Thursday, January 9, 2014

What a Difference 10 Years Makes!

I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell my story…I guess it’s now!  I’m hoping it will touch at least one person out there who wants to make a change in their life.  It can happen.  It took me a while to figure out who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.  Once I got to the bottom of the barrel, there was no place to go but up.  So, up I went…and I’m still rising!

My “Before” picture is about 10 years old.  I was retiring from my job as a preschool teacher assistant.  I weighed 250 pounds.  I had many physical aches & pains, but the most important reason for leaving was that I felt I could no longer do my job with confidence and competence.  I could no longer get down on the floor with the children; I had to sit in a chair.  Even bending over to help them with projects or playing with them on the playground was very difficult for me. The kids at the preschool were my primary concern, and I felt that I was letting them down, as well as the school, by not being 100% there for them.  Leaving the preschool was a tremendous tug at my heart.  I loved my job and I loved all of my co-workers. 

I took a secretarial job a few months later with a middle school close to home.  Being sedentary didn’t help me too much with my aches and pains, but I no longer was expected to be as physically involved as I was at the preschool.  I enjoyed my job, and most of the people with whom I worked, but there was still something missing.  I was miserable with my weight and the fact that I was unable to do anything about it. I had been on a plethora of diets throughout my life with either short-lived or no results.  I hated myself and felt like a failure!  I remembered a support group that that I belonged to years earlier that gave me results and hope for the future. I realized that hope was still deep inside of me.    

Two years ago I joined a similar group in my area and began a journey of healthy eating and self-discovery.  I gave up refined sugar and white flour; ate only three meals a day with nothing between the meals; increased fruits, vegetables and water consumption; and started reading…really reading…labels of everything that wasn’t a direct product of nature.   I already walked about a mile a day with my job, but I added extra walks with the dog.  Exercising at the gym wasn’t going to work for me, so I would put on exercise tapes that had been buried in dust in the basement.  Slowly, the pounds started to fall off.  

My support group has been instrumental in solidifying my self-esteem, my desire to become healthy, and teaching me very fundamental principles of life.  I’ve learned to NEVER give up hope, to have patience, and to give back at every possible opportunity.  I’ve lost 120 pounds (a little person) and have maintained this weight for eight months.  I have discontinued half of the medications I used to take.  My aches and pains have almost completely disappeared.  

I like myself…no, wait…I love myself! 

Thanks to Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop for today's prompt.  Please stop by and see some really, really talented writers who have joined in this week!  Just click on the logo below!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Thanks for stopping by today!


Melody said...

So glad that you are feeling better and healthier!

Jeanie said...

Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Liz. I can only imagine how good you feel about all you have accomplished. Here's to many years to come of you loving your life and loving yourself.

SouthMainMuse said...

WOW. That is an amazing accomplishment. So glad that you are enjoying life and you should be so very proud.

Abby said...

WOWZA! What an inspiring story, great job!

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Wow, that's amazing ... good job on keeping those pounds off! (While I didn't lose anywhere close to what you did, I'm here to tell you that keeping the weight off is every bit the challenge that losing it is.)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Jumping up and down with joy for you!!!! Congratulations on your transformation and success. I take my hat off to you big time!!!!
Keep up the good work and wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!!!
Wow, you are a rock star!
xo jj

Mama Kat said...

Unbelievable!!! I can only imagine what a huge struggle that had to have been for you. Learning about nutrition, increasing your exercise schedule and sticking with it! You look so healthy and you sound really happy. Add me to the list of people who must be so proud of your journey, it could not have been easy!

Melanie Kissell said...

Applause! Applause!! And kudos all around!

Thanks for sharing this heartfelt journey. What you've accomplished is NO easy task.

Keep rising up! :)

katie james said...

I have always loved you and believe it or not, you have ALWAYS inspired me. Inspired me to be a better person, a better scout a better leader. A huge hug from STL to you and congrats!!!!!!!
Katie J

Debbie said...

So happy to read this, Liz. But, I also want to say that I ALWAYS thought of you as one of the kindest and most gentle people I'd ever met. I will never forget how you brought dinner to us when Erica died and how incredibly blessed I was. We used to run in to each other at Dierberg's and you always had a smile and a kind word. I'm so happy for you, and I'm currently on a similar journey, but know that your weight never determined who you were to me. I am thankful to call you friend. Oh, and an aside - you are truly an amazing writer! I LOVE the word "plethora" - lol.

Linda O'Connell said...

Such an amazing and inspirational life-transforming story. If we believe it we can achieve it and you have proven it. Congratulations!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours.

Unknown Mami said...

I am so proud of you! Well done.