Of Guest Posts and Shed Pounds

Happy Tuesday Everybody! I’m so excited to have my first guest blogger, Sasha, visiting today to talk to us a bit about her weight loss journey and what she has found to work for her. Please take some time to get to know her a bit here then hop over to her blog to read more about this inspirational woman!

From July 2011, currently down to 246.

Hi, Sasha, and welcome to my blog! I’m happy to have you as my first guest blogger.

Thanks so much for asking me to be a guest blogger, Tammy. You have no idea how much it means to me to be able to share a little of my experience.

Tell us a little bit about your history. Have you always struggled with your weight or is this something that has happened at a later stage in life?

I have always been overweight, my entire life, I have always also been rather tall and somehow that always compensated for it especially since I was always fairly active and muscular. My serious weight gain didn’t begin until I was well into my late 30s.

What was your rock bottom moment? That moment that pushed you to start your weight loss journey?

When I got to the point where I looked at a set of stairs with no banister with dread and when I starting avoiding unfamiliar restaurants because I was worried I wouldn’t fit into a booth, I knew things were way past out of control. Besides, I just got tired of feeling tired. Carrying around almost 400 pounds is a huge chore!

When you began your journey, did you tell anyone your goals or did you just jump in and let the current take you where it wanted?

When I first started out, I knew only two things for certain, first that I was absolutely not going to do a traditional diet of lowfat/nonfat foods/diet foods and, I was determined to be physically active again. My husband was the only person who knew what I was doing. I downloaded an app on the iphone called LoseIt a few months after I started my weight loss, it’s a simple tool and that’s about as “organized” as I get with my weight loss. I try to keep my goals fluid so I don’t get discouraged or frustrated. Very important to keep in mind.

What has been one of the hardest things you’ve had to face since starting? How were you able to push through/cope?

The most difficult thing for me occurred early on in my weight loss and that was the point where I realized that my desire didn’t match my physical capabilities yet. I wanted to do so much more than I was able to do, my mind was already thinner and fitter than my body and I really had to push myself to get to where mind and body were more evenly matched. I still have this issue but not to the extent where I get as frustrated.

To date, you’ve lost about 130lbs, is that hard for you to wrap your head around? I’ve known some grown women who didn’t weigh that much! That’s a huge accomplishment.

Yes, the fact that I’ve lost 130 pounds just blows my mind sometimes. I’m at turns proud of myself and disappointed in myself for allowing myself to get that obese. It’s a mixed bag but mostly I’m enormously relieved that the majority of my weight loss is in my past.

How long has it taken you to get where you are now?

It’s taken me two years. If I had thought about this fact in the beginning of my weight loss I probably would have been overcome by impatience and possibly too discouraged to begin but I tried to acknowledge the timeline only occassionally. If you busy yourself with enjoying the process instead of focusing on “where will I be X number of months/years from now”, it helps.

Tell us about some of your non-scale victories and how that has motivated you to keep on trucking.

Those non-scale victories are certainly icing on the cake. Giving away huge bags of clothing to charity over the past two years has been a big incentive and I still have bittersweet feelings over giving away rather expensive shoes that no longer fit me after I lost an entire shoe size. Gaining strength is still my biggest incentive though. Every time I scale a hill on my bicycle that I had trouble with before or take on a longer hike, I gave huge amounts of self-confidence.

Speaking of motivation, what do you do when your motivation has left you? I know I have many times where I have no motivation to work out or watch what I eat. However, if I wait for motivation to strike I’ll be waiting a long time, and probably gain a few pounds in the process!

I talk about motivation often to people because I’ve noticed that they often allow motivation to be their basis for losing weight. This, in my opinion, is setting oneself up for failure. As you say, if we wait for motivation we’ll often find ourselves simply sitting around packing on pounds and getting weak when we should be drawing on self-discipline to compensate. Self-discipline is my fallback and I often find that after I push myself into doing something, the motivation comes back very naturally. I guess it’s a chicken or the egg thing.

How has your life changed (outlook, hobbies, etc.) since the day you made the choice to live healthier?

I am a happier, more confident person in mind body and spirit. I went from serious couch potato to enthusiastic outdoorsy girl. I love my hiking, bicycling and just being outdoors in nature. I live in the Pacific Northwest which has beautiful mountains and opportunities to play outdoors so it’s become my own personal playground now. I can’t believe how I’ve changed in this respect and I have great appreciation and gratitude for this change. 

How do you reward yourself for reaching goals?

My favorite ways to reward myself; hiking and bicycling gear and clothing. Being able to purchase a new bicycle because I’ve “outgrown” my old comfort bike or buying a backpacking backpack because I’m finally fit enough to go backpacking –these are my favorite rewards and they inspire to do more. 

What is your current goal you’re working toward?

Currently I’m working on toning and strength. I figure since it’s been awhile since I’ve lost any significant amount of weight, I’ll take advantage and work on shaping my body. When you lose a huge amount of weight, your body really droops. It’s been through a shock and needs a little tender loving care and that seems to be where I’m at right now. I’m seeing results in inches and appearance which is a big confidence booster. Weight loss isn’t a straight line and this is just part of the process as I’m discovering.

What 1 tool/item has been indispensable in this process?

Is self-discipline considered a tool? Because honestly, of all the things I’ve needed over the past couple of years, this has been my bottom line. The best part about it, anyone can have self-discipline, it’s like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets and the easier it’ll come to you.

Do you have any pearls of wisdom for people who may be where you were? Or for people who feel the task at hand is just too great?

Be persistent, be consistent, keep moving forward. This has been an important motto for me and it applies to all stages of the journey. Be prepared for rough times and emotions, push past them, ride them out, do whatever it takes, just keep going and it’ll happen.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to talk with us! I’m looking forward to seeing your journey continue to unfold!

These were wonderful questions and I appreciate the opportunity to help. Anyone can do this, I promise!

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