My last three months have been filled with varying emotions ranging from overwhelming excitement to utter discouragement, but the one thing that has remained constant is my determination to succeed at losing ALL this excess weight! No matter how long it takes!  Being a life-long dieter, there are a few “truths” I have experienced along the way. One is the last few pounds are ALWAYS the hardest to lose. Another is the number on the scale is NOT always a good indicator of success.

 

I started my Twelve week challenge (Body for Life – a structured exercise and healthy eating plan I referred to in my last BRIO article) May 23 - I finished “round one” on August 14 and started “round two” on August 15. During that first twelve weeks I lost ten pounds which was about twenty pounds shy of where I wanted to be (hence why I am doing a second twelve week challenge J).  Naturally I was disheartened and that is when I decided to refocus my thinking. Thank goodness I had taken some before and after pictures in my daughter’s bikini (the fact I even got in her bikini was AMAZING) so I was able to SEE how much my body had REALLY changed in those twelve weeks – even though the scales did not reflect what I wanted to see. When I looked in the mirror, I was able to see that I was getting a little “cut” on my arm – my thighs were tighter – my calves had more definition but most importantly my stomach was smaller!!!!  My clothing change was dramatic - I had gone from a size 16 to a size 10! But the most significant improvement was when I reviewed my exercise journal and saw my increase in strength and endurance in my exercise routine.

 

During my initial counseling sessions with Lisa, I remember her saying that at varying points in my journey different means of measuring my progress would be important. This was why she suggested we weigh on the scale, take before pictures and get body measurements. I am so grateful I listened to her and did all three of those exercises. It really paid off when the scales seemed to not want to move. Now the overall picture for me is this – in ten months I have lost exactly ninety pounds and gone from a size 22-24 to a 10-12! That is a whole person!!!  I couldn’t ignore these “successes” and the lack of movement on the scales did not seem as nearly as discouraging! Now I see it as a source of motivation to work harder in the gym and continue to make healthier  food choices. What an awakening this has been for me because in the past I would have used this as an excuse to “throw in the towel” and the end result would be to regain what I had lost and then some. I am so grateful that God has given me the gift of supporting and encouraging people in my life who help me discover things in His perspective. It never fails – when I am slugged with a wave of discouragement I receive an email or post from a friend asking for help or extending encouragement my way. By the end of responding to them – God has renewed my hope and joy is found once again.

 

Austin Andrews

So now for the exciting events this summer held for me…  I was able to wear one of my favorite dresses to a friend‘s wedding. I went to the beach (in my new bathing suit) - got my picture taken - posted on Facebook and didn’t mind the world seeing it.  I volunteered at the casting call in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Biggest Loser TV show and met Austin Andrews – season ten contestant who has an amazing story of his own.  I went to a two hour dance and only sat down for the two slow songs. I traveled to Bristol, Tennessee to see the  NASCAR  race (GO DALE JR!) and was able to climb hills and stairs with less effort than ever before. People who had not seen me since last year didn’t recognize me when I approached them! Overall I had a VERY busy summer and feel certain that I would NOT have been able to meet all my commitments if I had not had surgery and lost ninety pounds.

 

Someone very special and close to me calls me Butterfly… how fitting that nickname is today. I feel like I have I have been unleashed from my cocoon and am able to fly freely.   What an amazing journey this has been.  

 

Thank you (again) Nash Surgical Weight Loss for giving me the opportunity to have a new life!