The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ONE YEAR of success...

@ the beginning of 2009 I DAILY experienced the following:

· Had excruciating heel spurs
· Severe acid reflux and indigestion
· Lower AND upper back pain
· Knee/joint pain
· Restless sleep
· Daytime wheezing
· Shortness of breathe
· Inability to stand for extended periods of time w/o pain

· Abnormal fears of death at night (from weight related risks: heart attack; stroke; suffocation from excess weight around neck as I laid down; sleep apnea; aneurysm - I always feared no one would find me and paramedics would have excess struggle to revive me due to weight)

ONE YEAR ago I was 342.2 lbs and realized I was OBESE, UNHEALTHY and NEEDED to change.
ONE YEAR ago I decided that I was done “pretending” that my weight didn’t bother me.

ONE YEAR ago I got off the couch and made the first step that is leading to a body that is WHOLE.

While attempting to NOT get overly emotional, I’d like to celebrate ONE YEAR of success today!

At the end of January 2009 I watched my first episode of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and reality hit me. I weighed MORE than most female contestants to date on this EXTREME weight loss reality TV show and my situation was a lot worse than I ever allowed myself to believe. I held back tears as I sat inspired by the determination of
Kristin Steede whose starting weight I was only 20 lbs less than at the time. That day I recognized that I couldn't push this “under the rug” and act unaffected by it anymore, excuses were running dry and every day lost I was robbing myself of LIFE.

In February, I began my journey with Weight Watchers and lost my first 25 lbs before growing my own wings. I am thankful for Weight Watchers because their program gave me the confidence that I could do this. It helped me prove to myself that I was capable of losing weight on my own.

Since making that first step I have successfully shed 122.2 lbs off of my body leaning on God's strength, and I hope to never see those pounds again. This has proved to be one of the most exciting journeys I’ve ever travelled with everything that goes along with it. Although weight loss can at times be emotional, stressful, confusing and HARD, it’s most certainly worth every part of the trip. I always tell people that the eating right and exercise are the “EASY” parts when it comes to losing weight, it’s the mental and emotional struggles that are the greater battle.
On April 17th I wrote my first blog with the hesitant declaration that “This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning.” I set out for this blog to be a means of encouragement while documenting my journey. I've tried to share in my posts with you what GOD has done in me over this past year and how it's all been so parallel to my life as a Christian - the two truly have gone hand-in-hand.

In May, I completed my annual 2 mile benefit walk for
Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers and for the first time did not finish LAST, actually I finished towards the front of the walkers.

In June, I completed my FIRST cancer “Relay for Life” benefit walk with my mom and walked 1 ½ hours before injuring myself. June 22nd I completed my
first weight loss competition with one of my best friends, Audrey Katzer, and won 2nd place with 46.2 lbs and 23.5 inches lost in 12 weeks.

JULY!!! JULY was a very influential month for me, JULY is when I’d say the switch flipped and I fully realized that God was doing an incredible work in me and I had a powerful TESTIMONY in the making that was changing lives! Early July I had the honor of being featured on Kristin Steede’s blog for her fun “Sweat T-Shirt” competition which was the beginning of some amazing connections with others personally fighting obesity. JULY I met a group of young ladies, each with 100+ pounds to lose, who shared similar goals and stories and we formed a support group FKAThe Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants.” Although the group disbanded as “The Sisterhood” only 3 months later, those 3 months accelerated my weight loss into overdrive. The love, support, encouragement and FRIENDSHIPS that were formed from that spontaneous and incredibly random adventure are something I will NEVER forget. In July I also celebrated my
24th birthday and FIRST birthday that included ALL healthy selections with my best friends.

In August, I hosted a
100 mile challenge amongst family, friends and co-workers and successfully completed OVER 100 miles of cardio exercise in one month. This month meant so much to me because I had both my Mom & Dad right beside me going on ridiculously long walks almost DAILY as we all fought to reach that goal. I also completed the 9 week weight loss competition that I hosted at my job, finishing in 1st place with 40.6 lbs lost in 9 weeks. As a whole, our group lost 147.5 lbs which brought tears to my eyes seeing how “ME,” “ONE PERSON,” a little encouragement and the phrase “BE MOTIVATED AND MOTIVATE ONE ANOTHER” could spark such a change in lives. I blubbered like a baby after winning over $500 and then being awarded a gift card (organized by participants) in addition to my competition winnings for hosting and inspiring them. WOW!

September 27th I proudly reached my 100 pounds lost milestone and documented with a post titled:
“Giant Slain! 100 Pounds!!!”

In October, I ventured on one of the most RANDOM trips of my life to meet 5 total strangers for the
Sisterhood Retreat in Wisconsin Dells. It was a girl’s weekend I’ll never forget and although there were both good and bad from that trip, the good is what I hold in my heart dearly. I also had the privilege of meeting my initial inspiration, Kristin Steede, and her Mom (Team Purple Teammate), Cathy Skell. These are two of the most down-to-earth, understanding, HILARIOUS woman to talk to. After hours of conversation at Chili's, we parted ways but have distantly kept in touch. Having the opportunity to meet someone who inspires/inspired you in life is unforgettable. October was also the first month that I made split photos and encouraged facebook followers to create their own to. What a amazing day that proved to be looking back and reflecting on everyone’s emotional journeys.

In November, I ventured to INDIANA and CHICAGO for the first time ever and got to support a friend on her journey as an act of love PROVING that she is worth it and CAN do this! That trip initiated me getting on an airplane for the first time since I was a child and although I never experienced flying at a heavier weight, I was PROUD to fit in the seat when I've heard horror stories from overweight flyers with airplane seating. In November I also had the honor of sharing my weight loss testimony (when put on the at church over Thanksgiving weekend.

The holidays, well, they got the best of me and I “
re-found 12+ pounds” on an emotional eating spree while living through the misfortunes of a dear friend…

In December/January, I was featured in an article titled "Halfway There" with KC Fit Magazine. It was a neat experience having this type of feature with a full centerfold article. Also, one of my weight loss sisters and best friends, Ali Trier, and my godson moved in with me and are working on starting a life in Kansas. We completed a ONE MONTH bootcamp at Golds Gym and BOTH took off all the holiday weight we had gained!!! PRAISE GOD!

NOW for the most exciting news, a dream I’ve had since that switched flipped in JULY…to pay it forward and pour into other people’s lives the way I feel I’ve had the rare blessing of receiving in weight loss. Last week F.I.T. “Finding Inspiration Together,” a private group (and fanpage – come follow us) on facebook was birthed by 4 incredible ladies and myself who all share a vision to ENCOURAGE & MOTIVATE other people as they strive to MAKE.IT.HAPPEN in their own lives and conquer discouraging statistics by losing extreme amounts of weight without surgeries or hypnosis. Without “miracle pills” or “fad diets.” Woman who have decided they want to lose weight and reGAIN their lives back! Together we are finding the inspiration to go the distance and it’s brought MANY tears of joy seeing these incredibly STRONG women interact.

I can PROUDLY state that in my ONE YEAR on this common journey of weight loss, overall it’s been a SUCCESS!

THIS is a year in the making of a BODY that is WHOLE:

Body, Mind & Spirit!

Thank you for all of your love and support, I hope to make each of you PROUD in 2010.

(ps. ALL of those painful DAILY experiences listed at the top of this post…GONE!)

Verse of the Day:

Psalm 118:24

"This is the day that the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"


Frosty said...

Mesha- Thank YOU for all the inspiration you provide us. All this time you were the one giving us motivation, showing us the rewards of hard work.

I loved the 100 mile challenge...thinking we might need another one now that it's getting warmer. Whatcha think?

CONGRATS again on such a successful year!

Magic Brush said...

Go Mesha! Go Mesha!!!!!!!! What a great post! Imagine your post next year..... you'll be a healthy skinny mini!!!!!! I am so happy for you and so proud of you for Shauna told me about tomorrow night, but I start a new Priscilla Schier (sp?) bible study at church. Have you ever done one of hers? Anyway, be blessed girl! So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Let's see...what of those symptoms did I share in prior to weight loss??? ... Acid reflux, indigestion --> add constant diarrhea from the unhealthy choices I was loading my body with (tmi?), lower and upper back pain (worse than now if you can imagine), Knee pain, restless sleep, shortness of breath, inability to stand, and abnormal fears of death --> mine were from my high blood pressure and family history of heart attacks at young ages.

I can PROUDLY say now that I ONLY experience back pain. WEIGHT LOSS AND HEALTHY LIVING ROCK!!!!

I am so proud of you, Mu. You are my rock star. I cannot imagine a better role model and positive influence.

I am glad to be in Kansas. I am HAPPY to be here. I am so sorry (you know this) that my trials drug you down right alongside me, but happy to conquer them WITH you by my side.


Here's to BODY, MIND & SPIRIT girlfriend!!!!! =]