Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pictures really help with perspective

I have been updating some of the pages of my blog and I have gone back to a page I've been avoiding for a little while, my pics of progress page.  I'm a very visual person and seeing pictures of not only where I was before I started losing weight, but how I looked at my smallest weight just a few months ago caused some fear in me so I wasn't willing to open up the page.  Truthfully, I was a little scared about seeing the weight gain on a body I had worked really hard to get smaller.

It was enlightening for me, though.  I was able to reflect back at how miserable I was at various weights before embarking on Optifast.  And, while I was on Optifast, I was amazed at how small I had gotten.  Of course, I still had a long way to go, but I was able to get to my smallest size and really see a difference.  I was also able to see something I didn't see before.  Some people who are close to me have commented recently that while I was on the shakes, my face didn't look healthy, that I was dropping weight just too fast.  I didn't understand what they were talking about but I could see it a little in the pictures.  I definitely was looking very different.  I was exercising all along the way while on Optifast, but let's face it, your body can only take losing so much weight a month without having some consequences.  In the first month alone, I lost 45 pounds.  I was seeing excess skin that was hard to deal with.  Now that I'm off of products, dealing with weight gain and continuing on with my getting healthier plan through WW, I can go slower and take more time with strength training.  When you're on Optifast products, you're not supposed to do any strength training.  I did a ton of cardio, more than I really was supposed to, but no strength training.

In those pictures, I was able to look back at about the weight I'm at right now and it helped me see that I'm not back at my heaviest and that I'm significantly smaller than my top weight.  It was a perspective I really needed to see because, in my mind, I was right back to where I started.  Having gained the weight after all the medication changes that had side effects of weight gain and gaining it so quickly really messed with my head.  I wasn't handling it well so I wasn't eating the best either, trying so hard to deal with the frustration I was feeling.  Besides, getting off the products so fast also was terribly difficult for me. I didn't have a transition period; I just went cold turkey.  While I was on the products, I had absolutely no cravings.  I liked my shakes.  Sure, I was tired of drinking them after a while but I was able to stick to it.  Yet, when I went back to food, this lion in me was reawakened and the cravings were fierce.  I had a period of time where I was really regretting my decision to go on Optifast in the first place because of side effects I was feeling.

Then I realized that, more than anything, I owe a debt of gratitude to the Optifast program because it gave me the confidence and assurance that I have the strength needed to do the work to get healthier.  I lost a lot of weight on that program and have been able to keep a lot of the weight off that I lost, even though I gained some back.  It also awakened something in me to get back into the exercise mode and really enjoy it.  I didn't lose the weight by just drinking the products, but also by sweating my butt off, too.  I love the high it gives me.  I love the way it makes my body feel, even when I'm in pain because at least the pain is much less significant.  It renews me in a way food never could.  More than that, my spirit changed.  As difficult as things have been at times, I am still here and doing the best I can to be in the moment, walking forward.  It isn't perfect all the time.  I have stumbled a lot, but I've gotten back on my feet and keep on this road to something so much greater than I had before.  I know that, during those difficult times, I just need to hang on because this, too, shall pass.  Those hard moments are just moments and things can change in a moment's notice.  I know I'm not alone in this because a lot of people have experienced the same thing.  I'm not unique.

I promise to post more pictures in the future on my progress page.  I am confident that I will get back to where I was and even surpass it.  It's not a contest, but it's a matter of me feeling healthier and living that way.  For now, I get inspiration from those pictures at my smallest weight, knowing that I can do it. 


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