Getting weight off isn’t the only thing good that comes out of a healthy lifestyle.  There are so many little things people forget about! In the beginning of my journey I would find little milestones that I accomplished.  Some were silly but they were important because I was changing! I could see the work that I was putting out was doing something.

The first milestone I remember was the first 50lbs. I already had to buy new clothes.  New work out clothes, a few shirts and my husband talked me into skirts.  It was summer and I still wasn’t comfortable in shorts.  We went to Florida to visit my husband’s parents.  We were able to go to a theme park and  I could walk around (although it was extremely hot), I lasted the whole day.  We got there when the park opened and we left an hour before it closed.  I was tired but stemming from only being able to last through grocery trips in the past I was surprised!  I walked my in-laws mobile home park in the mornings and kept within my foods. My in-laws

On the beach Aug 1 2013.

On the beach with my family Aug 1 2013.

were extremely supportive and made sure there were things I would like to eat.  They are healthy eaters anyway and did a great job, I really appreciated it.  We went to beach, I still didn’t feel good about being in public in a bathing suit, but I just enjoyed my vacation.

Then on to the season at Christmas, I was down about 85lbs.  I was again going to another party but this year I had no trouble finding something to wear! I wore a fitted skirt and a size large shirt. I was shopping in the misses section not the plus anymore.

That spring my niece was getting married.  I was so excited for her.  I am getting old though, she was a flower girl in my wedding!  She asked for my daughter to be one of her flower girls, we loved it.  Anyway, back to the story, I needed a dress! My wonderful husband (look for more on him later) took me dress shopping.  I ended up in dress-barn because I figured they would have the best sizes to select from.  I tried on about 6 dresses.  I was so shocked, I grabbed size

Niece’s wedding May 2014

12s and 10s.  Thinking they might fit.  They were too big! I ended up getting a size 8s.  Don’t be jealous, my husband bought me three dresses that day.  We couldn’t decide on which I should wear to the wedding.  He put them all side by side and put it on facebook to see what everyone thought.  It was really humbling of all the comments and compliments people left.  It was a surreal moment for because of reactions people had made me notice my progress.  Yes clothe sizes were an important change, but I was still somewhat the same on the inside.

This summer we purchased season passes to our local theme park.  It had been about 17 years since my husband and I went there.  This summer was one of the best!  We went almost every weekend.  I sat with both of my kids in a ride!  Rode bumper cars with my daughter!  I could not have done any of this before!

Where ever I go I just feel comfortable.  I’ve never had that before.  I guess when you’re young you worry about status. When you’re my age now, when I don’t have the weight problem to be embarrassed of, it’s just me.  I don’t care about status, never did.  I just want to enjoy everything!

Do I have stress? Yes. Definitely.  But I don’t have body stress.  With the weight, I had double stress.  Not only did I not feel good, not be able keep up, I couldn’t think straight to take control of stress.  I have the stress of bills, teenage kids, schedules and a messy house! Why add more to it by dragging weight around.  I can’t believe the mind clarity.  I think the brain takes on fat too and blocks all rational thinking, lol.  Just kidding.  I just know that now I can manage stress better than before because I am not having to struggle to get things done. The bills aren’t going away.  My kids will figure themselves out someday, I have energy to clean away the mess, schedules will be temporary.  I have learned if I am not healthy neither are my relationships or my life.

Pictures.  Anyone hate having pictures taken?  I only took pictures, I avoided being in them.  If the kids had a birthday, I would hide behind the camera.  I knew what I looked like, my focus was on the kids I wanted to remember them.  I look back now and think was that the reason?  Why didn’t I just be with the kids in the picture.  Well, my husband loves to take pictures! Now, I let him do it just a little bit more than before.  It was hard at first, he pushed me because he

Date Night Aug 2014

wanted me to see the changes to keep me going.  It really helped.  Have someone do this for you, you don’t have to look at the pictures right away.   Just save them for when you’re ready or you feel like you’re doing well.  Looking at all my pictures today from the past and current I remember exactly what I was feeling at the time they were taken.  It’s a night and day difference.  Each progression needs to be noticed.  I understand through each one why I did this.

Today physically, I am fit.  I can say that.  There is no way around it.  My kids are having to keep up with me.  They may be able to run faster than me but I last longer.  Sometimes I get Mom, you’re going to fast.  Or Mom can you just calm down, this one is usually about housework because I can do it with ease and they hate it.  Things that would take me an entire day, take a couple of hours.  I love to do lawn work because it’s great exercise and I like to make the house look nice. It used to be a burden for me.  I used cut corners.  With everything.  I don’t have to anymore.  In fact, I drive people nuts now with organizing and fixing things.  I have so much energy during the day!  (I do finally crash about 9:00 every night, but hey when your body needs rest it needs to rest.)

Progress photo, Jan 2015

Progress photo, Jan 2015

A high point I experience every single day, all my workouts/classes are a success.  In class I work hard, do what they show me I can do and get it done.  If I’m on my own that day, I push myself until it burns.  I sometimes take what I do in class and do the moves in the middle of the gym.  This is my time and it’s what I choose to do!

Emotional change high points are extremely hard to accomplish.  Some times they came from other people reminding me, sometimes I would find things that used to be important that I no longer put an emphasis on.  As I said before weight issues come with low self esteem issues.  People would tell me how great I looked, of course I said thank you.  It took me a while to really see it.  I am my worst critic.  If there was an area that I didn’t like, I found a way to work on it.  I now can feel if a part of my body is feeling weak and I put that in to that weeks workout.

At first when I went to my gym, I was self conscious.  I fought through it and realized just how competitive with myself I was.  I wanted to make my workouts worth something.  I was done with feeling defeated.  I put myself in a place of mind where I was going to get this workout done.  People would comment in my classes on muscles they could see in my arms and just weight coming off very fast.  Well, I didn’t think it was coming off fast, lol.  That self conscious feeling was stuffed away, I  didn’t think of everyone else.  It was just me I had to beat.  I was the villain, because for so long I told myself I couldn’t do this.  I beat her. She’s gone.  The gym is my happy place.  Everyone around me is happy and when I leave I feel good about what I did that day.

There are so many changes I went through to get here though.  I dealt with the plateaus, workout struggles, defeat, gains and utter confusion.  When I made this decision I knew it was going to be hard.  There were some easy days too.  But I had to make myself have patience.  I had some control, but sometimes your body isn’t getting what it needs or something is throwing you off.  I had figure it out. More on this later.

My husband was instrumental in picking me up when I was down.  He never let me feel bad about anything.  He just kept reminding me how far I had come.  I learned that I was doing this forever and not to limit myself to a time when this weight needed to be off.  Through all of this our relationship has strengthened immensely.  I will talk more about us later, I want to do an entire entry just on him. It’s okay J, you don’t have to be scared.

I have couple of funny stories I want share.  I guess they would be high points because I thought they were funny and I took them as compliments.

I was at the post office one day.  I was standing in line, this guy complemented me on my shoes.  I thought okay, that’s weird.  Why was he looking at my shoes?  He then told me that he used to be a shoe salesman and he would fit women with the right shoes. Okay. He was a military man that had just served 20 years with the marines.  I thanked him for his service to our country, he then asked if I was single.  Um. I told him no. I was extremely uncomfortable.  I was wearing a wedding set! I was polite and told him I had been married for some time.  He then told me my husband was a very lucky man, that I was beautiful.  Very awkward for me.  I look back and think that has never happened to me in my life!  Of course my husband loved it!

I took one of my kids to their friends house, so we could take them fishing.  We were standing at the door, I could hear people moving around inside but they weren’t coming to the door.  I hear someone say don’t open the door yet, I’m not ready. This lady peeks around she says hold on sec, I’ll be out.  I was like okay, no problem.  So we’re standing there waiting.  All of a sudden she busts out the door and says sorry about that I had to go change my clothes.  I am thinking okay, we’re just taking your son right?  She says oh I was in my tank top and shorts with my belly hanging out and you were out here with your arms looking all toned and you’re tall and narrow,  I was eating cheetos, folding laundry.  She said this all in one sentence with this look on her face that maybe she had been caught doing something she shouldn’t.  I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to make anyone feel bad about themselves.  I told her as such, I told her about my story.   She was shocked.

Most people that meet me now think I have always been this size.  I am not sure what to think on this yet.

I smile at everyone now, did I before? Not all the time, because I was afraid of judgement.  Well, judgement is still there.  I still smile, because I want people to see who I am.  I am proud of this person.  If you are happy with yourself, others will be happy with you.  You can’t change way people think.  But you can show them who you are and it’s exactly who you want to be.

Thank you everyone for reading! I know I type a lot, thanks for sticking with me.  It’s been a long journey for me and I’m still not to all the things I have learned!

I want to invite you let me know of your high points! Tell me what you are proud of!   Let me cheer you on.