July 21, 2012

Photographs- a lesson from WW

Working my way to becoming a leader at Weight Watchers has been so fun and exciting!  One thing they ask you to think about is your story and why you joined WW, what motivated you to finally be successful.  It took me a while to figure out what it was that really got me started at WW besides wanting to lose weight.  So many have a bad visit to the doctor, or a pant size they don't want to fit into (or can't fit into anymore)-something dramatic like that...I just couldn't think of any.  I mean I remember when I signed up very clearly, it was March of 2010.  Brian was still laid up with his broken leg...I think that may have been some of the motivation, just needing to get out of the house for a little bit of me time.  (No worries, Brian, you couldn't help it!)
But when I was looking for my before picture I was reminded very quickly why I joined WW.  I remember before I joined how I would hate getting pictures taken and ask Brian or whoever was taking the pictures to take another...and another...and another.  But alas, no matter how I turned or smiled or tried to get my "good side" I hated every picture.  And this bothered me so much because I wanted my pictures taken with my new baby (Aaron was only 4 months old), and my adorable family.  Seeing those pictures and cringing every time I posted one was what truly motivated me to lose weight.
I still remember some pictures that we took a few months after I joined WW and thinking, wow, I look a lot better than I used to in pictures.  I knew I wasn't where I wanted to be but I was starting to enjoy seeing myself in a few pictures.
(15 lbs lost)
And I very vividly remember last November at Brian's aunt's wedding, going into the photo booth and having a riot with the camera.  When we got home that night...or maybe the next morning...I remember looking at that print out and not thinking one negative thing about myself.   Now, typing this I realize this all sounds very shallow but it is what motivated me strongly on top of getting healthier and having a longer life expectancy. I wish I had a digital copy of the photos from that wedding but I still have those pictures hanging in my bathroom where I see them every morning.  And when I see them, I am reminded that it's okay to feel good about yourself and the way you look.  That is a new thing for me.  I was very ashamed of how I looked and was not able to let my personality come out.  Now I feel free to be me (thinking of a song...) and am so happy this way.  
Here are a few other pictures along the way of my weight loss journey...

This last one was just taken recently by my oldest and I love it!  What a feeling to be able to finally show my personality in my photos.  I am so grateful to WW for helping me find Tiffany back.  

If you are reading this and can relate...please do not be afraid to talk to me!  I love what I do especially when I get to see others be successful and become the amazing people God intended them to be without being weighted down with all the extra "weight!"  

April 22, 2012

Body Image Recheck

Two weeks ago I hit my WW goal.  It is a fantastic feeling.  I have worked very hard to get to this point and am very proud of myself for sticking to it for two years and learning how to eat all over again.
Things have been going well with maintenance.  It's taking some getting used to not to have the mindset that I need to be losing weight, but also realizing that I cannot eat the way I did prior to WW.  Duh, right?  But it is something so new for me that it is taking some getting used to.

Anyway, about the title of this post...
Friday my girlfriend Whitney and I went on a well deserved shopping spree to the Tanger Outlets in Howell.   It was so fun to have a day where we could just shop, try on as many things as we wanted to, and just be ourselves.  Not that we aren't ourselves everyday but when we have our kids (whom we wouldn't trade for anything) with us, we don't get to talk uninterrupted or just try on something because we want to see what it looks like on.  Needless to say, it was fantastic!  One store, we made such a mess out of the changing area, I was embarrassed to give the lady our pile of unwanteds!  But we got some great deals, so fun workout clothes to teach Zumba in, and some awesome clothes.
The best part of the day for me though was actually seeing myself in a full length mirror, in clothes that fit my body.  I realized a few things about myself.  In one of the first stores we were in, I said to Whitney, "Wow, I have a really athletic body."  Her answer was, "Yeah, duh. You work out everyday, what do you expect."  What did I expect?  I still see myself 60lbs heavier.  When I get dressed in the morning, I only see the parts of my body that I still don't like.  I don't ever look at my arms, except when they are too big for a shirt.  And I haven't really seen my legs in a while since we don't have a full length mirror.  So to see myself in shorts, or tank tops was a shock to me.  Now I'm not trying to say that I have a fantastic body, but I am okay with my body now.  For me, I have a fantastic body, one that I am not used to seeing but have worked super hard to get.  It was also motivating to me to keep up the workouts that I have been doing.

Here is a pic of me in my new dress from Friday, feeling strong and successful!
My next path seems to be leading me to being a WW leader and a workout instructor.  Friday allowed me to see that I have the body to match that career.  It was reassuring to me.  I hope this post doesn't sound too narcissistic.  I'm not trying to brag at all.  It makes me wonder how many of us, especially women, are plagued by a faulty body image.
Remember, your body is a temple of God, he created you to be beautiful and loves everything about you!

March 31, 2012

The two year journey-lessons from Habakkuk

First I apologize for this post being a few days late.  It actually worked out perfect though because today is my two year anniversary of starting Weight Watchers.  Two years ago, I had had enough of feeling rotten.  I was not happy with the way I looked and assumed that going to WW would help improve my self confidence and make me look hot. Little did I know that the next two years would be about so much more than my appearance.  
It seems so foolish to me that the reason I started WW was to "look better."  I have learned so much more in these two years that "looking good" is near the end of my list of reasons why I'm still a member of WW.  Weight watchers has taught me a lot about eating healthy and exercising, but I really needed to look inside myself and look to God for the real answers as to why I was overweight.  Like I said in the previous post, I am addicted to food, or addicted to eating.  Food is not the enemy, my enemy-the devil- just knows that food is an easy temptation for me.  But over the past two years with lots of prayers, Bible studies, friends, triumphs and bumps, I am right on the edge of overcoming.  I am a few pounds from my goal, which is fantastic, but is not my final goal.  My non-scale goal is to be able to use food for what God made it for, not when I'm needing something other than nourishment.

I talked before that I was getting depressed that this journey has taken so long.  I even calculated how much money we have spent on WW from my monthly dues.  Let me tell you, it was enough to make me mad.  A beautiful fellow WW has lost 80lbs in one year and was talking about how she was mad that it had taken so long.  I held my tongue but inside I was raging.  I was mad at God for letting it take so long.  Two years was enough!  If anything I just want to be able to have my $40 a month going toward something else...

Then while doing my devotions one morning I came across this passage from Habakkuk.  Yes Habakkuk!  I've been reading The Purpose Driven Life and the title for that day was, "There are no shortcuts to maturity." Thanks God, just what I wanted to read.  But I kept reading and here is what I read from the tiny book of Habakkuk.  "These things I plan won't happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient.  They will not be overdue a single day!" Habakkuk 2:3

Don't you love it when God throws a verse like that at you.  Right when I was mad at God, he gave me this beautiful verse.  It made me cry, and still gets to me how he timed that.  My Father put me in his lap and reassured me that my success would not be overdue.  I will be successful, and I can't do it without God.

So, here I sit, my goal in clear view, waiting patiently for God to get me there.  Waiting...not just sitting around, as we are reminded many times in Scripture, but I have hope and can't wait to see how God will use this two year journey to impact others.  Thanks for all who have encouraged me so far!  I truly cherish every thought!

March 28, 2012

A new identity: Hello, my name is Tiffany and I'm addicted to food

Putting all jokes aside, this really has become my new identity.  Many many factors have led me to see that I have an addiction as serious as alcoholism or gambling.  The "problem" was that my addiction is one that is socially acceptable, totally misunderstood, and hard to diagnose.  Who knew that 5 years ago when we joined Evergreen Ministries, that I would gain as much from the recovery aspect as I have and am still gaining?  I am an addict, and I can now freely admit it.  Admitting I have a problem is the first step, right?  Granted I am not going through the 12 steps yet, but that may be something that I do in the future to help me understand more of how to give God control.  Right now, I am feeling confident that I have a handle on my addiction.

How do I know I am addicted? Here is the definition from merriam-webster.com of addiction-
 compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal;broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

Having a food addiction is tricky because I am addicted to something I need to have to survive.  Granted, the foods that I have problems with are things that were making me sick, not nourishing me.  Things like candy bars (I would buy one every time I checked out at the store), fast food (any time I had extra cash in my purse I ran through the drive thru), and packaged snacks (many times I have eaten a whole package of cookies).  I had to learn that food is for nourishment.  Let me say that again.  I HAD TO LEARN THAT FOOD IS FOR NOURISHMENT.  Food is not for a stress reliever. Food is not for celebrating.  Food is not for comfort.  Food is not an entertainer when I am bored.  I was compulsive with my eating and out of control.  

The end of the definition gets to me..."of a substance known by the user to be harmful."  The problem for me and for many others struggling with weight is we don't get it!  We don't get how harmful food can be.  It's food, for crying out loud!  But by taking these things out of my life, I realize now how much better I feel, and more importantly, how horrible I feel when I do eat those things that are not beneficial to me.  Not just physically ill, but also mentally and spiritually.  The physical part has only recently started affecting me, since I have only recently become aware that I can't even have certain foods occasionally.  I get physically ill and lethargic when I eat too much "junk". That tells me that I have only just begun conquering this addiction.  

This all leads to my next post, which I will save for tomorrow because it's a long one.  But I'll give you a snippet of it.  This weekend marks my 2 year "anniversary" of starting Weight Watchers.  A couple of weeks ago I was very depressed that it has taken me this long to get to where I want to be physically.  But I have had some revelations in the past few weeks that have shown me why it has taken me so long.  Stay tuned for tomorrow!

March 12, 2012

new specs!

I just got my new glasses in the mail!  I love them, all three pairs! And the best part is that I paid only $32.80 for all three pairs.  What?  Yes it's true, check out www.zennioptical.com.  I owe thanks to Lori Schrader for letting me in on this great website!  Brian has had two pairs from them and loves them.  All you need is your prescription from your doctor and the fun begins.  I uploaded a picture of myself to "try on" the glasses before I bought them and I think I did great.  Here's what they look like!

An ode to Sally Jesse...a little more modern though!

This is my favorite pair!

Oh yeah, I got sunglasses too!  With cute little bows!

February 29, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I've seen other friends do a post like this and thought it would be fun.  Here are a few things I'm loving today!
 #1 Wearing pants in a smaller size than what I wore in high school
 #2 Snuggling with my adorable nephew (don't you love his hair!)
#3 Being on day 66 of my 90 day workout plan.  I have NEVER stuck to something like this for this long!  And the best part is that in 66 days I have lost 11 inches!

What are you loving today?

February 24, 2012

You are Not an Accident

For the season of Lent, I am reading through The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.  I have had this book for many years and have yet to successfully read through the whole thing in 40 days.  Yesterdays reading really struck a nerve with me.  I distinctly remember reading this day previously and wanted to share with you one of Pastor Warren's most meaningful thoughts to me, on living life with a purpose.  Day Two is titled "You Are Not an Accident."  Now for me this has a little humor to it because I kind of was an accident, or as my parents say, an unexpected surprise.  But I know that God had and has big plans for me so it wasn't an accident.  But here is what Pastor Warren has to say about our origin.
"God had a plan creating you.  God know that those two individuals (your parents) possessed exactly the right genetic makeup to create the custom "you" he had in mind.  They had the DNA God wanted to make you."
That is so cool to think about our lives and our origin that way.  I am thankful for my parents, but regardless of who they are and how they raised me, God hand picked them out for me before he created the world.  And he hand-picked out yours too!  I know many people who don't know their parents, or have strained or no relationship with their parents, but in the midst of all of this; it's refreshing to know that no matter your relationship, God picked those two people to make you!  And I am so thankful he did!
"I am your creator.  You were in my care even before you were born." Isaiah 44:2.

On a different note, I'm really really close to my goal...keep watching to see my progress!  My goal is not only a number on the scale, but also being in control with food and using it for nourishment instead of all the other crazy things I use it for (stress, success, boredom, etc.)