My Journey!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My blog is not one that is very defined. You know, some blogs are *cooking* blogs and some are *crafting* blogs and others are *decorating* blogs. Mine has always been a *slice-of-life* kind of blog - a little of everything. That said, in the last (almost) 2 years I’ve tried to not say too much about my journey to lose weight because I didn’t want to be a *weight loss* blogger. Mostly because I am no expert and have struggled on the way.

A few weeks ago I got the idea that it was time to share my journey. New Year’s seemed to be perfect timing – it is the time of year that many will make a RESOLUTION -- I know I've made many of them. BUT something kept nagging at me -- you see, my journey is not complete. Somehow I felt unqualified to share IF I still was a work in progress. So, *I* decided I'd share *IF* I made a milestone – my 100lb weight loss mark. That milestone had been eluding me and seemed to be just out of my grasp. Despite the work I've put in, seems it still is - I stand before you today 96lbs lighter than I once was and 15lbs from my ultimate goal. I didn’t make the 100lbs before January 1, 2012 – and somehow that doesn’t matter to me now – what does matter is that each day I get up and continue on my way – I've worked hard – keeping to my low carb eating plan, exercising, journaling my daily intake and activity – I’ll continue to work hard and someday I’ll get where it is I’m going. You see, really, my journey has been just as much about redefining my relationship with both food and myself as it has been about losing weight.

I should tell you a little about how I ended up where I was. I come from a long line of shorter, rounder peoples. Body fat was our insurance policy during times of famine or seasonal food scarcity. We were accomplished at surviving. Besides that fact, wonderful cooks abound in my family. Despite that working against me, I was a very active teen and young adult and I never had a weight issue until baby #1 arrived (is it still baby fat if baby is going on 29, lol). Then baby #2 arrived 2 years later without all the weight gain from first baby gone. I have 4 children – see the trend here, lol? A marriage that was less than perfect only compounded my issues. I tried many things along the way – the worst being the drug combination Fen-Phen. I always was able to achieve some short term weight loss but the weight always came back on – PLUS MORE. I hit my heaviest weight in 2002. I rarely allowed myself to be photographed and the photos from that time bring tears to my eyes….mostly because it is evidence of just how unhappy I was.

Spring 2002

New Year’s 2003, I resolved to finally do something about my weight. I started Atkin’s. I felt GREAT. The weight started coming off and I was never hungry and had energy in abundance. I did the Atkin’s program diligently from January 1 until mid-May and lost 40lbs. At that point I was derailed. Then started what I call the *counting* years. I counted – steps, points, calories, fat grams, fiber grams – IF you could count it, I did. I never had the success I did with Atkin’s and it didn’t escape my notice that the Atkin’s weight loss didn’t come back like with other things I tried. My marriage ended in November 2007 (although the divorce wasn’t finalized until mid-2011). I don’t know why it took me so long to return to Atkin’s, but it did – all the way to March 8, 2010.

February 2010

My weigh-in on that day found me 30lb less than my all-time high of 2003 but still classified as obese (when I do a BMI on my highest weight it says EXTREMELY OBESE). I started program and have never looked back. Today I am close to being 100lbs lighter than the heaviest me and 66lbs lighter than I was March 8, 2010. I am active, I run and I feel younger than I have in years. I also feel compelled to say that eating low-carb and the Atkin's program are not a *diet* to me -- this is my lifestyle now. Yeah, I still love to bake for my family and those who can tolerate carbs - but not for me. I will forever eat like this. That is a huge reason why my weight loss hasn't been over just a few months -- I am learning to maintain as I go.

December 2011

So I’m sharing – even though I struggle - struggling is what people do – what I know is this – struggling with someone else makes the struggle easier - maybe my struggles can encourage you or yours can encourage me. If you are embarking on your own journey or you, like me, are somewhere along the way, reach out. I am here. I will celebrate with you and offer whatever words of wisdom I can to encourage you along.

Happy New Year AND Happy Trails!!

Posting to Susan's Metamorphosis Monday @ BNOTP.

44 comments:

  1. Congrats Gail! You look beautiful and I'm glad you feel great! I found this neat lady too, you might enjoy stopping by her blog:
    http://talefromthecoopkeeper.blogspot.com/
    Wishing you wonderful 2012-enjoy:@)

  1. Susan said...:

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It is one that I need to embark on as well.

  1. Congrats to you! Your journey is very inspiring to read. You look beautiful too!

  1. Gail
    As you know, I've only become a recent follower. So I had no idea of the great weight loss you had accomplished.
    You are one amazing lady. Why do I say this without knowing you very well? Because I don't even have the discipline to lose 10 lousey pounds!
    I wish you the very best in 2012 and look forward to following you in this new year's journey.
    God Bless-Kimberly

  1. Sheila said...:

    Awesome!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  1. Congratulations! What a inspiration you are...why do u think I never show my picture! I lost alot of weight once but gained it back.
    You look terrific and should be so proud of yourself.
    A New Year and a New you!

  1. PatinTenn said...:

    I have been "blogger" friends with you for a long, long time. I am so glad you shared your story. I too am working on my journey. Mine is with W.W. and it is working for me. But I need to hear and see others that stayed the course and hung in there. That is where I am at right now but I choose to stick with it and keep going.

    Thanks again,
    Pat

  1. Louise said...:

    Thanks for sharing your awesome journey with weight loss. I too have struggled and have lot 100 lbs. but still need to loose a little more to get to goal. I will get there someday. I did not do it with Atkins but whatever works for one person won't always work for another person. Congratulations on the weight you have lost and I KNOW you can make goal of 100 lbs. soon.
    Love you
    Louise

  1. kitty said...:

    Gail, you look beautiful, wonderful, fit & fabulous!! I'll bet you feel even better with more energy. Congratulations on your journey. You've accomplished so much. Happy 2012 to you!!!!

  1. Thanks for sharing ! I need to lose 25 pounds and have been struggling with baby fat for 33 yrs. :) your story ghats encouraged me today!

  1. Kathleen said...:

    Good for you, Gail! You look wonderful, and I am sure you feel great too!

  1. Thanks for sharing this. You look great! I need to lose about 25 lbs. not nearly what you lost but what's difficult for me is I've done this before. I said I'd never get into this bad of shape again. Ugh! :( not a good feeling. However, I'm determined to get it off again.

    Carey

  1. Patty Sumner said...:

    Wow Gail, you look great! What determination. I needed to hear this. I havae been avoiding loosing the 50 pds I need to. I feel so sluggish and slow. You inspire me! Blessings and keep it up!

  1. Hurray for you and hurray for Atkins! I followed the diet for three years and lost 40 pounds. I derailed, too, and did the counting. Sometimes it takes an encouraging story like your own to feel inspired again. Those three years were wonderful...I was comfortable, my back didn't hurt and I had tons of energy. 2012 will be the year I make a difference in my weight, whatever it takes. You are inspiring, Gail!

    Happy New Year to you and your family!

    XO,
    Jane

  1. Sonia said...:

    Awesome blog! Thanks for sharing your journey with us and you look great!

    Here's wishing you a Happy New Year full of blessing!

  1. Sharon said...:

    Gail,

    You look beautiful! Congratulations on your amazing weight loss. BTW, your clothes look a little loose in the new you photo :) I am proud of you!

    Wishing you a Happy and Blessed year to come.

    Sharon

  1. Gail, what an inspiring post. You look wonderful. I need to lose 25-30 pounds to be where I want to be and you have encouraged me. South Beach works for me and I need to just do it. Wishing you continued success!

  1. Your story is important and thank you for sharing it! It is a struggle most of us have or have had at times in our life. I am overweight and so far have not found the right 'way' to lose the weight. Maybe 2012 will be the year I do it for myself. Hugs, Linda

  1. AshTreeCottage said...:

    What a marvelous journey for you and what a successful outcome. Congrats to you! Wishing you a happy and blessed new year!!

    Big Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  1. OhioPioneer said...:

    Gail: You are a beautiful woman no matter what size you are on the outside.But I am extremely proud of your dedication and determination to make yourself a healthier person. I struggle everyday with the short round shape myself and am determined this year to lose the same 30 pounds I seem to lose and gain on a regular basis. You are an inspiration my friend.

  1. Wow, Gail....YOu look beautiful. Congratulations ;) :) :)I've been sharing my weight-loss journey with my friends on Facebook :) :) I just started talking about it on my blog :) :) Congrats on losing the weight. I've been eating gluten free since September 1st and started the GAPS diet in December. It's a very healing diet for my body...andI feel great.I have lost 54.4 pounds so far :) :) thanks for sharing your story. We are all a work in progress and I know your story is going to inspire/encourage a lot of people :) :) Happy New Year. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

  1. janice15 said...:

    Wow you look fabulous...Great job, I have been struggling with weight gain for two years now have never been really heavy before..thank you for sharing and yes my New Years resolution is to lose my weight finally. I'm having a little bit of problem of being sick from flu..but soon as Iam well will start my journey as well..Congrats to you..and Happy New Years with love Janice @ spoonwither.blogspot.com

  1. Lynnie said...:

    You look simply beautiful in each photo you posted. I see a sweet, creative, caring lady in each picture. I know you feel better since you have lost some weight and that makes all the difference in the world! I have been up and down and am currently about 20lbs up.. that I would like to get down (forever). My focus is trying to shift.. May it be this year! Happy New Year friend!

  1. So proud of you! And you must be so much healthier! You do look quite beautiful smiling there. I too have struggled. Gained some weight since I moved here. Went back a few days ago to drinking my protein smoothies for supper.
    Brenda

  1. Look at you~ that was so encouraging. I am so glad you shared your journey with us.
    I am too about to get back on track before my Hannah's wedding. Sometimes you just survive~ last year was hard. But this year I plan on putting ME back on my to do list!
    You look wonderful~ you go girl!

  1. Congratulations Gail. You look MARVELOUS!! What you did on your own is quite an achievement in my book. I hope you're proud of yourself because your readers are!!!
    Over the last 6 years I've lost 40 lbs. I think that comes to about 2.2 ounces per week.(smile)And if I lose more thats fine but if I don't I'm OK with it too. As I've gotten older it has become less important to me.But when I see a person who has does what you have done I am so thrilled for them because for most of my life I've fought that terrible battle.
    And I KNOW how hard it is to lose weight.You're an amazing lady Gail and I'm glad I found your blog and you.

    Nann

  1. Shug said...:

    Sweet Gail....I am singing hurray's right beside you....I am so proud of you and for the work that you have done for yourself...I must say, that I sure wish I were in your shoes..I have struggled with weight issues for many years now. One would think that by coming from a family whose dad has had FOUR completely seperate open heart surgeries, a brother who has had one open heart surgery and a 28 year nephew who died of a massive heart attack, that one would learn how important weight loss is....(I haven't) Weight loss is a huge struggle, this I know....
    So I give you a huge hand of high 5 for all your hard work...
    blessings.

  1. Jennifer said...:

    You are AMAZING. And I can't tell you how much you have encouraged me today. God bless you!

  1. linda said...:

    Thank you so much for listening to your inner voice to post this. You are truly an inspiration. God puts you in circumstances so you can be an encourager to someone else. I'll bet your mind and emotions are in as different a place as your body. Kudos for where you've been, where you are, and where you're going! Many thanks for all you do!

  1. Your story is very inspirational. I need to lose about 20 pounds. I have the Atkins book and I need to pull it out. Thanks for sharing your story, and you look amazing, by the way.

  1. WOW Gail, you have accomplished a lot!! Congratulations! And hang in there, you are so close to your goal.

    I am in the category of "somewhere along the way". Was doing really well with my "lean protein and lots of veggies" eating plan this fall. Then I did a little backslide at Christmas. Oh well... real life. We are back on track now. DH and I walked a few miles this afternoon and we had big salad for dinner.

    You'll have to share more of your tips for making it all work.

  1. June said...:

    Oh, my! Do I understand. That's why I use my little dog's pix for my profile! 2012 IS the year. At 70 years young, it will take a miracle, but "Nothing is impossible with God."!! Thanks for sharing!

  1. Gail, I am so touched to read your story and your struggle. I am also so proud of you for hanging in there...I can't imagine how hard this must have been for you. You look great and said you feel great...which is even more important.

    I am sure this post will inspire so many others who are struggling. You have thrown a pebble of help, encouragement and kindness in the water today that will have far reaching ripples. Count on it.

    Happy New Year....sweet girl.

    xoBarb

  1. A bit Hurray for you! I think what you have acheived and how far you have come is just wonderful! You inspire us all! blessings to you. Kathleen

  1. Gail, I am so very inspired and impressed! CONGRATULATIONS... YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! I too have that same struggle... but it is getting easier the more I lose and the better I feel. Your post gave me a HUGE burst of confidence that I too, can reach my goal!.
    Happy New Year, my friend!!!!! I sure do miss you!
    xo Yvonne

  1. What a wonderful story, Gail. You do look wonderful! You are a testament to determination paying off. Congratulations!

  1. cindy said...:

    Fail, I just read what your wrote on cindy’s blog about God knew when we were born- he knows what our next trial, miracle will come.
    I have always been on the same page, God made me and (here is where I never th ought about for myself) that He knows when I’m going to come home. That is what I nee to keep my eye on.

    I know this own’t make sense to everyone but I think you will understand. He loves me the same as he loved my Joshua.
    There are so many things that I have larned and forgotten through the pain and tears but now able to hold on to these precious words. Thank you so much, my friend!

  1. cindy said...:

    WOW! You are beautiful. HOW in the world do you keep from eating all the incredible baking you do?

    You truly inspire me!
    I’d love to hear more about your journey. Such as wha tyou do eat. fruit? vegtables?
    I have 80 pounds to lose and am getting desperate.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Cindy

  1. Debbie said...:

    Oh my goodness, I want to stand up and cheer!! You look so wonderful, and I relate to this post so well. I, too, have had my counting years. Like you, I find that staying away from the carbs is the most effective thing I can do.

    You are an inspiration. Wow.

  1. Pam said...:

    Congratulations. You look wonderful. Hurrah for changing your lifestyle. That is really the only way to keep it off for good. I like your comment about "I come from a long line of shorter, rounder peoples". I look at photos of my Grandmother and see a resemblance to me - and not in the way I want.

  1. Aggiequilter said...:

    Just came across your site today, I think ? i've been here before ... You have a wonderful blog but even MORE wonderful is sharing your fantastic progress in 2011 !!
    You look fantastic ! and you've inspired me to try Atkins again, I did and lost 35 lbs after my 2nd daughter was born ... problem is, she's 21 now and I need to lose at least 30 lbs that found me again !! Onward ... & Happy 2012 !!

  1. Renna said...:

    How inspiring your post is! You do look beautiful, and you do look happy. I'm at my highest weight (have been here for several years, though). I low-carbed for 2 years, 8 or 9 years ago. I lost nearly 40 pounds, but unlike you, I quickly put mine back on when I quit low-carbing.

    It was by far the easiest way I've ever found to lose weight (no hunger!), but I got weary of fixing double meals; one for me, and one for my family. It was so hard to eat out, too, something my hubby and I enjoy doing together.

    I've been contemplating joining WW, or low-carbing again, but know I've got to do something, as the excess weight is causing other health issues to arise. You've inspired me!

  1. Family Chatter said...:

    WOW!!!! Good for you-- you are beautiful!!!! Congratulations on the 'journey'. Tonight is the first time Im seeing your blog, and I LIKE the blog I see. I found this through a link on Iowa Sue's blog. I mostly have a 'recipe blog' (for the public) and, in comparison to so many very 'professional looking' blogs (yours included), mine is in 'baby stage' at http://milkmaidrecipebox.blogspot.com/ You just keep up the great work, SLIM!!!! Doris

  1. Farmchick said...:

    Wow...congratulations...you look wonderful..what a great accomplishment. :)

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