It took me a few years to say that sentence, and it still makes me nauseous each time I say it.
I was always skinny. If not skinny, at least toned and curvy in the right places.
I call this photo from when I was a 22-year-old college senior my "Thinspiration" photo. I may not ever look like that again, but I can sure as hell try. (As an aside, I was not happy with my weight then, but more on that later.)
It took a good three to four years to realize what I had done to and what I had not done for my body. The curvy-in-all-the-right-places body was gone, replaced by a body and a person in the mirror that I didn't recognize. Here I was, a skinny girl, trapped in this fat suit of my own making.
When I started experiencing severe lower back pain and some joint pain in the summer of 2009, I knew it was time to make a drastic change.
I started looking into the possibility of bariatric (weight loss) surgery, but I wasn't sure that was the right option for me.
The proverbial straw that broke the camel's back came when I visited my brother and his family in Los Angeles that summer. My then-3-year-old niece, Alicia, was playing on the Wii Fit and creating avatars for everyone. (Wii Fit collects information such as your height and weight to help with this and with achieving your fitness goals.) She created an avatar for her aunt and one for her Mom and one for her sister and one for me. I so vividly remember her innocently saying, "Look, Auntie Rachel...everyone else is straight, and you're round," as I struggled to hold back tears. And so I was - on the Wii Fit screen and in life. I vowed that I never wanted my niece to have to see me "round" again.
Still, what takes three years to do (the weight gain) takes a lot of time to undo, if that's even possible, and I was fighting an uphill battle, it seemed.
In November 2009, a few days before Thanksgiving, I underwent a LapBand procedure designed to limit my eating. I won't spend a lot of time discussing this, but, suffice it to say that, for me, surgery was a mistake. If you can follow all the rigid pre- and post-surgical nutrition, eating and exercise requirements and restrictions, there's no need for the surgery. You can do it on your own. I wish I had realized this before I had the surgery, but I didn't.
Fast-forward to November 2010, one year post-surgery. I still hadn't achieved the weight loss I want. I still wasn't exercising. I was still round. These photos show what I looked like in the Summer of 2009. (BTW, when I look at them, I alternatively want to throw up or die.)
|Summer 2010 "fat photos"|
People are starting to notice a difference and comment on it! I am starting to gain my self-confidence back. I even try to date for the first time in over a year and a half.
I am now ready to take the plunge and do the hard work. Let the games begin...cue "Rocky" training music.