A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Take Shape for Life

This isn't going to be an easy post for me to write and to post pictures of, but I feel like it is time and I need to tell my story. Hopefully people appreciate my honesty and better yet, I hope that this post helps someone, even if it helps one person... it was worth it. I was going to wait until I was done (aka reached my goal weight), but I suppose you are never "done". Weight loss and health is something you are always working on... so here's my story, a work in progress.

For as long as I can remember, I have been the chubby one. I don't feel like I ate too differently than any of my other siblings, but I put on the weight and they didn't. I didn't really think or care about it too much until I was probably in Jr High and High School. Then... obviously your appearance matters more. I always stayed pretty active and don't ever remember eating really unhealthy (more than usual anyway) but weight just stayed on me and I didn't really know what to do about it.

In my adult years I started to experiment with different weight loss techniques. Here and there I would lose 20 or 30 pounds, but I would always gain it back eventually. Back in 2009 I did the HCG diet and lost a lot of weight. I kept it off for almost a year, partially because I was getting married so I was motivated and secondly because I was cheated on and we broke off the engagement so I was sad and depressed and wasn't eating much. Once I was happy and over what happened... the weight came back.
Plus, HCG isn't a healthy way of losing weight and usually isn't a permanent solution for the majority of the people who do it.

Since then I have tried counting calories and working out like crazy and being frustrated that it was so hard for weight to come off of my body when I was trying so hard. I felt like a healthy person trapped in a fat person's body. Then my co-worker, Tyler, told me that his wife was a health coach in one of our conversations. I had no idea what that really meant or what program she was a health coach for, but I told Tyler to have her call me. I was sick of being over weight. I was sick of hating my body. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin. I wanted all of my hard work at the gym to show. I was 30 and all I wanted was to be 30, flirty and thriving. So I talked to Shantelle and had her sign me up for the program "Take Shape for Life" not really knowing too much about it and she became my health coach. And what a great health coach she is. She has also become a really great friend. Here we are together. Thanks Shantelle for helping me on my journey to better health.

So my journey began. Starting any new weight loss program is exciting and not at the same time. You are excited at the possibility of it working and you accomplishing your goal and finally looking the way you want. It isn't exciting because if you are like me, you have tried so many other things that don't work or just work for a short amount of time and then you go right back where you were before and it was a disappointment. I hate admitting this or showing these pictures, but my journey started April 2013 at 205 lbs. I was wearing a lot of stretchy pants at the time because I refused to wear bigger pants, but I believe I was a size 14... maybe even a 16. I don't know and I don't like to think about it. Here are my pictures I took of myself when starting the program.

I was on the 5 and 1 program. You eat 5 medifast meals (a meal every 2-3 hours) and then one lean and green meal.  It was hard at first... just like any change you make. I was hungry the first few days and it was hard to say no to sweets and other foods that I wanted. That being said... it is actually the easiest diet I have ever done. I didn't have to think about anything. Just had to remember to eat one of the meals every 2-3 hours. That was something I wasn't used to. I also have quite a sweet tooth and they had sweet foods (chocolate) which I could eat... this saved me. Really.

I even had a friend that started doing the program too! It was so great to have someone to vent to and share success with. We would text each other every week on our weigh in days and encourage each other and share in our frustrations as well. So helpful!

Soon I was exercising again and had my mind set to never cheating and every time I wanted to, I just thought about my end goal. It's all a mind game really. Choosing long term gratification over short term gratification. Do I want to eat this donut that will satisfy me for a minute or do I want the satisfaction of getting on the scale the next week and seeing that I have dropped a few more pounds. I stayed strong and by October, I was down to 152. I had lost 53 lbs in 6 months and was a size 8 I even have some pants and skirts in a size 6. The smallest size I had ever gotten down to before this was a 10! I was feeling so good and happy with my success and I even became a health coach myself.  My pictures after losing 50 lbs.

I was happy. Life was good. Then.... the holiday's came. Halloween, then I traveled to Southeast Asia for 2 weeks and when I came back it was Thanksgiving and then Christmas! I just could't get myself in the same mindset to be strict and lose those last 13 lbs. Partially because I was getting out of the habit, partially because the holiday's are just hard because there is so much social eating and yummy treats and partially because I was happy where I was at. I didn't have the same motivation as I did in the beginning to lose the weight.

What has been really hard for me is seeing my "after" pictures, I still think I look fat. It isn't until I compare it to where I started that I can see how much I have lost. This is not something I anticipated going through. My entire life I have viewed myself as the chubby one. Although I have lost a lot of weight, I still view myself this way. I think it will take time for this mindset to change. I wonder why I feel this way now when I was feeling so good and thin throughout the process. I think part of this is because I'm haven't been seeing constant weight loss like I did in the beginning. I am now used to seeing myself this way and so my mind went right back to telling me I have a lot more weight to lose. I think another reason is throughout my weight loss, people were constantly telling me I looked great and could tell I was losing weight. Now... nobody says anything. Probably because I have looked the same for almost 5 months now.... people are not going to continue to tell me that I look great and ask me if I'm losing weight. I have to get out of my mind that just because they are not commenting, doesn't mean that I'm fat again. I compare myself to every girl around me. I think just about every girl is thinner than me. Even if a girl is the same size or a bigger size than I am now... in my mind they are thinner because that is how it has always been. Then you have the media telling you what you should look like... we won't go there. The mind is a tricky thing and I know it will be a process for my mind to catch up to where my body is now at, but  I will get there.

I have been feeling this way for a few months. I didn't want to write my story and show my before and after pictures until I reached my goal weight...not 10 lbs sooner! ha ha What made me change my mind? I recently went to Zion's. I went to Zion's about the same time last year. I compared the pictures. What a difference. I decided I have been being too hard on myself and that I HAVE come a long way and look good and am in A LOT better shape than I was in last year even though I have always been pretty fit. It is a lot easier for me to hike and run now than it was last year!
Last year

This year.

I am recommitting myself. I am going to lose those last 10 pounds. I'm in and want to continue to be in the best shape of my life. I am proud of myself for getting to this point and not gaining the weight back.  I feel great and want to help other people look and feel great too. I know I will hit points in the future where I will struggle with self image, but this program has given me the tools to take off the weight and keep it off and for that I am very thankful. I know I have more to lose, but I recognize and am proud of how far I have come. It is worth every sacrifice to be fit, healthy (and at a healthy weight). Now that I'm here, I want to stay healthy and active. I enjoy running and hiking more now because it is easier. Before when I would lose weight I would keep all the old clothes around just in case. This time, I got rid of EVERYTHING that was too big. I pretty much had to buy all new pants and new Winter Clothes and Work out clothes and tops... It felt pretty good. :) I'm excited to continue my journey to better health. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I believe this program works for everyone if you are dedicated and stick to it. It changed my life for the better. Every time I forget... I will just look at these pictures.


jamie hixon said...

I wish you would have given all your bigger clothes to ME. Someday I'll lose this baby weight, ugh.

You do look awesome Tracy. I always think you are pretty no matter what though, and that is so lucky! When I am bigger (like now) I look so much worse in my face, etc. You always look hot.

Lil Lizzie said...

you go girl!! it is really awesome to see the pics side by side. You are beautiful inside and out :)

Lynette Mills said...

As I was reading this post and came to the first picture of just your face I thought to myself, Tracy is so pretty! Just like Jamie said, you are and always have been. You have had a major accomplishment in your weight loss and it makes you all the more beautiful. I can tell that your confidence in yourself has really improved, which only adds to that beauty. Congratulations on a fight won. It makes me happy to see you so happy.

Tyler said...

Awesome post! Anyone would be lucky to have you as a health coach, you obviously know what you are doing.

Lori said...

Good for you for putting it out there Tracy and sharing your success! You are more courageous than most women. You are so beautiful and I am super proud of you! BTW, every woman has self esteem issues when it comes to their bodies... even the ones who seem to have "perfect" figures. It's a shame that society has done this to us all. I'm so glad that you feel healthy! That is totally what counts :) Love you.

Kristy said...

Wow! You are so brave for posting this. I don't think I could…Lori is right. I have friends who have gotten plastic surgery and they were tiny before. It is crazy what society does to us. Anyway. You look awesome. Keep up the good work.