I’ve spent the majority of my life on a diet. Until the time I turned 40, I was also very fit. I spent a great deal of time working hard to maintain a physical look that required hours of training each day. When I turned 40, my life changed dramatically and self-interest took a back seat to survival.
I was the single parent to a child who was chronically ill. I earned my B.A. degree from Washington State University. I went on to work towards my Masters and I fought my ex-husband for custody. I paid the rent and brought home food, and over the course of six years, I gained 100 pounds!
Since 2010, I have developed a plan which consists of the 8 steps I took to reinvent myself. Here are the steps I took to lose the weight and change my life. I know these steps will also work for you.
- Sober Up
- Improve Your Diet
- Condition Your Body
- Put Your Best Face Forward
- Get Rid of Clutter
- Learn to Relax
- Attitude for Success
- Go After What You Want
For several years, I let myself go. I was just too busy and distracted caring for other people to make the necessary effort I needed for myself. I was a working single mom who was raising a chronically ill child, who was then diagnosed with bone cancer. I had never been filled with so much fear as I was, then. I was frozen.
As time went by, I began to depend upon alcohol to numb my senses, and when the alcohol lost its effect, I combined other dangerous prescription medications, too. After six years of existing in a constant state of worry, stress, and anxiety, I had gained 100 pounds. I had begun to disappear and everything I was, and had been, did to.
Because my weight gain was so painful for me to acknowledge, I avoided mirrors, refused to weigh myself, and wore the same worn out clothes every day because they concealed my body from my own sight. And, I was rarely photographed. People, whom had known me when I was healthy, were shocked when they saw my condition.
On July 7, 2010, divine intervention took control of my life. I’d been drinking that day, and I’d also taken Xanax when I chose to get on my moped and ride it down my country road without a helmet on. I never saw the patrol officer behind me. I was arrested and taken to jail. In jail, I was ordered to get on the scale. The arrest report said I weighed 260 pounds!
Until I quit drinking and taking the medications, I was unable to begin the process of rejuvenation and lifestyle reinvention. After I was bailed of out jail, I checked myself into a rehabilitation facility that offered yoga, hiking, a healthy diet, and plenty of alone time. There I stayed until the cycle I was in, was broken.
When I quit drinking alcohol, I automatically eliminated approximately 7,000 calories from my diet each week, and 28,000 calories per month. Not drinking alcohol removed my desire to eat certain foods that didn’t benefit my health and well-being. When I didn’t drink, I didn’t overeat. When I didn’t consume alcohol, I felt motivated to do other activities. By not doing this one thing, I was quickly rewarded with 30 pounds of weight loss.
When I returned home from rehab, I continued to maintain a healthy diet which included generous portions of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and plenty of fresh water. I participated in daily hiking and practiced yoga regularly. Yoga gave me focus and released my body from stress. Hiking cleared my mind to think like I hadn’t in years and I began the steady process of real and solid change.
Like many do, I experienced a plateau of weight loss stagnation that discouraged me. In order to lose the rest of my weight gain and jump-start my weight loss, I decided to try something experimental. After struggling to work off the weight unsuccessfully, I decided to try an HCG diet provided by my naturopath. I completed two 42 day cycles of HCG and lost about forty pounds over the next six months. As the weight began to leave my body, I was able to participate in other activities I had given up on. I began to ride my horse again and feel the freedom of the wind in my face and the childlike thrill of galloping down a perfect forested trail. I began to feel blessed with my life, again.
My belief in myself grew as I became healthier and lighter. Eventually, my hikes became more challenging day long adventures and walking turned into jauncing, then jogging! I remember the gratitude I felt when I was able to jog four easy miles! I remember that warm summer evening jog when I saw the sunset and I thanked GOD for giving me back my life and saving me from myself.
Next, I completed a popular weight loss program that is a 24 day challenge and lost an additional 10 pounds eating a lot of healthy foods, combined with nutritional supplements. After the challenge, I devised my own nutritional plan which I have continued to follow in order to drop weight when I need to and maintain weight loss successfully.
Within the first year and a half, I had lost the equivalent of two 50 pound bags of dog food. As my health improved, my confidence grew. I began to dream again. I was visualizing and formulating plans for the future. I knew then that my life’s work would be to offer my strength and hope to others in a plan designed to regain what some have lost. My personal struggles, and how I overcome those challenges, would become the story I would share with others.
I cannot describe the strangeness that I felt when I was not recognized by co-workers. But, I understood it was the weight loss and my lack of dyed blond hair that was no longer my look. After I began losing the weight, I felt confident enough to have a hairdresser bring my hair to its original light brown color. I had definitely outgrown that lifelong look.
One fundamental change in my life created a process of smaller steps all working together towards the goal of self reinvention. I am my first successful testimony that what I have done, works!
After I sobered up, improved my diet, reconditioned my body, and changed my hair color, it was time to get started on my skin. I had been diagnosed with a condition called Tuberous Sclerosis, which causes tuberous growths to grow on my face, ears, neck and kidney. These growths had been causing me pain and discomfort for many years. I began using skin products that contain GHK and copper peptides. I have seen dramatically positive results in my skin from using these products.
Removing the unnecessary clutter of personal property and things you no longer use or need can be a liberating experience. I cleaned out everything! I rid my closets, my drawers, and my office of unnecessary stuff and passed it along to others who could use it. So, when you decide to lighten the load, do it with the understanding that you will feel freedom when you clean it all out and send it along on its way. Give it away. Throw it away. Just rid your space of it.
Learn to relax by practicing an activity that brings you peace. Spend time in prayer and gratitude. And remember, your attitude is everything! Affirmations are words of power, so find affirmations that fit your character and repeat them to yourself regularly. You really are the secret to your success, just as I am in control of my own destiny. Nobody can fix me until I want to change. Then, go after what you want! Start living the life only you can dream!
Note: My meal plan I follow is available on-line upon request. I’m more than happy to respond to any interested persons who are struggling with issues similar to the ones I’ve experienced. You can visit my profile page for my contact information. Make sure to also read my weight loss interview to learn more about my story and see my before and after photos!