Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One down

52 weeks of healthy eating.
365 days with a new mindset.
12 months of workouts.

One year of lessons.

On Jan. 26, 2010, I began a journey to change my life. I walked into the Weight Watchers open house with so many hopes and wishes. So much shame and guilt. So much discouragement. So little self-confidence.

A year later I am 90 pounds lighter (yeah, you read that right. I finally hit my 90 pounds yesterday) and a little bit wiser.

At least I’d like to think so.

So what have I learned since last Jan. 26? Here are just a few highlights.

  • As clich├ęd as it sounds, life really is a marathon and not a sprint. I haven’t fallen down and gotten up this much since I first learned to ride a bike.
  • Sometimes big goals seem insurmountable. But sometimes small goals actually do seem possible.
  • Secrets and shame will keep you stuck in the dark. 
  • When you share from your heart, people you never expected will support you when you most need it.
  • Kale really is good. I promise.
  • Every step toward wholeness erases a little bit of chaos. One day at a time.
  • Working out does not, in fact, equal death (OK, except for lunges).
  • Seriously, eating out of the trashcan is not worth it.
  • The ego is a powerful creature. The negative one and the positive one.
  • Taking a compliment is hard, yo.
  • The kindness of strangers can change your life.
  • Diet Coke is a sexy, impossible-to-resist siren.
  • .6 pounds can be both triumphant and devastating.
  • Freedom from addiction is really, really awesome.

The lessons I’ve learned are endless. And continuing. I remember when I lost my first 5 pounds. I whined about how many of those I needed to get to my goal. And a wise, wonderful friend (Hi, Kev!) told me to picture where I’d be in a year if I kept earning those 5-pound stars. It was hard to imagine then. It felt so out of my reach. But he was right.

Though I’m not finished by any stretch of the imagination, I have hope for the first time. I am no longer chained to food. I am no longer constrained by my body from the things I want to do.

And that feels like success to me.

My good friend Carla's birthday is Jan. 25. These two photos were taken at her birthday parties, last year and last night, respectively.


Dinah said...

My dear, in addition to being so smart, inspirational, pretty and fabulous, you are now RADIANT. Your commitment and accomplishment are all over your gorgeous face. You're amazing!

Anonymous said...

Dinah said it best. Radiant.

Hugs, hugs & more hugs.

Nancy said...

Dinah always puts it just the right way. You are an inspiration, girlfriend.

Anonymous said...

Amazing!!!! this post -- BRILLIANT and you look FABULOUS (saying it in my NY accent that you love so much LOL. Your confidence shines through in your writing. ~~JK

rocko9 said...

I love, love, *love* reading your blog and have learned so much from you! Way to go!!

cd said...

Love the lessons you learned - so many!!! You look AMAZING!!!! My goodness - you are radiant, my friend!!! It's funny how a year can at times feel like an eternity and then when it's over, it feels like it went by so fast - how FAR you have come in 365 days!! Go Erika!!!

Rebecca said...

You're such a gift and I'm over-the-top proud of your successes! Three words to describe you today. Happy. Confident. Sassy. Keep up the dedication and will power, one day at a time, and know I'm here for you every step, and every glass of wine along the way! Go bestie!

Dawn M. Stark said...

So proud of you girlie! Keep up the great work! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

SarahKK said...

You are so fantastical, my dear! I'm so excited for you and thrilled and everything other word I can think of!

In the old lexicon: EEEEEEEEEE!

Anonymous said...

Congrats, thank you so much for being such an inspiration and sharing your ups and downs. Just know that you have motivatied me in my journey. You deserve a standing oviation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I started my own journey last May and I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It helps so much to give me encouragement and sometimes make me laugh because that's exactly what I would say or do. Thank you for sharing- today I am 30 pounds lighter and stil going. I've a long ways to go, but if you have the right mindset that it's a marathon not a sprint, it helps!

Kellynn18 said...

Congratulations on a year of growth and discovery! And thank you for sharing your experience with us and encouraging us, your faithful readers, along the way! You really are gorgeous--inside and out!!

Mindy said...

Amazing!! Truly inspiring! I thoroughly enjoy reading about your journey. I wish you all the best and can't wait to read your blog in 2012! What a difference a year can make!!!
P.S. I  bullet point # 12!

Anonymous said...

I needed to read this! Last week's weigh-in was a .6 INCREASE. It has just proven to empower me MORE than ever.

However, girl, you are SO LYIN' about kale.

- Christine Heusinger

LT said...

Okay I'm a little emotional right now, but I seriously just shed a tear...of happiness...for you. I'm beyond proud of you! Cruise here we come!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you! You look FABULOUS!! Loved the lunges highlight - I agree! - Jai

Anonymous said...

YOU GO GIRL!!! I am so incredibly proud of you and so thankful for you!!!!! What an inspiration you have been to myself and so many others. Had it not been for your blog, I would not have started this journey myself!!!
You look AWESOME my friend!
Love you!

Leanne S. said...


Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You are so strong and courageous, not to mention gorgeous!

angela said...

You are amazing and such an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Just starting to read your blog at the suggestion of a friend, and just 6 pounds into my own journey. Thanks for the inspiration--and now I shall begin at the beginning. Congratulations on your great success!