Then I got a text from one of my very best friends telling me how great it was and that I should post a picture where you can see my whole body to see the full transformation that I have gone through in the past 4 years. I had to look hard to find a picture that even showed what my body looked like, because I was so against pictures when I was heavier - there are very few of me anywhere. I found one from Christmas 2010, and I was honestly shocked at how different I look, but I look at myself daily so the transformation was a little lost on me until I saw this...
I got some really nice comments on that photo, but I didn't post it to Facebook. For some unknown reason I feel like Instagram is "safer" than Facebook. When I posted that picture I wasn't ready for everyone that I am friends with on Facebook to see this - but then I realized that duh, they've already seen it since both of these pictures came from Facebook!
Then the comments and likes started rolling in and I was pretty much instantly overwhelmed. This one photo has more likes and comments than nearly anything else that I have posted (except for a particular post on a current Supreme Court case involving a craft store - let's not get into that again). It didn't stop all day yesterday. Every time I looked at my phone there was a new comment or like - right now it's over 200 likes and over 30 comments. Instead of commenting on the comments I decided that this topic deserved a blog post.
One comment that stuck out to me as being SO spot on was from my friend Rami:
The thing that stands out most to me in the before & after pics is how much more confident & relaxed your body language is in the after photo. It's obvious that you are a happier version of you & that is the kind of transformation that should inspire others. Never feel embarrassed to share that.
She couldn't be more right, the more that I look at the photo on the left, the more I realize how uncomfortable I had become. My fists are clenched, the smile on my face is a little forced, and the best part - that was my favorite outfit of the time, I wore it at least twice a week. I was struggling to find out who I was and where I belonged (I still don't have either of those things completely figured out yet) and I wasn't super happy.
Then I take a look at the photo on the left, not only do I like how I look, but I like the energy! I am happier now, not because I weigh less, because I decided that is how I want to live my life. I want to be a happy person, I want to wake up everyday and love my life, my job, and share my time with the people who make me happiest. That's exactly what I am doing.
It's not easy by any means, it requires hard decisions. I have had to watch friends walk away because they couldn't be in my life the way I needed them to be, and that hurts. I have to decide not to have wine AND cake (like last night). People ask me how I do it and it's fairly simple (in theory), I decided one day to start and I attempt to make good decisions every day. I make mistakes, everyone does, but I decided that they won't derail me. I decided that working out during my lunch so I have free time after work is something that is required. I decided that as delicious as Diet Coke and Diet Dr Pepper are, they are shooting my metabolism in the foot. I decided that 2014 was the year of me. The year that if there are sacrifices that I have to make, those sacrifices cannot include my health goals. That means that other things have to be sacrificed, sometimes my social life. These are the choices that I have made to go from the girl on the left to the girl on the right.
I will not pretend that I did any of this on my own. For Christmas, I asked my parents for 10 sessions with a personal trainer at my gym - she has been amazing. I am telling you that cardio can get you pretty far, but if you want lasting results, you need to lift weights. She kept me motivated until my body decided it was ready to drop. I felt stronger nearly immediately, but I didn't see a serious loss until about three weeks ago. Every time I have started this journey before now, I quit before I reached that point. I decided that I couldn't quit this time.
I want you all to know that every single comment and like made me smile, some of them were so sweet that they nearly made me cry at my desk! I appreciate each and every one of you for taking time out of your day to comment on my journey. Here's one last photo - same location 3 years apart.