3-years worth of weight loss transformation

I was going through my Facebook photographs and decided to show myself (and the world) my transformation in pictures.  The first photograph was taken May 2009.  I admit there are not a terrible amount of photos of me during my heaviest because the camera was not my friend (that is as long as it wasn’t JUST a face shot here or there).  Part of this goes into my denial of how large I truly was and my blinders not wanting me to see it before I was “ready” to.

One thing that is clearly evident is as I dove into my healthy lifestyle, I began to appreciate life more.  I began to truly smile in photographs. The happiness I began to learn to build was shining from deep inside me as it’d been hidden and lost for so long.  I didn’t mind having my photograph taken because it showed me the progress.  I saw the number on the scale while at my Weight Watchers weigh-in, but I enjoyed seeing me because that’s what mattered.  The way my clothes fit.  I started to want to wear clothing that was “flashy” (I’m not talking bedazzled I’m talking colors!) not the staple dark blue, grey, green and black I had become very accustomed to wearing.

These days, I try to not shun clothing when I see it on a rack.  A small part of my brain still says “you can’t wear that” but I still take items into the dressing room to try them on because you never know how something is going to fit until it’s on your frame.  Being a former morbidly obese person it’s surprising to step outside of your comfort zone.  For instance — the yellow shorts worn int he last photograph? I fell in love with them on the rack — the color, the style, but almost never tried them on because for 25+ years of my life I never wore anything that wasn’t above mid-calf level.  Turns out the shorts fit me perfectly and made me really actually LIKE the legs I “grew” into.

Also if you are on Facebook and would like to follow my journey, please feel free to “like” my page: https://www.facebook.com/shannonsjourney

My most memorable NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories)

  • Being able to walk up and down the stairs, repeatedly, without gasping for air
  • Being able to sit in a restaurant booth and swivel chair (that are connected to a table) comfortably WITH room to spare
  • Went from a 5X shirt down to a Large
  • Went from a 30/32 pair of jeans down to a 12
  • Donated ALL clothing that is not in my current size to family or charity
  • Is able to make it through a 50 minute gym class without sneaking out early
  • A stranger at the RMV, when renewing my license said, “Great job sweetheart, you look amazing!” after seeing my license photo and me in front of her
  • I no longer completely shun doctors because I’m ashamed of my size
  • My doctor is no longer “mad” at me when I show up for physicals
  • Being able to shop at ANY store I want because I can fit into non-plus sized clothing
  • Blossoming into a positive AND happier person

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5124237/?claim=av8gcnxav4g”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

    Believe in yourself & anything is possible

    One very important thing I learned very early into my weight loss journey was that I had to believe in myself. If I didn’t believe in me — who else in their right mind would?  If I didn’t care enough to believe I could do it, I would never be where I am today.  Even if you’re struggling with “liking” yourself in the current stage you are in — fake it ’til you make it.  You’ll get there as long as you don’t let negative thoughts, feelings, etc., get in the way and burden your path forward.

    It’s so very important to believe in yourself.  Belief in yourself will get you anywhere and everywhere – it can push you through a workout, it can push you across that finish line, it can assist in you losing 2 pounds in a week. It can get you through a birthday party NOT having any cake or if you do want cake a small sliver.  Belief in myself has made my journey SO much easier because I feel as though I am an unstoppable machine — my views are set at that ultimate destination.

    It’s the second guessing, the excuses and the sheer inability to believe in yourself and your program that will keep you from finding success.  Not believing in yourself will push you into “cheat days” and not tracking and eventually giving up all together.  As I have said to many … believe in you first and believe in the program because anything is possible as long as you believe.

    Keep your head up and your mind right!

    Weight Watchers – It DOES work!

    Now (July [yellow shorts] & August [blue dress] 2012): 

    BEFORE:

                                                      November 2011:

    I have struggled with my weight since I was a little girl. I was always the heaviest girl in my class. Sure, I was picked on, but it was something that made me stronger and made me not care what others had to say. Did it hurt at the time? Yeah it did, no one wants to be the odd man out. But if it weren’t for some of those struggles, I would not be the woman I am today. When I was 17 I joined Weight Watchers for the first time and lost around 50 pounds and ended up quitting because I was going with a family member and their schedule at this particular meeting didn’t meld any longer so we stopped. And I gained all my weight I loss back.
    The middle of February 2010 I told myself that I had had enough and that I was going to do something about my weight. This was the first time in a VERY long time that I had the courage and the strength to do something to better myself. People around me had been telling me to lose weight, but if your state of mind is not into it, you are not going to do it. This time, I was ready and I was prepared. I found a Weight Watchers meeting which was in my city and I walked in on a Thursday night, shy and quiet and asked how I could sign up for Weight Watchers. I signed up and became a monthly member (which means the monthly fee is deducted from my credit card monthly and it allows me access to the Weight Watchers online E-Tools system).
    I have been a withstanding member ever since. I look forward to my Thursday meetings and enjoy the comradely that comes from these sessions. I absolutely adore my leader (a leader is the individual who is a part of Weight Watchers, has lost all the weight they needed to be at goal – which is what your individual ideal healthy weight is and has maintained it), she’s incredibly helpful and she has helped me during some rough patches in my weight loss. The folks who are in my meeting are all friendly and we tend to talk before and after the meeting on Thursdays. We share recipes, tips, ideas, new products that are out in the market that are “point friendly”. It’s really a great bunch of folks and I cherish the relationships I have built with each of them.
    Now I know I have been talking a lot about the program itself and I feel as though that’s very beneficial for anyone who’s new to the program, who doesn’t know about the program or just has incorrect knowledge passed on to them from others.
    I just want to state this quickly, let me start this off by saying Weight Watchers is NOT Jenny Craig, it is not Nutri Systems, it is not the grape fruit diet, it is not the Subway diet, it is not the cookie diet, etc. What Weight Watchers IS is a lifestyle change for the better! With Weight Watchers you eat your own food – no we fellow Weight Watchers members are not tearing open a package of freeze dried “chili” and going to town (I mean, really?). Yes, Weight Watchers sells brand name foods in stores – but this is only as a helpful tool to members (or the general public) because there are times in your life where you’re on the fly and you need something to eat and you’re unsure. When this happens you can just snag a Weight Watcher meal and heat it up – the points are on it for you and it helps eliminate poor choices. We actually go out to restaurants, we can eat cupcakes/ice cream (and even together if the mood strikes), we can eat dips and chips, we can eat steak and cheese sandwiches, and we can eat pizza (among everything else there is food wise) – but the key is – we do so in moderation!
    From the pictures, you can see I have lost a drastic amount of weight. From the last week in February 2010 to this date currently, I have lost 175+ pounds following the Weight Watchers program!
    I still have a little ways to go before I am at my ideal goal weight, which would make me a Lifetime member! Incase you are unfamiliar, Lifetime members are members of Weight Watchers who have lost all the weight they need to and are considered to be at a healthy weight compared to their BMI. A bonus for Lifetime members is they do not have to pay a monthly/weekly fee, they will now have free access to Weight Watchers online system E-Tools, and they are able to go to as many meetings as they want (as they would also be able to do as a non-lifetime member). Lifetime members also weigh in once a month compared to the weekly that non-lifetimers weigh in.
    Out of all the individuals who are at my meeting, I am the individual who has lost the most amount of weight. Many of the ladies and gentlemen I speak with tell me that I am their inspiration and that I inspire them to do better and to “get back on the wagon.” I never once thought I would inspire individuals to lose weight or to continue losing weight. But it’s a great feeling and I enjoy helping others with their journeys.
    Incase you’re wondering, I lost the first roughly 80 pounds on my own by just eating healthy and watching what I was eating. This means weighing and measuring and tracking my food intake. After that I started to add in activity (zumba and general activities such as weight training and adding in the elliptical and treadmill into my routine). These days I hate the treadmill so I go to three zumba classes a week and find when I do that I’ve been losing roughly 2 pounds a week by eating healthy and exercising.
    Once I hit my goal weight, I want to work for Weight Watchers as a receptionist and I hope to one day become a leader so I can continue to inspire individuals and share with them the wealth of knowledge I have learned during my journey.