Several people have commented that my “before” picture is pretty good.
I’m not arguing. I am at a relatively healthy weight, and am now within 10 pounds of my goal. And honestly, if I didn’t carry 5 lbs in fleshy little Tupperware containers on the side of each thigh I’d be fine with where I am now. But I like a leaner, more muscular look. It’s not everyone’s thing, but it’s my thing.
So anyway, I thought I’d get real here. I honestly don’t have any photos from when I was at my heaviest. (60 pounds or so heavier than I am now. And no, I wasn’t pregnant. Add another 30 lbs to get me to my pregnancy weight.) One friend has told me she has a few snapshots, but I haven’t seen them. Perhaps she’s doing me a favor. I do, however, have a pair of my old pants. They’re size 16, with an elastic waist. At the time they were pretty much the only thing I had that fit, and it was a just barely, seam popping kind of fit at that. Here is a photo of me in those pants now.
Note that the button is missing. On the fateful day that that button popped off I knew I really had to get my sh*t together. When your elastic waist pants blow- out it’s a sure sign something MUST be done.
So I joined a gym, started lifting weights, and was a regular at the local aerobics classes. And it worked! Sure, I wore ridiculous early 90’s clothes and my hair was a color not found in nature, but man-oh-man did I get in shape. It was then that I received what I still regard as the best compliment of my lifetime. An old friend I hadn’t seen in 60 pounds or so (it’s a kind of time measurement,) took one look at me and said, “You bitch.” Ahh, those were the days.) I weighed about 15 pounds less than I do now and I was an uber-fit aerobics instructor. Jazzercise, baby. Rocking the leotards. Here’s a photo of me, circa 1991, with my friend Jeo.
I have, over the years floated up, down and around my current weight, by 10-20 pounds. I am fairly certain that I am always going to be a fit girl who occasionally has to wrestle my evil, Doritos- loving twin to the ground. You know how in horror movies when they beat back the monster, but they don’t make sure he’s totally dead, just mostly dead, and you want to scream at the screen, “Just kill it for God’s sake!” because you know the monster is going to resurface? Yup, that’s pretty much how it is for me with my inner fat girl. Here is one of my “before” pics from ‘09.
I am not sure if I take “before” pictures as a means of motivating myself, or as a form of punishment when I slack off and indulge, but, whatever, they are generally effective in getting me moving in the right direction again. Here is another picture of me in ’09, just 12 weeks after the above photo was taken, posing in a joke Halle Berry photo, belt and all.
But I’m an optimist, and someday I will emerge victorious for “realsies,” just like in the movies, and the Ms. Hyde side of me will be but a distant memory. Who knows, maybe this will be the last time I have to get “back” in shape.
I write this in the hope that it encourages you, no matter where you happen to find yourself right now. Trust me, I know sometimes when you gain weight or allow yourself to get out of shape, it can feel like that’s just how it is and forever will be. But our bodies are amazing little machines that respond to being taken care of and will reward us by becoming stronger, leaner, and healthier. It would be really cool if we could just dial in a weight on the scale and chant, “Make it so,” but sadly, sometimes in life you just have to do the hard work to get what you want. And sometimes you have to do it over and over again. So what? That’s what life is all about. You may fall, and you may fail. Big deal. It’s the getting back up to fight another day that tells people who you really are.
Here I am today.
I am a warrior.