Questions …. and a Fashion Show

Remember this NOT so Favorite pics? I still don't understand why people won't tell a fat person that their shirt is unbuttoned. DANG ... tell me to suck it in ... PLEASE!!

Since I have started this blog, I have had many people ask me many questions about my weight loss journey.  They always want to know how I have done this.  As I have moved farther along, recently I have had quite a number of people asking: What are you doing? How are you losing all this weight? There is also the continued question of how do I make myself exercise so much.

Even today (which was actually yesterday), I was chatting with someone about their personal weight gain.  This is a topic VERY close to my heart.  It breaks my heart when I hear of fellow sufferer’s in the battle of the bulge.  Some folks are a little more shy about talking about this than I currently am.  So I am writing this blog for them.  🙂  To answer questions and hopefully encourage them to believe in themselves.  Count themselves as worth another shot and  that they are WORTH what ever it takes to have the best health they can.  Also, I want to say they are valuable just the way they are.  They are of NO less worth than they were before gaining weight, just less healthy. I understand feeling less.  I felt a deep sense of shame about my appearance as I shot up the scales after my illness.  Sixty pounds in less than six months time, all the while I was dieting and exercising like a fiend.  Then, trying new meds that drove me further up the scales, until I didn’t even want to know what I weighed anymore. I avoided pictures, I avoided gatherings of people who knew me “when.”  I found excuses not to attend my school reunions — most of them were real, but deep down I was relieved because I didn’t have to show myself.

The years eaked on, and I grew to realize that I could NOT continue to avoid people, it hurt my children’s feelings that I never wanted to be in a picture with them.  I avoided places that might embarrass me.  I sat in corners at restaurants so that my rear wouldn’t hang out in the open, bulging over the edges of the chairs (my buddy OptiFast Loser gives a good explanation of this terror). My husband was always such a blessing because he never treated me even one ounce different all the way up that 130 pound gain.  Mike never saw me as fat — he would freak out at my “large” pictures with me and tell me there had to be some kind of lighting problem or that it was taken at a bad angle.  I have to tell you I so love him for that. If I could have only looked into his eyes, I would have been fine and felt beautiful everyday. I would have been at peace. However, those where not the only eyes that saw me.  Sadly, not even my own eyes were so kind.

I became so much larger than my “normal self” that no one who knew me would even make a comment about my size — simply out of pity — they felt bad for me.  I loved their hearts, but knowing that they felt such pain for me was a HORRIBLE demoralizing feeling!  It made me sick, at times I really hated myself.  I doubted my self.  If Mike had not been there to recount to me how hard I was working, I would have thought I was lying to myself.  How could I be working so hard with so little results??

Relatives, kind wonderful people (I actually mean those words), would say things like you used to be so beautiful.  Oh, my do you remember how beautiful Shonnie used to be.  What a looker she used to be — I always loved those.  Remember, before you get mad for me, that some of these people thought they were encouraging me to work back to that place.  They just couldn’t get their minds around the fact that I was doing everything I could to change things only to be frustrated.

Since I started losing weight and the folks at EatRight helped me figure out what was going on with my body and got me on OptiFast, my world has changed.  I am not sure if we (Mike, Donna the Trainer Nazi, and I) would have ever figured out the keys to my losing without the help of Doctor Ard and the whole group up there at UAB.  You should see the confused looks on people’s faces when I tell them that I had to stop, and then seriously slow down my exercise, while lowing my caloric intake to shock my system back to working.  I have to tell you, my body wasn’t a textbook case, it was more complex.  More output and less input did not equal a loss for me.  I am VERY thankful for the EatRight program and their staff with hearts to serve and help the obese find solutions to a healthy life.  I have no real words for how much these people mean to me.

It has been a very wild six month ride for me to go from a size 22/24 to the here-and-now and be trying on and then buying size 12 and 10 jeans! Yea!  I can hardly believe it.  I should have purchased my jeans in sizes 10’s and 8’s because they are already stretching out — but I couldn’t emotionally deal with that — I always try to get them super tight so they last longer.  I know that “emotionally dealing” with purchasing smaller sizes sounds crazy, but I wasn’t ready.  This journey has been HUGE for me.  So I pick my battles wisely.  🙂

So to answer the questions without the clutter of my past, here are a few of the things that I do that help me:

–I log everything I eat with my iPhone app that logs it at (join and we can be friends).  This keeps me honest with myself.  I can keep up with what I am eating and doing.

–I have doctors that specialize in weight loss.  They think outside the box.  They do tests to make sure you are healthy and consider all the angles to helping you lose.  I think this is invaluable.  If you have a lot of weight to lose or a stubborn 20 or 30 pounds these type Docs know how to get it off you and help you keep it off. I am following a medically supervised liquid diet–some think it is costly, but works better than anything I have ever tried–and way less costly than medical bills for weight related illness.  Well, in my case NOTHING I have ever tried worked, before OptiFast.  I have tried a lot of things before getting here.

–I love the exercises that I do — that is my trick to actually working out — find something you LOVE!  Then you will be upset, like I am, when you can’t do it.  I haven’t ridden my bike for a week, and I feel very frustrated about that–why?–because I LOVE IT!  Feel cheated if I don’t get to do it.  I love my reformer classes–they make my body stop hurting.  I love rowing a boat, because it is outside and fun.  I even like running because it makes me feel young again.  Biking is my favorite. I enjoy pushing myself where bike riding is concerned.

–When I was at my heaviest, and I couldn’t lose no matter what I did, I got myself a trainer at the YMCA.  That was some of the best money I have ever spent.  She helped me work around all my problems–I have a LOT of injuries.  So, even though I couldn’t lose, I was healthier than ever!  🙂

–The food that is working best for me as I add back in the “real food” is low fat, low carb.  I mean I eat tons of red bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots (I am worried about turning orange), celery sticks, Apples, and some VERY, very thin bread that has only 40 calories a slice (you can barely call it bread–melba toast maybe).

Keep in mind if you keep being frustrated with your efforts — enlist some good help.  Trainers and Doctors are money well spent.  Most people can flip around with a good trainer, unless there are deeper problems a foot.  Then, finding Doctors that specialize in weight loss at a university hospital will probably be the best bet.

I know this was long and beyond late, but the hubby begged to go for a ride on our bikes … who was I to say NO!  🙂  On with the fashion show.

Love this one too! You can see how tight the shirt is and love the preggy tummy.

I think this shirt is a Gonner ... what y'all think?

Me in my new size 10 jeans. They are really the same as 12's but reading the tag that sez size 10 on the tag is way fun!!

Love and stuff …my post for weigh in #23 is coming up …S

14 thoughts on “Questions …. and a Fashion Show

  1. This is a great blog. You are such an inspiration. I weigh more than I ever thought possible and it is so humiliating! I dread going home and being seen by anyone I haven’t seen in a while. I had 5 kids in 10 years, and with each one packed on more weight. How I wish I would’ve tried to lose the baby weight as soon as I was able to exercise again. Too late for that, but now I know my child-bearing is over and need to get my butt in gear.

    BTW, you look great!

    • GIRL! Five kids in 10 years! That is quite a few critters! Blessings everyone, but I know you will be gettin your butt in gear and you look pretty hot yourself. 🙂

  2. I remember when you first started this journey… You won Shonnie. I am flabberghasted at the before and after pictures. You are stunning.

    • Awe … thanks Loretta. I did win, just by starting and I win everyday by not giving up. God is good and life is grand even when you feel like your being beaten with rocks–if you just don’t give up or give in. It was so sweet of you to say that I am stunning. I didn’t think anyone would ever say that again. Thanks for the smile. 🙂

  3. I can relate to so much of what you say! I’m glad you found the Optifast program and that it worked. I agree that having doctors involved and specialists that can evaluate you one on one are a huge deal. I love that I’m under the eye of Kaiser doctors and experts in the field of weight loss. So much better than going it alone!

    • Me too OB! me too! I love the way that the people at UAB/EatRight treat obese people with dignity and respect. It was a first for me. I don’t like going it alone. In fact I never have. Too many variables that can hurt you in a heart beat. 🙂

  4. Wow! What a great transformation! I was just contemplating getting a gym membership the other day. I actually miss working out, if you can believe it. Thank you for your inspiring story!

    • Thank you L.S. for stopping by, and I am so glad to be inspiring. That is one of the best things that can happen with our struggles — having something good come out of them for others. What a blessing. Thanks! I do believe you about missing the exercise! 🙂 Hope to see you around.

  5. Good for you Shonnie! What a wonderful and supportive husband you have too! I also lost a lot of weight this past year so I sort of know what you have been through. People treated me differently when I was heavier. It seems odd now because I’m still the same person I was before.

    You look wonderful! And I’m sure you must feel great, too. That’s awesome.

    • It is very bizarre seeing the shift in behavior after so many years of borderline rude behavior. It does feel very good to be in a more healthy zone of weight. I still have several pills that I am working to get eliminated out of my daily life that will take a few more pounds to achieve this. 🙂 That will be a DAY of Rejoicing for me! 🙂

  6. Gorgeous Shonnie!

    Thank you as always for sharing your most private moments. I agree with you 110% about investing the money in doctors and trained professionals as you are really investing in your own health and future.

    Live,love, laugh-

    • Lovely Lisa,
      You are just too kind! 🙂 Thank you for your gracious heart. You are such a blessing. I do feel like I am investing in my future quality of life–the length of my life even.

      See you on your blog in a bit! 🙂

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