I was thin my entire life, right up to age 50. I was athletic and toned. I was NEVER sick, ever. The only times I have spent any time with doctors or hospitals was to give birth or due to a car accident! At age 50, I started having horrible pain in my back and difficulty breathing. I just figured it would go away, so I did nothing. During the next several months, it continued to get worse and worse until I thought I was not long for this world. I finally saw a doctor. He told me that I had Arthritis in my lower back and severe Asthma. He said my lung capacity was 30%. I'm guessing that isn't good! haha I had smoked since I was 11 and decided right then to quit, which I did with the help of Chantix. I have not smoked anything since. He gave me an inhaler and sent me home. That was all. Nothing to help the pain in my back, nothing more. An inhaler! I know at this point, I probably should have seen someone else. I didn't. I have no excuses other than I really don't like doctors and figured it would eventually go away. It didn't. It got worse and worse over the course of the next few years. I moved less and as I became totally home bound and isolated, the pounds started piling on. At first it wasn't really that much, I might have gained up to 130 pounds. Before I realized what had hit me, I had gained over 100 pounds! I spent the last 4 years of my life at home. I did not go shopping, out to eat, to friends, in the yard, nothing. I stayed in my home becoming more and more depressed.It was really no way to live. My personality took almost a bigger hit than my health did. I went from alive, full of energy, witty, funny, friendly, never met a stranger..to cynical, mean, hateful, moody, sad.
My son looked at me with sadness, that is what made me decide I HAD to do something. I started this journey exactly six months ago, today, on February 24, 2012. I woke up and said to myself, "Today is the day I take my life back!". Not even one time, have I wanted to give up. Not once! Every single day, I feel better, I look better and I can do more! It wasn't easy. Believe me, I thought I would soon die, just six months ago. I could barely walk, the pain in my back was so great. I could barely breathe, one time across the room had me gasping for air. My husband has been so supportive. He bought me a "Gazelle" on my first day. I knew I needed something very easy and man, did that do the trick! I started walking on it and it almost killed me. I couldn't last two minutes before I was gasping and in pain. But, I decided No Pain No Gain might be true. So the next day, I tried again, and the next day, and the next day. Before I knew it, I was walking 4 minutes, then 7 minutes, then 12, then 30, then 45, then 60! Now I can walk, not on the Gazelle, for hours at a time. I have gained back 2 inches in height, I was so hunched over, I couldn't even stand up straight. I 'Graduated" to a Treadmill, an Elliptical, a Recumbent Bike and a 9 station Home Gym. I use Stability Balls and Kettle Bells. My home gym is almost overflowing. But, I want more. I have my eye on a nice Rowing Machine!
Two weeks ago, we purchased Mountain Bikes and have been riding for several miles at a time. That's right, I am no longer a prisoner in my own home. I ventured out to work in the yard in June, still kind of hiding if I saw anyone drive or walk by. A couple weeks after that, I got up my nerve and asked my husband to take me to Wal-Mart! Haha Wal-Mart of all places. I walked around in public for hours with my husband. I chatted up a nice man, who happened to be the first stranger I had spoken to in years! After that, all bets were off. I was a changed woman, I shop until I almost drop now. Not from pain though, just because I can't carry anymore! I sometimes feel guilty that I'm spending money. My husband, Rick, says "I think you're due. You haven't spent a single penny in years. Make up for some lost time!" I love life again! I am happy, I laugh, I joke around, I talk to everyone I see, most talk back. One of my happiest moments was the day my son came up to me and said "Mom! You're smiling. I like that!" I smile a lot now. I am almost my old self.
I have started doing the things I love again. Working out, walking, biking, enjoying the outdoors, crafting and sewing. I used to always make my own clothes, I am again. I have gotten the bug again and have a closet full of new "Original" clothes to show for it. You can check out some of my crafts and sewn creations at toasl.blog.com if you like! Life is good! Cooking healthy meals and focusing on fitness has had a Domino effect on my family. My son and husband ride with me, use the equipment (not as much as I do) and eat better. They have both lost weight too. My husband Rick has lost 30 pounds and my son has lost 20!
I still have a little to go to reach my goal. I started on 2/24/12 with a BMI of 38.8. This morning, I have a BMI of 28.2! I have lost 67.5 pounds so far and more inches than I can remember, I lost count. I'm getting there! I avoided any camera in the last few years. But, I did have my son snap a picture or two with my phone on my first day. He has taken a few since then. Once I started feeling better about myself, I bought an actual camera! Now my pictures are a bit clearer.
I guess my message to everyone would be...
Do not give up on yourself. You have to believe you can do something, to actually do it. If you put forth the effort, stay dedicated and determined, you can do anything! I always believed that before, I just forgot it along the way. I'll never forget it again. Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. If you're hiding in your home, like I was, it's not a life. It's just an existence. It wasn't even worth living like that. It's worth it like this!
A few pictures, Before and During...
My first day, is that really how I looked? Beside it is a shot taken today.
These photos show how stooped over I was in the beginning. I was trying as hard as I could to stand up straight and I really thought I was until I looked at that picture. I am so glad I lost those boobies too! OMG, I hated them, I had always been flat. I have no idea how large chested women handle it!
I kept thinking how out of shape I was, but then I realized that ROUND is a shape, just not the shape I aspired to be.
These shots span just a little over 2 months. I had really started to feel much better around April and was working out a lot, using Kettlebells and Stability balls.
From June the 4th, till August the 23rd, my double chin went away. I hope that wherever it went, it never finds it's way back. I WON'T be leaving a light on! This reminds me of the new weight loss commercial with the pretty black lady who has lost 20 pounds, saying "Where'd my double chin go? Where'd it go?!" I love her and now I'm saying it too!
August 13th, riding on Cedar River Trail.
August 24, 2012, I had once again, gone to my closet to see if anything might fit me. To my surprise, several outfits now fit me! Some are still a little tight, but I'll be wearing them in no time. I no longer doubt that I can do this, I CAN!
Please excuse my messy hair. I was throwing shirts on and off, snapping pictures and never bothered to brush it! Haha
My very favorite pink jeans. I love these jeans. They are hip huggers and supposed to be pretty tight. The picture does not show the top because I cannot get them up all the way and zipped. But, I am getting closer. Last time I tried, they wouldn't go above my thighs! Size 6, here I come again...SOON!
I'm not at my goal yet, but I am getting closer. I walk upright, I rarely have any pain in my back, only if I really overdo it. I have not had the need for an inhaler in almost 3 months, I am rarely out of breath. I want to take up running, something I have not been able to do in quite some time. I hope to start the Couch to 5K program soon. Cedar River Trail would be a great place to work on that. Hey Rick, wanna do Cto5K with me? Muhahaha
-Originally Posted on August 24, 2012, by Stef-