Five years ago, this was me. A more accurate portrayal would be showing me with a cigarette in my hand or with me layed out in a food-coma at home on the sofa in the dark.
It’s hard to write a post about what my life was like five years ago because it’s so insanely different than it is now that it’s hard to really express what it was like. Sometimes something will remind me and I’ll get little fragments of those feelings back and let me tell you, sometime they clobber me simply because the feelings back then are so astronomically different than they are now!
I’ll start with the most outwardly obvious part of the last five years and that was my weight loss. In September 2007 I joined Weight Watchers and through diet and exercise I lost around 85 pounds in 8 months. I say “around” because I think I probably weighed more than my “starting weight” in the weeks leading up to it. Plus, there is a certain amount of daily/weekly fluctuation that occurs. However, I have maintained my lowest weight within less than 10 pounds this entire time. So, 85 pounds lost. I won’t get into any real details on how I did it, suffice to say I counted “points” and taught myself how to jog. Obviously given what I know now about certain aspects of diet, macro nutrients, toxic food and chronic cardio, I would probably not completely endorse Weight Watchers & jogging however they definitely saved me from what I was becoming, of that I have absolutely no doubt!
What was I becoming? Nothing good. Not at all. I was so lost and so hurt inside and I didn’t know how or what to do about that so I just kept numbing myself with food. I’d go all day without eating anything at all and then I’d come home from work and binge (I don’t use that word lightly, the amount of “food” that I would take in at one time blows my mind now!) and fall into a food coma alone in the dark with the television on. I’d wake up at around 8:30, go out and smoke a few butts and then go to bed. Repeat the next day.
I’m not going to detail any of the stuff that really got me to where I was back in September 2007, you are MORE than welcome to go to my old blog and read to your heart’s content. It’s all laid out there in complete honesty. I was where I was and then I decided to change it. Looking back it’s hard to really put a finger on precisely how I found the drive and motivation and determination to make such an enormous shift in such a short period of time. But I did. And I am grateful every single day for the absolutely blessed life that I lead now.
I’m not stupid (and neither are you, especially if you’ve read this blog for awhile) and I’m not pretending that issues and struggles and difficulties don’t exist. But the reigning feeling is that I turned my life around and came to a very good place. I have a hubby that I am deeply in love with, who makes me laugh, who sets my heart racing when I see him unexpectedly. I’m enormously lucky to get that love back in return and to feel completely safe and secure in our relationship. Again, not to say that we don’t have our quirks and troubles because we most certainly do and I know I’ve outlined them here before. But those make up such a small percentage of our life (a high percentage of infuriating sometimes though!) that it would be wrong to allow them any bearing on this accounting of a wonderful relationship.
I have a toddler dog who is an angel and I could not love her more. We live in a nice house, we have happy and healthy (mostly) families and good friends. We have hobbies and interests both shared and separate. I get to go to bed every night and wake up every morning with my best friend.
I am physically, emotionally and mentally healthy, I am very happy with my physical appearance, I am even more happy with how I feel; my strength and overall fitness are better than they have ever been (and will only continue to improve over this winter).
I guess the entire gist of this 5-year celebratory post is gratitude. I have a nice life, I take good care of myself and my little family. I fill my time with things I love and balance it with self care. I did not have that before, not even a phantom of it. Life isn’t all puppy kisses and rainbows, I know that. But when I compare my life now to what I had back then, the sheer enormity of what I did hits me. The enormous amount of struggle and effort, sadness, frustration, depression, injury, illness, bleakness and blankness that I had to endure to get where I am now, it’s all mitigated by the end result. And the end result? Is a life worth living, worth sharing and celebrating and cheering for. The end result is a body and mind that works as it’s supposed to and can take me everywhere and anywhere that the future has planned.
So what’s different. Besides the fact that my life is different, what keeps me on the right path? Let’s look at then and now and then some pictures.
THEN: I smoked about a pack a day
NOW: Obv, I do not smoke!
THEN: I rarely got any exercise outside of walking from my car into a building
NOW: I get at least a 5km walk every day and normally I hit the gym a few times a week
THEN: I ate. Everything. Pizza, cakes, ice cream, chinese food, pasta, cheese, fast food of all sorts, candy, cookies, chips, pop, milk. You name it, I more than likely ate it. Almost no veggies at all.
NOW: I eat a lot. But no grains of any sort, no legumes, limited dairy, limited sugar. Mostly protein, good fat and veggies. Very occasional fruit, sometimes ice cream and often times wine.
THEN: I watched television from the moment I got through the door (or up in the morning) until the time I went to bed.
NOW: It rarely even occurs to me to turn on the television, I’m too busy with gardens and gym and dog and house, cooking and books and blogs. In the last three weeks I’ve turned on the TV once.
THEN: I never had anything to do and nothing to look forward to.
NOW: I have a full life that requires an ever present date book. And if there’s nothing good on the horizon to look forward to? I create something!
Life is definitely different. Five years can make a world of difference. On this anniversary of grabbing my life back from a black abyss, I’m going to spend some time thinking about what I want from the next five years. I could never have predicted how my life would look today, that day I decided that things had to change. But everything I’d dreamt of has come true in some way or another.
This post is retardedly long at this point so I’m going to end with some pictures. I had done this photo collage back in April 2008. The big question mark was an unknown. Five years later I guess I know!