Welcome! My name is Stef. I started my journey on Friday, February 24, 2012. I was miserable, sad, ashamed, unhealthy. I was sure my time on Earth was very limited. I basically had given up and was waiting for the end, which wasn't coming fast enough, as far as I was concerned. Following are parts of a post I made on April 27, 2012. I had been in a very low point and feeling quite a bit of self pity....
I was thin and athletic my entire life. I was never over 120 pounds all the way into my 40's. I loved exercise and worked out for many, many years. At one point, I started training in Taekwondo with my son. We spent 7 years working on this at our dojo, in competitions at the State and World levels, in Little Rock, Arkansas. We loved it and I eventually began teaching. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I would be obese! It has taken over my life! I hate it! It has caused depression and my entire attitude has changed over the last few years. I went from being so happy go lucky, friendly, caring, giving, witty, sarcastic and the life of the party...to a mean natured, sad, afraid, unsocial shell of who I was.
I am ashamed to admit this but, I have not gone out in over 4 years, anywhere! I do not go to any store, movie, restaurant, party, club, trip, vacation, school function, you name it. My husband Rick is a life saver! If not for him, his love and support, I would surely be dead or institutionalized by now! lol I laugh about it now, but back then, it wasn't really funny! It started when arthritis began making it painful to walk and asthma made breathing a chore. As I sat and did not go anywhere, that is when I started putting on weight. First it was a pound or two and I thought "That isn't much, I'll lose it this summer". Well, those two pounds told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on. You know where I'm going with this! This made it even more difficult to move so, more pounds jumped on the bandwagon. "Let's party with Stef, there's plenty of room now!". Before I knew it, I had gained over 100 pounds, I was mortified! I had been small my entire life and now I was ashamed of how I looked.
I spend a ton of time at my computer, talking to my mom and family, back in Arkansas.They are always telling me I just need to bring my son and husband and come home! I moved away almost 8 years ago. I want to go home. I miss my family and friends that I still have there. I have zero friends here, not real live, in the flesh, friends. How can I make friends if I never leave my house? I am ashamed and actually fear going out in public now. So, I spend almost all my time alone. I don't think this is how I was meant to spend my "Golden Years"!
Now for the good news. In February, I finally just had all I could take. I decided that I am a strong woman, I've just misplaced her somewhere! I know she is still alive inside me, I just have to coax her out! Oh Steffie Weffie, come out, come out! I went from 35 years of not eating, to getting nutrition everyday, using meal replacement shakes. They are working for me though. I have two everyday, snacks and a sensible dinner. I have never felt so well fed! I have energy that I have not had in longer than I can recall. This, I'm guessing, is due to the increased nourishment and weight loss I am experiencing.
I started 02/24/12 , with a BMI of 38.8, barely able to walk across the distance of my house. I started walking on an "Air Glider", walking/skiing machine and couldn't go for 2 whole minutes. As of 3/30/12, I have a BMI of 34.8, I can go 15 minutes at a good pace, without stopping. This week I added "Resistance Bands" into my day and do 3 Sets of 12 Reps of 4 various exercises. I have also started doing "Good Form" (I looked it up to make sure I do them properly) Sit-Ups and can do 5 sets of 12. I know that may not seem like much to a lot of people. To me, it is the difference between night and day! The more I do, the more tired I am. Then, the next day, I am looking forward to do it again. I think I might be on the road to recovery! My back doesn't hurt even half as much as it used to after 2 minutes, now in 30 minutes. My breathing is improving and I have not had one episode that I couldn't get a deep breath in a few weeks now. I still get winded after a while but, it is a different feeling, it is not "OMFG, I am going to die if I can't catch a breath!" lol
My son came up to me a week or so ago and said "Mom! You're smiling! I love that!" I think it had been a long time since he had seen his mom smile. I'm smiling now!
That was almost 2 months ago. Since then, my BMI is 31.2. I am working toward 22 BMI, I'll get there before too much longer! I walk from 5 to 7 miles a day, sometimes on a rare occasion, I can walk 11 miles in a day. I can walk for 90 minutes (For exercise) without stopping. My back barely gives me a single problem anymore. I can't recall the last time I was seriously out of breath. I have gained almost 2 inches back, in height! I was so stooped over from pain, I couldn't stand up straight to even be measured correctly! As of last Friday, I have lost a total of 45 pounds! I plan on losing more now that I know how to take care of myself. I gave up on the so called "Healthy Meal Replacement Shakes" that I had been using, a couple months ago. I really do like having a Protein Shake for breakfast, so I switched to something I like better and does the same thing for me, but with so much more protein. Along with the walking, I do strength training some days. I use Kettlebells and a Stability Ball. I am not only losing weight and getting thinner, I am building muscle and getting fit! I am about ready to start working on the 'Couch to 5 K' program so I can join an online friend who lives near here, for a 5k Color Run in the future!
More changes! I just ventured outside three weeks ago and was able to start working in my yard again. A wave of courage washed over me around 8pm Sunday night (6/3/12). Ok, maybe I wasn't quite as brave as you might think, I chose late at night to avoid seeing as many people as possible! It was a start though! I told my husband I wanted to go shopping. He was thrilled beyond belief, he has not stopped smiling since I told him. We went to Wal-Mart Super Center and walked around for 2 hours. I bought new shoes (I love shoes, you should see my collection that I have not worn in forever)! lol I bought a few new patterns, several yards of fabric, MANY buttons, threads, zippers, pinking shears, seam ripper, a new lamp (I love lamp!), a cool as heck Marilyn Monroe shirt and other things. I chatted up a cool guy there, it was the first actual stranger I have spoken to in over 4 years. My son was with me too, he didn't want to miss it. He took a few pictures with his phone, like it needed to be recorded for posterity! lol Between my hubby and son, I don't know who was happier! I think I am on the road to recovery! Thank God! It has been too long and I am so happy. I cannot wait to go out again! This feels very strange to me, up until a very short time ago, it caused me a horrible amount of stress and anxiety to even think about leaving my house and seeing people in public. I was afraid to leave my home! I was pretty sure I was suffering from some sort of Social Anxiety phobia. Of course, I was too freaked to go to a doctor and find out! lol I think I'm curing myself!
Since that first Sunday night, I have been going out about every other night with my husband and son. I have actually struck up some fun conversations with people at Wal-Mart and JoAnn's. My husband just laughs! lol JoAnn's Fabrics is my new favorite place to be. I love Wal-Mart too! We spent almost 4 hours walking around there, the other night. Next, I want to visit the coast. I have lived so close to the Pacific Ocean for 8 years and never gone to the coast! That is kinda stupid! I have started sewing a new wardrobe for my new body and attitude. So far, I have created 3 blouses and 1 dress. I have one more blouse and two dresses already cut out and ready to start sewing. This is so much fun. My new clothes are linked in this blog, if you care to look. I am also adding other crafts that I make, like the nightlight I made yesterday, for my son, along with some recipes and insane rants. Be forewarned! lol
While shopping at yard sales on August 4, we purchased two used bicycles, one for me and one for my husband Rick. His was pretty good, mine turned out to need quite a bit of work. We broke down and bought me a new one the next day. On Monday, we loaded the bikes on the car (We actually purchased a bike carrier at the same G Sale!), and took off to Liberty Park. From there, we rode on Cedar River Trail. Oh what a cool place this is, people walking, biking, sitting on benches, enjoying being active in the beautiful PNW! The trail runs over 17 miles from our city to another. The paths are paved and in spots they actually look like a highway, with a center line. We use the path just like we use a highway, walking or riding on the right side and using roadway courtesy. It is such fun. The first day, Sammye, Rick and I went and rode about 7 miles. Tuesday and Wednesday, Rick and I went again and rode the same distance. We plan on going every time the weather and time permits. Rick has even began riding his bike to work, riding 10 miles the first day and 16 the second day. As he gets close to Seattle and all the big hills, he loads it into the bike rack on a Metro bus and rides the rest of the way. He has even lost around 30 pounds himself, since we started becoming so active together! This is great! We might actually live longer than the short time I thought I had left, such a short time ago. If you want something, do it!
I can honestly say I'm happy now, and life might just be good!
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win but think you can't, It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you're lost.
For out in the world we find, success begins with a person's will. It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out classed, you are.
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself, before you can ever win the prize.
Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man.
But, sooner or later, the one who wins is the one who thinks he can.
My BMI has gone from 38.8 on 02/24/12 to 24.0 on 03/17/13! It is hard to even remember what I looked like with all that on me! I love it!
Since Friday, February 24, 2012, I have lost...
-Originally posted on June 14, 2012, by Stef