Monday, January 06, 2020

14 year Blogiversary

Holy cow!  How has it gotten to the point that it has been 14 years since I started this blog/website?  What an amazing journey!  I have had incredible success with weight loss.  I have had some set backs in my weight loss journey also.   But through it I all I can honestly say that I have been continually learning about myself.  

So here is the fourteen years  in review and some lessons learned along the way post.     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 in conjunction with the start of this site.   I was probably right around 260 pounds at this time..  I had actually already lost about 50 pounds by this point in my journey because I did not start my online journal (aka blog) when I first embarked upon this weight loss journey.

Yeah, those pictures are definitely NOT easy for me to look at.  I am saddened that I let myself get to that point and thought it was ok.

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 so why continue?. 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.  

By late  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 time  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 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 I was forced to admit to the world what I had known for years that I was in a dead end relationship and leaving that relationship!      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 that 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 can purchase the book I wrote about that experience here. 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 were 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!
In may of 2019  I got really serious about losing weight....again.  But the weight dropped slowly.  Some of that is my age...but I took a decidedly different approach to weight loss this time around.  I was not restricting anything.  This was moderation.  I still had a piece of cake here and there. I also still had a reese's cup on occasion. But it was not everyday and I learned that it IS possible to eat one Reece's Cup out of a package....the one that is left doesn't go bad and will be waiting for you when you want it!   Amazing discovery!

2019 saw me making progress on the bike.  I rode and I learned.   We rode as often as possible!

I tried to walk as much as possible on my lunch breaks also.
At the end of the year we purchased an exercise bike.....this is going to help boost me into a new stratosphere.  My long work days won't be a hindrance anymore to me getting a good workout in and I couldn't be more excited!

2019 did not see me reach my goals...but I learned some huge lessons.  I feel so much more equipped to handle this journey and carry it into a maintenance phase.

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 confidence 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!


mxtodis123 said...

Congrats on your Blogaversary and thanks so much for sharing your story. You have definitely come a long way.

MaryFran said...

Thanks! It’s hard to believe it’s been so long!!!

Mrs Swan said...

I knew some of your history from your previous posts. It is so interesting seeing all the pictures since I only "know" you as your current ones.

How is the indoor bike riding going?

Mine is under the dining room table as we had to move it for the Christmas tree. I need to learn to use it. Even if it is literally for 5 min. I am more active kinda from the StepBets but any more activity will not hurt.

2020 is going to be a fantastic year!

*Stained Glass Butterfly* said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! My lowest weight was when I was also in a sad and ending marriage. I have a long, up-and-down journey myself! Maybe I need to do a post like this too :) I like the attitude of making this journey personal now.

Mary said...

I am familiar with the Divorce Diet. 14 years is a big accomplishment.

jen said...

14 Congrats on your Blog Anniversary. Must check how long I have been posting.

Thanks for sharing your journey.

Sarah said...

Happy blog-anniversary! It's been fun follofoll your journey. You have no idea how much of an inspiration you are!

MaryFran said...

I have been doing well with the exercise bike. The hardest part is getting out of bed super early in the morning!!!

MaryFran said...

It is totally personal...and I want to live!!!! Healthy and happy living!

MaryFran said...


MaryFran said...

Thanks! It’s nuts how long it has been!

MaryFran said...

Thanks! Writing here has been a huge part of my success for sure!!!

peppylady (Dora) said...

Your so right about the reason you loose weight. Class reunion isn't a good reason. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Such an inspiration