Friday, February 26, 2010

What Motivates You?

I was never a heavy girl. From age 4 to 18 I danced ballet and I enjoyed cheerleading through most of college (ok, didn't enjoy the cheerleading as much as the perks of traveling with the football team). My twenties brought on the pounds and in my thirties they just packed on. Funny though, I never "saw" myself as fat until I saw pictures and thought to myself "who the hell is that?" Then I got to the plus sizes and swore I would never buy bigger than a size 20. I didn't. I just didn't buy any clothes at all.

Then the perfect storm hit. I came across Laura's blog. I had met her once at a clinic in MD and was utterly impressed at the transformation that she had undergone. She didn't know it but when I saw her photos and read her story I had some kind of awakening. I COULD DO THIS TOO! I joined WW and a gym and got to work. At the same time, the very day I started WW, my sister had gastric bypass surgery and I was determined not to be the fat sister.

My weight loss has been S-L-O-W. In the last 14 months, I've averaged about .7 per week. I've followed the WW program but I also have not entirely deprived myself. Traveling for dog trials and clinics has been challenging but I'm still in the negative column so I guess I did something right.

Right now what motivates me is a combination of emotions. I finally like what I've been seeing on the scale and I can now recognize the changes in my body and I want more (I need to lose another 40 pounds). It's actually fun to shop and the first time I walked into a regular (no plus sizes) store and bought something I practically cried. I'm convinced that the nice girls at Ann Taylor think I'm crazy.

The second emotion is shear and honest fear. I'm afraid of gaining weight back. Through this whole process I have been very open with people on how much I've lost. If someone will listen, I will tell them down to the ounce where I am with my weight loss - doesn't matter if you're a coworker or the lady at the deli counter. To me, it's another person who knows my deep dark secret and I will have to be accountable to them if I gain back weight. I just hope they don't think I'm bragging or fishing for compliments.

So that's where it all started for me. It's surprising how hard it has been. Between my 3-5 days a week at the gym and WW over the last 14 months, technically I should have the body of a supermodel. But all in due time I guess... Those Sports Illustrated girls better watch their backs.


Laura Carson said...

Awesome post Michelle, thank you! Nice to have you "on board" so to speak. ;)

I too was never a heavy girl - thanks to ballet, gymnastics, swimming, and then cheerleading in high school. Our stories are similar - one day after college, and then marriage I saw a pic and was like, "who is THAT?".

I'm humbled and honored (and slightly guilty) that you found inspiration from my blog. That's one of the things that has motivated me to NOT let this slide all the way and to get back on track - the idea that other folks are watching. :)

Julie Poudrier said...

I'm glad you're joining as Michelle. I was also a skinny child, and never actually started to gain weight till I started working an office job. Even then, a little exercise was sufficient to keep things under control. As I have aged, it certainly has become more of a struggle--even that little exercise hurts in body parts I never would have thought about when I was younger.

It helps to know we're in this good fight together!