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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

True Grit

True Grit

Let me tell you a little about me, I’m real, and I was given a gift of fearlessness.   I’m not afraid to show my true colors, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I use my words to express myself (sometimes a little too openly).  
 My weight has been a life-long issue for me.  I am built like a tree stump, broad shoulders, thick bodied, and throughout most of my life, rather flat chested.  Not a great combination for a female who grew up in an era where being overweight was less acceptable than a drug addiction.   Of course that mentality has shifted a lot since obesity became a nationwide epidemic, though being comfortable in your skin is a lot more important than public acceptance.   

<- This was me in 1993, sitting at a whopping 217 pounds.  The scarey part, when I look at this picture, is knowing that I am just 7 pounds away from THAT!  Its mortifying!

1999, when I was in a lean phase hovering between 165 - 173, see my pointed chin and genuine smile.  It's easy to smile when we are more comfortable in our skin.

I found my weight niche between the ages of 19 and 30.  My “comfort zone” hovered right around 170 pounds, which may seem like a lot for some, but for me it looked pretty good.  I was a gym rat, going 6-7 days a week, sometimes twice a day.  Overall,  I was healthy and fit. 
On my 30th birthday my husband and I decided to have children.  It was my second pregnancy that the beginning of a Major battle with weight began.  I had gained more than I was supposed to, and after giving birth I fell into a deep, ugly depression.  In the same year as having my second child I ended up having a partial hysterectomy and my thyroid removed, pushing me further into sadness, and sloth.  It was that year that I put on an additional 25 pounds from my comfort weight, and I haven’t been able to shake it since.

This past year has been the toughest for me emotionally, I was working a job that I was miserable at, I felt like my children were out of my control, my life seemed to be tumbling out of control.  Since January 2013, I year ago, I gained ANOTHER 20 pounds.  It is truly difficult for me to look at my own reflection, it hurts to do so.  I am my own biggest disappointment.

When I take a good honest look at myself I can see that I have allowed myself to fall out  of working out regularly at the gym, I no longer ran or biked like I used to.  I no longer cared as the stress and frustration of life and parenthood took over.  I gave up fighting and fell into the habit of being lazy, and eating to subdue my emotions, constantly giving myself excuses for not making the effort.  Food is a wonderful / hateful elixir for temporary feel good feelings.

This picture is in 2011, I was in a miserable place, stuck in the 190's.  Looking back I wish I was there again.  It's very frustrating to feel stuck in a body you don't recognize.  

I am now 42 years old, and I’m sick and tired of being uncomfortable to be seen in public.  I have lost my joy and love for life.  It is time for change.

Since mid December 2013, I decided to take a leap of faith.  I quit the job that was making me miserable, and now I do what I love, I have become a writer.  It is thru that venture that I was given this incredible opportunity, to share my life changing experience with all of you.  You see, when I decided to change my job, I also decided that the excuses were no longer working for me, it is time to start feeling wonderful about myself again, to stop being jealous of those women whom I see hitting it hard at the gym, or running on the road. It is time for me to feel good, get healthy, and to make turn my currently tight jeans BACK into fat jeans again. 

Let the journey begin!  Sandy is now a member at The Works.  Stay close to read about it.