170 pounds. The lowest weight that I have been in almost 10 years. That number is 72 pounds less than when I moved here. Where is here? Paradise. I am living in paradise. This particular paradise is located in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. We have perfect weather 8
months out of the year. We have white sand beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters. The people are so friendly, the town is small so no heavy traffic, hardly any noise. I have never been in a more beautiful, peaceful place. I didn’t always feel that way about it here. When I first got here it was August and the first of the two hottest months of the year, I was miserable. It was hot and humid. I didn’t want to move an inch. I stayed inside, home schooled my son, and then watched movies. I was so much heavier at that time so that didn’t help. I was actually ok with my weight being 250 pounds. I was actually happy about it as I was 270 pounds the year before. So, as I continued to feel sorry for myself and think about what a mistake I had made moving to another country, no friends, no family I decided I should paint my toes because we were going to the beach. I picked out my usual pink and struggled with painting my toes as I tried to maneuver my foot in ways that I could reach it as I was so big I could barely paint my freaking toes! Then I put on my size 22 black bathing suit then put on some black pants and then my pink flip flops to match my toes I look down and smile thinking “Aw, my toes look cute!”. I pick up the beach bag and glance in the mirror. The only way you could tell I was going to the beach and not to a funeral was my cute pink flip flops and my cute pink toenails. Frowning, I walk out the door but quickly change to a smile when I see my husband come come down the stairs and ask if I was ready. I nodded and told my son to get in the car. We head down to the beach to find several other girls in their bikinis. One was wearing a very cute bikini the same color as my toes. “Great!” I thought. They are joining us they know my father-in-law. After, a few hours of me watching everyone enjoy paradise while I sit on my chair covered in a towel as I really don’t feel comfortable showing off my attire, we go home finally! I took lots of pictures so I start uploading them to Facebook. I look at the pictures and find it hard to believe that I was at the same place. The water was gorgeous. Everyone had smiles and they were having fun. I stop and look at one particular picture. It is of my son smiling and I am in the background, sitting on the lounge chair not smiling but actually look like I am going to a funeral. My big black pants were hiding my bright pink flip flops and cute toes. I stared hard at the picture for awhile thinking who is that woman sitting in paradise looking like she is at a funeral, even the expression on her face saying I am not happy, not even my bright pink flip flops or cute toes can save me now. That was the day I decided to save myself!
I have so many people ask me “How did you do it?” My answer in my mind every time is “I have no idea how!” I have struggled with losing weight for all of my adult life. There were times were I really didn’t care how I looked so I didn’t think about it much, and there were times that I would cry myself to sleep over it. I have been thinking about it a lot lately because I am only 15 pounds away from my goal weight and with so many supportive people in my life I really want to give a good answer to this question. I want to be able to say this is what I did, this is how I thought, and these are the people who helped and inspired me. When I look back at all the times I tried and failed it seems that I always let life get in the way and I would make other things more important than myself. My family, work, school, friends, or even just that I am PMSing and I deserve to eat the whole box of Oreos tonight. The difference that I found that made this time a success is Me. I am the difference. I had absolutely no excuses this time. I wasn’t working. When I first got here there were very little bad choices I could make when it came to food. My son was old enough that I didn’t have to spend every moment with him worrying if he was getting into trouble or getting hurt. So, with no more excuses to keep me saying no I had to say yes. I said yes to join Zumba. I went the first day and looked absolutely ridiculous with my 250 pound body trying to keep up but there were only a few in my class and my wonderful instructor Erika really made the class fun and really encouraged me the whole time. Before I left she said to me “See you tomorrow!” I have gone to Zumba everyday she holds class. Monday through Friday for an hour a day I drag my butt to class because I am expected to come and I have no excuse not to come. She still says to me every day “See you tomorrow!” I love it and I absolutely love when I see new people come in wanting to do what I have been doing and I feel so proud that Erika will introduce me to the new people and tell them my story. I feel amazing knowing that I could be the inspiration that this person needs to reach their goal. When it comes to food that was the biggest challenge for me. I love food, especially sweets like cookies and cake and chocolate. Unfortunately, so does everyone else in the house. I would make dinners that would be fish, with fried okra, pasta, and bread. These are things I love to eat in excess. I found it really hard to eat that though after I worked so hard in Zumba that morning. There are so many fresh fruits and vegetables here we always had them in the fridge. So, I would have the fish, I would also make a small salad to go with it. I had no excuse not too the salad stuff was right in front of me. When I got praise from the people around me about how wonderful I was doing and how great it was to see me so committed it inspired me even more. I know people say to throw away the scale and I am sure that works for some, but I got inspiration from my scale. Yes, I couldn’t stand the number that came up when I stepped on the scale, but I loved seeing that number go down and it seems to give me confidence for the day. If the scale went up I would know exactly why. I knew that I ate things I shouldn’t have eaten the day before and I saw what it did to the scale when I ate 5 cookies. I would then make up for it that day knowing that I needed to get that number back down I resisted the urge to eat another 5 cookies that day and I saw the results on the scale when I ate healthy. I also didn’t focus on the amount of time it was taking me to lose. I just went day by day. On average I would lose about 10 pounds a month. The scale would go up and down but I would not dwell. I accepted what it was and reacted accordingly. I don’t deprive myself of things that I want. I just know there will be a consequence if I go off track and I either say yes I can accept it or no I am not going there and I move on with my day.
Today I am down 100 pounds. I have never been happier or more proud of how I look. I can’t say I am the thinnest I have been but I am the happiest about how I look than I have ever been. I still have a bit of a belly but I no longer despise it. I don’t even give it a second thought anymore. I do what I can everyday to live a happy and healthy life for me. It shrinks little by little and someday it may be gone but if not that’s ok with me because I know I am doing the best I can with no excuses.