Monday, November 12, 2012

Guest Blog: Em is Getting Healthy

One of my favorite things about having a blog is the opportunity to "meet" and learn about some pretty amazing people! Emily emailed me a little while ago and I could just tell that she was a pretty special lady! I know that you'll see just what I mean when you read more about her story, below:


Emily's before photo: in the green

Emily's after photo

Hello, my name is Emily and I am a recovering overeater. I found Kay’s blog on another weight loss blog and decided to check it out. I loved it. Kay reminds me so much of my best friend from school, so I sent her an email and she offered to let me guest blog, which is something I’ve never done before. I want to share my story with you, in hopes that just maybe someone out there may be encouraged to start their own journey towards health. Here it goes:

I had been overweight my entire life. I can remember going to my pediatrician in elementary school and being told that I needed to lose weight. My mom would try to talk to me about my weight, but no matter how she said it, what I heard is "you are fat and ugly" and as soon as I knew what the conversation was about, I'd run out of the room crying. My mom had been thin her whole life and she just didn’t understand what it was like for me. I felt like she judged me, as if she thought being fat was a choice I made. She would take me shopping for clothes and I just felt like every time something she picked up was too small that it was her way of telling me that I was fat. I kept these feelings bottled up, which caused not only resentment but the occasional eruption of yelling and tears from both of us.

My dad had me ride my bike behind him when he ran, after doing that for a few years he even helped me run a mile with him before he ran his normal 2-3 miles at a much faster pace. He also tried to give me incentives: saying he would buy me a trampoline and a swimming pool if I would lose weight. He went on diets with me, pretending I was doing him a favor by doing it with him. We tried grapefruit, low carb, nutrisystem and several others. My dad had been heavy in high school when he worked at a pizzeria and had struggled on and off with his weight his whole life, but had kept it mostly under control, only being slightly overweight. For the most part, my father and I exercised together but didn’t discuss my weight. I knew he was there if I wanted to talk, which made me feel loved and accepted, but still was not enough to inspire me to lose the weight. 

My parents watched everything I ate, so I started eating in my room if I didn't want them to see me. Soon I had whole boxes of little Debbie's stashed away. Food became my comfort. I craved the unhealthy foods I couldn’t eat in front of my parents. When I got a large quantity of unhealthy food, I usually hid and ate it all at once. These unhealthy habits I had learned continued throughout adolescence and into adulthood. I ate very large amounts of unhealthy foods, just not at home. My parents became concerned and frustrated when I didn’t lose weight, my mother especially.

The moment I decided that something had to be done was in November of 2011. My husband’s cousin had invited me to be in her wedding (June 2012), so we all went bridesmaid dress shopping together. There were 3 others: my sister in law who was the same size as me, the bride’s best friend (size 4) and her sister (size 6). Tiff (the bride) decided she wanted us to wear a knee length purple dress with one shoulder strap. They didn't have it in my size to try on, so I just had to order it. The lady helping us had a hard time measuring me because she couldn't get her arms around me, and then after that embarrassment was over, she made the comment that it’s a good thing they make that dress in a 28, but that is the largest that can be made. I couldn't get that off my mind for the next week. Then I began thinking about how my dad is hypoglycemic and both his parents were diabetic. I knew that if I didn't make a change, and fast, I was on the fast track to being diabetic myself.

Admitting that I made the choices that put me just 2 little pounds away from 300 was very hard to do. Once I had admitted that fact and was honest with myself about the condition of my health I felt like I had to analyze my past in order to move on. What I learned was that if you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.

I thought about what I should do, talked to my dad about the program he and his friend, Bruce, had done, and ultimately decided that's the program I would use. Not every program works for every person. I found the program I wanted to use, I dedicated myself 100% and I was ready.  I knew this may be my last chance of changing. It was now or never. I couldn’t continue to binge eat unhealthy food.  The week after thanksgiving, when getting ready to start this program, I got something in the mail from my grandma; a family photo taken on thanksgiving. I looked horrible. That sealed the deal. I had to do this and it had to be now. I was not willing to wait till after Christmas or new year’s.

I didn’t even want to wait for my food shipment from the program to come in. My dad had about a week’s worth of the food he didn’t really like but had never sent back, so he gave it to me. Eating only cream of broccoli soup and chicken and rice soup for 5 meals a day for 3 days was not the greatest idea, but I knew if I didn’t start right then, I’d talk myself out of it.

I started December 1st 2011 and I have never regretted it. I have struggled. I have plateaued. There were days when I just wanted to order a pizza or eat an entire pint of ice cream by myself, but I didn’t let myself do that. There were days when I forced myself to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill and I hated every second of it, but I did it anyway.

Some of my husband’s family has become less and less supportive the more weight we lost. Many times we have heard very hurtful comments from those who are supposed to love us the most, but if they think you can’t do it, you have to work that much harder to prove them wrong. One family member brought cupcakes to my birthday, knowing I had lost weight and could not have them!  The first month of my journey, even my husband was not yet on board with getting healthy and it was tough, but soon he saw my weight loss and decided to get healthier also.

After only a month, I had lost 20 pounds and people started noticing. I started noticing. I felt better. I became stronger. I started caring again about how I looked and felt. I began to enjoy shopping for clothes again and for the first time in a very long time, I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. I felt like I was becoming the person I was always meant to be, but my unhealthy lifestyle had engulfed. I buckled down and became very careful what I put into my body: even weighing my meats and vegetables! I became more confident and tried things I’d thought of trying before. Last month, my husband and I took a mini-vacation to Brown County, Indiana. We went zip-lining. Before, I would have exceeded the max weight limit. We shopped for two days straight and must have walked miles! We went to the state park and climbed tons of stairs to the top of the fire lookout tower! I never would have been able to do any of those things before.
When I first started, and also now when I feel the struggle of wanting to binge or go off plan, I look up videos of people who lost a lot of weight, and look at things on pinterest that motivate me. That is where I found some of the sayings that have helped me immensely:

"A moment on the lips isn't worth forever on the hips"
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch"
“The pain of being overweight is much greater than the pain of working out”
"Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels"
“You won’t get the butt you want by sitting on the one you have.”

In conclusion, this journey has not been easy, but it has been more than worth it. Don't think of it as being on a diet; you're making a life change. Not everyone will be supportive, but you can prove them wrong. I’ve lost 135 pounds and I’m still going strong. My husband has lost 150 pounds! You can do this! I know you can, because I did. Again, not every program works for every person, but if you want some information about the program I use, feel free to check out my blog at or email me at emylou7956(at)gmail(dot)com.


Thank you, Emily! I know that I can relate to so much of your story and I am sure there are many out there who can relate, as well. You're a true inspiration!