Am I Still Fat?

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and forget that I’ve lost weight.  I remember quickly, but for just a split moment, I forget.  Sometimes I go to put on my jeans and I think, NO WAY are these going to fit me.  Other times I put on my jeans and think, these aren’t any smaller than what I used to wear. Sometimes I eat a candy bar or cookies and feel guilty, even when I’ve earned it with gym time.  Sometimes I think the fat girl will never go away.

Do I really want her to disappear? There are somethings I believe being overweight have taught me that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.  I feel like I’m less judgmental because of where I’ve come from. I’m more understanding of people fighting that battle.  It’s also taught me that changing who you are takes WORK and there are no short cuts.

I’ll always be a member of the fat girl club at heart.  Unless you’ve experienced the discrimination and stereotypes of being obese, you’d never understand.  The world is a much different place for obese people.  I know that obese people have just as much to offer the world as healthy weight people but most people don’t know that.

I’m as proud of the obese me as I am of the thin me.  I’ve experience love and success at both weights.  I’ll never forget her or let her go.  I’ll continue to carry her with me wherever I go.


I hate Heidi Powell

One of my favorite trainers on TV is Chris Powell.  I have been watching his show, Extreme Weight Loss, for my entire journey and find is extremely inspiring and often see elements of myself in their clients.  Chris constantly posts about his wife, Heidi Powell, who is also a trainer and regularly featured on the show.  Via his Facebook feed he recommends her blog on a daily basis.  I’ve never read it before because, well, I hate Heidi Powell.

heidipowell Why? She’s freaking gorgeous, returned to the show just weeks after giving birth, could probably kick my ass and let’s face it: she gets to do it with Chris Powell.  (And that just doesn’t seem fair!)143910a7d5d2cc2e198fc7e2516d9850

So I’ve never ventured over to her blog……..until now.  She posted about something that I just had to read.  So for the first time, I’ve recommending her blog for others because I found it very true and inspirational.

Heidi recently blogged about “The Promise You Make to Yourself.” I’m going to try and write in my own words but might have accidentally borrowed from her ideas! Now, this doesn’t mean you can just start reading her blog instead of mine! (Even though her hubby is as good looking as mine)

People ask me how to lose weight all the time.  They think there is a magic answer or a quick fix that will allow them to get on the same path as me.  While it does come down to eating right and getting active, there’s more to it than that.  It’s about the promise you’ve made to yourself.  At the end of the day, when you’re lying in bed and thinking through the day, you only have yourself to answer to.  I of course made a promise to my hubby that I’d lose the weight.  But I’d made this promise before and failed.  He’s admitted that he never really expected me to do it because I hadn’t in the past.  If I hadn’t done it, life would have gone on the same.  He wouldn’t have held me accountable to what I said with crazy consequences like getting a divorce.  He would have encouraged me and tried to keep my on track.  However, he more than anyone knows I’m the only one that can make myself do anything.

I knew I owed it to myself and that’s why I made a promise to myself.  I wanted the results of weight loss. I wanted other women to be jealous! I wanted to wear yoga pants in public.  I wanted to give my hubby all the years I could.  I wanted all the time I could get with our future child.  That’s the promise I made to myself, to be the best I could be so I’d have more of myself to give to others.  That’s the promise I kept to myself.  I feel that letting yourself down is worse than letting others down.  In the end there’s just you.  Have to made decisions today you can be happy with? Are you fighting a battle on the inside? Make a promise to yourself today that you can keep!

Success Feels Good!

This last week was very stressful for me.  I’ve started at a new school with new people.  It is always hard to figure out who you can trust, who to keep an eye on and where the faculty bathroom is.  Due to this stress, I was not expecting to lose any weight this week.  My body sometimes responds to stress by holding on to weight.  Other times it will drop weight like crazy.  So I went in to this week not expecting to lose my usual half to full pound.

For most of the week this happened.  I couldn’t figure out if I wasn’t eating enough or at the right times.  So I just kept doing what I’d usually done and knew my body would eventually get it together.  I was especially bummed after going to an extra grueling workout at the gym and waking up to the same weight the next morning.  I even went up for a day or two.  This is when I have to remember my little successes:


What had I done, health wise, already this week to be proud of, even if it didn’t result in weight loss?

1. At Green Day with my fellow arts teachers, we were given catered box lunches. It had a huge cookie inside that was 370 calories.  I could have eaten it.  I had worked out that day. Instead I brought it home to my hubby. I felt even better about this decision after he told me it wasn’t even that great.

2.  I had the opportunity to eat grilled cheeseburgers at Back to School night.  Since I’m not much of a burger girl to begin with, this one wasn’t too hard.  Instead I had a meal I’d already planned for: lunch meat, cheese, baked chips and applesauce.  Then because of this decision it lead to a conversation at my table where I could share a little bit of my story with my new coworkers.

3. I decided I didn’t care if I didn’t lose weight this week.  It’s enough just to get back in the swing of things.


Each one of these things made me proud this week! I could have used my first week back at work as an excuse to eat horribly and blame the stress if I saw a weight gain.  But I stayed true! The result was seeing the lowest weight on the scale I’ve seen to date at my weigh in on Saturday. I think the comfort of knowing I could fail or not lose this week helped take the pressure off!


I can’t explain the high of being told how good you look.  One time during the middle of my weight loss, my best friend Bree said “I feel like you’re skinnier every time I see you!” It filled my heart with joy to be able to say, “That’s because I am!”  The small successes everyday is what keeps me going. Small choices like no cookie today makes me one step closer.  I’m dying to see that magical number on the scale that means I’ve made it!  I have now been dieting for 15 full months and I have no idea what it’s going to feel like to know I did it.  I know that when I see the number it will be a relief, but at the same time I’m ready to eat this way the rest of my life.  When I see that number, the sense of accomplishment will stay with me forever. Along the way I’ve set small goals, monthly goals or even sometimes just daily goals.  The success of these small goals has lead me to facing down my biggest obstacle.  Small things add up to big things.  It is literally day by day!  Celebrate the small things and eventually you’ll get there.  If you don’t count the small successes along the way, the big goal at the end will always seem out of reach.


Thrift It!

As you begin losing weight, you will obviously need to buy new clothes.  If you are looking to lose a lot of weight, you could go through tons of sizes.  I went from size 24 to size 12.  As a teacher, I could not afford to buy a new wardrobe every month and a half.  I’m not sure who could.  Throughout my entire journey, I shopped exclusively at thrift stores.  With the exception of a Goal Dress or an interview outfit, I rarely purchase new clothes.  I’m very cheap and want to spend as little as possible on clothes.


Here’s some tips for shopping at thrift stores:

Sales! Sales! Sales! 

Most thrift stores will run sales on certain Saturdays.  You might think that $3.99 is fine for a top, but on half price Saturday that shirt is $2! My local thrift store, ARC, does half price every Saturday.  They often run 99 cent sales as well where I really stock up.


I buy things that don’t exactly fit all the time.  If pants are a little tight, get them anyway because they will fit in a few weeks.  If you find a top that you love but is a little tight in the tummy, buy it anyway.  You’ll see that different brands fit you differently.  Sometimes size 16 is not the same in two different brands.  Blame the clothes and not your body!

What You Can’t Find

Some things I never find or buy at thrift stores.  I NEVER buy underwear or bras because I think it’s gross.  If you’re up for it, I guess go for it.  I struggled with underwear for a long time before finding some I really like.  I also have a hard time finding clothes for the gym.  By the time people get rid of workout pants, they are usually stretched out and pilling.  Workout tops are usually ubiquitous.



Another reason for thrifting is being able to try on hundreds of brands in one store.  Now that I am almost to goal weight, I’ve been looking for favorite brands of wardrobe stables like jeans, dress pants and tops for work.

Helping Others

Today I found myself saddened by the state of a collegue I hadn’t seen in maybe 6 months.  He is an awesome teacher and a wealth of knowledge.  We could all learn things from this man which is why he was a presenter today. I am going to leave out his name just in case he ever runs across this……….

It was pretty clear to me that he had gained quite a bit of weight on top of already being obese. We started with an activity called Peach Pit.  You stand in a circle and each person shares a peach (good thing) and a pit (bad thing) about your summer.  Since there was about 35 of us, the activity took quite a while.  5 minutes in my collegue had to sit down.  I got tired of standing after about 20 minutes but no one else ever had to sit down. While he was presenting, I could hear him getting short of breath from standing and walking during his presentation. It made me very sad.  I want to reach out to him.  He heard me announce that my peach was getting so close to my goal weight over the summer and keeping up my fitness routine. I was hoping he would ask me questions about how I did it.  I was hoping he would ask for advice. But he did not.


I’m worried about him.  He’s clearly on a path that will lead to an early death. This man is such a gift to our profession and has so many wonderful things ahead of him even though I’d guess him to be in his 50s. I know what people see when they look at him. It’s the same things I used to think about myself.  How is this guy going to help me if he can’t help himself? How good of a teacher can he be if he loses his breath during the lesson? Neither of these things are true but I know they were thought during the presentation today.

So what am I going to do? Nothing.  I can’t make any choices for him.  I don’t want to make him feel even worse than he must. But, what I can do is share my journey with him. I’m going to stay in contact with him and update him on my status.  I’m hoping that the story of my success will make him consider doing something for himself.  Maybe he will but maybe he won’t.  I can guarantee that every morbidly obese person you meet has at least THOUGHT about losing the weight and what it would be like to be healthy.  You can’t make the choice for anyone else or motivate anyone to start. BUT maybe the knowledge that it CAN be done might inspire him to try.

Changes Are Coming

Hey guys, today will be my last DAILY post for a while.  I’m hoping to keep posting twice a week but I will be going back to teaching full time starting Monday.  With it brings a lot of anxiety for me.  I, of course, am very anxious to meet the kids and am unsure how the year will go.  I’m also anxious about getting back into a routine for eating.


I have to say, I thought I would do much worse over the summer. I’ve lost 12 pounds over the summer but my real goal was to hopefully not gain!  At the start of summer I was really nervous about not having an eating schedule and being stuck in the house.  Of course my eating schedule varied from day to day but I made sure to stay active throughout the summer.  With so many birthday parties, cook outs and events, it was often hard to stay true.  BUT I proved to myself that I could do it.  While I was hoping to be at my optimal goal weight by the start of school, I don’t think that was ever realistic.  My weight loss has slowed A LOT since the beginning and it’s true that the last pounds are the hardest by far.

I am excited to get back into an eating schedule.  I’m a very orderly person and like having a schedule.  It’s hard for me in the summer to be motivated to do my regular ‘stuff’ when I have all the time in the world to get it done.  School provides an easy eating schedule as I can only eat at my designated times.  I’ve already scheduled out when my snacks and meals will be in my day. Even though I’m sad that summer has come to an end, I’m happy to have the stability of school back. Have you set an eating schedule for yourself? Do you work in both snacks and meals during the day? Take a look at when and how you’re eating and try to make just one easy change a day!

Shopping Sucks

Shopping is awful. There are parts that I love and parts that I absolutely hate. It is awesome to get smaller and smaller but it’s so hard to say goodbye to your favorite clothes over and over again. Eventually, I had to go into stores and figure out how to put things on my body.


My whole adult life I’ve only shopped at plus size stores. These stores seem to have the same styles over and over in several colors. I tended to buy the same shirt in several colors. I would basically buy anything that looked pretty good. You don’t get many choices in plus size stores. So when it came time to start shopping in a new store, I didn’t even know where to go. Are there only certain stores that I should go to? Which ones are for teenagers? Which ones are for old ladies? I asked my friends where to go and would check out the clientele before walking in to a new store. If it felt weird, I left.

I used to get anxious shopping at my heaviest weight too. I wasn’t ever sure things would fit or they would carry my size. I still feel that way. I still don’t know what will fit and what won’t. When I pick something up in the store, I have no idea if it’s the right size. Certain stores are easier to shop than others. If you’re getting frustrated or depressed, just leave. Don’t let cotton fibers change your mood. Some stores size by inches which totally threw me off. When I was recently shopping at H&M, I almost started crying. They size their jeans by inches. I have no idea how many inches I am and when I hold them up, I still don’t know if they will fit. I know lots of people that love this store but I can never figure it out. Nothing seems to fit me right and I can’t say I’ve ever purchased anything but hair accessories. I just can’t crack the code so I just don’t go there.


So moral of the story. Shopping sucks when losing weight but most places require you to not be naked. If a store doesn’t feel right, go to a different one. If shopping brings you to tears, use your oversized shirt to mop them up and try again another day.

Men Suck

As I began losing weight, one of the biggest changes I noticed with strangers was how men reacted to me.  As a morbidly obese person, you’re not normally attractive to most of the general public.  I know that some men found me beautiful regardless of my size. I’ve always been confident and considered myself pretty. Men, on rare occasion, would stare at me from across the room or open a door for me, but it was rare.

After losing the weight, men now look at me all the time.  Men flirt with me in obvious ways, sometimes even in front of my husband. The point of this is not to brag but propose the question, wasn’t I just as beautiful before?


At times it actually made me mad to have men look at me. The same men wouldn’t have glanced at me in the past!  I made the same amount of money, have the same hair, drive the same car and have the same personality.  The only difference is how my body looks. However at the same time, doesn’t the problem lie in society not just these men? Society has taught them what is beautiful and attractive.  These men are just following the social norm.


The absolute truth is: the world is made for healthy and active people to be successful.  It is not made for morbidly obese people.  This is a fundamental issue within our society that gawking men, although rude, can’t be blamed for. Physical beauty comes befor all else when we encounter a stranger. All of us judge based on image whether we want to admit it or not. Your outside physical appearance gives a ‘snapshot’ to strangers of who you are. While I don’t agree with this judgement, it’s built in to our society.

Today, challenge yourself to not judge based on first impression of physical appearance!

Love Is All You Need

Yesterday I celebrated 8 years of marriage with this hot guy:



I am very fortunate to have such a strong partner.  Over the last year, I was busy making myself into the woman I thought he deserved to spend his life with.  Both he and the idea of having a child motivated me to lose the weight and get healthy.  Who wouldn’t want to see this face at 80 years old?  This was the first year that I could write “I’ve tried to be the best wife I could be” in his anniversary card and it be true.

In this past year, Dan gave up quite a bit to support me on my journey to health. He sacrificed time with me so I could sweat a little longer at the gym.  He sacrificed MANY hours thrift shopping for new clothes. He gave up soda, sweets and salty snacks in the house.  If I made a ‘no chocolate’ mandate, he abided. If I asked him to split a sandwich with me so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat the whole thing, he would.  When I asked him to come to the gym with me, he did and threw up every time. Without his constant support, I don’t know that I could have done it.


So today’s post goes out to my number one fan, my partner and love of my life!  While this post may just seem like a ‘I have the best husband in the world’ rant, I’d like everyone to consider the support they have around them.  More times than not, a partner will support you on your road to healthy.  Often when you make better choices they will too! I am very blatant with what I need from Dan.  I say “I need help with _______________” and he does it.  As long as I communicate what kind of support I need, he is happy to oblige. Maybe you don’t have a partner at home but think of a friend.  You need someone to call when you step on the scale and it’s jumped 4 pounds overnight.  You need someone to make you feel bad when you haven’t exercised in a week.  Everyone needs someone.  It’s ok and healthy to lean on others during your journey.  I have been talked off the ledge many times by my hubby and close friends.   They help remind you that you’re human.  Perfect example:

Me: “I feel fat today because I gained two pounds.” (Sad face)

Dan: “Did you gain 10? Aren’t you going to the gym later? Shut up.  You’re hot.”


While that might not seem like a supportive conversation, just those few phrases from him help me remember that I’m human.  I didn’t wake up as my 290 pound self.  I didn’t fall off the wagon.  I’ll lose those 2 pounds again just like I did the first 118. Duh. Sometimes we get so lost in our own heads that we just need a logical response from a friend to remind us that it will never be perfect! So today, reach out to your support group and thank them for being there!  If you don’t feel like you have a support circle, meet up with an old friend or relative and talk to them about what you’re trying to do and try to get them on board.  You’ll need them later!

Time Will Pass Anyway

I feel like this has been my inspiration and motivation through my entire journey: TIME.  Everyone wants more time: More time to sleep, more time to spend with family, more hours in the day.  But how many of us are making choices every day that could takes days, weeks, months or even years off our life?


I want as much time on this Earth with my loved ones as I can get!  That is why I’ve dedicated so much of my time now for time in the future.  It’s true that exercising and dieting do take time but how much time will you be rewarded with in the future?  I stumbled across this quote and used it to motivate me for the last 15 months:

imageI love this quote because it’s so true.  I could have chose to not do anything about my health for this last year.  I could have remained exactly the same but I chose not to.  I had always dreamed of dropping a bunch of weight over the summer.  How cool would it be to show up 40 pounds lighter and surprise my students and coworkers? This time I finally did it. THE TIME WILL PASS ANYWAY, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH IT?

Over the past year, I watched a lot of people stay the same.  Stay unhappy with their weight, job, home, relationship or even education.  I was definitely one of these people in the past.  I would mention wanting to lose weight but never tried or gave up quickly.  I’ve met a lot of both happy and unhappy people in the past year.  What was the biggest difference between the two? The happy people chose to get there and do whatever work needed to be done to get there.  People discuss losing weight with me all the time but I rarely see those people then make healthy choices in front of me.  I know I can’t start someones journey for them or control anyone else.  BUT I just want to help.  I want them to get to experience what I’ve experienced in this past year.  I wish everyone could feel how I feel.


So here’s my challenge for you: pick one area of your life to change and JUST DO IT. (Thanks Nike) The time will pass anyway and you can choose to change or remain the same.  Trust me.  You’ll be a lot happier with yourself looking back if you do something now.