Sunday, March 25, 2007

If at first...

It's taken me some time to come back after falling off the proverbial wagon for...well, about a year. I've been 'round this weight loss block a few times and am hoping that I've learned enough to not just get in shape, but to stay in shape. I thought I was heavy as a child because that's what I was told. Who knows if this is where things went south. Here's a picture of me in my pre-teens and I don't seem fat to me.

I'm pretty sure I was a heavy teenager, but then I see pictures like this and wonder.

Then I see a picture like this and think, "yeah, I was fat".

Anyway, I know I was heavy as a young adult. Here I am at age 24 in my cousin's wedding.

At 21 I had moved to Hawaii to go to college. I stayed heavy, as in the above picture, all through college. At about age 25, something clicked and I decided to get in shape. I followed my own plan, making changes one at a time. I started with a plan to do one thing everyday outside of my house that was non-food related (usually I went to the beach after work and journaled). When I was ready (and that was key) I added something new, which was taking a walk on the beach. Then I decided to change my eating habits at home only, I made no changes to my habits outside the home. If I wanted a snickers bar that was fine, as long as I didn't eat it in my home. When I was ready, I added changes to eating outside the home too. Slowly but surely I got in shape and about a year later I'd lost 70 pounds. I was leading an active lifestyle, swimming, biking, hiking, and having a blast. Here's a couple pictures from that time period.

And some from during my post-Hawaii 3 month backpacking trip across Europe...

Of course during that time I was never satisfied, convinced I was "fat" and needed to lose weight.
Later, when I would get out of shape again, I would look back on that time as heaven.

So after Europe I moved back to California. I maintained my weight loss for a total of about 5 years before things slowly started slipping away. That was the longest I'd ever maintained weight loss. I think what I learned from that relapse, if you will, is that I have to stay vigilant. I can't ever stop paying attention to this. Sure, I may be able, one day, to put weight and health on the back burner (maybe) but I have to carefully monitor if it needs to return to the front. Ah heck, it needs to stay on the front burner forever.

So I got fat again...I don't know how much I weighed but in 1999 I got engaged, and was overweight. I lost a bunch of weight for the wedding, and was wearing a size 12 (I think), in summer of 2000. Here's a picture of me from that time.

The weight loss lasted about as long as the marriage, which was not long. By the time I met Miguel in late 2001 (see? short marriage) I was heavy again...

I continued to gain weight for the first several years of our relationship. By July of 2005 I think I weighed about 220 and looked like this:

Desperate for change, in August of 2005 I decided to try Body for Life. I followed the plan fairly closely and lost about 35 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. I had completed 12 weeks of Body for Life (BFL) and pretty much slacked off after that. Of course I gained the weight I'd lost, plus a few extra. I reviewed my old journal entries from BFL and saw the last couple of weeks I was writing about being tired all the time. I might have pushed myself too hard and then had nothing left with which to continue. I'm also too good at making excuses and have a history of being lazy. I also identified that I had no plan as to what to do when the 12 week plan is over. Now, whenever anyone tells me they are doing some time-limited plan I always encourage them to plan for after it's over.

After gaining the weight back after BFL, and then some, I sat on my butt for a couple more years trying to figure out what to do. On February 15th [of 2007] I went to my first weight watchers meeting. I looked like this...

So here I am. Head down in a bit of embarrassment about my situation. I have been eating a healthy diet for 6 weeks and have lost 8 pounds. I was 233.8 pounds when I started 6 weeks ago. I am in the contemplation stage when it comes to exercise. I know I want to start again I just don't know when. I'm getting closer and starting to write on here is part of my move toward taking that step. I am trying to take things slowly so that I can create something that I am able to maintain for the rest of my life. Maintenance is the only reason I'm back.


  1. I wish I'd known you were doing this then, Michelle. You know I would have encouraged you. But maybe you weren't ready to go public then? Incredible how far you've come. Not just in weight, but in attitude. You sounded so hesitant back then. Now you're so much surer of yourself.

  2. damn...i have ran out of blog of yours to read. now i have to find someone else's blog to read. lol

    1. You read the whole thing?! That always amazes me. You probably know me better than I know myself at this point. Any general observations? See any patterns I should be aware of? Good luck on finding your new blog, there are a lot of great ones out there!

  3. you had your ups and downs and you fell off the wagon quite frequently the first couple years...quite easily too! but the last couple years, something changed and you got serious. you had little setbacks, but nothing got you truly down anymore. and i'm very proud of you and all that you've done! i can't wait until i reach my goal weight and am a maintainer like you!

    1. Wow, it's a trip to have that insight, thanks! Whatever you can't wait for to reach your goal weight, seize as much of that as you can starting NOW. Thanks Sara :)

    2. i do want to say that reading thru your ups and downs helps me to accept my ups and downs and not beat myself up about them like i would have in the past. you are a great inspiration!

  4. You had so much figured out by the time you wrote this post. I wonder if you knew then, how much you already understood from the previous parts of your journey. Amazing to me, when I read that last sentence above, how REAL it already was for you, to know already that MAINTENANCE is the key to the whole process for you!


If you don't want to login, use the Name/URL option (just type in your name...or any name for that matter). If you use the "Anonymous" option your comment won't get posted. - Michelle