The Inspiration Train

When I started this blog, I did so for purely selfish reasons. I needed to record my journey to a healthier life through weightloss, and I needed the support of family and friends. Nothing has really changed; I still need that support. I think maybe I even need that support now more than when I started because in most cases, starting isn’t the hardest part, it’s keeping going. It’s finding the willpower to keep fighting. It’s trying to not lose faith in yourself when you have setbacks and to keep trying, no matter what.

It’s no secret that I suffer from some serious self-esteem issues. I think I always have, at least, since the weight started to pack on in my teens. Puberty hit me like a ton of lead and it never let up.

Even after meeting a guy and eventually marrying, I still never quite felt good about myself. I never felt attractive. I never felt comfortable. I was at my heaviest and he was an enabler. I’m not making excuses or even putting the blame on him – at least not for how big I was or my lack of getting healthy. We tried to diet together off and on over the years but I think I got complacent and figured that I had a husband so did I really need to take care of myself?

I didn’t see the issues. I didn’t see that my thinking was so very wrong. I didn’t see how unhappy I really was. I was sick often, stressing about this or that, while he never worried about anything. And through it all, I felt ugly. Undeserving. I never said a word about it to anyone. I didn’t even realize at the time that that was actually happening.

Then there were the little jabs. The subtle suggestions that because he had a PhD that he was smarter than me. I didn’t tie my sneakers the “correct” way. I waited to long after the light turned green to proceed. Well you get the picture.

It wasn’t until I found out he was having an affair that felt the full force of how awful I’d really felt for all those years. For all the self-esteem issues I had had, it never occurred to me to do anything about it. I settled for the status quo.

Until I was left at the curb like the garbage. Until I wasn’t even given an option to try to save my marriage even if I wanted to (I didn’t). That I was swapped out for another woman (15 years younger to boot) in less than 24 hours after walking from the house we’d shared. That he told her that he never really loved me.

It was then that I felt less than human. It was then that my self-esteem took a nose-dive. And I hated him for that. I hated him for what he did to me, sure. But I also really hated him for making me feel like the shit under his shoe. As if I’d done something wrong or been such a horrible person/wife that he couldn’t wait to replace me.

Through all the struggles afterwards, no matter how I felt inside, I held my head high and swore I wouldn’t stoop to his level. That I would behave like an adult, even if he was behaving like a love-struck 16 year old. And I did that. And I realized really quite quickly how miserable I had actually been. I realized that they did me a favor. I even joked that I should end them flowers as a thank-you.

But what I didn’t realize was that despite my stoic behavior, I was still so self-conscious of everything about me. Until last year when I hit the wall and declared that I couldn’t even stand to see my reflection in the window of a store, or staring back at me in the bathroom. I hated myself. I hated everything about myself.

I berated myself for my lack of willpower. For my lack of ability to lose the weight despite knowing what I needed to do. That I’d wasted so many years not doing anything about it before now. I would literally stare at myself in the mirror and tell myself what an awful person I was. I was fat, ugly and just simply disgusting. I felt all of that. In some ways, I still do. But I’ve gotten better. I have those moments now but they are few and far between. But I’ll be honest, that doesn’t mean that I like myself. And I certainly don’t love myself.

But I’m trying.

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It’s taking me a long time to finally feel like I deserve to be happy. That I deserve to experience the good things in life. That my life is something worth living.

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But the one thing that I have a hard time dealing with is compliments. I don’t care how close I am to the person or how honest I believe them to be, if they give me a compliment, it actually has the opposite effect on me. I feel as if they are lying; telling me something they think I want to hear, and nothing could be farther from the truth.

While many people would bask in compliments that they are “beautiful”, I don’t. Because I don’t believe it. I don’t see it when I look in that mirror or see that reflection in the window. So to hear people say something such as that to me, while I might be completely wrong, it makes me feel like they are patronizing me more than being supportive. Even in those times when I’ve thrown a pity-party for myself and shared it, I told them that I didn’t want their sympathies or to give me compliments. Because I wasn’t fishing for them. I honestly never am. But many didn’t listen and did so anyway. And you know what happened? I got upset and took it out on myself.

Because I don’t believe it.

I’ve come a long way in the past year. I’m not to the point of accepting compliments or looking at myself and not seeing ugly. But given where I was, I have come far. Very far. And I may never be that person. I don’t know really.

But for all my lack of wanting compliments based on my looks, I will admit that not only am I okay with accepting praise and support relating to my weightloss journey, I seem to need it. I seem to thrive on it. I’m the girl in the corner hiding her face but wants everyone to notice me – but not for the same reasons as others likely would.

I’ve been writing this blog since September and I can clearly see the correlation between my feelings and attitude towards my success and my actual succeeding. It’s almost a bit pitiable really; the need for praise and accolades. Until I realize that it is that support that is what is keeping my feelings about myself – the negative ones – at bay. The kind words, the encouraging posts, those are that things that I want. That I need. They are the reason why after all this time I am still gun-ho to do this. To succeed.

Because I realize that those words are what make me feel worthy. Deserving. That people are taking time out of their busy lives to read my blog, to post me a compliment, to even suggest that I am inspiring them.

So after all this very long-winded post, that’s what this is about. Inspiring others.

It honestly never occurred to me when I started this that I would be inspiring anyone. Then I started to get messages from people saying that because of my attitude, because of my determination, they felt inspired and wanted to succeed too. That they were on the journey with me and I was helping THEM. And I tell you, that is a heady feeling.

Powerful.

Especially when it really wasn’t your intention to begin with.

To have someone tell you that you’ve inspired them…well that, in turn, inspired you right back. And more and more as the weeks go by, people are not only supporting me but they’re supporting each other. They are inspiring each other.

It’s The Inspiration Train.

And thank you all for jumping on board. Thank you for all of your continued and unwavering support, even when I lose sight of my abilities and goals. Thank you for inspiring me. But also thank you for letting me know that something I’m doing has inspired you as well.

A few small words of encouragement. A gentle smile and pat on the shoulder. A hug that says, “I’m with you.” A post that says, “I see you” or a PSA interview where you’re called “brave” and “inspiring”.  Those are the things that drive me. Those are the things that excite me and want me to not only keep going but to push harder.

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I’ll admit that I’m scared. I’m afraid that The Inspiration Train will slow down and I won’t have the fuel I need to keep going. I don’t know if that will happen, but it is my honest fear. But for now, I’m determined to ride this train till the end. And I really hope you’ll be there at the end waiting for me.

So do what you can to inspire someone today. You never know how much even the slightest gesture can change their whole world.

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Blessing to all for a safe and prosperous week.

Love,

Dani

 

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It’s The Little Things

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Sometimes it’s not the big wins that mean the most. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a significant small one that can mean the difference between win and lose. And mostly certainly: Success or Failure.

I bet if you asked a professional athlete who has won a Super Bowl Ring, a World Series Ring or the Stanley Cup what the best game of their life was, while I’m sure they’d tell you that the game that cinched the win for them was the ultimate, I bet some might even have a different answer. I bet that some might tell you it’s the game that they came from behind to win that got them to the final game. Or where the team overcame tough obstacles, such as the loss of a significant player and still won the championship. It’s those games that matter just as much, if not more than the actual winning game. Because it’s in those types of games that one finds something within themselves that makes them push forward. Makes them fight for what they want.

It’s those types of games that shows a person who they are. What they are made of. Even if they didn’t recognize it in themselves before. It wakes them up and tells them they matter. That they are important. And that they can do just about anything – if they are willing to try.

I’ve talked about “try” a lot in my blog postings before. Most recently how I was tired of “trying” because trying never really seemed to get me anywhere and that I wanted to just “do”. The flaw in my thinking is that until I cash in my chips or sit on the couch and call it a day, I am trying AND I am doing.

With every small change I make – consciously or not – I am still trying.But I’m also doing. Every time I go to the grocery store – as I did today – and I buy baby romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, lean chicken breasts, dates, apples and don’t buy Pepsi and chips – I’m trying. And I’m doing.

By the act of consciously buying those better-for-me-foods, I taking the steps I need to keep going on this journey. It shows I haven’t given up. And every time I do even the smallest of things – like walk an extra half mile or avoid going for fast food for lunch – I’m doing.

So until I throw my hands up and say I’m done, I realize that all this time that I’ve been trying – I’ve also been doing. Doing a series of little things that eventually should add up to success. I’ve battled to win the play-off game and I’m heading into the Championship.

So I know what my end goal is now and I know that anything I do now, no matter how insignificant it might seem sometimes – it really isn’t. Not when you look at the big picture. And that includes those moments that I might slip up – and we all know those happens – but now I think I’m of the frame of mind to not let that slip up ruin the overall picture of success.

As I said in my last post, Brandon Auret really helped me by giving me the push I needed to revamp my determination by showing HIS determination to get in shape for a role. It truly is amazing that something that might seem insignificant to someone else – a kind word, a smile or “hello” to a stranger or given a dollar to a homeless person – how much that little gesture, that little thing, might really help another person. As I said, I don’t think Brandon knew how much he’d influenced me until he read my blog. And yes, he read it. He seemed quite moved to find how much he had helped me and I was happy that he finally was able to see it with my written words.

I need to remember to celebrate the little things. The small, seemingly insignificant “wins” that normally I would write off and not consider to be very important. Because I’m finally beginning to see that they’re all “wins”.

So that being said, while I’m sure that many people wouldn’t normally brag about every little weight loss but I’m not going to be one of those people. I’m no longer going to preamble every post about one of my “wins” with a “but”.

So instead of saying, “I only lost x amount of weight this week…” or “I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but…” I’m no longer going to do that. I’m going to celebrate every loss no matter how insignificant it might seem to someone else. Because this is my life. This is my blog. And it’s MY loss. I did it. I did something to affect that loss so I’m going to celebrate it.

And I don’t care if there is someone out there who might scoff at my celebrations. Because they didn’t do it; I did.

So I’m happy to report that I lost THREE and a HALF pounds this past week!

And here’s me not saying, “I know it’s only 3.5 pounds…” or “I only lost 3.5 pounds this week…”

I LOST THREE AND A HALF FUCKING POUNDS THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I know it’s quite possible I will have a week where I don’t lose – in fact, I might gain – and there are many reason why that may have nothing to do with anything I might have done “wrong” so I’m not going to dwell on those week. But until then, I’m going to celebrate every little SIGNIFICANT change because they matter.

Because I matter. I finally am getting that.

Blessings and love to you all. And thank you again for being there for me. Always.

Love,

Dani

Changing It Up

That old adage “change is good” is sometimes something that I dread. I get comfortable with something and I don’t want things to change. I fear it most times. The unknown is pretty scary. But lately as I’ve been thinking about this journey of mine to getting healthy and losing a lot of weight, I’ve come to the realization that I need to try a different path. Oh, the end result will be the same (I hope) but perhaps my choice of a route isn’t the best. At least not for me.

So it’s time to flip the switch.

Time to change it up. Get a new perspective. Take a new path. And maybe gain some new inspirations. Get it from anywhere you can and from anyone you can. If it comes from someone you admire because of their commitment, then by all means, grab it and gooooooooooooo. Run with it. Because if you’re like me and you struggle daily with your battles, then you take any inspiration you can in order to “feed” that beast called “Motivation”. And if you’re like me, despite struggle after struggle where you’re nearly constantly reminded of not only your failures but you question how it is that if you know what you need to do, you can’t just do it.

As you know, I’ve struggled with not only getting motivated but keeping motivated. No matter how bad an experience has been for me, and I’ve had some doozies, it boggles the mind how come those horrible experiences – let alone even one of them – haven’t been enough to push me over the edge. To get motivated. To push myself to give it my all.

I’ve said I’m tired before. I’ve said it often. And I don’t mean just mentally tired of all the battles that go on in that hamster-driven brain of mine. I also don’t mean just the physical tiredness that comes around from literally and figuratively dragging around this ridiculously large body. But I’m also just tired of days, weeks, months and years going by and I have nothing to show for all the “trying”.

I will not give up. But I want to stop trying. I want to succeed. Finally. I want to just stop being so tired.

This certainly is in no way meant to take away from all the other love, support, inspiration and devotion I’ve received from others. I’ve had so so many people inspire me. Not just strangers who I’ve read about who have been successful at their weight loss struggles, but my family and friends who have been a great inspiration to me in so many different ways. Whether it be their own struggles, their constant support of me through all the ups and especially the downs, but even their complete and utter faith in me – even when I had none in myself.

I’ve had and continue to have support from so many people that it blows my mind. And I’m grateful for every single one of them – every single one of you! So I’m not going to say that any one thing or any one person is the focus of my renewed sense of getting healthy because I’ve been spouting about it for some time now. New Year = New Dani.

And please believe me when I tell you that it’s that continued support from all of you that keeps me going. Gives me the drive to not give up. And now, to learn that sometimes you have to shake it up to get results. So thank you all for all that you do for me, no matter how little or insignificant you think your help might be. A kind word. A “way to go, Dani”. An “I’m proud of you!” Or even just telling me you love my blog and it’s inspiring to YOU.

But I would like to thank one person right now – who through his own journey  – has given me another spurt of inspiration, if you will. I’ve had the “I will not give up” mantra for some time, even when the days seemed the darkest, but as I said above, there are times when I forget that inspiration and/or motivation, and I need something to give me a jolt.

So I want to thank Brandon Auret. His “story” is far from mine but the principle is the same. Brandon is a talented South African actor and as such, many of his roles require him to have a certain look. And I don’t mean just his hair color or length, or facial hair or the like, but also in his physical body. Many of the roles Brandon does are physical ones where he’s playing a tough guy, so it requires him to alter his body.

So when he was preparing for his role of “Troy” in the upcoming feature film “Last Broken Darkness” (of which I’m totally SOOOOO excited for!) opposite Sean Cameron Michael (remember him?), Brandon took on a fitness/diet regime in order to get into shape for that character. While I didn’t really know him at that time, I suspect he did the same for his role of “Hippo” in last year’s movie release of “Chappie”, in which he really bulked up:

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Brandon Auret as “Hippo” in Chappie

A few days ago Brandon posted on Facebook that he was starting a new role in 9 weeks (still at present a secret) so he was going to be “cutting” for this role. I admittedly had to look up what that was. After all, you’ve all SEEN me so obviously I don’t have a clue what that means/entails.

So alrighty…

The idea was given to Brandon by Ross Learmonth. I’ve never mentioned Ross in this blog before but you’ve probably seen my tweets or FB posts about his band Prime Circle (of which Brandon was in their video called “Doors” directed by a friend Ryan Kruger – check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5Lz5LykdK4

Anyway, Ross suggested the Brandon post what he did to prepare for roles, besides learning lines. It’s an insightful way into how an actor prepares for roles certainly, but I think it also gives credence to how hard actors like Brandon work and makes you appreciate them all the more. And I have to give kudos to anyone who shows this kind of dedication in anything they do.

But I digress. Today (actually yesterday by now), Brandon posted his Day 1 schedule for working out and eating. And I have to say, bravo! It is impressive. And I’m not just blowing his horn. It’s not only extensive but for someone like me, it seems damn impossible. But more than that, it’s Brandon’s attitude and comments that made me really perk up and listen. And become inspired by him.

So I hope he doesn’t mind if I quote him a bit here:

So ‪#‎ROYL‬ it is.
Role
Of
Your
Life

The role of your life is the one you have now.

Make it count and be grateful.
Count your blessings and take nothing for granted.

Every time I get a job the minute a sign that contract.
I always close my eyes and say

‘Thank you for my talents’
I honor them with my performance.

That’s always step one.

 

CFOOgSSUEAAwdkO Brandon at the premiere of Chappie.

Now he may not even read this blog. And that’s okay. But one of the reasons I like Brandon is that he’s honest and true to himself. He speaks his mind (remind you of anyone?) and he’s not afraid to stand up for what he believes. So while I’ve told him several times over the past couple of days how much he’s inspiring me to try a new path to success, I don’t think he realizes or even believes just how much he’s affected me. How much he’s helped to inspire me to keep going and keep trying – including to switch it up.

And that’s a shame.

So I’ve already gone through my cupboards and put many things I shouldn’t eat in a box to give away to the people in my office. I’ve dumped out the remainder of the Pepsi I had in my fridge. I’ve weighed myself (see note below), measured myself and made a list of foods to eat this week, as well as exercises I can do, including going with Kimmy to her apartment complex gym sometimes this week.

Oh and incidentally, with that weight gain before Christmas because of stress, and having not gained or lost any during the holidays, I am happy to say that I’m starting this week with a TWO pound loss! Woot!

The need and desire to be successful must come from within me, I know this, but it seems so much more achievable when you can tap into the determination and inspiration of others. And that’s what people like you all do for me: my mom Phyllis, Anne-Marie, Glenda, Kimmy, Michelle, Paula, Ivana, Darlene, Beth (so very proud of you and how far you’ve come in a year!!), Annette, Susan, Suzanne, Stelio, Sean, Marijan, Bindee, Sommer, Jeni, Barbara, Brandon and so many others…what you all give to me. Even when you’re not even aware of it.

So as I write this, it’s now after Midnight Sunday night. And by the time I’m settled into my bed, Brandon will have started his crazy tough but fantastic 9 week plan, since he’s 7 hours ahead of me in South Africa. And likely he’s already up as I finish up this blog.

 

And wishing him “good luck” almost seems superfluous. Because with Brandon, it really is some kind of an amazing plan. One that frankly would scare a noob like me to death. But with Brandon, it’s not a question of “if” he meets his goals, because he will. And while it won’t necessarily be easy for him to do it, he seems to show no fear in even the idea of this plan – because he’s done it before. And that’s inspiring!

So I’m just going to wish him a GREAT journey and thank him again for his part in adding to my BFI (my baggie full of inspiration).

Bring it home, Hippo!

Love and blessings to all. Whatever struggles you might have, I wish them gone. Be safe. Be happy. Be YOU!

Dani

A Measure of Success

Surprise! I bet you thought you wouldn’t hear from me again for who knows how long. Yeah, sorry. I’m like that. Ebbs and flows. Come and Go. Teeter-Tottering. Blow hot and cold…well, you get the picture. And if you’ve followed me long enough you won’t have any problems believing this to be true.

Fact is, sometimes when I get writing, I want to keep writing. That I should be actually writing (finishing) my book #KiwiKiss is besides the point. Instead I’m here with you fine good people. Again. And that’s just fine too.

I know. I wasn’t really gone long enough to miss. But that’s okay. It’ll make up for some of the past long time in between some posts. Of which I am very sorry. I am. I just really have to be “in the mood” sometimes. And that’s certainly not a knock against you, my lovely and adorable readers. It’s just what I like to call…

A Dani-ism.

Which is just a fancy, cutesy way of saying that my ADD (attention deficit disorder) kicks in and I’m off doing something else before I complete the next thing. Or in some cases even before I start the next thing. Or in some cases even before I think of the next thing. I’m actually easily…well, a lot of things.

Distracted. Bored. Moody. Frustrated. Etc.

 

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Now…what was I saying?

Oh yeah…

The point to this new post is one I’ve been kicking around for a while and since I was just talking about new beginnings or at least trying to turn it up a notch, I wanted to give some inspiration to myself that while this journey seems very hard, always daunting and sometimes just downright impossible, there are people out there who have succeeded.

To start, I feel that I have to look for “success” wherever I can find it. So while I haven’t lost any weight in the past 5 or 6 weeks, I am happy to say that I made it through the holidays without gaining any. I won’t get into the 4 or 5 pounds I somehow gained the week PRIOR to the holidays – no idea how that happened and I can only guess it was more about stress than what or how I was eating. But during the holidays, while you might recall that I’m not really subjected to a lot of get-togethers and parties where snacking can be an issue, what was the issue was sitting around a lot and just snacking on chips and pop (Creme Soda Crush to be exact. Yum!). Yet somehow despite getting very little exercise and snacking quite a bit – I didn’t gain even a half pound.

So I’m taking that as a win! And now it’s the new year and it’s time to really push myself. I only wish my stomach would cooperate – two weeks into the New Year and I’ve felt “off” more often than “on”.

So without further ado…

With no disrespect to those I know who have had weightloss surgery, I will not be showing any success stories on that method because that is not the path I am taking, so I need to focus on other people who have taken the same path as I am currently on. And that being said, I am also only going to show people who have had extreme weightloss (~100+). As happy I am for someone who can lose ANY amount of weight, and I know those struggles first hand, trying to lose the amount of weight I must to stop being considered obese (and I rank higher than that right now), well that’s a whole other level of weight to be lost and struggles to deal with, so again, I needed to see stories of people more similar to my own situation.

First and foremost, these are all stories out on the internet and are “public” so while I’m giving credit where credit it due, I would hope none of them would have an issue with me sharing their stories. Due to not wishing to make this post much much too long, I talk briefly about each person and then provide a link to the best story I could find about them for further information. So please check them out.

Secondly, this isn’t just a “before and after” sort of post because it will also highlight some of the problems that people who actually manage to lose a lot of weight still have to face – both physical and mental. Because a woman is always going to look in the mirror and likely see that “fat girl” no matter how much weight she’s lost or surgeries she’s had (or in some cases “he”). This will also not be a “how-to” to lose weight. If I knew that, I wouldn’t be struggling as I am.

Lastly, you’ll note that these success stories are about women. It’s not that I don’t think losing weight for a man is hard – it is for anyone. But facts have proven that in most cases, men lose weight faster than women. I learned this personally when I was married. My (now ex) husband and I did the exact same diet – ate the same foods (in the same amounts) and exercised the same. I lost 6 pounds; he lost 20. In the same time frame. Needless to say, that did not help my self-esteem at all. Some claim that eventually the woman catch up and the man slows down, but I’m not entirely convinced of that.

But you see my point.  Here’s a link to a Globe & Mail (Canadian Newspaper) about the topic: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/why-do-men-lose-weight-faster-than-women/article19934475/

So this blog is merely just some stories of those who have had a measure of success and their issues in doing so. Some might have some ideas on what they did to be successful, some might be more about their emotional struggles and some might just be an “I Did It!” moment.

Part of my fear is that when I do lose all that weight (and do note that I said “do” not “if” – points for being optimistic!), what on this Earth am I going to do with all that skin? Because no amount of toning can stretch back the elasticity of my skin. Sadly, insurance companies will not cover extra skin removal in most cases because they consider it to be aesthetics, which is a load of hooey if you know anyone who’s done it, there are problems. Not to mention that I’ve always said they should really cover it and then donate all the excess skin to burn units. It’s a win-win. And a no-brainer but apparently common sense isn’t always obvious.

I know you’re going to say that I will cross that bridge when I come to it, and you’re right, but that doesn’t stop me from considering the issues of it – and it isn’t a deterrent to NOT drop the weight either – but it deserves consideration because it’s not just an aesthetic thing to most people who have dropped a lot of weight.

So here we go:

Elna Baker – There have been several articles about Ms. Baker and her successful weight loss but more to the point, her issues with dealing with the excess skin. The best article I found on Ms. Baker is one she actually wrote herself as a guest post on Refinery29 entitled “What Losing 110 Pounds REALLY Looks Like”.

I commend her for her openness, especially with being willing to share before and after pics (she did have surgery to remove the excess skin eventually). Her article talks more about her emotional dealings with the excess skin and adjusting to the “new” her. And while the article does show pictures of Ms. Baker in a bra and pants, I won’t post them again here but please do check it out.

Here is the link to the entire article Ms. Baker wrote: http://www.refinery29.com/elna-baker-weight-loss-surgery-loose-skin?utm_source=good&utm_medium=syndication#.a06jlgy:6Vs8


 

Clara Williams – Ms. Williams topped the scales at 426 pounds, even more than I am and she was 51 when she decided enough is enough. So she is very similar to me both in age and the amount of weight she would have to lose. And lose she did. 243 pounds!

She joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly http://www.tops.org/) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Here is the link to an article on Ms. Williams:  http://www.redbookmag.com/body/health-fitness/news/a39715/clara-williams-weight-loss-success/

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Angie Filardo – Ms. Filardo, despite her doctor suggesting bariatric surgery, opted to do it the “old-fashioned way” by cutting calories and exercising. She dropped an amazing 240 pounds in 4 years.

Here is the link to a short Health.com article on Ms. Filardo:  https://angiesstory.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/health_0411ididit.pdf

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Kaitlyn Smith

I’ve been following Kaitlyn’s story for a while now. Having topped the scales at 414 pounds, she’s been success in losing and keeping the weight off. Now her struggles deal with the aforementioned dealings with all the excess skin. She’s been very forthcoming on her Facebook page with her struggles, including most recently the surgery she had to remove the excess skin from her legs (7# off each leg!). Believe me when I tell you that while I think she’s done amazing, to hear all she’s been going through – the pain and suffering – with even just something that sounds simple enough – removal of excess skin – it’s anything but easy.  But she said it was all worth it.

I commend her for not only losing the weight but publicly sharing her struggles with the world. It’s both inspiring and insightful.

And if I’m being completely honest with myself and all of you – Kaitlyn’s “before” pic could be me as I am right now (keeping in mind she is much younger than I am).

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Here’s a story to Kaitlyn’s story: http://inspiremore.com/girl-loses-half-her-weight-in-one-year/?utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=postplanner&utm_source=facebook.com

As well as her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kaitlyn.smith.161?fref=ts


 

 

Stephanie Schuh

This last woman I’m writing about is actually someone I “met” online through a mutual friend – Stelio Savante. Stelio introduced me to Stephanie in hopes that she could help me deal with the struggles of losing a lot of weight – because Stephanie has done so. Not only that, but Stephanie has turned her success into a business:

The Science of Eating http://thescienceofeating.com/

The website sometimes can seem overwhelming. It has a vast amount of information, but I’ve found many to be helpful. I also follow her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thescienceofeating/

Now I haven’t spoken to Stephanie directly as Stelio has suggested. Mostly because of two things: 1) she seems extremely busy with her business, traveling a lot etc and I’m sure that she has many many people that are asking her for help and 2) I do know what I need to do and unfortunately neither Stephanie or anyone else can wave a magic wand and have my motivation and self-control fixed. That’s all on me.

But I do appreciate Stelio pointing me in her direction and as I said, I find many things on her website helpful, so please do check it out.

This is Stephanie:

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And this link shows some other success stories posted on Stephanie’s FB page.

http://thescienceofeating.com/author/stephanie/


I’m floored by these success stories and it really does give me hope that I can succeed as well. These women and so many more whose stories I didn’t post here have done so amazing and I give each and every one of them high praise. Not only have they lost it but they’re doing all they can to keep it off and stay healthy. Bravo!

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So here’s to celebrating others’ success and hoping for the same.

HAPPY NEW YEAR (again)!!!!!!!

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Love,

Dani

It’s a New Year

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Happy New Year!

A little late, I know. My apologies. But the sentiment is still the same:

I wish you all a safe, joyous and prosperous 2016!

I wish I could give you some great pearls of wisdom for how to succeed in 2016 in whatever you want to do, but alas, if I knew how to do that, I wouldn’t still be struggling with this weight loss journey.  All I can suggest is that you keep fighting. Keeping trying. Don’t give up. Find a reason (or many) to keep plugging along until you’re successful!

You can do it.

WE can do it.

The best thing that I can hope for is for another year. Another year of life. Another year of hope. Another year of not giving up. So I’m grateful for the first 12 days to the new year, and I hope for 353 more. And then so many more after that.

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I know I get into moments of feeling like I’m failing. Of maybe giving up. I’ve even said in the past that I’m tired to trying; that I need to be doing. The problem is that my “doing” isn’t always successful. In fact, it’s fucking hard. I said that because I was tired of trying for so long and no getting anywhere, so clearly it seemed that “trying” wasn’t working for me. But then “doing” didn’t work all that well either.

Thankfully I get over that quickly and I don’t give up. But I have felt that way. Often. As I’m sure many who struggle with just about anything often feel as well. Some days it just seems everything is against you. Nothing is going right and it seems so much easier to just give up and go to your “happy place” even if that happy place isn’t a very healthy place for you.

It’s especially frustrating when something happens is out of your control. It’s hard enough to deal with things where you’re the personal responsible for your situation, but it’s worse when that “me against the world” feeling is because of someone else’s actions (or inactions).

I was in that place recently. Sure, initially it was my actions that placed me in such a precarious place. But when it should have been over and done with, the actions, or in this case the inactions, of someone else caused me years and years of stress, heartache, fear and general hatred for having put me in such a place. And on purpose.

I’ve said many times before that it is no one’s fault by my own – by my actions or inactions – that I’m where I am today with my weight. And while I understand this, I’m still working very hard to forgive myself and move on because there’s nothing I can do about the past. And I need to concentrate on the future. A future that I hope will for many more years.

So, I’m not talking about giving up on weight loss. Because as I said at the beginning of this journey, this isn’t about losing weight. This is about getting and staying healthy. And there is a difference.

So what’s the answer? How does one not give up and keep trying? How does one fight and give it all they have, even when they feel like giving up?

Again, I don’t have all the answers on this. I just know that for me, there is just too much to live for. Whether it be family and friends, or even my furbabies, there is so much more life to be lived. There is so much I haven’t experienced and want to. There are so many things I love and have interests in. So many books I haven’t yet read. So many books I haven’t yet written. So many places I haven’t visited, things I haven’t yet learned, and so many people I haven’t met yet.

There is just too much that still need to do. And maybe I won’t ever become a hugely successful writer. And maybe I won’t ever fall in love again. And just maybe I won’t leave a mark on this world where anyone will remember my name long after I’m gone. But I’d like the change to see what else I can do.

My mind is a vast space, filled with grand ideas and it constantly needs nourishment. And so does my body.

And it’s for this reason that I’m staring this new year, not with Resolutions that I likely won’t stick to, but more so, to keep going on the journey I started last year and to not give up. No matter what.

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I read the occasional blog or article on weight loss, staying motivated, not giving up etc, and just with all of the “helpful” information on “how to lose weight”, there is so much information out there that it becomes ridiculously overwhelming. Eat this. Don’t eat that. 10 foods you should avoid at all costs. 10 foods you should eat every day. Bananas are good for you one day, and bad the next. Hell, even being on a carb limit of 20 carbs for a snack and realizing you can’t eat a damn apple…well it’s any wonder I even have any brain cells left.

Despite all of this information, the fact that there is too much of it and often contradictory because, you know, everyone’s an expert, for me it always comes back to one thing.

Being smart.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I know what I need to DO to lose weight:

Eat better. Eat less. Exercise more. 

Not rocket science folks.

And it frustrates the hell out of me when I see all those articles and such declaring they know something you don’t. Sure, I can’t propose to understand the inner workings of the body and what a carb versus a protein does to your body, but the general “gist” of what is good or bad is pretty clear.

I’ve discussed lack of motivation before. Particularly after so many years and moments of shame, embarrassment and/or frustration that “reminds” me that I’m obese. Any of those moments should have been enough but they weren’t. And that’s the biggest flummoxing thing I can’t wrap this hamster brain of mine around. Why?

Why? Why? Why???

But I will tell you that one of my biggest problems is that I over-think, over-analyze and over-just-about-everything. All. The. Damn. Time. So it should be of no surprise to me or anyone that I find all the information “out there” to be mind-boggling and overwhelming. And I’m not doing myself any favors by adding to it by trying to break it down into compartmentalizing bits.

So…

Eat better. Eat less. Exercise more. 

Got it? Great. Let’s do this.

So to start this new incentivized smart plan, begging this week – tomorrow actually – I will be going to work out with my buddy Kimmy three times a week – weather and lack-of-illness/time permitting. She lives in an apartment complex that has a fitness center and she’s invited me to use it, and will join me. Given the weather isn’t always nice around here, I have made plans to do Wii exercises on any days we can’t meet to work out as the roads to Kimmy’s are steep and slippery (as unfortunately her husband found out just yesterday when he slid into the car in front of him). She suggested it so I don’t have to subject myself to dealing with other people in a big gym like Plant Fitness.

So technically we’re not considering ourselves January People. 😉

But it’s a start.

Lastly, one blog I did read that I found very entertaining and well written is called

Why People Suck at Getting Healthy and What to Do About It.

Particularly his comment “‘Should’ is a defeatist word.” relating to people who say they should do something, as opposed to actually doing it. It’s a good read. Check it out here:

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/04/10/why-people-suck-at-getting-healthy/

Well that’s it for now. I actually have two other blog posts already started – one I’ll have you know that I started before Christmas the day after I posted my last one. I had the intention of posting it before I left for the holidays but I got too busy. And I felt completely out of sorts through the holidays – not being on my normal schedule with work etc.

So I’m back. Look out!

Blessings to all. I’ve missed you.

Love,

Dani  xo