I have rarely posted pictures of myself on this blog. I'm obviously not a stickler for privacy. I am simply prideful. I didn't want/need reminders of my failed weight battles. I would much prefer to show pictures of my beautiful children anyway, or so I told myself.
I don't want to post this, but...
I have this longtime online friend named Trish, see? Two years ago, unbeknownst to each other, we started our own weight loss journeys exactly one day apart, April 27th and 28th. She keeps posting her before picture on facebook, reminding others of her 151 pounds lost (seriously!) and inspiring the ladies she LEADS in exercise classes to keep plugging away, to never give up, to just start now. And she puts me to shame.
The thing is, in 2011 I lost 80 pounds and have kept it off ever since then. I love how I feel now. I can't even really put it into words just how great I feel, just how much easier it is to move through the world, to be me, to have an even temper (ok, relatively speaking), to have energy that lasts all day, to exercise and parent and cross my legs and buy clothes and heck...just to walk in heels! I love heels! I love not being controlled by my weight anymore.
I want to pretend I have been this way my whole adult life, but the opposite is mostly true. I want to pretend that I could always get to the top of a staircase without huffing and puffing, but that isn't true, either. I want to pretend that I've had these size 8 jeans for years, and not the size 20 stretchy pants that I wore the last few years as my weight really exploded.
As much as I might like it to be, life isn't always and only about me. It might be about one of you, about offering you hope that change is possible. It might be that you and I need to look at my "before" pictures with some love and grace and know that I was covering up some hurts and have now peeled them off...mostly. We need to take an honest look and acknowledge that I wasn't healthy. We also need to take an honest look and see that I am still essentially me. I was funny and sarcastic before...I am funny and sarcastic now. Some things endure.
And because someone will ask, this is how I did it: I had gastric sleeve surgery. Yup. I did. I had weeks of protein shakes, months of high protein/low carb, and 18 months of keeping it off. I'm really proud of those 18 months, matter of fact. I started exercising and kept at it in one way or another. I even ran in my first 5K lately. My son Luke beat me by 7.5 minutes and I don't care...I'm still proud! So maybe I took the easier way out by having surgery, but once the easy part was over I've stuck with the harder part, the maintenance part, the get out there and exercise because now you CAN part.
I'm sharing my pictures. Ugh. The two collage pictures span about two months from left to right, starting with the day before surgery (and I had already lost 14 lbs. the week before surgery so I actually looked even worse than the first picture on the left). The next picture (with John) is from about 6 months out, and the rest are from a year to two years post-op. So yeah, I'm laying the weight loss pictures on thick, to make myself feel better, hoping those are the pictures people remember. But honestly, I know better, and I'm sharing it anyway.
Trish, my love, this is for us! Congratulations on two years of working that weight off the hard way, for continuing to inspire me with your workouts, and your tenacity, and your tenderness toward those who are just getting started...knowing we are looking to you as our inspirational rock star!
And...Happy Anniversary!! A workout and a small steak should just hit the spot, right?