how fabulous I felt.   I was on top of the world.  I had never felt that well physically as an adult.   My arthritis in my knees all but disappeared.  I felt confident.  I just can't describe how life was...I just felt GREAT! (Size 10 shorts in the picture lowest size)

I even managed to make it to be a lifetime member at Weight watchers!!!!!!  GO me!!!!!!!

I still had some weight to lose.  I was still about 15 pounds over where the BMI charts told me that I needed to be in order to be healthy.  I pushed..and pushed.   Family and friends started to worry about me and told me that my face looked gaunt and started asking if I was sick.  I knew I wasn't.  But I still struggled with self image.  I never saw myself as a thin person.  So I pushed forward.  But I can NOW see how my face was SOOOOO thin!  

It was shortly after this picture that I realized that losing the weight in an effort to make my husband love me the way I needed to be loved was NOT working.  My marriage was still on the rocks, and nothing I was doing was working  (I had tried everything...not just a massive weight loss!).  I stopped caring about my weight....after all the purpose for losing weight had crumbled and proved to be ineffective. Ok, I still wanted to be thin, but I didn't want to bother with watching everything.  I didn't want to worry about the work it would take to complete my mission.  I started to slip.  

In 2009 I had done something I said I would NEVER do.....allow my weight to creep back above 200 pounds.    

By the way...I don't like the weird mouth thing going on...but my hair was AWESOME in this picture!!!    In 2009 I met a blog buddy for the first  and we rode Girls with Gears!!! What a fabulous experience and what a fabulous friend!!  I was about 210 pounds.  

Donna and I had so much fun doing the Girls with Gears Bike ride that we decided to do Pedal to Preserve the same year.  You can see that I gained weight between these two rides...two short months.  My hair was still awesome though!!!

I vowed over and over to stop the weight gain.  But I'm ashamed to say that it kept creeping up and up.

I took steps to try to eliminate the weight.  I just struggled.  I rode in Pedal to Preservethe following year, 2010  (I have no pictures of me doing it)   I had gained even more.     

I never gained everything back as evidenced in this 2011 or 2012 picture. But I had done some serious weight gain!

My salvation during this time was that I never stopped exercising.  I still rode my bike.  I had started going to zumba religiously.  I was still moving  and being active.  I was just gaining.  Weight is lost in the kitchen....NOT the gym and I was/am living proof!

In 2013  I decided to start losing weight for ME.  I didn't care what anyone else thought.  This was a mission for ME.   My weight started to drop again.  I was well on my way.   Things were looking GRAND for me and my weight loss.  I was featured in a newspaper article talking about my weight loss.  I had this in the bag I was on my way back to my goal weight!!!!!

Yup.....a picture from the article.  Not the grandest picture...but it was out there for the world to see.

Remember when I said I 'had this'?   I thought I did.  But my already crumbling marriage took a blow that no marriage should EVER have to endure.....and I lost my focus again.

I'd like to say that I got that focus back.  But I didn't. Once again I kept moving.  I was running.  I was going to zumba.  I was riding my bikes.  I was walking.  But the weight was not coming off. 

I ran in 5K's and even a few 10K's and the weight just wasn't dropping......

 In mid 2014 I started to lose weight again.......

Then my life changed drastically.  My marriage ended....and I finally admitted to the world what I had known for years!      Life was upside down and I still couldn't get a grip on it...but I kept moving!!!!  I kept pushing....but gained again. 

2015 was rough for my weight.  I regained what I lost in 2014.....maybe I needed the year to come to terms with where I was in life.  My life had turned upside down in so many ways.  I had to come to terms with being single.  I had to come to an understanding with the dating world (wow.....just wow). I had to figure out where I stood in this world.  And my weight suffered.

It took quite a bit of time....but in October of 2015  it  clicked and I got back on track.  AND....I met Jason!

I was in amazing shape.  We hiked mountains 

 And then we started to ride bikes together!
We weree on FIRE!

And then we both switched jobs in 2017. The evening walks got a lot shorter due to our long commutes.  The weekend rides and hikes happened less and were shorter also due to the lingering tiredness from the long work weeks.   We still moved...but not as much and it started to show in my weight.  I started to gain!

2018 rolled around and I was so sure I was going to be successful.  But the year turned out to be me maintaining my weight but  losing some of my fitness levels.  I saw it happening and just lacked the willpower to stop the train.  I DID buy a new bike and plan on using that new bike in 2019 to get healthy!

See, I told was a journey!   It IS a journey.  It is emotional to write and read this.  It is hard to see some aspects of the journey.  But I am in awe at the journey.  I am amazed to see the confidene on my face when I was a thin woman.  It is definitely torture to see the weight creep back on and my continual lack of change.  But through it all I an see the value of the effort.

This journey has shaped me into the person that I am right now!   I am now making this journey PERSONAL.  This weight loss is for ME!  This journey is because I want to live a long and active and healthy life!    I am in control of the next chapter of this book.  I can write it as a overweight woman or I can write it as a healthy woman.  The choice is mine!   Stay tuned!


*My Stalker Is Fat* said...

I was updating my MyFitnessPal profile this morning and realized that I have been trying to get back to my goal weight for 10 years now. So this post really hit home for me today. I also thought losing weight would help a failing marriage, thinking maybe he would be more attracted to me if I got into shape. Ugh, it's embarrassing to admit that, but when you are in a lot of pain, you are not thinking rationally or clearly. Thankfully my marriage ended years ago, because it was not a healthy relationship for me. It sounds like you are at a good place, a positive and happy relationship, new job, and a good attitude for getting healthy. We are all rooting for you!

mxtodis123 said...

Thank you for your story. You are an amazing woman, a role model.

MaryFran said...

Thank you for sharing is embarrassing to admit and I don’t feel so alone now! Thankfully we are both in a much better place emotionally now!!!

MaryFran said...

Thank you!

Shelley said...

It really is a journey, isn't it? I like that you can look back and see what worked for you, what didn't, and set some new goals as a result. Congrats on 13 years - you've got this!

jesseybell said...

Thank you for sharing your teenage-old journey with us. The joys of the ups and downs of healthy living. I really feel that 2019 is going to be a great year for you both!

MaryFran said...

I’m going to keep working on it and never give up!!!

MaryFran said...

Thanks!! This is the year! I’m getting healthy and...well whatever happens between Jason and I will be good...wink wink (I have my suspicions!)

Mark said...

Thank you for sharing. Amazing changes. You are a great role model. What you share here motivates others.

Tiffany said...

Wow what a journey indeed but thats the way life goes ups and downs and all we can do is keep moving but youve got this and am cheering you on lady.