It is almost the end of Week 1 of Win, Lose, or Blog Season 4. It's a Friday and I am excited only because the weekend is here! However weekends are so deadly to me at times because they can literally UN-DO all the great work you achieved during the week. So with that after work today I plan to hit the gym, so I can have a good advantage for the weekend, other than working out on Saturday and Sunday as well. Just sayin'! ; )
So many of my friends and family have been following my weight loss journey the last couple of years (and I thank you for it). Without the support I wouldn't have made it this far. Earlier this week I changed my Facebook profile picture (and if you aren't FB friends with me YOU MUST add me, I promise I won't bite) to my current 14/16 self holding up my previous 26/28 self's dress.
I received so many compliments and I noticed a trend in the FB photo comments: "You are such an inspiration!" Whoa. Dude. Huge. Me? Inspiration? Back it up. I am just a really fat chick who needed to lose the weight. I am a regular person. Plain and simple. I am truly humbled by the compliment, but I have to say this: I am inspired by everyone in my life. I am inspired by my busy single mom friend Nicole trying to lose the baby weight she gained. I am inspired by my younger brother Paul dropping like 100 lbs to get off the same high blood pressure medication as my parents. I am inspired by my friend OBC buddy Kramer who is determined to get to goal weight while fighting off his inner quitting voice. My point is, inspiration is a two way street. I participated in WLB4 to inspire others, but more so have others inspire me to keep going with my own weight loss journey. So really, before I continue--THANK YOU! <3
Today's blog entry is dedicated to my dear friend Kramer. We always chat on G-chat while we are at work, sharing with each other how our weight loss journey is going. Think of it as an on-line weight loss support center but just the two of us. Haha. Anyways, yesterday he asked me: "Where is MY blog entry?" I said, "Whoa, buddy I am not feeling well. I am fighting off a cough. But hey, I'll let you choose the topic." Talk about engaging the blogging readers. What did he come up with?
CHANGES and LEARNING LESSONS: Mo's Weight Loss Journey
This is all for you Kramer...
When I think about how far I have come the last four years what keeps me going are MOments of inspiration and motivation. One of my favorites is:
"Your past does not equal, nor does it dictate, your future." -Anonymous
FFF Diva Mo at 320 lbs. in 2007
May 2007: 320 lbs. with friends from college, 22 years old
Four years ago I was 22 years old, 320 lbs, a size 28, and had severe obstructive Sleep Apnea. I had gained 124 lbs during the four years I was in college. I remember when I first started training with Ronny (my first personal trainer) he asked me for three reasons why I wante to lose weight. Oh man. I remember like it was yesterday. I seriously start tearing up when I think about it:
1. Sit comfortably in a roller coaster ride.
2. Get rid of my Sleep Apnea.
3. Not to be obese when I have kids.
I was able to accomplish the first two items within the first year of working out. The last item is still in progress (the weight as well as the kids). I don't plan to have kids until I am 30-ish years old. My point is I kept this list in the back of my mind AT ALL TIMES, especially when I felt like quitting. Having a goal other than a specific weight will help achieve success faster. I feel with a weight goal there is always this underlying pressure to succeed and if you don't reach that number you feel like a failure. Nobody likes to feel like a failure. No negative energy here!
Emotionally and mentally I was a wreck. I realized my weight gain was due to stress and emotional eating. For example within the first two years of working out with Ronny I lost a little over 80 lbs, but when my Lolo Doring (grandfather in Tagalog) got sick and almost died, within 6 months I gained half of the weight I lost AND two months before graduating for my MBA program in May 2009 I withdrew and took 6 months off. I was so unhappy because my grandfather was sick, I gained the weight back, and I wans't graduating with my master's degree. ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS DROWN MY FEELINGS IN FOOD: "Eat my feelings. Hmmm. Food is always there for me. He doesn't yell at me. He is always there to comfort me." WRONG MO! Luckily I started participating in a medical weight management program where I got to discuss my food triggers. For the next year it was like I was learning how to ride a bike all over again, but this time for good.
At this point I was 24 years old and just started getting back to my MBA program after my hiatus. At this point Lolo Doring is healthier and is back at home. Yay! However, it was time to be selfish again and focus on me and MY HEALTH. This is why I challenged myself and completed within less than a year my first 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon by my 25th birthday. It was tough, but I did it. Lots of training and I needed a strong support system but luckily I found that through my sister Leilani, my cousins, and my Operation Boot Camp family. I wanted to prove to myself that although I gained my weight back, I can still succeed and lose the rest of it again while adopting a new lifestyle: being a competitive running athlete!
FFF Diva Mo and actor Sean Astin at the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon
For more info: www.lamarathon.com
"Fantastic Maureen, you are no longer 320 lbs. however you are still living in your 250 lbs! What's up with that?" Yeah, that's why I needed to do activities to push myself further. I planned to lose the weight but I never planned on challenging my body to the brink of exhaustion through long endurance races, outdoor cardio boot camps, let alone mud obstacle courses. There are times, I think I am too crazy to do some of these activities. Why?! Although I have come so far, it's difficult to hoist all of my ham over a 5 foot something wooden wall during a mud obstacle course. Dude, it's tough and I have the bruises to prove it! I decided I wanted to challenge myself further because I started to feel comfortable at my weight. I needed to break through my plateau and I figured signing up for more challenging activities would be the way to go!
2011 5K Urban Scavenger Hunt in San Jose, CA
For more info: http://www.challengenation.com/
Big Sur Mud Run 2011 in Monterey, CA
For more info: http://www.bigsurmudrun.org/
THE RIPPLE EFFECT...
When I was 320 lbs I definitely was not happy. However, I also realized my weight DID NOT define who I was. A weight is just a number on the scale. If I was happy with my body or myself it shouldn't matter what the scale said RIGHT?! Essentially yes, however divas and divos at 22 years old I could barely walk up one flight of stairs. I am sorry but that is NOT sexy and NOT cute. I loved dancing and singing but was finding that since I was so heavy I had to really slow down on my activities because I didn't have enough energy. So I decided to dedicate myself (and still to this day I do) to creating a ripple effect of happiness.
How it works:
I will focus on losing my weight and in turn it will cause a ripple effect in everything else I do or want to achieve in life.
Lose weight -> more energy -> do actitivies/be social -> meet new people -> go on a date -> get married -> have kids -> be active with those kids -> healthier and longer life!
Okay, so maybe NOT exactly in that thought process but you get the point. It's the law of attraction! Positive energy attracts positive energy! Be selfish! Focus on your weight loss and your progress. You have only one life to live, SO LIVE IT!
FFF Diva Mo with OBC Instructor & Friend Alex, March 2011
DJ MOtastic and NickyP, Radio Co-hosts for "What's the T With NickyP" on www.radio.dominican.edu on Wednesdays from 3-5pm (you can download previous podcasts)
It comes down to a simple question: what do you want out of life, and what are you willing to do to get it?
Committed to health,
FFF Diva Mo