Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sweet, sweet Easter

First of all, thank you so much for all your kind words and congratulations. I've been overwhelmed with love. It's a great feeling.

This is a busy week. I leave Thursday for my annual camp for people with disabilities. It's a weekend I look forward to every year. I'll get lots of steps in, and, more importantly, lots of hugs. I'll give you guys an update when I return.

Today, I only lost .2. But it's a loss and I'll take it. I was worried I was going to get my balloons from last week taken away from me.

So, Easter arrived and Lent is officially over. If you remember, I gave up going out to lunch during the week. I learned a lot about myself during those 40 days. I realized how often I go out and how lazy I can be about brining my own food. I actually enjoyed the sacrifice and plan to continue brown-bagging it more often.

But Monday I was reunited with my beloved Maddio's. Believe it or not, I just love their house salad. I missed it. See how much?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


What does losing 100 pounds mean? It means I:

• Can actually follow through when I set my mind to it.

• Can cross my legs comfortably.

• Am able to shop in regular stores.

• Actually look at myself in mirrors (even full-length ones sometimes!) every once in a while.

• Am stronger than I thought I could be.

• Have more support than I ever knew in my friends, family and co-workers.

• Have the potential to live a longer life. Definitely a fuller one.

• Can finally burn this weigh-in outfit I’ve worn every Tuesday since I hit my 50 pounds.

• Am open to adventures and possibilities I never knew I could have.

• Am finally free to be the person I’m meant to be—without my addiction holding me back.

I’m not done, y’all. I have a way to go. I’ve said it a million times, but there is no way I could have gotten this far without all of you. Whether you are my friend, my family member, my co-worker or someone who knows me just through this blog, you have CHANGED me. Forever. I’m so grateful to all of you for being part of my journey.

25 pounds. Guess I wasn't ready for my close-up?

50 pounds.

75 pounds


Posing today with nutritionist Mindy, trainer Emily and our beloved WW leader, Dee.

Friday, April 15, 2011


I was in the eighth-grade spelling bee. One part of me hated competing in spelling bees. But a bigger part of me hated to let my parents down by misspelling words on purpose just to get out of them.

I was already nervous. Awkward, 13 and horrified about getting up in front of everyone, I swallowed hard as I walked up to the microphone and waited for my teacher to give me my first word.


Then I heard it. The girl who tortured me throughout the year snickering with her friends about the irony (though I’m sure she didn’t know what that word meant. Who, me? Bitter?) of me having to spell that word.

Everyone else laughed. Then my teacher tried to calm everyone down. Which, of course, just made it worse.

I was mortified. I spelled the word correctly, held back tears and sat back down. I never, ever forgot that day.

That was one of the stories I told when I spoke at Camp Strong4Life. That was one of the memories I hadn’t recalled in a very long time. But looking out at those faces, I saw myself. And I remembered.

I’ve told you guys a little bit about my childhood. I wasn’t necessarily fat. But I was a big girl. I grew faster than everyone else. So I was an easy target, even for myself. I wasted a lot of time hating myself—wishing I were thinner, wishing I were prettier, that my teeth were straight, that my hair was thicker.

All those wishes came with me into adulthood. Some of them changed into new desires. But the core was the same—I wished I weren’t me.

When I talked to the kids at camp, I realized how far I’d come. But I also realized how long it took me and how much of that girl is still within me. I wish I could have shown these kids their futures—shown them that everything would be OK if they believed in themselves. I wish I realized that at their age, even when others told me so.

I spent a few days after camp crying. And eating. I didn’t go completely off the deep end, but I definitely had some moments of full-on emotional eating. I didn’t know I still had that within me. But this whole journey has been about peeling away those layers. Reaching new ones and shedding old ones. Old memories. Old habits. Old me.

My very wise friend Lara, after I told her I was worried I had gotten off track, told me I hadn’t flipped a switch. I had just turned a dimmer. I am the one who controls how light or dark it gets. She’s so right.

I’m quite grateful to have had that experience. I needed to confront that 13-year-old girl I tried to forget. She was a layer I needed to shed.

I feel much lighter because of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I told myself I wouldn’t make it. I told myself it was OK. I told myself I wouldn’t be disappointed.

But I totally am.

I missed my 100-pound milestone today by less than half a pound.

It’s OK. I’m not disappointed.

I’m such a liar.

I struggled last week and gained a little. I had to process all my feelings about camp (I’m going to write more about that later in the week) and I have worked hard to get back on track. I knew if I made it today, I would JUST make it. But I didn't.

I’m sorry. I feel like I’ve let a lot of people down. I let myself down, too.

For now, here’s hoping I don’t gain next week.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I have a tiny scar on my left knee. No one else has ever noticed it or pointed it out. But I know it’s there.

We used to live on a street with a deceptively steep hill. It seemed like just a slight decline from our house, but once you headed down it, you realized how steep it really was. There were lots of injuries created by that hill. My brother knocked out his two front teeth skateboarding down it. And I, not the most athletic kid ever, was roller skating and wasn’t able to stop. Now I have the aforementioned scar.

Thinking back, I’m not sure I ever went back down that hill after that traumatic fall. The memories of falling were burned into my brain and I let my fear stop me from trying again.

I recently read a quote that stuck with me: Don’t become your scars.

I thought about that phrase a lot this weekend. Saturday morning, I spoke at Camp Strong4Life, the Children’s wellness camp designed for children and their families. I shared a little bit of my story and then they asked me questions. I had no idea how that experience would affect me even several days later.

I told them that I understood how they felt. That I remembered being 12. Being made fun of and bullied. Not liking myself. Sneaking food and hiding the evidence. It’s hard enough to grow up, but when you feel like an outcast, as I suppose we all do at some point, it’s even worse.

I walked around camp for a while after I finished. I talked to parents and kids. A few of the moms asked me for advice. It hurt my heart that I don’t have all the answers. But what I did tell them was the truth: the fact they care enough about their children to spend the weekend with them, learning about nutrition and exercise was a great step. What lucky kids to be so very loved.

But I have to be honest with you all. Meeting those kids was like confronting a part of me I had forgotten. It was uncovering those scars I had kept hidden. Have I become my scars? Or have I let them become part of me.

See, I think the latter is OK. I think our scars are part of what makes us who we are. Each represents a battle fought, whether won or lost. I may have lost my battle with that hill from my childhood. But I am working to win my battle against food addiction and feelings of worthlessness.

Camp stirred up a lot of feelings for me. I think I’m still processing it. So this is a topic I’ll continue in future blogs. In the meantime, tell me. Do you think you have become your scars? Or have they become part of you?