The Weigh It Is

More than a catalyst November 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 2:54 pm


On October 27, I hopped on over to one of my favorite blogs, and was greeted with a post titled, “An Offer You Can’t Refuse.”


If you don’t have the time to click over and read it for youself, the general idea was this: This guy, Jack, who is brilliant, witty and has a great heart, has an awesome weight loss blog. Being so close to his goal, he wanted to give someone else the chance to be in the spotlight, to lose weight on his blog, to have the support of his wonderful readers. Sounded wonderful to me!! BUT… then I continued to read, and he also wanted MEASUREMENTS and PICTURES. *thud*  Well, I responded in the comments and said,


this idea terrifies me, frankly–I can hardly admit my weight to my friends, let alone the entire world…But as I have Anti-Jared like weight to lose, I am seriously considering this–I’m already on a good 3 week run of consistent exercise… O_o


 Yep. Terrified me. That pretty much summed it up. I hadn’t, at that point, started my blog, hadn’t come out of hiding to my friends and the world. Still, the idea nagged at me. I thought about it. I prayed about it. I thought and prayed and thought some more. Finally, five days later, this is what I emailed to Jack:


If it’s not too late, I wanted to let you know I’m interested in being held accountable by the world! I wasn’t kidding when I said I’ve got Anti-jared proportions of weight to lose; I’m currently 411 lbs and have  been up and down before…last great effort at weight loss was a few years ago when I got down to 273 from 331…I was even an aerobics instructor at that time (loved it how people would react when they walked into my class compared to how they reacted AFTER the class!) Thought I had a handle on it; Stopped going to WW meetings, oh, and got pregnant, and that’s when I stopped exercising and stopped paying attention to what was going into my mouth. Four years later, I’ve gained 140 lbs!! *thud* I’m 37, and I homeschool, and I am sick of not being able to do the things with my children and husband that I would like to do. This is my 4th week of getting up at 5 am and heading to the gym–I have worked up to 35 to 40 minutes of cardio, usually divided between the treadmill and eliptical. I have also been pumping iron (RAWR!!), but not this morning, since my dang elbow is killing me (used to be a waitress; oh wait, I’m a mom–I still am!) 😉


Later that day, I got a response. The first sentence said this:


I’d already chosen four individuals to go into my Witness Reduction Program, and felt like that was probably all I could handle, but your email pretty much hit all the buttons of what I was looking for with this. You really seem ready to make a big change and I think it’d be exciting to be a part of it.


Whoo hoo! I am really blessed to have this opportunity, and just so thankful. It’s great to be in league with people who have the same struggles, who are on the path and who have been successful. It inspires me so much to read their experiences and thoughts. To see the before and after pics. I want to have my own set some day–to help people see that it can be done, it is possible, and let them know that they can do it too!! That’s what people like Jack and Tony have done for me. 


Today Jack featured me in his blog. Here is the link:


Toward the end of the post, Jack says this:


I’d like to take credit for creating the spark that’s slowly turning into a raging inferno inside of Billie, but I think I’m more of a witness than a catalyst.


Catalyst: an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.


Has Jack been a catalyst? You better believe it. And so have all of you who have encouraged me, cheered for me, prayed for me. I have never felt more encouraged in my life. Thanks, everyone, for all the kind words. They really do help me drag my butt out of bed at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. =) 








Every Cloud November 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 11:59 pm

This morning, the alarm rang at 5 am, and despite staying up until midnight, I hopped out of bed and made it to the gym by 6:15 or so. Armed with some new downloads, I started out my workout with some David Crowder Band, and hit the treadmill for 20 minutes, walking at 2.6 mph (which is pretty fast for me), and then popped on the elliptical for 25 minutes. The last five minutes were killer, and I had to mentally trick myself through them. I’ll do that–tell myself I just want to get to the next tenth of a mile, or try to burn however many more calories in the next 30 seconds–whatever it takes to get me through the time.  I finished my workout with a brief two minute cool down on the treadmill.
And then I thought, “Oh, I think I’ll go hop on the scale.”
Remember the stomach bug earlier this week? Turns out that little cloud had a silver lining.
I weighed myself last Thursday, 11/11. The scale read 407.8  (My friend, who orginially did my profile on the fancy Tanita scale, calculated 2 lbs for clothing, so it was “officially” adjusted to 405.8).
This morning, the scale read 394.8, and if I adjust the 2 lbs for clothing, 392.8??!!!  WHAT??!!
13 lbs in a WEEK??  HAHA!! Biggest loser caliber, baby!! 😉
Seriously, though…I realize that a portion of that loss is due to the stomach bug. And really, I’m okay with that. However, I am certain that some of it is also due to hard work and consistency. I’ll expect to gain next week, surely. But this? It gave me a much welcomed mental boost just to see the scale move in such a dramatic fashion. And the biggest thing?
I’m FINALLY under 400, baby!!!


Life November 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 9:17 pm

This week started out as a normal week. Had an excellent workout on Monday morning, and was raring to cruise on through the week to greater heights! Ahhh…but life does not always follow my plans. Sparing you the details, Monday night I got hit with a stomach bug that had me incapacitated for the next day.. I slept on and off all day on Tuesday, and finally by Tuesday evening I was well enough to eat half a cup of Life cereal. No workout for me Tuesday morning, and none this morning, either.  I think that by tomorrow morning, I should be well enough to get moving again. As a friend said, we’re concerned with the long haul.

BUT…As I have mentioned before, I have had long periods of exercising in the past, only to stop. To be knocked off the wagon by something like a twisted knee, or simply skipping too many workouts in a row; always promising myself that I’d start again tomorrow, only to have tomorrow never come. Because I don’t exercise on the weekend, Sunday nights produce quite a bit of anxiety in me. There’s always an element of, “Am I really going to get up and do this again tomorrow morning?”  So far, so good! I’m not going to lie, though–these past two days off have produced in me the same kind of uneasy feeling. Am I going to get up and do it tomorrow? Because I know how easily two days turn into two weeks…

As I was thinking of this the thought entered my mind, “Do I live to workout, or workout to live?” I know this question has been asked in terms of food –“live to eat/eat to live”, but I never thought about it when it came to exercise. Because like anything, there needs to be moderation. Believe me, I don’t intend on getting lax on my workout schedule– I have to have momentum there to keep going. I just don’t want to fall into the trap of freaking out if I have to miss a day.

That being said, I am currently downloading new music for my workout tomorrow morning. Praying the kids stay well!


Sticks and Stones November 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 12:35 pm

I was feeling GREAT yesterday! I wore a shirt to church that was too tight for me a just few weeks ago, it was a beautiful day outside, and all was right in the world.

And then it happened.

I had just finished talking to a friend in the hallway, and as I turned to walk away, I heard one of her children exclaim,

“Mom! She’s FAAAAAT!”


I wasn’t particularly bothered by it at the time. I mean, I know how kids are–I have a few myself. They simply make observations, no malice involved. There was no ill intent in this child’s statement; she didn’t yell, “Hey Fatty!” or anything derogatory. It wasn’t like the little boy who exclaimed at the book sale one year, “Look at how fat she is! EWW!! She’s gross!!” (That kid was old enough to know about social graces, and should’ve known better. Had to refrain from sitting on the kid and smacking the parents. Seriously.)

By the end of the day, I was down. I felt blue and defeated. Just because of an offhand observation by a 2-5 year old.  Upon reflection, I realized that it wasn’t so much the child’s comment threw me into a downward spiral; It was the sum total of all the comments that I’ve heard over and over again…from family members to total strangers. Whether said innocently or maliciously, I was simply tired of hearing it. I AM tired of hearing it. Do people think that telling me that I’m fat is going to surprise me, as if it’s something of which I am unaware? Trust me, I am fully and painfully aware of, at all times, the limitations placed on me because of my size. I don’t need reminding by anyone, it doesn’t need to be stated, it doesn’t help one iota to even mention it.

About a year ago, when I was working out pretty steadily, I was walking into the Y when I heard a little girl say to her mom, “Mama, what did that woman do to her body?” I wish I had turned around and answered that little girl. Not harshly at all–she really wanted to know. And I hope her mama told her. I hope she didn’t just say, “Shhh–don’t say that honey, it’s not nice.” I hope she told her all about how important it is to stay active, and eat your fruits and veggies, and not just eat because it tastes good and you want some more or because you’re sad/happy/angry. I hope she told her that just because I was bigger didn’t mean that I was any different from anyone else, that what mattered most when it came to people was what was on the inside, that someone can have a outwardly beautiful appearance and be unbearably ugly inside.

Despite that little rant, I am not particularly sensitive about my weight, or even the word “fat”. It’s simply an adjective. It’s the state I’m in now, not who I am. And I’m really okay with that, because I am doing what I can to move in the right direction.

And now, for some good news: I HAVE been feeling stronger, and not nearly as jiggly. =) This morning I started out with 10 minutes on the treadmill, hopped on the elliptical for 13, and then we started a circuit which consisted of four different sets of shoulder work, then back upstairs for four minutes of cardio, and back downstairs for the weightlifting, and then upstairs…you get the point. We did that three times total. When all was said and done, I ended up with 20 minutes on the treadmill and 25 on the elliptical. Not too shabby.  Six weeks ago, I wouldn’t have even made it through the four minutes on the elliptical! So, that’s what I have to concentrate on.  Children will continue to notice, people will continue to snicker and make comments; even when I have lost 100 or 150 pounds, I will still be considered fat. C’est la vie.  I’m going to keep going anyway. Because this isn’t for them. It’s for me; it’s for my husband;  it’s for my kids. It’s for the glory of God, and I am confident that He will see me through.


The Long and Winding Road November 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 12:47 am

  Even though this blog has been around for about a weThe Long and Winding Roadek, my journey started long ago.  I could go way back and detail the road that has brought me to this point.  Some time I will– because I think that you, as readers, would benefit in knowing the events that have shaped me up until this point in life. However, this is not that post.

This post has to do with the mental aspect of weight loss. The battles of weight loss are not necessarily fought and won in the gym, but in the mind. You would think that continuing what I’m doing should be a breeze at this point.  I’ve worked out consistently (5 days a week) for five weeks in a row. I’ve been told time and again that it only takes 21 days to make a habit, and I’m well past that point. Still, some days, it is a struggle to get out of bed and make it to the gym. It is a struggle to make it count once I get there. Those kind of struggles don’t happen as often as they did at the beginning. In a strange way, I enjoy getting up at 5 am and being done with a good, solid workout before some people have even started their day. Before I used to have started my day!

Despite all the victories, it is not always sunshine and rainbows.  I think about how terribly far I have to go…How long it will take me to get there…maintaining it once I get there…and I become downhearted. I look at the long stretch of road winding out in the distance and don’t pay attention to the step that’s in front of me. When I’m not focused on the next step, I stumble, and end up plopping down on the side of the road crying, waiting for someone to come along and drop me a nice pan of brownies for consolation. Okay, not literally. I think you understand what I mean. For me, a major part of winning this battle is choosing to think on the right things, and not dwell on the enormity of the task at hand. That’s what I’m doing.

Here is a poem that I wrote about a year or so ago–I was 384 then, and having a great run of fitness–had exercised consistently for 6 weeks, and then just tweaked my knee a bit playing volleyball at a friend’s house. “I’ll give it a few days rest, ” I thought. That “few days” turned into a few weeks, which turned into a few months, and then ultimately, a year and three months!!  I wrote this after a particularly good workout. Kind of like the one I had this morning.

“What’s that?” you ask. Well, I determined that I would do the eliptical for thirty minutes this morning–until now, I’ve done mostly 20 minutes, and 25 once (and I didn’t do that on purpose!). So I did. And then I got on the treadmill for ten minutes. That’s right, people. My 405 lb. butt on that elliptical for 30 minutes!! Nothing short of a miracle! I pray each morning that God would protect my joints, muscles, heart, and give me strength for the workout ahead. And He did. =)


What HOPE feels like


Sweat dripping off your nose


after 30 strong minutes on the elliptical


when you could barely do seven before.


The way your thigh muscles sporadically twitch


after multiple sets of squats.


The sweet, encompassing fatigue


that follows a thorough stretch.


This is what HOPE feels like.



Take that, Despair.


I’m still here! November 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 9:01 pm

Sorry about the lack of blogging. My laptop went away for a few days–it said it needed a vacation. =) Had a great workout this morning! Twenty minutes on the treadmill, and twenty on the elliptical. Then I did leg presses, squats and calf raises. I plan on soon posting my workout schedule for the past month so that you can see the progress that has been made. If I can do it, anyone can.

Thanks for all the visits and the sweet comments and support. You’ll never know how much it means to me to have you all cheering me on.


In Hiding November 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Billie @ 3:35 pm

For a long time, I’ve been in hiding.

That might seem like a strange statement, to those who know me personally. If you asked, I’m sure they would characterize me as one of the most social people they know, and some would even testify that they’ve seen me recently. How could I say that I’ve been hiding?

One of my favorite things to do is catch up with friends via Facebook. It has enabled me to connect with people from high school and college; friends that I have not seen in a long time.  For a homeschooling mama, it is a welcome chance to have some adult interaction. Most of these people don’t actually see me. Facebook is just that—FACE book. You will be hard pressed to find full body photos of me, and with good reason. I had one friend tell me, “You haven’t changed a bit! You still look the same!”

Wellllll…… not so much.

(Deep breath)

Since high school, I’ve gained at least 236 lbs. That figure would be the gain since my senior year. My freshman year as reference, it would be 262 lbs. What in the world??!! How did that happen? How does someone let themselves gain that astronomical amount of weight?

It’s easier than you think. So many factors contributed to the weight gain.  Some were emotional, some physical (lack of exercise), and much of it was simply making unwise choices when I knew it wasn’t what was best for me.  I can’t blame any of it on genetics or hormones.  It all comes down to an average of 11.8 lbs/year.  Some years more than others, of course. Because I carried my weight “well” and was suitably cute, I fooled myself into thinking that I could just buy the next biggest size. I was pretty fit for a bigger girl, and I never really felt the physical limitations of my size until I got to around 280-300 lbs.

With this post, I am officially coming out of hiding.

When it comes to seeing friends from long ago, I’m no longer going to hide from them, or avoid them.  The fact of my size/weight doesn’t change, simply because people don’t see me.  I’m not the only person from my past to have gained weight, but I am by far the person who’s gained the most. I’m not going to be ashamed anymore.  Although this is how I look, it is not who I am.

So, here is the hard truth:

Starting weight: 413 lbs.

Current weight: 407 lbs.

This was, by far, the toughest post for me to write. (Okay, so this is only the third one I’ve written, but still!) Now the truth is out. And it’s not pretty.  I’m not hiding anymore, though. Those numbers will soon be far behind me. Lord willing, I will continue to lose pounds, and gain strength and confidence.

And perhaps, along the way, I will inspire someone else to quit hiding.