Best Day Ever

 Happy Sunday Everyone!

Yesterday my “unplanned plans” for the day fell through, so I decided to take myself out. My mission: Clothes shopping at the mall.

This may sound like no big deal… but for me it was. Due to my size I have never purchased clothes from a “mall store” and was limited to assisting my trim sisters in looking for items and holding their purses so they could try them on. Ugh… This got old really fast and I became unwilling to be a style consultant/purse holder and eventually stopped going out with them.

As I am now free from the confines of the plus size category I have been enjoying a freedom I forgot even existed; shopping in the regular clothing sections. There are so many more styles to choose from and I judge whether I’m going to purchase the item based on if I like it – not if it fits. Being confident in my now “average” size helped snag me another small victory this past week: I asked one of my coworkers where she bought her cardigan. TBH I’ve never asked anyone that question, because even if I knew where they purchase their clothes – the store wouldn’t have my size anyway. So why ask?

I drove to the mall, deliberately went straight to the store my coworker specified, grabbed a few items to try on and headed to the dressing rooms. The attendant escorted me to a room, hung up the clothes and left. I pulled on the items and looked in the mirror… See image 2/2015.

Transform!

I am now fitting in mall clothes! 😀

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

 

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Success is More than a Number

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Last week I had a “bad” weigh-in. The scale said I had gained nearly three pounds! I was like “Say wut?!” Sometimes deep down we know we “deserve” that weight gain, however I was really angry because I didn’t. I am not cheating by sneaking junk food and I’m not overeating or skipping workouts. So whats the deal? Frustrated, I brought it to the Lord in prayer and asked that the scale stay the same. When I got home from church, the scale changed it’s mind. The readout declared that there wasn’t a weight gain – and that I had stayed exactly the same. Thank you Lord!

I tried to think of anything that could possibly stall my weight loss and attempted to amend it. Not enough rest? Get in bed sooner. Bound up system? Detox drinks every morning. Could this not-quite-precisely measured 2 tbsps of lite dressing be a culprit? Make sure not to use all of it. Despite this rather anal mentality, I was more relaxed and kept my personal achievements in mind….

Recent Successes:

  • I can wrap a regular towel around myself – instead of needing a bath sheet
  • Noticeably slimmer thighs and ankles
  • Slid a size 6 ring on my left ring finger (whoa)
  • Less back fat
  • Losing inches all over
  • Surprised my swim instructor with how much my swimming has improved 😀
  • My replacement clothes are getting loose and more items are ending up in the donation bag 🙂
  • Getting more and more compliments on my appearance
  • People are asking for my secret weight loss technique (lol!)
  • An all around feeling of well being

We can’t rely on the scale to advise us of success because that number is just one small piece of a much bigger story. 🙂

This week I had a 2 pound loss bringing me to a total of 45 pounds lost since 1-1-2014. This means I have officially passed my 20% weight loss goal! 😀 😀 😀 Next step is to bring my BMI out of the obese category – which I’m really close to; then I’ll be working toward my 30%. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-AnnaSan

Perseverance

After the excitement of the holidays I’ve been feeling kinda bummed. Have new goals and resolutions I’m working on, which are good – but they are challenging and will take time to see progress; so very little motivation there. 😦 I also haven’t been able to hang out with my friends due to my work schedule which makes me feel disconnected. 😦 😦 And to top that off I’m already having to work overtime to meet January’s quota. 😦 😦 😦 Everything feels harder this month and to be honest, I really don’t want to do anything. Good thing I don’t rely on my feelings, huh? No matter what they say I am still at the gym four days a week.

Lets face it – weight loss is a bumpy ride and we all experience challenges along the way. My weight loss journey definitely hasn’t been an easy one and I hope that my previous posts haven’t alluded to such, because it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Early on I accepted several invitations to pity parties or would rationalize having “just one” and eat things that I  knew I shouldn’t. For example in September I ate five donuts in one week. FIVE. No, I didn’t gain weight from it (because I had already started changing my diet and exercise plan) but I lost some respect for myself. Instead of being reactive I became proactive. I stepped back and asked, “Why am I working against myself?” I spent quite awhile soul searching and in prayer. It came to the front that my inner child didn’t want to give up anything. I wanted to achieve weight loss and eat the donuts too.

For some, the “everything in moderation” mindset works well. As a sugar and food addict with a long history of unsuccessful weight loss attempts, I knew that it didn’t work for me. Armed with this new self-awareness, I refocused on what I wanted and why I wanted it, committed it to prayer and took steps to amend my habits.

First I asked my brother to get rid of the rest of the dozen donuts that I had been grazing on as I was too weak to resist them, then I stopped eating donuts at the weekly Coffee & Donuts after church but would still go for the coffee and the socializing. It was through this situation that I finally realized and accepted that I had to make a commitment to a complete lifestyle change.

After a few weeks of cutting the sweets, I experienced my first triumph over my sugar addiction when I threw away that donut on Halloween. It was a glorious and freeing feeling. It was then that I knew that I was mentally ready to take my weight loss to the next level by starting the 1,200 calorie diet …which I am still on today. 🙂

Don’t let the failures of today dictate your tomorrow. 

If you mess up, it’s okay. Take time to find out why, pray about it and make a commitment. Get right back on the bandwagon. I know you can do it. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-AnnaSan

2014: A Year of Transformation

At the end of 2013 I was at the highest weight of my entire life. I couldn’t sleep, had massive headaches, digestive problems, carpal tunnel, bad knees, mysterious aches and shooting pains all over my body, and to top it off I couldn’t stop eating. Despite all my physical issues I realized for the first time that I actually liked myself as a person and wanted the best for me. So when I wrote my 2014 resolutions the idea was to become healthier and happier whether or not I lost weight.

2014 started out strong with an 11 pound weight loss in the first two months through gradual diet changes and increased activity (swimming lessons). The following months my weight loss came to a standstill due to loss of activity (lessons ended and I didn’t purchase a membership) and job stress. After experiencing several health scares due to my now “too healthy” diet, I gave up and comforted myself by consuming everything my stomach desired. It made me feel “normal” but the job stress didn’t go away, my appetite became insatiable and my physical issues increased tenfold. Over the next month I gained back 7 pounds.

In July I reached rock bottom and was absolutely miserable. It was then I started soul searching and praying to be released from this food addiction that was destroying my life and threatened my future. It was obvious that massive change was necessary but I had no strength or motivation. Needing to clear my head, I spent a few days away from home in August and through prayer gained clarity about my next steps. I returned home and released rent on my studio, donating everything that didn’t fit into my bedroom. I started watching Heavy and Supersize vs. Super Skinny every day and was encouraged by their stories. I came to understand that if I waited for motivation I would never start turning my life around. I also gave myself permission to set all my hobbies aside and focus on my health and wellbeing.

On September first, once again at my 11 pound weight loss, I recommitted and invited God to be with me during every step of my journey. That first week was really hard. It was so foreign to say “no” and walk away from food. It was tedious having to take it one decision and one day at a time praying constantly for strength. During that week I had several revelations which inspired me to call off of work the following Monday and sign up for a gym membership, swimming lessons and dance lessons. Also in that second week I decided that I was tired of looking frumpy and got my hair cut and layered, got fitted for a bra, and purchased an exercise shirt in my current size. A few days later I realized that I love the shape of my calves and wanted to show them off and purchased my first pair of skinny jeans. J

It quickly became apparent with swimming that I would need to practice outside of class so that I could get the maximum benefit of having an instructor. So at first I added one additional day and then another as I built stamina. Despite changing my diet and exercising, the scale was barely going down. L But I kept at it anyway.

In October after a long internal battle, I scheduled all my wellness appointments and finally ordered contacts. During my physical the doctor recommended the 1,200 calorie diet and gave a sample menu plan. I hated the idea but I knew that something needed to change so I committed it to prayer and slowly started adjusting my diet again.

On November 1st I started the 1,200 calorie diet. Relying on Smart Ones and other portioned healthy foods I also upped my produce intake, substituted almond milk and eliminated sugar and bread from consumption. Group swimming classes ended and I transitioned into private lessons where I learned the butterfly stroke and started working on stamina building exercises. Between the three days of swimming, one day of dance and 1,200 calorie diet I started losing up to 3 pounds a week consistently. I noticed that my carpal tunnel was gone and that I wasn’t getting winded on the stairs. Also I felt more energy and my clothes dropped a few sizes. Excited in these new changes and after completing a craftshow, I took it upon myself to crochet my grandma an afghan, my instructor a scarf, my brother, dad and favorite waitress a hat after making three dishcloths, two chibi teacups, two Tako-sans and a Tako-sama for my coworkers. :D:D:D

In December I renewed my gym membership and completed my dance and private swim lessons. Temptations around every corner, I prayed consistently for strength and had my starting point in mind. Despite having several birthdays and holidays I kept up with my diet with very few splurges. With swimming I had a few times where I could only make it to the pool twice in a week due to overtime, however when I’m there I push myself and completed a 600, an 800 and a 1,000 yard ladder on my own. It’s crazy to think that one year ago I could barely doggy paddle!

To summarize my year, lots of hard work, tears, prayer and soul searching but I lost 38.2 pounds, dropped 4 clothing sizes and I am getting my life back! 😀 God is so good!!! 2014 was truly a year of transformation and 2015 with God at my side is going to be an amazing continuation.

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

 

Learning to Fly

For those of you who are visiting for the first time, I started my weight loss journey on January 1st 2014 and lost 11lbs in two months. My weight loss stalled as my activity level went down and ended up gaining back 7lbs over 4 months as I started believing the lie that I couldn’t change. After taking time to reflect on whats most important to me, I refocused and shed those regained pounds in August and recommitted on September 1st, this time with God as my partner. I got a gym membership, boosted my activity level from zero, and slowly changed my eating habits. Now I’m swimming three days a week and am maintaining a 1200 calorie diet. I have lost 22lbs since I recommitted and God has been with me every step of the way.

Angel Wing Necklace

Angel Wing Necklace: A gift from my sister. 🙂

Since the beginning of this year I have completed three 6 week sessions of swimming classes and transitioned into private lessons so I could learn the Butterfly stroke. It’s also known as Fly because of how fast you “fly” across the pool.

Butterfly has been a challenge to learn and requires a great deal of strength – something that I currently don’t have much of. My pulls are weak, I breathe too often and my dolphin kick could be more fluid, but I see improvement every time I swim which keeps me wanting to try. 🙂 A recent cause for excitement was when I finally felt the “snap” in my butterfly stroke. I was stoked! 😀

Last week my instructor had me do a stamina building exercise called ladders which is going to help with all my strokes. Although it wasn’t pretty, I completed it having swum over 700 yards. Compared to when I first started swimming, I really am flying!

Big Girls Do Cry

This journey has been a massively emotional process. With every benchmark I am seeing more and more changes in myself which is exciting yet really scary all at the same time. I marvel at my slim wrists then have to cover them up in discomfort. The questions lurks in the back of my mind, “Who is this person? Do I know her?” I’ve been heavy for so long it’s ingrained in my psyche that I’m a fat sedentary woman, but the figure in the mirror is stating otherwise.

My recent tearful moment was when I went to the store to find new jeans. I tried on an 18, nope too big. I tried on a 16, ehh too baggy. Then I tried on the 14 misses and it fit. I felt the past six years roll away as I looked in the mirror and I cried. I am truly becoming a new creation and I ask for God’s continued blessing on my efforts to transform my life.

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Temptation and Victory

Greetings Everyone and Happy Halloween!

This time of year is hard for weight loss with so many holiday goodies going around. However over the last few weeks I have drastically cut back on the amount of sweets that I allow into my diet, sticking mainly with fruit and sugar free snacks and have been getting a lot more decisive with my use of “No.” By combining diet and exercise I have dropped 8 pounds in the last three weeks.

Today my employer had a special treat for their employees: box after giant box of donuts, and big containers of coffee and pumpkin spice cappuccino. Mmm.

So this morning I decided I would have a donut, after all it’s Halloween right? I went down to the cafeteria got my cup of coffee and a plain donut and headed to the staircase. I made it only 10 feet when my steps came to a stop and I started staring at the donut in my hand. It was cold and dense and filled with sugar and gluten. I could already feel the weight of it in my stomach, the sugar crash and the unchecked cravings that were sure to follow. The donut now looked neither innocent nor appealing. I gulped hard. Desperate for a way out, I asked a coworker if she would split it with me. She declined. I was stuck with the whole donut.

Burdened, I dragged my feet back to my desk where the donut was promptly wrapped up into a napkin and placed in my purse so I wouldn’t think about it. This provided momentary relief but still weighed heavily on my mind. “What do I do with it? I am not going to eat it.” After a while of working I finished my coffee and threw the disposable cup away. It was then I had a sudden realization that I could do the same with my unwelcome sweet.

On my next break I walked over to the garbage can, drew it out of my purse and I threw that whole donut away, and it felt good.

Afterward I was so empowered I wrote “Donut, you will not defeat me!” in my journal and it was a breeze to decline the candy basket when it came around.

Weight loss it a battle but I am ready for the challenge. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San