Confidence…smofidence. Be mine!

My ex partner (who is now my best friend) and I were having a discussion earlier about my self-confidence issues and the way they affect my romantic relationships.

I am beginning to grow more and more comfortable in my own skin. Sometimes, however, I feel like I’m in between stages. I am SOOOO happy to have lost the weight that I have, and I feel sexier in my clothes. But, I still have so much left to lose, and I look forward and can see myself thin. I know that there are only a few people on this earth who look in the mirror naked and LOVE what they see. We are all socially conditioned to hate our bodies by the media and pop culture. So, when I am intimate with someone I have a difficult time allowing myself to believe they are truly attracted to my body even if all the signs are in place that they are. I hesitate when there is too much light in the room, I hide under blankets or don’t allow my clothing to be removed.

While there are other things (obviously some trust issues caused by previous experiences)  that make relationship difficult for me, I honestly believe this issue is the one that presents the most negativity. If I don’t feel attractive or sexy, then how can I believe that someone else does? And if I don’t believe what they say in that regard, then I can’t believe that their feelings for me are real, either. Ultimately, I end up with animosity and distrust for their feelings or intentions, no matter how genuine or legitimate they may be.

This is something I am working on daily. I know I can conquer this thing, just like I’ve conquered the rest of it.  I just have to make sure my mind is healthy and happy.

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Happy…what’s that?

Happiness is:

-waking up in the morning and looking at myself in the mirror and for the first time in 10+ years feel PLEASED by what I see.

-going on a 30 min run/walk in the neighborhood and coming home with only minimal discomfort in my knee.

-climbing 2 flights of stairs without getting out of breath.

-actually believing it when someone says I look beautiful, not thinking they were just saying it.

-believing that I can actually accomplish what I start.

-wearing shorts in public for the first time in 10 years.

-being free of addictive substances for 20 days. (in my case alcohol and cigarettes and junk food/fast food)

-realizing that I am strong. Physically and mentally.

-finally feeling attractive.

-sitting in any chair I want to.

-crossing my legs like a lady.

-BREATHING!

-having friends and family that have stuck by me through all of it. They listen to me complain, brag, grunt, gush, and still continue to come around.

-Being able to get my story out into the world.

-having a great home, a great job, and a life that allows me to concentrate 100% on my health.

-having someone ask me for help with their work out. Me….they want ME TO GIVE THEM POINTERS!!!!!

-feeling like I have a long life in front of me, instead of feeling like I’ll die in the next 10 years from heart disease.

-picturing my life and feeling good about it.

I’m not a hater.

A few days ago I received an email from an individual who was, let’s say, less than pleased about how public I am being with my journey. I’d like to explain a few things here that may clear up some confusion. After this I won’t address these types of hate mail again.

Please understand that the purpose of this blog is to tell my story in a way that will hopefully motivate people to take positive steps in their lives to be healthier. If you are at a place in your life where you are healthy and/or comfortable with your weight or level of activity then I am so happy for you! Congratulations. I, however, was not/am not yet at that place. This is MY journey. If reading what I type makes you feel like I am pushing my weight loss on you, please….stop following my blog, delete my facebook and do not watch my you tube videos. This is 100% of my focus/purpose in life right now. Therefore, I WILL talk about it constantly, I WILL go on and on about what I’m eating or what I did at the gym yesterday. I WILL brag about my 460lb leg press, I WILL complain about how I wish I could do that 5k next month but my knees won’t let me. I WILL do this constantly, I PROMISE. So, if that bothers you, than you may want to excuse yourself from this/from me. Further, I am making this so public so that others may use the knowledge that I have acquired if they so choose. You will never hear me say that my way works for everyone, never once will I say you MUST do this to be happy. I WISH that I could have found happiness even at my most overweight, I could not. ME, MYSELF could not.

I do not hate overweight people. I do not think that all overweight people have low self-esteem. I do not think that weight loss is REQUIRED to be happy. I DO KNOW that obesity is the leading cause of many MANY diseases. I DO KNOW that losing weight helps reduce the possibility of death as a result of one of these diseases. I WILL NOT support obesity. I WILL NOT say that being obese is healthy. I DO NOT believe you can live a long life >100lbs overweight and be healthy. It is impossible. Your heart/lungs/joints/kidneys/muscles were NOT created to support/maintain such weight.

HOWEVER, none of these statements say that I equate overweight with unattractive. I believe that people are beautiful at all shapes and sizes. I can look at so many of my friends and not see a number on a scale. However, if I see a friend unable to pick her/himself up off of a chair; If I see a friend staying home because walking to/from their car is too difficult; If I see a friend gasping for breath after walking 15 feet I WILL NOT tell them that this is okay. The are beautiful, yes, they are amazing, yes, they are WONDERFUL AND SEXY AND POWERFUL. BUT THEY ARE NOT HEALTHY!!! I am NOT advocating only weight loss. If you are 400 lbs and can do everything you need to do and are healthy without high blood pressure or diabetes or breathing problems than you are AWESOME!!!  I, however, was sick and weak and NEEDED to change. And I am going to continue to be public with this journey because others may need my words to start their change.

So, there.

A day in the life…..

A few days ago I posted the diet James designed for me. I have to say that after much confusion and a few days of feeling like I was going to die, I’m feeling SO GREAT about it. At first I read 6 oz of chicken and that’s all I had….just the chicken. Then, I realized: Most herbs and seasonings have 0 calories, 0 carbs and green veggies are FREE so WHYYYYY am I boring myself to death???? I learned how to cook things that tasted AMAZING while still adhering to the caloric deficit he wants for me. So, let me walk you through a day in the life of Candace (because I know you are really anxious to know what it’s like).

Yesterday:

5:30am- Wake up time (I know! It’s HORRIBLE and should be illegal to get up that early.)

6:00am- Get to work. (I really should eat breakfast BEFORE I begin, but my body isn’t even awake at that time.)

7:30ish- Breakfast 1/2 cup cottage cheese  with 1/2 cup of grapes. (My fave fruit with cottage cheese is banana or grapes)

11:00ish- 2nd meal: 1/4 lb tilapia with sautéed onion, garlic and cilantro and lemon pepper and 1/2 cup long grain brown rice.

2:30ish-3rd meal: Banana cream protein powder mixed with water. 16 all natural roasted almonds.

3:45- Kick My Butt training session with James. This workout included 460lb leg press (2 sets of 12 reps) SEE MY YOUTUBE VIDEO!!!!!

5:00ish 4th meal: 1 egg and 1/2 cup egg whites with toasted sandwich thin  (http://www.oroweat.com/thins/)

7:00ish- Took the roommate to the gym and walked her through a workout. I LOVE kicking her butt!!!! (Sort of a free training session!)

8:30ish 5th meal: 8oz ground turkey made into meat balls with tomato and basil….along with a plentiful amount of squash and zucchini.

 

As you can see I am eating ALLLL DAYYYYYY and only feel hungry after one of the carb heavy meals. This is quickly quieted with a large glass of Crystal Light (my fave is Raspberry Lemonade) or water.

Please do not be under the impression that this is easy for me. I have a really hard time at night. After my last meal before I go to bed I want cake, cookies, ice cream, taco bell, fried chicken, or pizza. I usually settle for a pickle. Lol…..also have a hard time at work because I am nurse, family members are always bringing in cookies or candy or something. I have to walk by with a “no, thank you.” I’m wondering how long it will be until someone brings in a veggie tray for me instead!!!!

Shall I post a sign?

I’m a BEAST!!!!

In my first entry, I talked about how it has taken a lot of work for me to believe I’m strong. I honestly had no idea in the beginning. I viewed myself as weak. My body was destroyed. High blood pressure had me dizzy and tired all the time, I have horrible ankles, disintegrated knees. All of this gave me an excuse to sit there and be miserable.  I had no interest or desire because I didn’t believe I had the ability. I was “content” to sit on the couch and watch every weight loss show and cry. I would cry because I knew how they felt, cry because I wished I could be them, wished I could have that opportunity.James and I were talking about how some people apply season after season to be on a weight loss show and just get more and more overweight while they wait. Well guess what ladies and gents YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT!!!! This is SOOOOOO cliche but I’m going to say it anyway: If I can do this, I swear ANYONE can do this. Embrace that strength! Your body, everyone’s body was DESIGNED to be strong, happy, healthy. You just have to believe it. It is honestly almost all mental.

I still struggle to believe in my own strength even after a year of doing this.  I need reassurance, and James tells me all the time “You really underestimate how athletic you are now.” I can’t see that word in the same sentence as my name. “Candace is athletic.” WHAT????? No, way! I guess I kinda am, though.

Every day my trainer helps me see how strong I am. I have so much power, in ways I never imagined possible. I am so proud to show y’all this video, I remember starting my leg presses at just the sled, now 460lbs SERIOUSLY??

WOW!!!!

 

Changes Continued….

2) Another thing I am dealing with emotionally that I was not prepared for is how I feel about other overweight people, even those I don’t know. It seriously hurts my heart to see people struggling to get into their car, getting out of breath climbing a flight of stairs, eating at a restaurant and looking around because they just KNOW everyone is judging them. I can’t say I ever noticed these feelings before. I think it’s probably because I was so caught up in my own self-deprecation that I didn’t have time to notice someone else’s pain. I have so much more confidence and strength now, I want to share it with the world. I want to scream at the top of my lungs to my fellow unhealthy fat folk “YOU CAN DO IT TOOOOOOO!!!!!” Seriously, it kills me. My heart bleeds just writing this. What hurts me the most, though, is to see obese children. The other day I was going to the store and I saw a family walking into an ice cream shop. The mother and father were struggling to climb the 2 steps to the walkway and their three children were all extremely overweight. Again, I might not have noticed this before my own weight loss. I feel awful, I feel torn between anger and sympathy. Anger because these children aren’t even given a chance at a healthy life. They are taught bad habits from birth and then destined for a lot of school years filled with taunting, jeering, and self-loathing. Sympathy because I was there, I was that woman unable to control her cravings, too depressed to care about the caloric value of that pint of ice cream I was about to consume. Then, I have to take a step back and realize that I don’t know their story. I don’t know what put them where they are. And just as being judged never feels good, neither should I do the judging.

3) I also find myself (conversely) feeling SO JOYFUL! I feel empowered in a way I cannot explain. Everyday I wake up with my resolution just as strong as the day before and I realize I am no longer SURVIVING this life and ALLOWING food/cigarettes/weakness to have control over me. I am LIVING my life. After years and years of hating where I was, hating my body,  SERIOUSLY HATING myself……I am happy. I am only half way through my journey and happiness is something I NEVER expected. I never thought I’d be laughing and having a great time AT THE GYM! I never thought I’d CRAVE the soreness. I NEVER expected to find this thing within myself. And I can’t keep it.  I want to give it away, I want to hand it out to each person I pass because y’all HAPPINESS FEELS GOOOOOODDDD!!!!!!

Changes

So, aside from the more obvious physical changes related to this weight loss, I am dealing with a lot of emotional/psychological changes for which I was ill-prepared. It’s usually easier for me to just list things so:

1) This one I believe is quite similar to what most people face when they are losing weight: I still see myself as the person I was almost 100 lbs ago, physically. I think about this often and I wonder if it is just because I am still close to 300 lbs and have so much more to lose? Or is it because my mind hasn’t caught up with my body? All of these are hypothetical questions, of course, because each person has their own unique story. I’ll give an example of how these thoughts manifest. I  walk into a coffee shop and the realize that there are only booths. My heart races and I begin to feel uncomfortable because the old me had to squeeze into booths at restaurants. As the hostess directs me, I glance around for any other seating option and a little piece of me dies because I think the hostess along with everyone else at the restaurant is thinking “There is no way she’s fitting into that booth.” I swallow hard and wait for the hostess to turn around before sliding into the booth without problem. The new me generally has more than enough room. I laugh and enjoy my success/joy. No harm no foul, right? Not necessarily. This fluctuation of emotion is painful. I look in the mirror and it’s so difficult for me to see the progress I have made. I continue to see an obese woman. I think: I’ve been doing this for a long time and I still look like this? The road ahead is just as long as the road behind. Then, I pull up my pictures or try on some article of clothing that is too big and I celebrate my success/joy. Still…..Painful.

I will continue this post later….. 🙂