Sunday, February 17, 2013

70lbs of Bitter Sweet

I'm back with another weight loss update - If you'd like to start at 'the begginning' you'll wanna read THIS post first. 

Guess we should start again with some 'before' pictures. Excuse me as I wince at these. 

This was taken in Greece while we were traveling on our honeymoon - the below picture (in Rome) is my personal favorite (eyes rolled). 

Kinda wish I could go back and thank the random traveler taking this photo that they didn't get more of me in the frame. Yikes.


The first question I typically get asked from someone who notices my weight loss (or finds out about it) is - 'WOW, amazing - How'd ya do it?!' 

Totally fair question - and, probably the same question that I would have asked before all this. But, after losing 70lbs I've learned that's not really what people are wondering and it's not really the 'right' question. No, seriously... wanna weigh less - eat less. Simple as that. Yep, that's 'how' I did it. I ate less. But, wait - that wasn't what you wanted to know, was it? 

Nope. You wanted to know -

WHY did I lose weight... or more accurately (and far less socially appropriate) WHY did I eat myself into a place that I *had* to lose so much weight. 


Oh, man. That's a great question. Honestly, the answer is still something I'm navigating - and probably will for the rest of my life. I wasn't an obese child although, by the time I was in high school I was heavier than most of my girl classmates. Not obese - just 'curvy'. I wasn't tormented about my weight in school - at least not by anyone other than myself. Granted, I didn't have boyfriends or lots of friends even. But, I think I blame that more on the effects of my self esteem than a direct link to my weight. 

A change happened.

I left to college, 3 states away from home, and depression started to tap on my shoulder - and I answered it with food. So, the weight started to pile on. I felt so completely awful about myself, my weight, my failures - still thinking about that time creates a pretty big lump in my throat. One word that could sum up those two years is - Disappointment (and I mean that in the most inward way) 

Jacob, was literally my savior. He quit school - came to me - picked me up and carried me back home again. A broken and considerably fatter version of the girl who had left two years prior. 

I spent the next two years in recovery mode - figuring out how to climb out of the depression... I got engaged and in 2008 was happily married. (honeymoon pictures above) We moved away to the Bay Area (California) from San Diego and we made friends - really good friends. We grew up and learned. We cried and laughed - we started to become adults. I started to see out of the fog that my college years created. When we moved back to San Diego - I started my own business and I LOVED it. (I still do!) I started to feel like myself again. Except, I was carrying around the reminder of my past - by way of weight. 

There was no 'turning point' - nothing that stands out as the 'moment' I decided to make a change. I just remember seeing a quote - it read something like: 

Don't be afraid to be the best version of yourself.

That's what I was doing - I was afraid that if I took another leap (regarding *anything*) I would fail - A G A I N. But, what I was doing was not allowing myself the *possibility* of being the best version of myself. So, I made a change - 

And after 10 months this is what I did - 

Lost. 70. Pounds. 

(Here is a picture from today) 

It was incredibly hard, and not in the way your thinking. The eating part - was completely mindless. Seriously, after the first couple weeks - food was the *easy* part. It's pretty straight forward ... 

Eat less - Weigh less.

But, wait ---- if it's that easy ... why doesn't everyone do it? Or, why didn't I do it years ago??

Because - it's really not that simple. 

Food had a string attached straight from my stomach to my heart. It fed so much more than my body - it fed my emotions. So here's where it gets interesting - here's the stuff no one tells you about weight loss... it's not THE answer. Actually, not even close. 

You know what I mean --- you think to yourself, if I was only thin ... EVERYTHING would be better. Because, you work yourself into believing that your *weight* is your problem. 


Weight wasn't my problem - it was just a symptom - a side effect. Take away that - and then I had to actually start dealing with my real problems. My feelings of inadequacy - being a failure - low self esteem. 

I lost my weight and I took away my excuses. The excuse I used to not make friends - to resist chasing my dreams - to never go anywhere or put myself out there.

When I lost the excuse I had to start to deal with the *real* reasons I didn't make friends easily - didn't go after the jobs I really wanted - or be the *me* I fantasized about. I'm still working on dealing with the 'real' reasons - and most of them are about my paralyzing fear of being rejected - and criticized. (but, ironically enough I'm my own worst critic)

I had to learn how to step back and come to terms with who I was - and how amazing I am. (no really, I was really afraid to admit that I was amazing... do you know the kind of expectations you have for yourself when you admit that you're good looking, smart, funny, and AMAZING - typically I would insert a joke here because I'm so uncomfortable complementing and praising myself - but, I'm resisting.) So, now that I'm coming to terms with it - and I have these new expectations for myself ... I've also opened up myself to the possibility of failure. That's what I'm learning to cope with - that's the tough stuff.

I would like to tell you that I'm the same person I was a year ago - but, one quick glance at my life would tell a different tale. 

If possible, I'm the same - and completely different.

It's been so much harder than anything I expected - and I'm just so thankful that I have my husband with me for this journey. We have lots of counseling sessions with each other and we're the sounding board for all the crazy feelings that we never thought were coming. 

Yeah, weight loss success shocker - it's not all flowers and sunshine. It's a lot of crying and coping - it's a lot of side comments from uncomfortable friends/family (references about eating disorders - and 'you never eat') --- Which, not to go on a rant, but if you see me once in a blue moon and in the three hours that we're together I don't gorge on a cupcake or eat much in your company *doesn't* mean I don't eat. Come spend a couple days with me - and you'll see that this weight loss was hard fought with lots of fruit - veggies - and EATING. And, what's most disappointing is that those people cut themselves off from helping you cope - and they have NO idea.

More over - It's finding where you fit in. Because, you are different. 

It's coping with your loss - You've lost more than weight - 

You've lost that part of you that gives and gives and gives (without mutual reciprocation) because you don't believe that standing alone YOU have value enough. 

You've lost friends and confidants - because people don't know where they fit in now that you're not the fat one. Or, you make them feel self conscious --- or, heck I don't even know.

You've lost your best friend and most loved coping mechanism - food.

You've lost your favorite activity and probably what you and your significant other loved to do most. EAT. 

You've lost that part of you who didn't care about what they ate - and you know that is NEVER coming back. 

I'm realizing that part of my journey was (and still is) a mourning for all that I have lost. 

Then another part of my journey is the part where the phoenix rises from the ashes - the part where I emerge from the shadows as a beautiful, smart, confident, amazing WOMAN. 

The moment when 'I'm Every Woman' starts to play in my head as I walk down the steps rocking that size 6 dress from my Mom's closet (yep, that happened) - 

Or when I glance towards a reflection and don't realize that it's me looking back. 

Even when I go to grab a size small jacket confident I'm going to rip it in half - and I have room to spare

How about when we had our pictures taken and I loved how I looked in all of them - wait for it - I'm like, a knock out. No really. I think I might actually be - beautiful. 

Or when I catch my husband looking at me - in a way he hasn't looked at me in 10 years... my heart flutters. We're kids again - and I'm recommitted to keep this feeling for the. rest. of. my. life. 

When I get up - take a shower - do my hair - get dressed (with pretty underwear) - and I walk out the door feeling like I could take over the world. And, knowing I WILL. 

This journey has meant everything to me. All the tears - all the laughs - all the people who supported me - all those who told me that I would be fine after losing 50lbs (they're the fire to get me to 87 total pounds + !!) 

This is a reconfirmation that NOTHING is black and white. My life is completely, happily, amazingly --- lived in the gray. (perhaps even a little 50 shades style ... lol ok, too much info I know) What I mean, is that it's not perfect - but, I'm growing and learning. And, I'm going to do it as THE BEST POSSIBLE VERSION OF MYSELF.

There will be one more update - in 17lbs when I hit my goal. It might be in a couple months - or longer... but, when it happens. I'll come back with more of the WHY. 

Because you already know HOW. (and you know it) 

Now it's time to ask yourself - WHY.


  1. Omg....what an amazing post...and wow the courage to write all that, lots of self reflection, which I don't think is ever easy for anyone. I know I have already told you before but you are such an inspiration, even to me. keep it up girlfriend...p.s. I am so happy to have found you as a friend too :)

  2. Fabulous of you to share your personal story. You look amazing! Sometimes it only takes one voice to open one others ears. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Omg....what an amazing post...and wow the courage to write all that, lots of self reflection, which I don't think is ever easy for anyone. I know I have already told you before but you are such an inspiration, even to me. keep it up girlfriend...p.s. I am so happy to have found you as a friend too :)

  4. Nicole, what an inspiring and amazing honest post! Thank you for sharing your story. You are amazing and you are beautiful. Surround yourself with positive people who will support you for going for positive changes. You totally rock! Hugs.

  5. Knock out - yes. Courageous - yes. Awesome - OH, YES!

  6. Thanks for the inspiration, I needed to read this.

  7. Such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing on such a personal level all of the "other" stuff that makes losing weight difficult. Congratulations to you! You ARE amazing!

  8. Nicole, this is such a heartfelt and inspiring post....thank you so much for sharing. You are magnificent!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. I admire you and maybe, just maybe, if you can do it, maybe I can too. Even though 80 lbs seems like the impossible, maybe I can do it too. I'm not sure yet.

  10. A truly amazing and insightful journey, you are so brave for sharing it and for that I thank you. You are amazing!

  11. What an amazing heartfelt post! Thank you for being BRAVE enough to share yourself and your insecurities. YOU are an amazing person!!!

  12. GOOD FOR YOU!!! What a beautiful story!! All the Disney films start with the hardship and in the end the Princess emerges and lives happily ever after. Congrats to you NIcole ~ you deserve every bit of happiness coming your way .......... you did the work, now reap the rewards!!!

  13. Hi Nicole, new to your blog from Just Add Ink and thought I would take a look around your beautiful blog before posting about your card entry. Then I was over taken by your weight loss journey! I am in awe of you. To say that I'm not jealous would be a lie - I read all these weight loss achievements and I don't want to feel that way, but I do.
    I need to lose weight, it's an elephant in the room and I need to talk about it and I feel alone too sometimes. I am so glad you opened up and put it all out there for everyone to read about. What an inspiration. Thank you so much, I will keep you in my mind while I go on my own journey, knowing it's ok to lay it all out on the table. Keep up the great work - you ARE Ahhh - Mazing! Louise xxx


Thanks for taking a moment to say hi! --- Hello and thank you right back at-cha!