Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why I Started

There are a lot of reasons for a person to start a weight loss journey. Some people start because of the way they feel, or for health reasons, or because their clothes don't fit. In my life, I had a lot of things happen to me because of my weight and overeating of junk.

-Giving up rollerblading because my cankles were too big
-Falling to the ground in front of a crowd of parents at a baseball game because my lawn chair collapsed under me
-Having no clothes to wear that did not have holes worn through the inner thighs
-Being surrounded by frantic doctors and nurses as I was wheeled though the emergency room on a metal table because they thought I was having a heart attack
-Wearing a heart monitor 24/7 for 2 weeks to see what was wrong with me
-Having constant, ugly pimples and skin eruptions from eating so much sugar and grease
-Watching a stranger grab my toddler just before she got to a busy street because I could not catch up to her when she ran away from me, even as hard as I tried to run
-Being unable to go up and down stairs to tuck my children into bed
-Knocking an entire glass shelf full of knick knacks down in a store when I caught it with my giant hip fat
-Not fitting on the rides at the fair
-Being unable to walk a block to take my kids to the park
-Having to sleep propped up in a sitting position every night to avoid waking up choking on half digested food coming back up my throat
-Needing a scan of my leg and not being able to fit it in the machine brace
-Having dangerously high blood pressure

I have written in detail about a lot of those things on my blog. But none of those things drove me to lose the weight. I stayed around 280 pounds and didn't really get motivated to change until the summer of 2007. We were taking a vacation together as a family to a lovely spot on the west coast. There was an amazing black sand beach we all wanted to go to for the day, so we drove there and got out of the car. As soon as I saw the cliffs I would have to trudge down to get to the water, I knew it was impossible. But there was a handicapped access point, so we got back into the car and my husband drove me down there. I got out and he drove back up to park in the regular lot, since we didn't have a handicapped placard. We all walked down to the beach, but even using the handicapped access point, it was just too much for me. It was excruciating. I was panting and blowing, pausing every minute or two because walking in the sand was almost impossible for me with my morbidly obese, out-of-shape body and arthritic knees. It wasn't very far to the water; the kids ran ahead and were there in a minute. But I trudged closer, sweating, heart racing, feeling quite sick from the exertion. Everyone wanted to stay and enjoy the beach. I couldn't walk another step. I couldn't go walking down the beach with my kids to explore and throw rocks in the ocean. I couldn't laugh and play with them. I couldn't do *anything.* I stood there for a few minutes. There was no driftwood, no big rocks to sit on. I needed to sit down... my knees were killing me. I couldn't stand there for much longer, and I had serious doubts if I could walk back to the parking lot. After about 10 minutes I called the kids in and said "time to go." Some vacation, huh? I hauled myself back up the beach and thought I would die trying to get to the car. It was truly miserable. I couldn't enjoy that exquisite beach with my kids. We went back to our lodgings and their older cousins took them out to the beach every day after that while I sat in the house or on the deck.

That happened in the summer of '07. Those pictures on the top of my page... the before pictures... were taken by me, in the beach house while my kids were down playing on the beach. I knew they were before pictures when I took them. I knew I was going to lose the weight for good. I never wanted to feel like that again.

That's why I began this journey. I will never go back to that state of living. I may not be thin, but I can walk a couple of miles now. I don't break chairs when I sit in them, and I can fit in rides at the fair with my kids. I can wear nice clothes and sleep lying down like a normal person. I can walk on the beach. I can live.


Weight Watcher Wannabe said...

WOW. Your were very honest with what you said, and we have all felt some if not all of what you wrote. You are doing great on your goals and your blog is very motivational. Im glad I found it. You are motivating my butt in a good good way...Thank You

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Great, great post. It's moments like those that really hit the hardest. Wow.

Have you gone back to that beach? If not, wouldn't it be awesome to go back when you feel ready?

Sorry for all the questions, but I saw that you'd written you were obese for 10 years. Was there anything in particular that made you gain the weight?? Of course, if it's really personal, I understand!

Keep going! You are doing great!

Lissa said...

Your honesty is absolutely breathtaking.

Congrats to you for remembering why you do what you do, and how far you've come.

midlife_swimmer said...

I remember that feeling sending my kids and hubby hiking at bryce and zion without me. :(

My turning point was in the hospital with cellulitus (not diabetic yet knock on wood) and the nurse said if the infection had not reached the bone I could keep my leg. I immediately thought what in the heck is a 380 pound woman going to do with just one leg??? I started swimming two weeks later.

clickmom said...

The day I knew that I could lose this weight for once and for all was the day I admitted to myself that I wasn't just someone who enjoyed food but some one who had become "safe" hiding beneath all of the weight. I knew at that moment that I didn't have the emotional need to be fat anymore. I'm 34 pounds into this journey, I figure I have at least 60 more to go.

emily @ said...

My heart aches for you, for me, for all of us who struggle with overeating/obesity. Thin people do NOT understand the pain, the embarrassment, the shame, the hurt, the struggle. I am so happy for you that you made this choice to lose this weight and shed this incredible burden you have been carrying. You are very inspiring. You are amazing!

Pam@GoRetro said...

Looking at your update photos, you look great! It's nice to read about someone who is choosing to lose weight the healthy and safe way (eating good food, exercising) instead of opting for diet pills or surgery. Great job!!!

M said...

There are a lot of things we give up when we choose to become unhealthy. I gave up a lot more than I thought I did. I'm changing my lifestyle right now, and I see what a difference it has made in my life and my children's lives.

karen@fitnessjourney said...

What an honest post. I wondered why you didn't have a current picture up and instead highlighted areas to find those progress pics. Your story cleared that up. It is motivating to see where you were and how far you have come.

Andra said...

*nods* It's not often one can say "I know how you feel" and truly, deeply mean it. My beginning started with the beach as well. When couldn't walk down a stretch of the most beautiful beach in Puerto Rico with my dear husband, I knew things had to change. Thanks for sharing the story and giving me the reminder.

Feed Me I'm Cranky said...

Beautiful Lyn. just beautiful.

Camille said...

I've never been extremely overweight- but I just started losing. I was sick of looking at myself and saying "tomorrow." I was sick of trying to convince myself that I was ok.
I am 16 pounds down and I am living "today" and not "tomorrow." I am feeling more ok than I have ever felt before.
I really love reading your blog- the way you are honest. We all appreciate someone who doesn't skirt over the hard things.

RedHead said...

The reason that I started my weight loss journey was because the chair I was sitting in at my friends wedding broke. It was the most devastating moment I've ever had. And a few of the other reasons you listed, are exactly what I've gone through as well. It's almost refreshing to hear that I'm not alone. Other people know the pain as well. Sorry that you do too but it's comforting to know that if it happened to someone else AND it happened to me, and we're both still standing....There is hope! So thanks!

happyfunpants said...

I can't wait until you go to a beach again and have a completely different experience.

That post? It's going to be just as amazing as this one.

Jaime said...

I so agree. My main goal or focus is really just enjoying my kids. I want to get to do things with them and not just watch from the sidelines. I was so tired of them missing out on fun becasue I could not physically do something. Watersliding with them yesterday was the greatest feeling for me. Last yr I would have maybe gone up once , stopping on the way and that would have been it. I don't care what my end number is , I just want to LIVE and enjoy my family.Thanks for always being honest and inspiring.

Autumnforest said...

You are truly extraordinary. So many people don't stop and look at the effects of their weight, whether it's ignoring blood pressure or their spouse's lack of desire, or avoiding buying new clothes or going to events, or wheezing or depression. You not only looked them right in the face but you are seriously reversing it. When you get to your target weight, I hope you keep blogging because you have a lot to teach people. That was an extremely insightful post. I know you'll succeed without a doubt because once you can name where you are, you can measure the distance away from it.

Lyn said...


I haven't gone back to that beach. I want to! I did, however, go to another beach a year later. I will link to that post in my next blog.

Also if you'd like to read why I gained the weight, check this post:

Tammy said...

We all have our reasons. Excellent post Lyn. :)

drew said...

This sounds like something I could have written - so many reasons to keep on keepin' on!

screwdestiny said...

I don't think all people agree that "nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." But I'm sure all would definitely agree that nothing tastes as good as being able to do whatever you want feels

Hope's Journey to Healthy said...

It so great that you can remember, even though you aren't exactly where you want to be (I'm not either) that you can look back, and see how truely far you've come. I think the lessons that you learn along the way are the most important.

Great post.


Missa said...

I can really relate to your aha moment. thank you for being so honest and sharing. I hope you get to return to that beach and launch yourself over the dunes with your children.


Angie said...

Hi Lyn! I found your blog today and am so inspired by your story. Thank you for sharing it all so openly. I began my journey (adventure?) to lose 100 pounds on Jan. 5th. It's been almost 5 weeks and I'm TOTALLY cheat-free and doing a daily 90 minue hot yoga class that I NEVER thought I'd be able to do. I'm a 40 year-old mom of 3 and realte to so many things you've said. I'm also tracking my progress on my blog ( and can't wait until I have some "after" photos to share! :)

All Women Stalker said...

I just thought I'd let you know that your stories inspire me. And that, indeed, nothing is impossible in this world, as long as you have the will to do it. Congratulations and keep fighting, soldier! ;)