Thursday, April 25, 2013

100 lbs Lost

Lately, my points of view about fitness and nutrition have been shifting. I'm far more focused on eating enough, making sure I'm in control of my choices, and paying more attention to how I look, what my measurements are, and how I feel than what the scale is telling me. It's really hard to let go of those "number" goals because they do give you something specific to work towards.

However, the BMI scale, is a little skewed. It's a bell curve so if you are very tall or very short (like me), the weight it wants you to be is sometimes a little off. If you're average height, the readings will be much more realistic, however, it doesn't account for muscle mass. There are professional athletes who are "obese" according to the BMI scale. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Have MANY ways of measuring your progress because they all have their pros and cons.

All that being said, I did hit a really important milestone on the scale recently. I've officially lost 100 lbs. I couldn't believe it when I looked down and saw the number. It was the complete opposite of the sinking feeling I felt at the beginning of this journey when I had to come to terms with where I was starting. I was completely elated and I walked taller for the rest of the day.

This event coincided with a huge non-scale victory. I have a huge family event coming up and I had to go shopping for several nice/semi-formal dresses to wear. I haven't seen my dad's side of the family or been home to Chicago in over a year. It will be like showing up as a different person. When I see people I haven't seen in a while, I sort of feel like I'm wearing my own skin as a costume. It's always a topic of conversation (which I've become ok with), but there's always a dicotomy going on inside me because I know I've changed, but I don't want to feel like I'm throwing away the person I was before. It's hard to really see myself as the new me from underneath my skin because I've been here the whole time. It always cracks me up when my friends see me after a week and they're all, "Dude, you look even smaller than the last time I saw you!" 

I think there's always a certain amount of tough self criticism whether you've lost weight or you just struggle with how you see yourself. It's not that I can't see any change, it's just that I don't see it as extremely as the other people in my life, plus I'm still really self conscious about sagging skin and the remaining plumpness. Recently, this video from Dove has been making the rounds on the interwebs. A sketch artist draws two versions of each woman featured in the video, one as described by the woman herself, and another as described by a random person who has just met them for the first time. I wanted to include it here because I think it's important to keep our demon's at bay when we embark on these major metamorphic journeys. Easier said than done, but watch it!

Meanwhile, back at Macy's: My awesome and VERY generous mom offered to treat me to some nice clothes so I could put my "new and improved" best foot forward. I took my best friend, Emily with me because I'm ABSOLUTELY hopeless when it comes to fashion. Give me a geeky t-shirt and jeans and I'm golden! This girl is my rock and always the Harley Quinn to my Poison Ivy on these little shopping adventures. Five months ago I had to get a dress to sing at a friend's wedding. I was a size 14 and that was so great because it meant I was out of the plus sizes for the first time in years. I decided to try a size 12 tonight because that's what I fit into at work when I was getting new dress pants for my uniform a few weeks ago. Emily was doubtful about that because she thinks our work pants run small, but we tried it. 

Too big. 
We tried a 10. 
Too big. 

On it went till I was wearing a size six. You'll notice I'm a bit misty eyed in the photo because as soon as it zipped, I began to bawl. This huge feeling just washed over me and as the energy of the moment coursed through me, it sought release. I wasn't sad. They were tears of joy. I've never been in this size before. Ever. Hell, I've never been this fit in my life. I've never been this healthy. I've never been surrounded by so much love and support and I've never been so proud to live in my own skin.

Emily and my boyfriend Brandon have been so supportive of me throughout this metamorphosis. Both of them have been my confidants. Before I post anything very raw or emotional on the blog, I always talk about it with them first to get my head on straight. I'm not always easy to deal with. There are times when I've been a complete MESS or I've lashed out because the stress of waging constant willpower war amidst all the other distractions in my world has left me so raw that the slightest thing will set me off. They have born the treacherous waves of my emotions, the onslaught of my self doubt, and my fears of losing control with open hearts and warm hugs. That's true love and I thank my lucky stars that I have that surrounding me every day. I'm at a distinct advantage because of it.

I've had a lot of overwhelming experiences in dressing rooms and most of them have been negative. I've always hated looking at myself in the mirror and even though my mom always did her best to help me hide my flaws when we went shopping, that's what it was always about. There were always alterations and letting pants out and hemming "tall person clothes" because I couldn't fit into the regular sizes in the kid's section. The money and the time she spent on trying to make me look at feel good must have been astronomical. I feel so much guilt about it now because I know she must have felt like I was throwing it back in her face by not doing anything to change my unhealthy habits. I must have seemed so ungrateful. 

I never fit into the dresses I wanted to wear. Before this experience, I'd never had the exciting feeling of seeing "the dress" on the hanger, putting it on, and having it fit like it was made for me. I had to work for it- and I MEAN WORK! Haha!

That's why was indescribably special to me to share this moment with Emily because she's been there through it all and she's been so selfless in her support of me. This was something every girl wants to feel and I finally got it with my best gal pal. I'll never forget it. It was... big.

Even better, I got several other dresses to wear for the weekend (MEDIUMS, I'll have you know! /flex!) and some GREAT jewelry to pair with them. 

I had to go with this black slinky dress because I'm in the middle of my Big Damn Hero Challenge and if Zoe gonna wear a dress, she wants "something with some slink."

I also got something with a few ruffles to satiate the Kaylee in me.

I still have a lot of journey to go. and I know that there are demons and dragons to face going forward, but that's why I'm taking this moment to celebrate and remember why it's so important to persevere. 

It's worth it. It's worth every goddamn drop of sweat, every tear, and every hard won willpower war.

So my little Slayers, if you're out there fighting for better health, keep fighting. Your struggles are just blips on the radar if you keep going. If you can do that- putting one foot in front of the other consistently- you can achieve great things in time. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! It was a ton of work, but the work never ends. :) Not in a bad way. Just in that once you adopt a lifestyle, it makes it a lot easier because if you stick with some basic changes, success is inevitable. It's just a matter of time!

  2. Anne, you look phenomenal. From the first time I saw one of your posts on the Nutrisystem site, I knew you were going to be one of the success stories :-) You have ROCKED this :-)

    1. Awww Kelly! You've always been so encouraging and supportive! Thanks so much for following along with my posts and for having faith in me! It kept me going when times are tough. Still work to be done and new challenges to face! <3

  3. So incredibly impressed and inspired by all you've accomplished, Anne. (And you're a sister in gaming pursuits and Firefly fandom, no less. Bad-ass geek babes FTW!)

    Congratulations on an extroardinary transformation and many, many successes to come. You are amazing! <3

    - Sirenn (Scarlett) @ NS

    1. Hell yes! Browncoats Unite! Hahaha! Thanks so much for the sweet comment :) So lucky to have found such awesome readers and to get to connect with them about my favorite fandoms! Keep kicking ass!