December 15, 2015

one year later...

I began following the Trim Healthy Mama diet one year ago, in large part due to the picture below. (I'm on the far left in the 2nd row.)
Photo from the 2014 Nebraska Christian Christmas card
But before we get to that, let's go back to the beginning. I've had a weight problem nearly all of my life. I don't know for sure when it started, but I do know that I was quite chunky by the 8th grade.
At Awana Scholarship Camp, 1995.
I don't know what my highest weight was, as the scale definitely wasn't my friend, and I avoided it as much as possible, but I can tell you when it was: six years ago.
This picture was taken on December 11, 2009. I realize it's no body shot, but no one needs to be reminded of that! About three weeks after this photo was taken, my body basically fell apart on me, and I ended up in the emergency room with what I thought was appendicitis and turned out to be a gallbladder attack.

After that, I dropped 20 pounds fairly quickly by sharply cutting the fat I consumed. So how did I replace the hole in my diet? With sugar and carbs. In fact, I can vividly remember making some extremely low fat chocolate cookies that consisted basically of egg whites, cocoa, and powdered sugar. In retrospect, I know this swapping sugar for fat was a terrible trade off, but at the time I thought I was at least sort of taking care of myself. 

Over the next five years, as I went through a lot of health stuff (which I talked about here), I gained and lost the same 15 pounds repeatedly. 

As December 2014 dawned, I was frustrated with myself and my weight. I'd been gluten free (for thyroid reasons) since the end of May, and I'd only dropped two pounds. Around that time, I started seeing lots of Facebook posts about this diet called Trim Healthy Mama. I finally decided to buy the book, which is a nearly 650 page tome. (The authors have since released a much smaller--and cheaper--version.) Once I had the book in my hands, I was pretty overwhelmed, and the book just sat on my coffee table ... until the day we took the picture at the top of this post. The instant I saw the picture, I knew something needed to change. I went home that night and started reading the book, and the next day I started following the plan. While I only followed it halfheartedly through Christmas, I dove in for real on January 1.

To my surprise, it worked!

From December 2014 through August of this year, I lost 41 pounds! Then I started following the AIP diet to try to heal some thyroid issues, and the weight loss slowed down. 

Still, I have lost 50 pounds in one year.

That number is nearly incomprehensible. When I look in the mirror, I still see the same Becky ... though the size 10 pants and medium tops confirm that I am much smaller than I used to be (16/18 pants and 18/20 tops).

Never before did I understand how an anorexic could see herself as fat, but now I do. When I was obese, I saw myself as much smaller than I really was. Now that I'm on the low end of overweight (yes, according to the charts, I'm still overweight), I still see the 206 pounds in the mirror (or at least the 206 pounds as I saw them at the time). It's bizarre, really. Only when I see photographs do I really believe the truth. So here's a look at me through the year.

Christmas 2014. My face absolutely cracks me up ... but see how much fat there is around my face and on my forearm? Weight: 204

March 2015. With Charissa, the head speech coach, at our last regular season meet. Weight: 185

July 2015. With Mom (who had been on THM for three months at this point) visiting my sister over the 4th of July. Weight: 170

September 2015. Blue & White Day during Homecoming week--we're recreating a photo we took several years before. Weight: 160

November 2015. Pretty much the only full body shot I have, and Isis the cat is obscuring it! Weight: 156.

December 2015. With Mom on an unseasonably warm Sunday. Weight: 154.

Honestly, I thought I'd always be fat ... so I'm very grateful to Serene and Pearl for the Trim Healthy Mama diet! While I only strictly followed the diet for about two months, I've applied the principles throughout the year--and Mom (who has lost 30 pounds) and I are proof that it works!

Several people have asked me for tips on implementing the diet, and I'm working on a post about that now. I hope to have it up by this weekend.

To those of you who have been following along on my weight loss journey, thank you for the encouragement you've given me along the way! A simple "You look great!" goes a long way ... even when I don't quite know how to respond. I especially am thankful for the support I've received from my parents--who never tried to get me to "cheat" and have always encouraged me to keep up the hard work--and from my sister Val, my biggest cheerleader. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission or referral bonus. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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