it's always me

skinny face in the bright november sun.
On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I left the house for an afternoon date to Starbucks. We had talked about taking the dogs on a walk or going to a local nature park, but coffee, Wi-Fi, and reading outside all sounded better.

I've somehow lost the pound I regained in the midst of the holiday festivities. It's more of a miracle than anything else because I have spent more time on the couch over the four-day weekend than I have moving around.

I have considered exercising - every single day. But the more the hours tick by the less likely I am to head to the gym or leash up a dog for a walk. Thursday was a fluke as I took two walks - one with a dog and one without.

During the work week, it's easier. I do my best to head to the gym before 5pm and fit in a sweat session. Then I'll, on most days, make my way to my second job. Of course, I'm not sure how much good those sweat sessions do as I tend to graze a bit more than I might at home.

Not that I don't graze at home. Because I do. That seems to be my biggest problem of late: staying beneath the calorie goal. It is just so much easier to hit it exactly or go over it just a tad.

Obviously it's not working. My little (and sometimes not so little) cheats are keeping me right at a solid weight of 220. It's not my ideal weight but at least I know I can maintain.

Going into this next week, and the quickly approaching Christmas season, I have to figure this out. Drinking water helps. I know that. Little meals throughout the day help until I get to the evening hours. That's when the little meals don't help so much. They are what often lead to the calorie increases.

what a 45-pound loss looks like
Weight loss isn't impossible. I need only to read some of my favorite blogs to know that. So many other people - some with more weight to lose than I - have done this without a personal trainer and without leaving behind their daily lives to join the cast of The Biggest Loser. And a lot of people have done it with just as much on their plates as I have. There are a few who probably have more on their plates than I do.

I do wonder how. How do people get up in the mornings and go to the gym? How do people go out to eat and always say no to the much more delicious cheeseburger? Sometimes it seems like there's some sort of secret that I just don't know.

That's not true, though. There is no real secret. When I tell people I've lost 45 pounds so far, they almost always congratulate me and then ask me how. I always say it is about diet and exercise. And it truly is. That's the best way to drop weight. A lot of the people chuckle and agree. And then they say they can't do it. They're just too busy.

I've been that way a lot throughout this journey. I think that is one of the many reasons it's taken me so much longer than I planned. I wanted to lose all the weight in a year, but my year has come and gone and I am still not even halfway there.

That's okay though. It takes longer for everyone. I just have to remember why I started and that gives me so much strength to continue on.
throwback to college. 2005.
My why is simple and complex. It's simple because really why wouldn't I want to lose the weight. But it's also complex because for so much of my life I have been the bigger girl. The one who couldn't shop where her friends did. The one who talked about boys like they were my boyfriend so I could fit in even though everyone knew they were really just my friends.

I don't believe in feeling sorry for myself. Those years I spent being a bigger girl have made me who I am. I was blessed enough to find someone who saw me for me. Who has loved me for over four years and who has stood by my side as I have gained weight and lost weight. Someone who sees me as more than just a number on a scale.

engagement pictures in 2008
I spent so much time being ashamed. So much time hiding "my number." So much time denying how much I really weighed and just how unhealthy I was. That's quite possibly one of the reasons I am still working to lose the weight. A part of me now still has a hard time believing I was ever that big. But all I have to do is pull up old pictures to see the truth. It's one of the reasons I stopped taking pictures for so long. Years of my life are barely documented because I was ashamed of how I looked in pictures. I could deny the weight when I looked in the mirror but not when I looked at the camera.

I started to put on most of the weight between 2009 and 2010. Those were very hard years for me.

a rare picture from 2009 at a friend's wedding
I was married, living in a house that needed a lot more work than we could afford, and working a job that I both loved and hated. A job that kept me on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for very little money.

When I left that job in early 2010, it took me over a year to move on. A year to not jump every time the phone rang. A year to feel like I had my life back. Over a year to realize what was happening and how I would handle it all.

Sometimes I still feel like I am back in 2010. I am constantly looking for balance and relearning how to live a healthy life in the midst of working and building a house and being married. But I am in a much better place than I was in 2010.

Honestly healthiness is hard. It's hard to eat tuna fish and crackers instead of ordering off a menu at a restaurant. It's hard to drink water instead of a delicious diet coke. But looking back at these pictures reminds me of how hard it is to be unhealthy and also unhappy.

I spent time by myself Sunday morning and thought about where I am right now. I meditated for a while on where God is calling me and what I need to do with where I am. He reminded me of a story out of Numbers where in He communicates with the Israelites by covering their camp and uncovering their camp with a cloud. The cloud's presence, or lack thereof, tells them when they are to stay and when they are to move (Numbers 9:15-23).

I didn't get the clear answer I wanted. But I wasn't really surprised by that. God likes to be mysterious, and He likes to take His time to communicate. His timing is always best, after all. 

an even rarer 2010 picture
He did remind me, though, of where I am and how I got here. He reminded me of how He brought my jobs to me. And He reminded me of this blog and how important it is. That also reminded me of how important my health is and took me on this trip down memory lane.

I'll get to where I want to be weight wise. I know that. And I know I need to be more serious about it and put myself first. I also know He will take me where it is He wants me to go in His own time.

Looking at pictures of myself from the past few years is hard, but going back to the weight I was would be even harder. So I take that as one of my many reasons why. 

I will never be 265 pounds again.

I will never have a huge double chin again.

I will never wear a clothing size that starts with a 2 again.

Soon, I will never shop at or wear clothes from Lane Bryant again.

I will never have to buy plus-size clothes again.

I will never be so unhealthy because I eat nothing but fried foods again.

I will never be the fat girl again (though I know I may always carry her inside of me).

I also know that I am not my weight. That does not define who I am, what I do, or what I mean to people - even if other people dictate who I am by how I look and what the scale says.

I am going to fight to be healthy, fight to lose the weight, fight to regain who I am outside of my clothing size and number on the scale. And I am going to wait until God tells me to move. I am gong to stay the course with blogging. I am going to love on as many kids as I can, and I am going to build an amazing life with my husband.

When it's time to move on from jobs or blogging, God will let me know just as He let the Israelites know. Until then it is time for me to press on, push myself and lean into Him like never before.

(title from "save me" by ingrid michaelson)


  1. what an incredibly powerful post. sounds like many of the answers you seek are already waiting for you in your own story, your own journey. when I paddled on a canoe team and was determined to contribute, despite my age and starting weight/ physical shape, I would tell myself, I could have anything I wanted "later" if I didn't want to go to the gym the next day, or work out again "later" I didn't have to and somehow that would make getting it done that one time right then a whole lot easier. If I wanted a burger later I could have it and eating healthier in that one moment suddenly became possible. Sometimes I would get the burger later, esp. at certain times during the month, but more often than not I just needed to know I wasn't denied anything. maybe, this might help esp. with those evening cravings.


    Stopping by to follow ya from the Monday link up. How sweet it is to discover another beautiful blogging voice. We are riding the wave of life at Local Sugar Hawaii and I would so love it if you'd join us for the fun. The door is always open for ya, stop by anytime, if you please.


  2. That post was amazing Leslie! I read and could just hear your passion and relate SO much to the words you are saying and trying to find balance. It's so hard to look back at our "old us" photos and where we still have to go. I loved what you said about it being hard to stay where you were at, that is SO true, so often we say it's too much to change well honestly it's too much not to change it's honestly harder to stay fat than it is to be skinny. After I lost over 100lbs almost 3 years ago I would tell people losing the weight was not the hardest part it's the staying there maintaining and making healthy choices that is hard, like you said sitting and not ordering pizza with your loved ones or bringing grapes to a movie over popcorn(one time I even brought tuna) haha. But anyways your doing awesome and I am inspired by you and your honesty and as well trying to find balance and accept that I will never be where I was. I don't have it on my blog now but am doing a post on it tmorrow, but I was once 309lbs and now am 102lbs lighter but still 62lbs from my goal and it's hard not to think of the old me but I know I am not that and God doesn't see me there either and it's time to realize that and embrace the changes.

    Hope you have a wonderful week! Keep up the awesome work!



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