Happy Anniversary to my little blog! It's been a year now that I have been floating out my story for those who care to read along and share my experiences. To celebrate I went back and re-read my first couple of entries (feel free to do the same, go ahead, I can wait). I was so innocent back then...just kidding (kinda). I had no clue what a roller coaster this past year would be. I may have had some inkling but there is no way I could have known or prepared for the heights and depths my soul would have to endure to make it to this point.
The first few months of 2008 were mostly about losing my brother Troy and how hard it was to get through even one day. The sadness and depression were like a heavy wool blanket that was soaking wet. It was awful and uncomfortable but the pressure of it was oddly comforting all at the same time. It took a long time and a million baby steps to crawl, then relearn how to walk back to "normal life". Writing about being back home for the funeral felt very good to me and was just what I needed to cut that final silken cord and move ahead. Not that I will ever be over it and I will always love and miss my brother but it doesn't feel like an anchor I am shackled to anymore. Now I carry him in my heart and I know he is around me and everyone who loves him, protecting us the best way he can.
It's way crazy to me now to look back at the first weeks of my diet. So much of the first few months were about my lymphodema. Finding out what it was, fighting to get the correct medical care and therapy for it, learning how to maintain it and learning to live with it. That alone has increased the quality of my life 1000% percent. Now I can wear cute shoes. I don't have to shuffle when I walk because I have a spring in my step I could have never got before- I can still hear the shuffleshuffle sound my damn flip flops made when I walked and feeling like my legs weighed 300 pounds each. Ahhhh, if I had only known then what it tooks months to figure out.
I think so much of my frustration of being asked the "how do you feel?" question in the early days was that the lymphodema was such a huge hurdle to get over and get under control. At the time I had no way of knowing that it was such a major issue and would be so important to my health to get under control. Now I am free in a way I never even would have thought possible a year ago. The fact that I now look forward to my 30 mins on the treadmill is incredible to me. I never ever ever would have seen myself as a person who looked forward to exercise. But now I do....crazy stuff.
The diet itself is much more of an emotional challenge then I have ever really let myself think about. I have been in such a hard core "execute" frame of mind that I haven't allowed myself the time to really think about what it has taken to keep my focus on this when god knows a hella lot of other stuff was going on and could have distracted me. For the first time I really made my health the number one priority in my life and everything else had to come second, it just had to. This diet required me to not just restructure my life but start from scratch and rebuild. That is why I sought out such a strict program. I needed a very clear, black and white plan to follow. THIS is good, THIS is bad.....no gray area. And I was so good about following it because I literally did not know what else to do. Every food choice I have ever made was wrong and I couldn't trust myself to make any choice other than what they told me so- that's what I did. I really didn't know any better way so I picked a program and full all my faith and trust into that it would work and get me the results I wanted and -it's worked. In fact, it's funny to say this now but my original goal on day 1 was to lose 100 lbs in a year. I always wanted to keep a realistic expectation about my goals and when I hit that goal in 4 months it really was incredible. I haven't done a very good job of praising myself for the work I have done but looking back I say- way to go me!!
People still ask me about cravings and I still have them. Oh man do I have them. I would fricking LOVE to go to Cheesecake Factory right now (less than 2 miles from my house mind you) and get a slice of their snickers cheesecake. Hell, I'd love to just go get a shake from McDonald's for that matter. I know I will always want that stuff but the question I do now, and will continue to ask myself is- is it worth it? And as much as I want it, and I do, if I had a whole tray of shakes in front of me right now I would not touch one. I can't. I really can't. I am terrified that if I slip just a little- everything I have done will unravel. This might be an unrealistic fear but in my case it's not such a bad fear.
So AT LAST I can answer when people ask me "how do you FEEL?" I can reply that I feel GREAT. I really do. I feel good in my skin. I can see how much smaller I am and not beat myself up toooo much on how far I have to go. I move much better. Most days when I get home I practcally sprint over to the fitness room to start my workout. I love it. My skin looks great, I have little to no acne now. I do have some hair loss which is common when you drop a bunch of weight but it looks shiny and healthy. It really is amazing how much our bodies look on the outside like what we put on the inside. Honestly the only real issue I have been having is a bit of constipation ( I know, sorry) which is a side effect of the diet and we are tweaking my supplements to help with that.
I look great, I am feeling great and here is the true, great measure of a diet that really really works. I had to break down and buy all new underwear! Everything I had was beginning to have a diaper effect and was not staying put so I went and got all new undies. Bikini, boy shorts, and yes I have even dared to pick up a thong. Jury's out so far but its good to try new things.
I really have to thank you guys for the support you have been giving me. I was a very scary thing to put all this out into the world and it is part of an issue that has showed up for me time and time again- not letting people see me as anything that is less thann perfect. I once did a 5 foot trust fall and before I let myself drop into the arms of my team I had to turn around and say to them "I trust you". When I did it that night my legs were jello and I was beyond terrified. But I did it and they caught me. For you guys who read this I say to you-I trust you. I trust you with my life, I trust you with my truths. I trust you to support and love me and I trust you to take whatever it is you get from reading this and either apply what you chose to you ouw life and/or pay it forward to someone else.