Reflections Of The Way Life Used To Be

(song: Reflections/artist: The Supremes)

Hello blogoshpere! What a year it's been for this Formerly Fat Mom! 

In case you've just discovered my blog, I'll sum it up for you: In February 2011 I was selected to be part of  a test-group for an at-home fitness DVD program called Brazil Butt Lift® . During the test-group I lost almost 30 pounds and transformed my body. I also appeared in an infomercial for Brazil Butt Lift®, which began airing in November 2011. Check your local listings...

I started 2011 like this:
January 2011 - New guitar. Old spare tire.

I ended 2011 like this:
December 2011 - C'mon, ANY excuse to post a picture of myself as slutty Mrs. Claus!
In the six months since I completed the test-group for Brazil Butt Lift® (it still makes me laugh too) I've learned (still learning) so much about myself. Most importantly, that being human is okay! I really learned that on Christmas Day, when I binged on so many sweets that I spent an hour barfing my brains out. I think (hope) that was my sugar addiction rock-bottom, but if I relapse again, I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm just going to, well, clean the bathroom, then get right back into my routine of good eating and exercise. My body may reject the overload of crap food, but my mind still has some catching up to do...

My experience this year taught me that I am so much stronger - mentally and physically - than I ever gave myself credit for. At one time in my life, I weighed 193 pounds and wore a size 16. I never imagined I'd someday be wearing a size 6 and weigh 138 pounds. Now, I never imagine my life without exercise and proper nutrition. Sure, I was given a gift this year when I got selected for the test-group, but you don't need a test-group to change your body or your life. Long before the test-group, I started on my own, in my house, just me and a set of DVDs and the determination to end the self-inflicted cycle of yo-yo dieting and self-loathing. I had no trainer, no nutritionist. Just good old-fashioned will-power and determination. 

It is possible for ANYONE to do this. You can change your body, your life, your mind. It's hard. SO DAMN HARD. But it's completely possible and I promise you, that when you make the decision to end the cycle of bad choices in your life, it will awaken your spirit, and everything else will fall into place. Everything is connected; obesity, debt, depression, addictions. I'm not saying you're fat because you're in debt. I'm saying these things are cyclical. For much of my young-adult life, I never believed I was worthy of love or success. I made self-destructive choices with money, relationships, food, alcohol and drugs. At 23-years-old, I was thousands of dollars in debt and unemployed. I finally contacted a debt-counseling service, which helped me slowly crawl my way out of debt. I began seeing a therapist, got new a job, made new friends, then met my future husband. When I chose to focus on my debt issue, other issues began to resolve themselves, and  my life got a lot better. Though, I still struggled with depression and low self-esteem, which mostly manifested itself in the form of binge-eating and drinking.

1999 - Train wreck party girl

In the winter of 2009 I was the fattest I'd ever been, depressed and (felt) completely alone. I hated myself. I hated my body. I couldn't imagine that my husband or anyone else found me attractive, because I believed I was disgusting.  Something had to change. This time, I chose to focus on my body issue. Three years later, I have begun to love myself. How I feel about myself now is reflected in the food choices I make, the friends that I have, the activities I choose. I'm overwhelmingly happy most days. I'm a better mother, wife and daughter. I'm a much better ME. And none of this would have happened if I hadn't made a choice to begin exercising. 

Change won't and shouldn't, happen over-night. You can't have long-term success if you're setting short-term goals. BE PATIENT! If you live to be 90, the three years it might take to lose weight will seem like nothing. If you really want to get healthy, you have to be ready to put in the time and focus on the long-run -- not fitting into a bikini in four months. You probably will reach your bikini goal, but I guarantee you'll be right back in your big-girl swim dress next year if you don't also incorporate self-reflection and long-term behavior changes.
Do you really want to wear this?

Losing weight and getting fit were a small part of this awesome year. Because I started to believe in myself, I radiated positivity and met some incredible people. I developed a network of supportive  friends and acquaintances that share my enthusiasm and believe in me, as I do in them. I'm learning to let go of negative feelings and to stop seeking the approval of people that don't support or like me. I am also inspiring people. My own mom lost THIRTY pounds this year! She's 67-years-old! She's lost weight before, but the difference now is, she EXERCISES. She finally gets that you can't maintain a fit body, simply by eating less. You have to move! I'm so proud of you mom! (It may have helped that I shamed her in this post..)

As I look forward to 2012, I am so excited about the possibilities. I plan to continue with Leandro's program since I still have a lot of cellulite and skin-sag on my thighs. And Leandro is after all, THE BUTT MASTER, so I am going to do his workouts till I die. No one can really tell me if my skin will regain it's elasticity, so I've decided to be a one-woman test-group and find out. It's not like I look like one of those really obese people that lost 200 pounds and has mounds of flesh that need to be surgically removed. What I have is mild, but it bugs me. I hate the way my thigh droops to floor when I'm in a plank position, because I know it's more skin than fat. The same goes for my lower-belly. I've developed some great abs, but I've got a skin-flap. It's like my body is a size 6, but my skin is a size 8. So, I am giving it a full year. I will devote 2012 to continual toning and maintenance of my weight-loss. If I still have a skin suit that's a little bigger than my muscle suit, then I may have to start my plastic surgery blog...
No this isn't me, and mine isn't this bad, but you get the point right?

2012 will also mark the beginning of my journey to a career in fitness. I'm actually sort-of hyperventilating as I write this because I'm still the queen of self-doubt and part of me is convinced I'll fail and I really don't have an answer for what "career in fitness" means to me and I'm so scared of failing...or succeeding...or both but now I just wrote it down and it's on the internet so I have to do it. ACK!!

I am also developing a website! Okay, "developing" is a strong word, but I did buy a domain name and WILL BE developing a website, which will have my blog posts, exercise tips, recipes...what have you. And it will of course have updates throughout the year so you'll know if I've fallen off the wagon, which I won't, well maybe sometimes, but the point is, I'll be honest about it. I'll always be honest about my downs, because that is the only way I'll stay healthy forever. I'm human. I'll falter. I'll forgive myself and move on.

So that's a wrap for 2011! Thanks for reading my blog. Thanks for all the positive comments. 
If you're feeling like I was in January of 2009 or in 1999, please know that life can and will get better. Just take one small step today. Tomorrow will be a little easier. I promise, you can do it. You can do it. Just believe. You can do it.

Have a happy and HEALTHY New Year!