Week Fifty-Two.

Starting Weight: 228lbs
Weight Week Fifty-two: 171lbs
Total Weight Lost: 57lbs

Current Measurements:
Hip: 40.5″
Abdomen/Belly: 38″
Waist: 32.5″
Bust: 39″
Upper Arm: 12″
Thigh: 23.5

Total Inches Lost: 40″

September 21, 2010—September 21, 2011

Holy Toledo, Batman! It’s been a year!

Can you believe it!? I can’t half believe it myself.
I used to look at testimonies of other people’s weight loss and cringe at the thought that it took them years to accomplish their goal. Now that it’s been a year for me, I can see how fast a year flies by. It actually slipped up on me. I had just laid down to go to sleep and was thinking about my weight loss and it dawned on me that I started it in the end of September and it’s the end of September now! I got up the next morning and checked the dates only to find that the next day marked a year. Of course that warrants a blog post, right?

All of that said, I must apologize for never having offered you an explanation as to why I stopped writing posts about six months ago. I can assure you that I did try multiple times to post one and just never finished it and soon forgot about it. So yeah, laziness. But I can also assure you that I didn’t once fail to do what I set out to do.
Sure, there were times of doubt when I felt myself being dragged by the heels into the mouth of the sweet tooth monster, but it was never long before I picked myself up, dusted the crumbs off my shirt, and started on my merry way again.

This being a mile stone for me, I wanted to share with you what I feel is on the road ahead for me when it comes to health.

I was reading my first post yesterday, This Is It, where I had spoken of some things I wanted my more fit self to be able to do, and then realized that some of those goals have been reached and some have not. One in particular talked of going on a hike, toting my own gear in a backpack.
This was a big dream at the time. In the back of my mind rested the thought of going on the big daddy of all hikes: A thru-hike of  The Appalachian Trail. It was so unobtainable and so ridiculous of a goal that I often put it away as something I will never be able to do. Over the past year, along with my brother who has also lost 50 some odd pounds, we began picking up the pieces of our hiking dreams again.
I know what you’re thinking, “THE  A.T.!? You’re insane.” And yes, you might be right. We are not being naive about this. We know how insane of a goal this is, but what the last year has brought us is a confidence that we can actually do this. Can we do it tomorrow? Heck no. THAT’S insane. Can we set realistic goals and plan until we’re brain dead and do this in the next couple of years? Absolutely.
It requires relentless amounts of training and planning and training and planning and training and planning…. but having seen what we can set our minds to and accomplish in a year has showed us how truly obtainable this goal is. The next problem is freeing up the 6 months required to do it in. 😉

Which brings me to my next point for the future.
Exercise regimen!  If you know me personally, or have read my past posts, you know that finding my exercising niche has been the toughest part for me. To start off the next year of health betterment, and preparing myself for the training I will need for the A.T. … I will be doing something I didn’t think I would ever want to do. P90X.
My other brother has been doing this on and off for about a year as well, and I’ve even done a few of the videos with him. I used to think that I could never do the entire workout regimen of 90 days and pull it off, but once again, my confidence levels for my entire life have been given a huge boost and I can look at it and realistically know that I could, in fact, pull it off.
This is not an easy goal, but I think it’s necessary for the level of fitness I need to achieve for the A.T.. And now that I’m 50 something pounds lighter, my body can handle the stress a whole lot better.
You’d better believe when this starts I will be blogging more results posts. I promise. =)
Looking back a year ago, if you had told me that in a year I would have these ridiculous goals in my head, I would’ve laughed in your face. My image of ‘what I wanted’ was just to be more healthy. When people would ask me what my weight loss goal was or what size clothes I wanted to wear, I didn’t have an answer. I could only say that I would know when I got there.
Bottom line is: I am still not there yet.  I have never had it in my head to look like a supermodel, or never wanted to have bulging muscles, because frankly, I think both of those images are extremely disgusting.

Now, I have a clearer image in my head of what I want out of my health. It was never what I wanted to look like, but what I wanted to accomplish with having a healthier lifestyle.
I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me, but I know that whenever I think of all that is possible for me now, I get the most relentless fire-breathing dragons flapping around in my stomach.

God has undoubtedly helped me through all of this last year, and I know that he will continue to help me reach these goals I have laid before him. That’s another post I have planned to write though. 😉

Thanks for reading and for being such a huge support for me. I love you all!

Week Twenty-Four ~ Twenty-Six

[Sorry, no pictures this week! 😦 ]

Starting Weight: 228lbs
Weight For Week 24-26: 185lbs
Total Weight Lost: 43lbs

Hip: 42″ (-.5″)
Abdomen/Belly: 39″ (+2″)
Waist: 34″ (+1″)
Bust: 39″
Upper Arm: 13″
Thigh: 24″

Inches Lost/Gained This Week(s): 2.5″ Gain
Total Inches Lost: 34.5″

March 1st — March 22nd

A week late! Ah!
Last week I was sick and really didn’t feel like posting. So yeah, sorry ’bout that.
First off, Thank God it’s spring! I got out in the sun and played tennis on Friday. I Love winter, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something so invigorating about nature coming back to life after so many months of being bare.
I started my weight loss journey in October, so this spring is my first at this weight and this motivation level since… I don’t even know when.
My newest goal is to be comfortable in short sleeves this summer. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? Not for me! I’ve always had chunky arms that I’m self-conscious of. So many overweight people have decent arms and I never did. So… I wore long sleeves year ’round. The shortest sleeves I ever wore were to my elbows, unless I felt comfortable around the people I was with enough to have them be shorter than that. I’m determined to have smaller arms by this summer. And if not, I am determined not to be self-conscious of them anymore. It’s too hot to wear long sleeves and I’m tired of sweating it out because of something stupid like that.
Anywho… I’m not freaking out about only losing one pound and gain a few inches in the last three weeks. The key for me is to make this permanent, not to lose it quickly. Yes, I could lose a lot faster if I kicked things up a notch, but I’m not going to push myself too far and burn myself out. That’s what I’ve always done in every diet I’ve ever been on. I’m finally past the point of needing to see it come off fast in order to have the motivation I need to keep going. Now, I’d rather have it come off slowly so I have more time to adjust to the change and make it permanent. That being said, I have slacked quite a bit lately, and will push myself to exercise more. That’s what I’ve struggled with the most is keeping up a regular schedule of physical activity.
I’m excited for what the future holds… This is IT!

Thanks for reading. 🙂

Week Twenty-Two/Twenty-Three.

Total Weight Lost: 42lbs

Hip: 42.5″ (-1″)
Abdomen/Belly: 37″ (-.5″)
Waist: 33″
Bust: 39″ (+1″)
Upper Arm: 13″ (-.5″)
Thigh: 24″ (-1″)

Inches Lost This Week(s): 2″
Total Inches Lost: 37″

February 15th — March 1st

Glory! I’ve finally dropped a few more pounds. 😀 It seems like forever since I’ve been able to say that, albeit only a month or so. It’s been a struggle to continue losing because of, once again, budgeting for the correct foods to eat. Very soon, I pray, that will change. My family recently had our offer accepted to purchase a home… in which the payments will be lower than the rent we are paying now, so that means more money for other things… Like healthy food! Yay! 🙂
I didn’t see any weight loss in the last month because I was doing my best to stay under the ‘maintain weight’ carb limit and not necessarily under the ‘lose weight’ carb limit. It sounds pretty ridiculous to say, “I don’t have the right foods to eat, so I’m just going to eat what’s here.” That’s not it at all. It’s more like, “I don’t have the right foods to eat, so instead of starving myself, I’m going to make wise decisions about eating what’s here.”
For instance: smaller portioning, excessive nutrition label reading, standing in the kitchen weighing options for fifteen minutes… Stuff like that. It’s much MUCH harder to eat healthy when you have to get creative with what you’re feeding yourself. It’s safe to say that I’ll be elated when I have the opportunity to run in the kitchen and know exactly what I’m going to eat and not feel guilty about it.

I used my ankle and wrist weights for the first time! They are great. They’re exactly what I needed to kick things up a notch in the exercise department. I felt much more resistance during the workout and soreness the next day, but not to where it was incapacitating.
It’s a tad odd to say this, but I like the way that twinge of soreness feels. It’s like when you have a crick in your neck, but instead of babying it, you continue to turn your head in the direction that brings the pain, to get it to loosen or sometimes just to see if it’s still there. Haha. I don’t know how else to describe it.

Thanks for checking in!

Week Twenty/Twenty-One.

Total Weight Lost: 39lbs

Hip: 43.5″ (-.5″)
Abdomen/Belly: 37.5″ (-1.5″)
Waist: 33″ (+.5″)
Bust: 38″ (+.5″)
Upper Arm: 13.5″
Thigh: 25″ (-.5″)

Inches Lost This Week(s): 1.5″
Total Inches Lost: 35″

February 1st — February 15th

So here we are again. =)
I think more than noticing myself, others are noticing the changes I’m going through. I’m not sure which is more encouraging, really.
I’ve been a little down lately about weight loss and trudging through the ruts of junk food. But I know that God is watching out for me. It sounds so odd to say that God is helping me lose weight, but I find it’s exactly true. Not only does God know how much happier life will be for me when I reach my goal, but through all of this he is teaching me life lessons. Lessons like perseverance and patience, strength and commitment, and most of all: Discipline. I’ve learned more about myself spiritually through this health journey than I think of in a five minute period. I know God also honors those who respect their temple enough not to defile it with foods he never meant for us to eat. We think that verse in the bible only refers to drinking, drugs, piercings, and tattoos. Wrong. We can use most anything to defile the temple of our bodies. Food is, and always will be, spiritual.
So with that said… This past Sunday I received a blessing from God. A dear friend gifted me with the money to buy the ankle and wrist weights I have been wanting to purchase. I teared up when I read the note they wrote to me. It’s means much more than someone caring about my journey enough to help out (which would be more than enough in itself). It means God knows my journey and sees to my needs getting filled. It makes me feel so loved and encouraged to have the support of those around me and the support of God joining together in my life.

Week Seventeen/Eighteen/Nineteen.

Total Weight Lost: 39lbs

Hip: 44″ (-2″)
Abdomen/Belly: 39″ (-6″)
Waist: 32.5″ (-3.5″)
Bust: 37.5″ (-3.5″)
Upper Arm: 13.5″ (-.5″)
Thigh: 25.5″ (-.5″)

Inches Lost This Week(s): 16″
Total Inches Lost: 33.5″

January 11th — February 1st

Okay okay… I’ve been a serious slacker when it comes to writing these posts lately. I missed last week’s entry and so this post must cover three weeks instead of two.
It’s been the hardest thing for me to keep up this shenanigans of excruciating honesty. It would be so easy to just stop right now and not be accountable and not go through all the trouble, but I know it’s not the right decision. I need this blog to show my failure just as much as my success.

I won’t lie, I’m pretty super stoked about having almost lost 40lbs in 19 weeks! How insane is that? The 16 inches are based on the last measurements I took at the end of week twelve, so there’s a 7 week difference there, meaning I lost an average of 2 inches a week. Still pretty amazing in my book.
(side note: Yes, I realize I’m dressed almost identical to my last pictures… they aren’t the same, I promise. 😉 My side picture isn’t in a normal stance. I wasn’t ready when the shutter went off, but this frame looked, well, better than the others… yeah.)

Eating the right foods is still very hard for me, because of not being able to always have the right foods on hand. It’s annoying, but I feel I’ve still done very well considering.
Last weekend, inspired by a beautiful Saturday, I walked/jogged a walking track near my house that follows a hill into a valley and back out, so the strain on your muscles is twice as much. It felt so good to get back out into the fresh air. I love winter, but spring will be a lovely little gift.

It’s certainly time for me to take things up a notch in all areas.
I’ve been wanting to buy ankle and wrist weights for a long time to add to my dance exercises to build more muscle and burn more fat. Unfortunately, the weights I need will put me back about $30. A $30 I don’t have. So I’m still waiting for that.
More than anything, I have to keep my mind strong. It’s so easy for me to default back to junk food. I have to keep myself aware of it and not let it surprise me in the attack of temptation.

Thanks for your support!

Week Fifteen/Sixteen.

Total Weight Lost: 35lbs

December 28th — January 11th

Biggest news: I have completely stopped taking phentermine.
I gave the remaining medication to someone who’s already been taking it. I feel great. You really don’t understand how much it affects you until you’ve been on it and then went off it. I described most of it in the last health post, but it’s so much more than that. I feel like myself again… and I’m proud that the weight I lose now is by my own hard work and not the work of a pill.
As you have noticed (or not) I didn’t list measurements this week. I do apologize. Time and a misplacement of my tape measure force me to give up. Next time I promise to have found it. =)
I lost my holiday weight plus one pound and that is quite a victory for me. A reassurance that I CAN do this without a crutch.
I’ve been exercising more than usual and sticking to the rules as much as possible, but because of snow and being out of gas and work… I’ve been stuck at home a lot. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done anything productive in the last couple of weeks, and that messes a lot with my motivation.
We’re still fighting it!

Twenty Eleven.

I think of this year as a boat being tossed in a storm.
It came in a whirlwind of forced responsibility and stressful scheduling… but as a new year always does, I had a hopeful outlook. I experienced many things in the past year, the most important one is that of desperation. I have never felt so desperate in my life, only it wasn’t always a bad thing. It started my health journey and kept me fighting. However, the one sentence that comes to mind when I think about my spiritual walk is this: I’ve never truly been angry at God before this year. It hurts to know I was there, it hurts to know that I neglected my relationship because of my surroundings and situations.
There are times when we must stop trying to fix things… That is, we must stop trying to stop leaks from springing and the boards of the deck from peeling back. There’s a time when even the sail can’t be saved from being torn into shreds. There was a point in the storm when I had to put all of my effort into holding on for dear life. I had to forget about what was falling apart around me. I had to make sure I stayed alive.
But I knew within those dark moments that I wasn’t going to give up. I made a decision a long time ago that no matter what happened, I wasn’t ever going back to living my life without Christ guiding me. I had to give myself some time to step back and look at my life, look at what I was doing and where I was going to go if I continued to let my life run me. One of the only things that kept me going was a small hope for a better future. In fact, I found myself dwelling so much on the future, I ended up finding the one thing I needed most for the future… A renewed desire to seek God. I held on to the tattered rags of promises I had managed to keep with me and finally began to put my life back into action 9/12 (nine-twelveths) of the way through the year.

    As I said before, it hasn’t been all bad.

I created this blog in 2010, which has helped my writing and become a major outlet to emotions.
This year I graduated from college. What was a source of a lot of stress during the process turned into an amazing feeling of accomplishment and good memories.
I also went to Washington D.C. on a much-needed vacation after graduation. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the awesome time I spent with my Dad and brother. It sounds so small, but when you dreamed of running away from life so many times in one year, a small vacation becomes a lifeline of sanity.
Of course, you can’t ignore what I started in the beginning of October. My health improvement. That in itself has changed me more than I could ask for. I am so thankful for that jump-start.
Then there was December… I was in charge of conceptualizing, directing, and finalizing the Christmas Eve service at church. It was the first time I’d ever been given such a great responsibility or trusted that much by any leaders in my life. I learned so much about myself and feel it’s the beginning of things to come. I loved doing it, and I loved being done with it. Haha.

    So what’s going to happen in 2011, you ask?

I have no idea! To tell the truth, I’ve been quite apprehensive about it. I wouldn’t call it scared, but I would call it gun-shy. Even with the last few month’s success, I can’t help but look at the year ahead and think, “What trial is coming next? Why was this past year so hard? Could it be that it was only in preparation of the even bigger storm around the corner?”
My boat is still sailing, but the repairs from the last storm aren’t finished yet. I don’t think I’ll ever have this boat looking the way it did prior to the storm and I don’t really want it to be. I want it to leave evidence of my journey so I never forget the lessons I learned, but I know that my boat is going to come out looking better than it did before.
Even though I don’t have any of my questions answered, I do have this feeling in the pit of my stomach.
This year will change my life.
I’ve already committed myself to more work for His Kingdom than I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve already received a word from the Lord that my main focus this year needs to be on ministry and not on furthering my career or finding a job. I feel a deep conviction every time I send in a job application… it says: “A 9 to 5 job will never work for what I have for you.” …I have student loans to pay off and a bill from the State of TN for damaging the guard rail that saved my life two years ago. These things need money. For my future to get started off on the right foot, I can’t take these debts lightly. It makes tears well up in my eyes to think about it. But I know God will help me make these payments. I know because he has already shown me through different situations that he’s got my back.
Also, this year our new church will be finished and I will say goodbye to the only building I’ve ever described as being ‘my home church’. It’s bittersweet, and entirely exciting. I can’t wait to see what God is holding for us there and what he’ll do in our lives to get us there!
I can only tell you one thing: This year will take everything I have and push it to the brink of greatness and beyond.

    With all of that said, Here are my 2011 resolutions:

I will reach my weight loss goal. I can’t tell you exactly what that goal is, but I know that I’ll know when I get there. For me, it’s not about pounds, inches, or dress sizes. Those are all relative factors. I am already happy with myself, I don’t need a number to tell me when I’m finished.

I will give everything I have to God. Spiritual increase has always been on my list, but this year is going to be different. The goal this year in our church is about spreading the gospel, and I’ve come to realize that a passion for souls has been lying dormant in my spirit since about 15 and only now am I letting it rise up in me. I am going to give everything I have to this and push myself further in other ministries I am passionate about as well. I also plan to amp up my prayer, fasting, and studying life. I do these things, but a step up is never a bad thing.

• I will not ask God for anything in the category of relationships. This one is kind of hard to explain, but I feel it’s another time when I should stop focusing on fixing the boat and focus on keeping myself alive. This isn’t one of those typical ‘I’m focusing on me’ times. This is about is focusing on what God is doing through me instead of what God is doing for me. Oddly enough, I see this one as the most challenging one. You really don’t realize how often you ask God for something until you make it a point not to ask anymore. I do pray that God honors this covenant.

All in all, This year promises to be the most challenging, most fruitful, and most change-filled year I’ve had yet. May your 2011 be the same for you.

Thanks for reading!

Week Thirteen/Fourteen.

December 14th — December 28th

Sorry, no bells and whistles this time around, guys.
Couple of days late already, and I really just wanted to write, with it being the end of the year and all, about what I’ve learned so far.
It’s been a crazy wonderful couple of weeks. Christmas came in a wonderland of snow and stress and left with lovely chocolate turtles and exhaustingly fun family time. I know what you’re thinking… “She flopped.”
And you could be right. 😉
I am so thankful for the boost phentermine has given me to get back into action with my health, It has helped open my mind and gotten me to start seriously considering what I’m doing with my life. For that, I am grateful.
Here’s the deal… I haven’t taken phentermine for over a week. Why? I don’t know… I just haven’t felt like taking it. I still have the month’s supply to finish out, but I’m pretty over it right now. I know now what it’s going to be like without the medicine as a crutch, and let me tell ya, it’s hard. What an epiphany, right? Who knew that weight loss required so much dedication? Haha. Totally joking, folks. I promise.
This little rebellion against putting chemicals in my body has shown me what it’s going to take and that I can say ‘no’ to the wrong foods without the help of an appetite suppressant. Yes, I do grow hungry more often and have to swallow back carb cravings more often… BUT… I’m not sweating out of every shirt I put on and I don’t have extreme, constant dry mouth. I also don’t have amplified emotions that cause me to snap and get irritable very easily. I’d say, on the whole, I’m pretty sure I’m done taking phentermine.

With all of that said, I gained one pound over Christmas. Darn those left-overs. That’s what got me. Why can’t people take the desserts they brought to our dinner home with them? Haha.

And tomorrow is New Years Eve… More parties! But I’m getting back on track now. I’ve learned how crummy it makes you feel to be lazy and to eat junk food constantly. I ate a delicious and perfectly healthy meal on Sunday and I immediately felt a change in my attitude, it made me want to go home and exercise… No joke! It amazes me how my mind and body reacts in such a positive way when I treat them with respect.

So here’s to the beginning of a new year, a year filled with health and happiness. This Is It!

Thanks for reading!

(P.S. This isn’t my New Years blog… That one is coming soon. :))

Week Eleven/Twelve.

Total Weight Lost: 34lbs

Hip: 46″
Abdomen/Belly: 45″
Waist: 36″
Bust: 41″ (-1″)
Upper Arm: 14″
Thigh: 26″

Inches Lost This Week: 1″
Total Inches Lost: 17.5″ OR 30″

November 30th — December 14th

Considering the past two weeks I’ve had, I am very pleased with these results.
Carb intake has probably exceeded the limit more than once and exercise has been quite scarce. But I’m still maintaining the thought process.
Stress levels are at an all-time high this month and so it’s throwing my entire body off. Less than two weeks ’til Christmas, and then I’ll be able to relax a little. I’ve been put in charge of an entire Christmas service at church and it’s completely ravaging my brain.

Anywho, I’m not really in the mood to type ten thousand words, so this entry is going to end now.
Next time you hear results will be after Christmas… wish me luck! And you can think of me when you’re eating sugar cookies and drinking sweet tea.

Thanks for reading, m’dears!

Week Nine/Ten

Total Weight Loss: 29lbs

Hip ~ 46″ (+1″)
Abdomen/Belly ~ 45″
Waist ~ 36″
Bust ~ 42″ (+1″)
Upper Arm ~ 14″ (-.5″)
Thigh ~ 26″

Inches Lost for Week 9/10: (technically) -.5″ + 2″ = +1.5″
Total Inches Lost: (Including above number) 16.5″ OR 29″

November 16th — November 30th

Celebratory moment: I’m under 200lbs!!!!!!
It feels amazing to say that again. I never thought I would’ve gotten so far past 200 that I’d be happy about just being under it, but life happens. We spiral down and down until we hit rock bottom and decide to start climbing again.
I have acquired the new Just Dance 2 game for Wii and it is awesome! The routines are much more demanding and within a few hours after playing it the first time my thigh muscles felt like they could deteriorate at any moment. Good sign! Hah.
With that said, I have done horrible these past two weeks. Namely, Thanksgiving. The leftovers from Thanksgiving have been the bane of my existence too. Being tight on money doesn’t help either. I’m not exactly mad or upset about it, I’m just rather hard on myself at times. Okay, okay… I’m my own worse critic. Always.
I have also been without my medication since the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I had the chance to get more before the holiday and had planned on it. One small problem: Money. I said last time that I wouldn’t let myself run out again, but not being on it has showed me some valuable information.
The only difference I feel in my body when I don’t have it coursing through my veins is that my hunger pains come back. I’ve found myself craving sweets more than ever as well (Though that’s most likely because of the spoiling of my diet on sweets for the last week). I’ve felt not decrease in energy or side effects from quitting cold turkey. I’ve honestly come to the conclusion that, like any other supplement that can cause drowsiness or increased energy, it has the reverse effect on me. If I don’t do anything slightly active when I take it in the morning, I am content to sleep half the day and lay around watching movies without feeling jittery. So yeah. Saying all of that gets me to my next point.
I’m growing more and more wary of taking medication to lose weight. I know it’s helping me and that it’s not forever. I hate praising it like it was the only way out of my predicament and it’s doing all of the work. The act of losing weight is as much mental as it is physical. I’ve felt so many changes in the way I think about food and nutrition since I’ve started this. The physical part can only happen once my brain is committed and
I am very committed at this point. Being off the meds for this amount of time has showed me that I can do this without taking a pill.
Granted, I’ve decided to continue taking it for another month. If at the end of the month I and still not ready to get off, I will continue on, but I would really like to go off of it then. While I am much more committed to this lifestyle than I was when I first started, I still find myself defaulting to eating the way I used to and giving into cravings when I’m not on the pill. My first instinct is still junk food, because it’s convenient and fast. I’m burning out on the stuff I’ve been eating at an alarming rate and I have to get more creative with it if I am to continue.

Don’t worry about me though, I’m still plenty ready to finish this once and for all. We’re still fighting it!
Thanks for reading, love.