FITspiration Friday: Reverse Before & After


 

You know, it’s Friday again. And as I sit to write this, I’m in need of my own FITspiration. I’m struggling to find it today, honestly.

So much has happened since last Friday, and I’m fighting my emotions for control over how I eat and exercise. I have had to make several big decisions, and one of them directly affects my fitness goals. It has been extremely difficult to accept that the right decision is what’s best for me in the long run. What does that mean? I’m. Bummed. Out.

Since last Friday, I haven’t run a single mile, I watched twelve full episodes of Brothers & Sisters (I own the first three seasons on DVD), I ate an entire strawberry cheesecake milkshake from Cook Out for dinner one night, and had a slice of my aunt’s amazing key lime pie for breakfast one morning!

So, instead of trying to pull some inspiration out of a hat for you, I decided to share my story. I was inspired by a friend who posted her reverse “before and after” shots on Facebook earlier this week. I thought, what a brilliant idea! She wrote, “gaining 30 lbs in 3.5 years is unacceptable. Hoping my Transformation Tuesday picture several months from now will be a lot more positive and show a smaller me.” And went on to say that she was not looking for pity, but encouragement and advice on what has helped others lose weight.

ReverseBeforeAfter20130910

My story is similar in that I gained weight, but I did much more of it and in much less time. The photos above were both taken on my sister’s birthday one year apart. During the summer of 2011, I was at a healthy weight for my height and felt great! I could literally wear whatever I wanted! I was running. I was working out. I was enjoying my life on an entirely different level, because I wasn’t concerned with losing weight, counting calories, measuring my thighs or lowering the number on my scale. I was simply living. 

The fall of 2011 was the toughest season of my life to date. As a result I lost several pounds and became underweight. I never would have admitted that then, but my clothes were too big and I was pinning them together in secret places so no one would notice. They did anyway. I had concerned friends and family members asking me what was going on, and I didn’t know what to say. At that time, I was running excessively and eating very little. Not so much because I was focused on my weight as I was focused on getting through that difficult time in my life (or avoiding it).

It didn’t take long for that pattern of behavior to catch up with me. It wore me down and forced me to stop running and start eating. Doctor’s orders! I was required to start eating three FULL meals a day and was unable to exercise (except for brisk walks and a little yoga). After a few week’s I started filling in my clothes. I felt healthy again! But, unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. Not only was I not running anymore, I was also taking a new medication that caused a deficiency in the enzymes that process Biotin (which slowed my metabolism) and made me extremely hungry. In the middle of the night, I would sleepwalk to the kitchen and eat anything I could get my hands on. I would wake up the next day with crumbs all over me, wondering where they came from. It. was. awful. I couldn’t stop eating!

Between January and May 2012, I gained a total of 40 lbs! Suddenly, I was facing a new issue. None of my clothes fit me! Not even my underwear (Shhh…)!! I cannot even begin to tell you the kind of mourning took place during those months. Mourning the loss of the body I once felt comfortable in. Mourning the loss of security in my own skin. And mourning the loss of clothes that were precious to me! Clothes that I invested in and adored!

I went from size 2 to size 12 in just four months! (And I can’t believe I’m even publishing that!)

Since then, I have had higher priorities than losing that weight, because, yes, there are more important things in life than the size of my jeans or the number on the scale. I have only lost a few pounds and gone down a couple sizes. But, I have come to realize that my weight or size doesn’t define who I am. I learned that if I wanted to keep living the way I did before the weight-gain, I had to accept it as reality and let go of my insecurities. Gaining this weight never took away my joy or happiness, because I refused to let it. That is my hope for you today!

Weight and size is something we all struggle with. We all have a story, and it helps to know that we’re not alone. If you are trying to lose weight, I want you to know that you are beautiful whether you lose it or not. Don’t let this battle with your weight define who you are or keep you from living to the fullest! Trust yourself to make healthy decisions and do what works best for you! Losing weight is a process that naturally takes a long time. Don’t let your urgency to lose it lower your quality of life. It’s not worth it!

What’s your story? Leave a detailed message in the comments below OR share what has helped you lose weight! I love hearing from y’all!

I hope you have been inspired today! I’ll see you right here next Friday!

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4 comments

  1. Leigh, I used to think you were an amazing girl, but not anymore. I think you are an amazing woman. I still think you look beautiful, but having a daughter of my own, I know better than to even argue with a woman’s opinion of herself. You write very well and should consider taking a serious stab at publishing something. If you need any guidance in that department, I published a book and if someone as simple as Tommy Scott can do this, anyone can. I am still so very proud of you and continue to enjoy keeping up with you. Much love (and tell parents hello for me)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Very encouraging! Will certainly say hello for you!

  2. Incredibly incredibly incredibly proud of you Leigh. I told you on the phone the other night you are doing big things – and you are. Your vulnerability and journey is such a bright light for others. Love you sis

    1. Maybe it’s your fearlessness that has rubbed off on me a little! Thank you sweetly. Love you.

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