AWEIGHTED CHANGE

It's inevitable that we all fail. The difference is in those of us who choose to pick ourselves back up. Time and time again. This is the blog of one girl's journey through time to embrace the change and challenges associated with weight loss.

Who’s ready for my crazy 2017 goals?

Well hello again and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope this year has started off as inspiring and full of opportunity for you all as mine has. Here I am back at it again with the documentation of my journey. Felt I couldn’t really come back and contribute until I fell off the wagon, rolled into the dust and survived a horse stampede. Okay, dramatic, I know but it always takes me making progress and falling a little backward to come back to writing about it and holding myself accountable. It’s also been about 3 years since my last vow of insanity in regards to a fitness goal. Are you ready for 2017’s?

MAY 2017 – NEPAL – TREK TO EVEREST BASE CAMP

And you thought my 2014 NYC Marathon goals were bananas!

I can’t tell you how excited I am for this opportunity. Maybe in a later post I’ll write about how putting yourself out there really pays off and allows dots to connect much faster in your life then they would if you were just wandering the path alone but for now I’ll just say, “Take risks.”  Life wants you to pay attention. This opportunity presented itself to me in a time where I was finally coming to understand that once you drop emotional baggage the physical baggage follows.

This year will be a challenge for me in learning to love myself. It has nothing to do with dieting or changing to fit society’s norms but it has everything to do with me wanting to feel good and take care of myself. Did you hear that? Take care of myself – not others. While this won’t turn me into a stark raving mad version of myself where I am just mean to everyone and my business and relationships collapse it will in fact be a very selfish year. One where I put myself first.

It is 129 days until the trek begins and this means I have a little over 4 months to not only drop weight, learn how to eat properly but also to up my cardio and get my legs in the greatest shape of my life.

Exciting isn’t it?

Here’s a little picture of where I’m at right now. I hope you’ll follow me along the way!

xo

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I might not be there yet but I’m not giving up on it either… 

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This journey is just that, a long and complicated journey to which I’ve got no map. I’m not there yet and I’ve, in fact, gone backwards and gotten lost quite a few times. Yet, here I am. I feel proud of that. That no matter how many times I circle back to where I started I never just stop and give up. I always tie up my laces and give it another go. Throwing in the towel on myself isn’t an option. It never has been and it never will be an option. I will always continue to fight to be better even if I get frustrated, even if I think it’s taking to long and I should already be there.

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I’m not the fastest, strongest or most beautiful woman out there and I don’t claim to be but I do continue to try and trying makes me happy. Every day I wake up I make a choice to try. Not every day is a success but every day I learn more about myself. The things I don’t like I’m working on but these days my biggest achievement, my biggest success in life is that throughout this, what appears to be life long, weight loss struggle I’ve begun to like more about myself then I hate.

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I think the point I’ve recently stumbled upon is to learn to respect the journey even if you don’t like it at times and to learn to turn that respect into a love for yourself and your ability to be on the journey… To be going somewhere instead of remaining sedentary and in one place forever. I like where I’m going and I look forward to what’s next on the road map to a better body and an abundance of self love.

xoxo

As I Am

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Well here’s to humility. If I had a glass of champagne I’d toast to it. That’s probably because there was a time in my life when I was so self conscious I wouldn’t leave the house and my Mom had to go shopping for me. I’ve been plus-size my entire life and for some reason it felt like a burden, a cape of shame that I couldn’t shake. So today, at 30 years old, it is with humility and a heart geared toward inspiring others that I’m posting myself, as I am, to document the change that I hope to see in the coming months.

With that being said, as we age, change is inevitable. And while my body may be changing I find it important with this first post documenting my physical self that I speak to the mental self that has changed so much this past decade. In my 20’s there was a lot of pressure to be perfect, to fit a mold of beauty, to be thin and when I couldn’t get to that ideal of beauty I mentally tormented myself and considered myself a failure. I was in a lot of pain and felt trapped in a body that I was working to change but that wasn’t good enough yet.

It was in my mid-20’s that I decided that if I could survive my father’s death at 14 years old that I was strong, a survivor and I wasn’t willing to accept that I couldn’t be a better version of myself. What I didn’t know was the journey while trying to change physically was going to be the hardest mental exploration and a road, with no map, to self development. I set out to be skinny, I set out to run, I set out to work out and what ended up happening was while I lost weight slowly and over time the biggest changes have been both in the way I think but more so from deep down in my soul.

You see, beauty to me has become about the kind of person I am and I know I’ve become a humble, hard working, smart, loyal and loving human. I would do anything for those that I love and the most powerful lesson I learned was that I have to love myself and it took me a long time to realize that I actually do, I can look in the mirror and love what I am spiritually and that has given me the strength and courage to fix the physical shell that surrounds that.

So it is with mental conviction and a glass full of humility that I post this first photo. This will probably be one of the hardest thing I do on this blog. There was a huge internal struggle and debate over it but this is my commitment. This is the beginning. This is me, as I am.

xoxo

 

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

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Some of you don’t know me at all. Perhaps it’s your first time here. Some of you may have been following my journey all along. So to everyone, allow me to reintroduce myself. I started my fitness journey in 2006, when I was 20 years old and weighted 324lbs. That was my heaviest. I had endured some of the hardest times of my life in those twenty years and it caused me to find any and all ways to destroy my outer appearance to validate the ugly way I felt on the inside. Even to this day it brings me to tears to think about the spiral and struggle I went through to try to survive and make it to the next day, every day.

Yet, here I am, I survived. Again and again. There’s something very beautiful about beginning again, starting over. It makes you uneasy, it questions who you are and why you gave up originally but most importantly it teaches you how to fail. If I could offer anyone, any advice it would be to learn how to fail.  To learn how to be uncomfortable. I’ve failed so many times I’ve lost track but with every failure comes some form of learning. Leaning is such a powerful thing.

As this year begins, ten years from my first beginning, I’m utilizing that power. The power to trade in my negative thinking that I failed for a more positive mind set that I have learned so much about myself and I have grown. The picture included in this post is very close to my heart. The image on the right is from 2006. That was my true beginning but every day since has been a fresh start and a chance to learn how to love myself again.

So here’s to making it to the next day, every day!

xoxo

Day One: Again.

Happy New Year! I hate to say it but it’s starting to feel like I write a post every two years. Life has been absolutely crazy. Feels like such an excuse but I’m sure you know what I mean. Sometimes life pulls us in so many directions and we just need to find the path or trail or side street back.

I’m happy to say that after many twists and turns I’ve found my way back. So hello, again. The last time I wrote I was challenging myself to run the NYC Marathon. In the time since I have completed that challenge and an entire year and two months have passed since. That marathon was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It took me seven hours but I never gave up. It was such a personal victory as well as a physical achievement. There is nothing better in life then to give yourself an unobtainable goal and fight your way to reach it… to never give up.

Giving up or lack thereof seems to be the theme my life has started to develop. I’m proud of that. Time may pass but I never give up on goals I set for myself. As 2016 begins I refuse to focus on weight but more on the passion I’ve developed with running and accepting myself as I am. I’ve fallen a long way from that marathon in 2014 and have some work to do to get back to that version of me. While I may no longer be in shape, fast or toned I am strong, resilient and open-minded to becoming a better version of myself.

So as I bring in 2016 with the first run of the year, at 2.7 miles and a 15 min/mile pace, I hope you’ll join me again on my path to becoming a better runner, in losing weight and in believing in myself, again. To all the places we’ll go, cheers!

xoxo

PS. You can now find me on Instagram with photos from my journey! Follow me @aweightedchange

 

 

Challenge One: The NYC Marathon

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Challenge: The NYC Marathon

Initial Feeling: What have I gone and done now?

Here it is! The first challenge. Yes, it’s the New York City Marathon! Don’t go into shock. Okay, maybe a little shock is acceptable. I might be in a little myself. Yet, true to my word,  my new chapter is going to include a series of challenges. Things that I can see myself doing but I have no idea how the heck I’m going to do them.  I live in New York City so when my brother called me with an opportunity to run the New York City Marathon I thought, “Well that is my first challenge just knocking on the door.”  It doesn’t hurt that completing a marathon has also always been on my bucket list. I’ve envisioned being able to say I finished one. However, if you asked me 6 years ago about it I would have just told you it was a far fetched dream.  I may have even laughed in your face.  Yet, here I stand today and I’m about to make that dream a reality.  I’m not really sure how just yet but I can promise I will cross that finish line!

There hasn’t been a point in my entire journey this far that hasn’t included running. I reference it a lot as my “base” exercise. Dare I say that I may have fallen a bit in love with running? It has become my time for me, time away from work, time away from everything really. That time, be it 20 minutes or an hour, is the time that I get to spend alone and with my thoughts and it is often the only time I get to myself. It’s become so important to me. Not only that but running has started to make me realize the benefits of hard work. Over two years ago I wrote a post about running or walking the Williamsburg bridge called, “Crossing Bridges.” It was an extremely emotional post. That bridge was a daunting goal at one of the lowest points in my journey. That first run over it was extremely painful but also one of the first of many revelations that I can do more then I think I can if I only stop holding myself back. This past Sunday I ran that same bridge and didn’t feel as if it was such a huge burden or challenge to cross.  In fact, it was one of the highlights of my run. That is what consistency, dedication and time does, it makes the impossible seem possible and it pushes you to set the bar even higher.  I think it’s brilliant to choose the NYC Marathon as my first challenge because I have no idea how I’m going to go from 0 to hero in a little over three months.  I’m raising that bar for myself but more importantly it is dedication to five and a half hours of me time. Spending time alone, being alone, with 26.2 miles between me and a personal victory. It truly signifies the strength, both mentally and physically, that it has taken me years to develop.

Time has proven to me that with commitment, dedication and hard work I physically and mentally become stronger and braver. I am capable of pushing myself and succeeding. For the first time in a long time, I believe in myself and I believe in this goal.  Better then believing in myself though is believing in the cause that I will be running for. Time has turned me into someone brave enough to go after all her dreams, time has brought me personal and career driven success but time has also taught me to pay it forward.  When my brother called me with the opportunity to run the NYC marathon he also presented me the opportunity to give back.  He is involved with a charity called Inheritance of Hope.  Their mission is to help families with children facing the loss of a parent. This entire mission is something so very close to my heart as it is the reason why I am who I am today. I lost a parent, my surviving parent fought to keep life the same after but it changed all of us. I went through my ups and downs with the passing of my father and sadly the time directly after is when I turned to food and became my heaviest. Turning the corner and committing to losing that weight was committing to move forward and to having a future. Being able to cross the finish line of a marathon will not only be a weight loss goal but it will also be me proving to myself that I survived, that I have grown, and that I am a legacy for my family and for myself. I’ve never wanted something more for myself but more in hopes that my story will inspire those young children to push forward, no matter how hard it may seem at the time and to believe in themselves and in their goals!

This one is close to my heart and I look forward to every step in the journey! Thank you all so much in advance for your support!!!

 

The Next Chapter

A New Chapter

July 27, 2014 and it’s taken me weeks to try to decide when and how to come back. Seemingly, I fell off the face of the Earth a little over two years ago.  Time passes by so quickly.  I’m not sure how to explain my absence other then sometimes we get so caught up in life that the time passing by so quickly makes everything a blur and it becomes almost impossible to focus on anything.  Thankfully, life has stopped spinning and I’ve found my focus again. I’ve grown so much in the past two years that it’s hard to even know where to begin but I can say that after reading my last post back from April 2012 I think that’s exactly why I’m here again: consistency, self worth and above all else self control.

Life gets messy. It gets complicated. Take two steps forward and three back. You try, you fail… you learn from failure and you try again. Those past two years have held some of my greatest failures but they also hold many of my greatest successes.  There were some great losses in my life in those years but also some of the biggest personal gains.  When it comes down to the fine print did I complete the initial challenge I started this blog over? No. Not at all.  I think I made it exactly halfway. Yet, I’m still here. I haven’t given up. Some of the posts from that original challenge define why I am who I am today. A lot of those stories still carry over into my life to this day. Same with the lessons learned.  I may not have finished the entire challenge, some may even call it a failure, but even half of the challenge changed my life and two years later I’m still completely in control of myself and have become better, stronger and more focused.

Today will mark the start of my next challenge, a new chapter.  Day one for me isn’t about letting go of the past but instead learning from it and growing.  I want to face my failures in life and move forward knowing I have learned from them. I don’t have one end goal anymore because I have now learned that there is no ultimate goal that once I obtain it it will all stop and everything will be perfect… but there are minor goals to set along the entire journey.  So instead I am giving myself challenges. Things that I can see myself doing but I have no idea the road to get there.  Staring into the darkness with two sticks wondering how the hell I make fire. I will learn, I will utilize my resources, I will adapt, I will become stronger and you will see me build a fire… a fire that sparks another fire… until I’ve invented the light bulb, a steady stream of light.

I’m incredibly excited to be back and to be able to share my journey with you all! It’s been quite an exciting one so far and I genuinely look forward to the changes and trials and failures to come with great faith that they will all lead up to some of life’s greatest successes. I look forward to posting very soon to share with you all my first challenge! It’s a huge undertaking and I’m incredibly thrilled to be fighting for it! Life does get messy and complicated but we’re all in it together and if you wake up then that means you’re in it for another day! Let’s always make the best of it!  Find value in your failures, learn, try again and while you’re figuring it all out, pay it forward. The best is yet to come!

 

 

Day Fifty Two: Control

Workout: 30 Minute Run

Feeling: Comforted, Content, Confident

I went back to my base exercise today. I awoke to my 7:45am alarm, I laced up my sneakers and headed out for a run. It was a beautiful morning for a run too. In some strange way running is becoming my form of therapy. Whenever I hit a road block and feel like I have no where to turn I go back to running.  I haven’t been very active since life got busy this past week and because of that I’m starting to believe that exercise plays a huge role in my approach to life.  When I don’t exercise I start to feel this burden of life’s pressures building up on my shoulders.  It’s a pretty heavy weight to carry around. The past couple of days that weight has been almost crippling.  I feel myself no longer having a positive perspective on all that I have accomplished in my life but instead focusing solely on the negatives and on things that I want that aren’t mine to have just yet. In some regards going back to running allots me a small amount of control over something, and that something is myself.

There are a lot of things in life that we can not control. No matter how hard we try and no matter how fast we push forward sometimes things just aren’t ours to obtain at the current moment that we want them.  Yet, we fail to remember that there is something we CAN control. There is one aspect of our life that is always in our control and that is ourselves.  We control how we feel about the situations we’re in, even if they aren’t the best situations. We are in charge of our approach to our lives every day when we wake up. We are in charge of who we hand over a prominent space in our lives to.  We are in charge of what we enjoy, what we worry about and what we are indifferent to.  For me, the approach I wake up and take towards my day depends on if I do something for myself first and that something for myself is exercise. It is important for me to hold on to the fact that I am in control of what I put in my body and what kind of exercise I do each day.

On today’s morning run it was the perfect temperature, the sun was out, and every now and again there was a slight breeze.  I felt free.  I felt alive. I felt like myself.  At a few moments in my run I even took a few strides with my arms open wide letting the wind hit me.  I embraced that this moment in time for me  just is what it is. I can’t change anything immediately but I can learn to enjoy the journey. I can remember that at one point this journey was a far fetched dream. And with that, this morning, I took back control of the only aspect of my life that I feel I have any control over right now. I find comfort in that. I feel comfort in knowing that I did what I could do for myself today and that that alone will allow me to go about my day with a more positive outlook.  I know that when I do things for myself I present myself to the world differently and then, and only then will those things out of my control start coming around.  I’ve seen it happen before and I know it will happen again.  Comfort in what you do for yourself, contentment in what you have now, and confidence in who you are and where you’re going are the platform for obtaining goals and future successes.

Running gave me clarity today. Running reestablished my mentality and thoughts. Running reminded me about why I’m here and why I’m fighting for my dreams. Running made the eyes of my soul and the heart of my passions wake up again. Running for me IS that powerful and that is a power that I have 100% control over.

Day Forty Five: Group Classes

Workout: 1 Hour Kickboxing Class

Feeling: Pretty Damn Energetic and Maybe Even Inspired

Morning workouts are the best workouts! Is it hard to wake up at 5:30 in the morning? You betcha! This morning I caught myself thinking by the time the class is over I would normally just be waking up.  I asked myself, “Why am I sacrificing my sleep for working out when I know I’m going to be so tired later?” The answer was found in the feeling I got after my morning work out when I realized I started my day right, that I did what I was suppose to for myself first today, that I now can go grab a coffee and even get to work early… that feeling is worth those 2 and half hours of sleep I lost. I am so pumped for my day! On top of that I’ve got more confidence then I’ve had in a while!

Funny to think that a little over a year ago I would have been to afraid to even walk into a kickboxing class for fear of being the fat girl.  I’m glad I got over that because I was missing out on a whole world of exercise. Group classes are intense, amazingly energetic and they drive my competitive nature.  You may not get as much personal attention as you would get with a personal trainer but there is something to be said about group classes.  I’ve worked out with trainers, I’ve worked out on my own, I’ve worked out with a buddy and I’ve taken group classes. For me, group classes are where it’s at.  You go to class and you are surrounded by people, just like yourself, trying to better their bodies to better their lives. You feed off the energy in the room coming from everyone. The music, the ambiance, the instructor it all feeds into this positive energy that transfers to you and allows you a perfect platform to start your day on.

Clearly my group kickboxing class is slowly taking over my workout routine as one of my favorites!  I have more energy after this class then anything else. Perhaps I just have some horrible need to beat the crap out of a bag with gloves on but I think there’s more to it then that. I think it allows me to combine cardio, stretching and stress relief all into one hour.  More then that it reminds me of training for an athletic team. The class is based around techniques and form.  That’s important to me because it’s a learning curve and I’m at the bottom. I like the idea of not only getting in my workout but knowing that I have the potential to learn this and get better at it with time.  That want to learn and get better only drives me to go to class more!

Other things that get me to class are the people you meet in group classes. They give energy to the class during the class but many of these people after class will chat about their journeys in fitness be it for weight loss or otherwise.  They share stories and you get to know them and they add to your support system.  They look for you in classes and cheer for you when you do well. People who work out together are amazing to me. I was so scared to come to class because of the people and the fear of being judged and now I’m staying because of the people. Funny how that works? Funny how often what we are so scared of is only in our minds and once we get out of our own ways and actually take the risk it turns out to be a reward.

What are you afraid of in your workouts? Hell, what are you afraid of in your life? Are you afraid of what actually motivates you? Possibly because that motivation will make you succeed? Are you afraid of success and what to do with it? Are you afraid of judgement? Are you afraid you can’t do something? My bet is that once you start, once you just do something once, you will quickly prove to yourself that any doubts you had were just that… doubts. Nobody got anywhere in life by doubting themselves.  Take a chance. Put yourself out there. I guarantee taking a risk, chancing being judged, has absolutely changed my Wednesday mornings and it may have even changed my perspective on other aspects of my life! I dare you to try! You might just surprise yourself! 🙂

Day Forty: Hello Life, I Love You!

Workout: 1 Hour Kickboxing

Feeling: Happy

Who knew I’d make it to day forty!?!?! I have this overwhelming sense of pride that I have not given up!  That and my entire perspective on life is starting to change. I realized last night that I was smiling and laughing during my kickboxing class. The old version of myself would have been complaining and saying “I can’t” a lot. I went with my coworkers but found myself making friends with others in the class as well. The old version of myself would have hid in the corner trying not to be noticed. Then, again, this morning on my commute to work I noticed myself smiling a lot and just generally being a happier version of myself.  It probably doesn’t hurt that the weather is an amazing 71 degrees here in New York City either but I just feel myself changing and shifting into the person I dreamed of being mentally, physically and spiritually.  It’s truly amazing!

Pretty extreme change from my last post, right?  I think somewhere deep inside my soul I finally decided to let the “fat girl” go and although the transition will take more then two days there is already a change at how I am approaching my life and all that is included in it.  Will there be hard days? I’m sure of it.  Yet somehow I think if I make this decision, for myself, those hard days will start to become fewer and fewer and those that do still occur will be easier to handle and get through.  In some weird way my weight is the last chapter of closure for my adolescence.  I put the weight on to deal with some pretty harsh realities and taking it off is me closing that chapter of my life and saying okay it’s over, I’m putting it behind me, I’m letting it go so that I can finally move forward and live freely without all this emotional baggage.  Honestly, the healing of the mind was a lot easier to conquer then the healing of the body.

Just like any other substance abuse problem I used my substance, food, to self medicate myself. To shut down any kind of feelings I had by comforting myself with sugar, salt and anything white and fluffy.  I put the weight on to hide from my problems, to hide from the hurt and to hide from compliments or anything positive. What I didn’t know at the time was that what I was covering up would be far easier to heal then healing what I was doing to my body.  In the past 8 years I have done a lot of growing and healing of my mind and have moved forward in so many great ways.  I’ve even made great strides with losing weight.  That is where the closure part comes in.  This is the last step for me to get me back to my prime with a new mind, new body and new outlook on life. I have never been smaller then I am today and it’s scary. This weight loss is bigger then pounds and dress sizes this is the end of something and the start of something new.  It’s like saying goodbye to something that was so close to your heart and just letting it fall to it’s place in your past. It’s some strange combination of sad, scary, new and exciting.

Weight loss is definitely a large part of this journey that I am in but the self healing, self discovery and self improvement aspect is absolutely mind blowing. I’m sure if weight loss were my pure goal here I would be losing more weight and would be focusing more on doing more and eating less but instead I am changing my life. The weight may come off slower but it is coming off and I am making changes in both my mind and body that will last forever.  This isn’t a crash diet, it isn’t a roller coaster of gaining slowly and losing quickly, this is a slow, steady, hike up a mountain working my way up to the top so that once I’m there I can enjoy the view.  I am so excited that it seems to finally all be falling into place! I seem to have somehow been able to stop comforting myself with food and to start using exercise as a platform for my mental health instead. I’m now, dare I say, finding my comfort in exercise and using it as a release for negative feelings and stress instead of eating to bury it all.

I have given myself the absolute best gift in these forty days. Not only am I seeing results with a lighter body but I’ve achieved a lighter mind and the ability to enjoy my life as it is in the here and now. More then that I’ve found a deep and true respect for myself and also for my past and I’ve come to realize that I can enjoy the journey and not rush to the destination.  Hello life, I am all yours again!