Flashback Friday, Volume II

Last week I flashed back to June 2008, when Tim and I were on the verge of being flooded out of our homes

This week, let’s flash back to that same time, more or less–June 2008.  (Hmm.  Big month for me, apparently.  I also turned 24 that month.)  This is actually surprisingly hard for me to blog about and I’m getting kind of choked up about the whole thing because god, those were some pretty awful moments.  I still look back at how horribly I treated my body and how in denial I was with a lot of shame.  I feel so terrible that I just ignored this for years, but I suppose I wouldn’t be the way I am now without those years.  So, onward and upward.

Before all that flooding went down I went home to Chicago for the weekend for two purposes: 1) my annual visit to the vag doctor for a pap smear and 2) my good friend and now bridesmaid’s bridal shower.  Interestingly enough, both of these events played a crucial role in my consequent weight loss and lifestyle changes.  Weird, huh?  You never really think gynecologist+bridal shower=drastic life changes, but there you go.

Anyway, I went to the doctor for my visit.  Usually, when I would get weighed at the doctor’s office, I’d conveniently not look at the number or squeeze my eyes shut.  If I didn’t know what I weighed, I couldn’t be held responsible for the decisions that got me there.  But, this time, there was no escaping it, as the nurse cheerfully announced, “200 pounds!” to me. 

What?  200 pounds?  Seriously?  I was in total and utter shock.  It was the 2– number that threw me off–I honestly think that if the scale had said 197, I wouldn’t have done anything.  200+, in my mind, was fat territory.  And holy crud, I was there.  I felt terrible.  I knew I’d been quietly buying larger and larger jeans, but I pretty much wrote it off as the sizes getting smaller, not me getting larger.

I went home and cried.  And then I dusted myself off and looked in the mirror and said, “Brie, you’re the common denominator here.  Change something for REAL this time.”  I had no idea what I was doing, yet, but I was going to try.  I e-mailed Tim from my phone because I figured if I told someone, I’d feel accountable.  He immediately told me that he’d be with me every step of the way (and, of course, he was).

The next day was my best friend’s bridal shower.  I remember it very clearly.  The lunch I had that day was the first attempt I made at intuitive eating–a concept I still struggle with.  I didn’t really like the food anyway, so it wasn’t a big struggle, but I consciously limited myself to one piece of bread from the bread basket, only ate about half the entree, and took a few bites of dessert.  I also remember having to drive back to Iowa afterwards and needing a snack–and I got apple slices at the drive through instead of fries.  Little steps, I know, but I was so proud of myself. 

And, I’ll be honest–the fact that this was a bridal shower had a lot to do with me changing.  At this point, I’d been with Tim for a year.  We had both known pretty early in our relationship (maybe three months in or so) we were going to get married.  I knew that pretty soon, I’d be the one having showers and weddings and wearing a pretty dress, and like my header says–I didn’t want to cringe when I looked at the pictures.  My turn was coming, and I wanted to be ready.

The next day I got these pictures back.  I looked at them and was so ashamed, but then I remember telling Tim, “It’s okay.  I’m never going to look like this again.”  These are the fated pictures:

Once I saw these, I just kind of knew that this was going to happen and I was going to fight my way out of it, no matter how long it took and how hard it was.  I won’t say I’m perfect, but I like to think I’m treating my body a damn sight better than I was then…and that I feel a million times better.  (And I think I look pretty good too!)

What inspired you to change?

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18 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this with us even though it was hard. You should be so proud of yourself that you took control and started to get healthier. I think when you are used to not paying attention to your eating, even one day of intuitive eating is a lot of progress. I think pictures are the worst thing to look at when you have gained weight. It’s easy to slowly gain it and not notice but when you see pictures its like OH shoot haha.

  2. I have always said that I wish I could bottle what made me change. I just came home from college that summer and was like, “OK, I’m joining a gym and losing a weight.” For once, there were no big dramatic “I’m going on a diet “announcement, no histrionics of any sort. It was just that I knew I would succeed this time — I wanted it that bad.
    I didn’t know how long it would take or everything I would learn along the way, but it’s been such an experience!

  3. My heart hurt when I saw those pictures of you… Only because I know exactly what you were feeling when you saw them. There were times when I wouldn’t even look at myself in a mirror because I was so disappointed.

    I’ve always said I never want to use my weight as an excuse not to do something. For example, I love riding horses. The day it took me a couple tries to throw my leg up and get on I knew I had to change. I want to be able to keep up with the world and do things I love.

    You always have such good posts! So inspirational.

  4. I have those pictures and had that A-Ha! moment as well about 5 years ago. GOSH! I can’t even believe it was so long ago. I wish I could share my pics here – but here is an old blog post that shows – http://gwenniepie.com/2006/05/22/welcome-its-the-oldest-story-ever-told/.

    I’m in a recovery stage in my journy right now – I had lost 135ish pounds and gained some back. Now I’m fighting like mad to get it back off. Not because I was a better person 40 pounds lighter, not because the number on the scale was smaller, not because other people noticed more – because I love how I felt there. I truly loved life and pushing myself to limits. And then I met a boy and moved in and slacked a little. Now it’s right back at it!

    Kudos to you doll, you look amazing and more importantly, I know you feel amazing!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing all this… I know it must have been so hard to rehash this. You really should be so proud of what you’ve accomplished, although I will say that I think you were really pretty then too (and I love that dress!).

    Honestly, I probably would have gained and gained and gained…. I was depressed and ashamed and falling deeper and deeper. I got up to 200 and actually several dozen pounds even beyond that. My turning point was when a tropical storm destroyed my car in early autumn last year. Yeah, it took a near-hurricane to move me! From that point on, I couldn’t afford to get a new car, so I was forced to walk to work. For me physically at that stage, walking 5 miles every day was HARD… my feet were blistered, my legs ached and I was a sweaty, miserable mess. But I had no choice! And once the pounds started falling off, I was suddenly motivated… and a year later, I hit my ideal weight range.

  6. Before I launch into my whole spiel, I just want to say that it’s easy to see why you sort of let yourself gain weight quietly for a while… you looked really good! You wore it well, for what it’s worth. That said, I am totally impressed by the picture you posted the other day of you flexing your guns in the mirror 🙂 I noticed your small waist more! I need to get back to that…

    OK, and speaking of, I suppose I’ll share a bit too. I didn’t (and haven’t) had a big a-ha/must-change moment, mostly because I’ve always been slightly tubby, not majorly tubby. I went to weight watchers with a roommate who had had success there before and was going back, because I had put on some weight during study abroad (hello beer and Wurst!) and wanted to slim down before my senior voice recital. That went great, but over the next year i got too skinny, so then I gradually gained weight all through grad school and ended up about where I should have been.

    THEN I started a desk job and it all went to hell in a handbasket! I struggled (and still do) with finding time to exercise and eating the right things. After I was a bridesmaid in a friends’ wedding in May 2008, I decided I just needed to relax — it was exhausting to me to keep worrying about food and weight and all of that. As a result, I’ve gained about 15 pounds or so since then, and now I’m trying to find the time and the willpower to start eating right and slim down for life and my wedding. Surprisingly, the wedding has been a total non-motivator… I really thought I’d feel a more urgent need to shape up, but no…

    Anyway, congrats on all your success. I hope I can develop some willpower like yours!

  7. this was amazing… thank you for sharing.

  8. This is incredible! I am so glad I was led to your blog – your story is so inspiring!

  9. Good for you 🙂

  10. Great story….I think my turning point was also seeing pictures of myself and realizing I looked a little like a puff fish…also seeing the number jump to 200lb on the scale really kicked me in the face. I knew that I had gained weight cuz my clothes weren’t fitting as well and I just felt fat. The punch in the gut for me though to really push things into overdrive was seeing our e-pics…I knew I had been putting of my life changes for too long and if I didn’t push myself harder now I would be unhappy come wedding day. I am slowly noticing changes in my body, but am happy that things are changing.

  11. Brie, you are so brave to share your story like this. I was definitely inspired about your comment (somewhere in this blog) about how you initially lost the weight, but realized that you were not a strong skinny (that’s not exactly how you put it, i’m paraphrasing). That definitely got me thinking about my size and shape, and how I definitely have work I need to do before my wedding! Thank you for your writing!

  12. This is a great post and a very inspirational story! You’ve come so far and are a great example of a woman getting healthy, not just for one day, but making lifestyle changes!

  13. Loved reading this post!

    I was a single mother and pretty much did not date the first 8 years of my daughters life – intentionally. Too many of my friends had kids, were either divorced, or never married the baby daddy, and then would hook up with some guy, the kids would get hooked into the boyfriend, and then when Mom and boyfriend broke up, they were a mess!

    Anywho – the day I decided to lose the weight? 1999. I didn’t want to be fat in 2000, and maybe, just maybe it was the same day my stomach touched the steering wheel in my car, and I was the only one who drove it!

    I lost 70 pounds in a year. Kept it off for several years, until I got put on insulin, that kind of gave me free reign to eat foods I’d avoided – “I can have bacon and cheese on my fries for only .99 cents?” I’ll take more insulin! 😀

    You look beautiful both in the above picture and your side bar picture – just now you are healthy! 😀

  14. love your blog! I’m a new reader. Seeing myself at 200 lbs inspired me to change. I seriously think if I had seen 197 (like you said) I wouldn’t have changed. The big scary number totally freaked me out! Never want to see it again!

  15. Ugh, I still remember the months leading up to my turning point. The awfulness was magnified by having just landed my first television job. I knew I was “fat,” but seeing that on television everyday made me feel like crud. Regardless, that wasn’t enough to change me. It was actually one evening when me and my roommate were playing on her new Wii Fit. It weighs you, and I was downright shocked by my weight. That very night I made the change. It’s just been onward and upward ever since!

    Funny, how we got so horrified by these “high weight photos” at the time, and now I keep mine with pride for visual evidence of how far I’ve come. You definitely won’t cringe at your wedding photos – and you’re definitely a hot broad in your engagement ones 😉

  16. I am so happy I found your blog, and to know that you’ve made positive changes and life style changes and you’re doing great with it. I’m at this point right now – everything you just said sounds like what I’ve been telling myself (ie jean sizes just being made smaller, no way I’m getting larger). The scale is creeping up way too far for me to be comfortable. I’m happy to see you have so many tips and motivational things on your blog. Thank you in advance – you just made this choice to make a change much easier. I told myself baby steps for right now until the holidays are over – come December 26th it’s serious business. I don’t have a wedding or anything awesome like that to motivate me, it’s simply my health and feeling better about me, I hope that’s enough! Thank you! 🙂

  17. I’m not really sure what inspired me. I think I was just sick of being the person that guys always thought of as a friend. Looking back, I probably think that they thought of me that way because I had low self esteem and that’s how I presented myself. I dont know if that makes sense. And I wanted to wear cute clothes.

    They’re kind of vain reasons but they led me to make a huge change in my life where my health vastly improved.

  18. […] the stupid way Posted on December 18, 2009 by thefitbride So, last week we flashed back to what made me start changing in the first place.  This week, I’m going to explain how I lost 50 pounds in 6 months and all the stupid things […]

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