Thursday, April 04, 2013

What my life was like at 300 pounds & Comparison Pics

This is hard for me to write, and I'm doing it all stream of consciousness. There are no pics of me at my heaviest, and very few body pics of me, even today.



UPDATED Jan. 2014:

I have gained around 50 lbs back over the past 15 months.  I have been recovering from foot surgery and stress fractures since May.  I am frustrated, but also, learning a lot more about myself and my emotional responses to food, stress, and life and am sure I will begin losing weight again.

I also had another major surgery in March of 2013.. it's been a rough year, but I'm doing MUCH better.

I am still 70 less than my highest weight, which is a good thing, but this gaining/losing/gaining cycle is obviously a constant.

Jan 2014 age 42


ORIGINAL POST:
Do you have any idea what it’s like to look down and see the scale read 310 pounds?  Oh my god, I wanted to die.  I think that was my highest weight, but it could have been even higher, because I stopped weighing myself after that. 

285 lbs (25 lbs less than my highest weight) 


Let me tell you what life is like at 310 pounds.  Everything hurts.  People say, “go for a walk”, but what they don’t realize is that every step feels like torture.  I remember walking across the street to get my mail would make my heart pound and I would feel out of breath.  Walking for 5 minutes felt like 5 hours. With every step, I would feel crushing pain in my lower back and a panic would start and I began to HATE myself with such a passion.  On a good day, I was able to channel that HATRED into momentum and I would repeat my mantra, inside of my head, “Anything is better than nothing, anything is better than nothing.” 

285, so miserable. Age 37

With each step, I would vacillate between utter helplessness and maybe a glimmer of hope.  I remember one day, I was only able to walk for 90 seconds at a time.  I would walk, rest, and then walk again and I managed a whole 15 minutes by the end of the day.  That was an accomplishment, believe me. 

I was someone who had always been SUPER ACTIVE, and may things led up to the weight gain, which I will probably talk about in later posts, but finding myself in this situation was so shocking.

Did I mention the self-hate? Oh yeah. I did.  Well, I can’t mention it enough because it became my prison.

My poor children.  They were always so loving and supportive of me, yet I was too embarrassed to be seen in public with them.  I didn’t want them to look bad.  I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do with them.  I hid. From life.  From friends.  From my family.   I don’t ever want to go back to that.

I am looking through some old pictures and my heart is fucking breaking for them.. and for me.  I am going to post these pictures, because I want YOU to see how bad it was.   On this day, we had gone hiking and it was hell for me.  We hiked Mt. Major, which is not a very huge hike, but the walk down, almost killed my knees.  My kids were so concerned and it turned what was a normally awesome day into a day filled with them being concerned for me.  I literally feel sick to  my stomach looking at these pictures, not because I’m disgusted by my appearance (I am), but because I just remember the utter HELL I was living in and the hell I put my poor family through worrying about me.  They missed out having all of me as a mom.  That’s a hard one to admit to, but it is the truth.  It’s hard not to hate myself today because of that, but I have realized that life is way too short to waste on hating yourself.  Today is all we have. .. but the reality is that every single thing in my life was affected by my weight.

290 lbs

I would NEVER go out to eat with my family.  They would BEG me to come, but I wouldn’t because I was too fucking FAT TO FIT IN A BOOTH COMFORTABLY and I couldn’t stand the embarrassment. 
Finding clothes was a challenge, because my boobs were enormous.  The pain of the bra cutting into my back made breathing difficult.  Everything was a struggle.

I didn’t know how to get out of the nightmare.  I would find the gumption to start walking, and the first MONTH was torture, but if I could stick it out, I would start dropping weight fast and my endurance came back.  I would be walking 3 miles easily.  During this time, I was here, blogging.  It is obvious I am pretty food obsessed and frankly, most of the weight I gained was from eating “healthy” foods, just WAY TOO MUCH OF THEM.  Bread and hummus was a huge downfall for a long time.  Hell, bread is still a challenge for me. 

Do you have any idea what it’s like to go grocery shopping as a morbidly obese woman?  The stares you get the snickers.  People would LOOK INTO MY CART with disgust and then… confusion, because most of the food in there was so healthy.  Cashiers would ask if I was starting a new diet, although they came to know me at the local Market Basket and we would chat about all the veggies I was buying and what I would make with them.   I remember one day, these two teen girls walked by me and said straight to my face, “I would kill myself if I looked like you.”

290 lbs age 38

Walking outside for exercise, I have been heckled and humiliated, “Hey fatty, it’s going to take a lot more than a walk about the block to lose that ass.”

I was walking past an ice cream store and someone yelled out, “Go have another ice cream, fatty.”

I NEVER ever wanted my children to hear someone say that to me.  I was so afraid their friends would make fun of me, but as far as I know they never did… but the FEAR of having that happen, was enough to make me isolate.  Stay inside the house.  I was so embarrassed to see friends who knew me before I gained weight.  I had a good friend ask me is all seriousness, “Oh my god, what happened to you”.

What happened indeed?  After an initial FAST weight gain of 100 lbs partially due to steroid medication and definitely due to total lack of exercise, the next 50 – 60 lbs just piled on and off, slowly but surely.. depending on my actively level and how much I was paying attention to mindless/comfort eating.  I just spiraled out of control and couldn’t seem to get it back for any length of time.  I tried “diets”, Weight Watchers, Gluten Free, 100% Vegan, Raw Food “Cleanses”,  Counting Calories, Giving up this or that food group, Atkins (now that was difficult as a vegan leaning vegetarian)..  and while they all “worked” initially, they failed because I couldn’t stick to it.  I was emotionally not able to (again for many reasons, some that I may get into in the future if I find I feel comfortable being this emotionally raw online.)

275 lbs age 38

To make a long story short, I became so desperate, I knew I had to do something BIG and that something was to sell my car, move to Boston (from NH) when my youngest son went to college.   When I moved here Sept 24, 2011 I weighed 290 lbs.  I could only walk about ½ mile at a time without severe pain, but since my lifestyle forced me to walk, even taking public transportation, you have to walk to and from stops, up and down stairs at T stations, etc.  I also became a bit more mindful of the food I was putting in my mouth, eating a lot of veggies and filling up on them and being mindful of my portions.  I never restricted ANYTHING.  I ate whatever I wanted, I was just MINDFUL.  I walked and walked and walked, I remember Thanksgiving Day (I was celebrating the next day with my family) was the first LONG walk I managed, a month after moving.  I walked 6 miles and was so amazed I could do it!  I started to feel FREE!  I think I realized that day, that my life was changing for good this time.

Over the next 9 months or so, I lost 100 lbs.  I was walking between 6-12 miles every day and working on my feet most of the day.  The weight loss was effortless.  During this time (I was 245 lbs when I met The BF) I started seeing The Boyfriend.  I had been single for over 4 years and the thought of having a boyfriend was the last thing I could imagine before I moved to Boston… but a funny thing happened, as I started to feel more in control of myself and my life,  things changed.. But that’s a whole other topic as well.  Wow, there are so many layers to weight/body image/health. 

But I digress, so I was walking 6-12 miles a day and the weight loss was effortless, but at the end of September, I found myself in a different living situation (with The BF) and my work situation changed as well and I was no longer walking the 6-12 miles a day and then I became ill in December and the result is a 20 pound weight gain.   I REFUSE to regain the weight and go back to where I was.  Writing this has been good for me, because I forgot how tormented I was.  I literally had no idea what I was going to write when I sat down here, and frankly, I am feeling really sad right now that I wasted so much of my life in my own prison.
190 lbs Summer 2012 Age 40
I will not go back.  Now, I am not walking 12 miles a day anymore to/from work, but I am walking around 3 miles to get to/from work.  I need to make a game plan and become more mindful of my eating.  I’m also recovering from C-Diff (look it up if you want) and a surgery, so my body is a bit wrecked.  I will write more about my health issues soon too, if I feel comfortable. 

I don’t believe in diets.  I believe in whole foods.  Healthy and delicious, mostly vegan whole foods, and exercise. 
185 lbs Summer 2012 Age 40

I am posting a comparison picture of me at 285 and 190, which is the lowest daily weight (I think I got down to 185 for a couple of weeks this summer)..  I have currently gained 20 lbs since then and weigh 210 now.  Depressing, but I can get it off.  I’ve done before and I will do it again.  My goal weight is 155-160.  



210 lbs Feb 2013 Age 41

88 comments:

  1. I've struggled with self-hate, too, and it's a struggle that I think I will have to contend with for the rest of my life. A lot of it stems from the lessons my mother taught me about making sure to always suck my stomach in, liberal use of the word "fat", self worth being based on physical appearance. I feel like I could've written a lot of this post myself. Although I hate losing weight AGAIN, it's comforting to know that we're going through the journey together. You're doing a great job, and I know that we can reach our goals.

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    1. It's so hard to change the tapes and messaged given to use during childhood and reinforced daily via the media and everywhere else you look. Keep up the good work too!

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    2. Wow! Are you ever a beautiful woman, inside and out. To be able to do this blog and show what you used to look like and what you look like now is so brave. I could not ever imagine how scared you were/are at times.

      Thank you for loving yourself and us to conquer your fears. I really enjoy your blog and recipes however I'm hypothyroid and am afraid to try many of them, it really sucks because I love veggies, the very rich dark green ones too .

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  2. I wanted to thank you for sharing this. I have always been on the larger side. I am Australian and was at my heaviest 120 kilos (i think thats about 260 lbs) and am 5 foot 11. I had chronuic illness as a teenager and always had difficulty exercising (chronic fatigue amongst other things) Slowly I began getting better and could start exercising and working full time, and managed to lose alot of weight until i was about 200lbs.

    However I met my husband and ended up moving to Sweden and suffered from anxiety and agoraphobia and have ended up putting most of it back on. But I am determined to lose the weight again so that we can have children and I can feel happier about my own weight. It can be very tiring having H cup breasts and trying to exercise.

    Im currently focussing on resolving my anxiety and trying to lose weight healthily. My husband is going to try to teach me to be comfortable riding a bike so that we can go on a trip around Finland.

    I have faith that if you can regain your health and focus on eating healthy and active you will lose the weight again.

    I should mention that we are both vegan but my husband and I eat alot of potatoes (which are definitely too carb heavy for me) and this is something im focussing on changing in my diet.

    Good luck!

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    1. Good luck! I hear you about the heavy breasts.. it is soo uncomfortable. Good luck with the bike riding... and just start something, even if it's only a minute at a time..

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    2. Thank you for your honesty! You are an amazing woman and an inspiration to so many! :)

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  3. Should also mention that my father forced my sister and I to do weight watchers starting at age 8. He would go to the meetings but then make us listen and then would weigh us at the local shopping centre and chart our weight gains/losses.

    It was his attempt to raise us healthy but it just made us both obsessive about our weight and probably made it worse for my health (Chronic fatigue).

    It takes alot of strength to open yourself up like you have in this post and you can use that strength to lose the weight again to be healthy.

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    1. I'm so sorry, that must have been very very difficult. I'm sure he meant well, but that is just not OK!

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  4. Oh Melody...I understand.I'm always somewhere in this process. I've been every size between size 8 (for about a blink in time) to a size 24.

    The piece that I wish I heard here...that I think would help you...is self-kindness and compassion. Love your body, don't punish it.

    It is a lesson I keep trying to learn myself.

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    1. Thanks Andrea... I am slowly learning to appreciate my body/self and find more compassion for myself. Thanks for the reminder. Look forward to seeing you again soon!

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  5. I think this is so beautiful and so brave. I remember first discovering your blog years ago and being inspired by your food only to find myself quickly inspired by your motivation to be the best you you can be. I, too, struggle with weight/stress eating and self loathing. It can be such a vicious cycle. But it's always a hopeful moment when you read the words of someone else's strength; it's so encouraging to witness such will. Thank you for sharing this. Know that not only are you not alone but you are also appreciated. I read this great comment from a woman who similarly has struggled with weight and finding her best self, 'be more, not less'. You so prove that to be possible. With every pound you lose, with every good choice you make you are more beautiful and more capable.

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    1. Thank you thank you thank you :-)

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  6. You are awesome! Thank you for your story & inspiration.

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  7. You made me cry! Thank you so much for sharing. My mother was 300 pounds for my life with her. I loved her so much and hated how strangers judged her. Even friends didn't understand the daily struggles and pain. You are beautiful and brave. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks.. I think that is what bothers me the most about all of this is how it affected my kids. It literally makes my heart want to break.

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  8. Completely get it. COMPLETELY. I am currently struggling with a gain of 20 lbs (after STRUGGLING just to get to 200) and I am falling into that spiral of self hatred leading to depression leading to lethargy. You are a total inspiration. Whenever I feel like just eating "whatever" instead of finding something vegan, healthy, and fresh, I go to your FB page and find a link to a recipe. Awesomeness. You help me come out of the funk.

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    1. It's amazing how the self loathing spirals out of control so fast. I am so glad I posted this, because I am feelig a renewed sense of energy around weight/health. We can do this!

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  9. Thank you so much for your post! I know it was terribly difficult as I understand how you felt. I was not an overweight teen...it all came on after graduation. I became pregnant at 19 and after giving birth all hell broke loose. I was going through some emotionally draining things including losing my best friend as well as growing up in an alcoholic family (which eventually took my brother's life).

    Food was my friend during this time. It was my comfort and strength even after I found my husband and had 3 more children. My weight skyrocketed to 250 on my 5' 7" frame. I have been battling this fight for 2 years now, am down to 210. I too have tried several different plans. But trying to stay plant strong has been the best thing I have done. I still have too much of those junky "vegan" foods. I also need to help my kids...my 14 yr old daughter has a problem with food already, and she is super picky.

    Anyhow, thank you for your honesty!!!! You are an inspiration to me!

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    1. I'm so sorry about your brother.. emotional stuff always leads me to want to overeat.. it is a vicious cycle.

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    1. After reading her truly emotional struggle and everyone's comments, it was your simple words that brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your compassionate soul :)

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  11. I totally understand your struggles with your weight. I am a former fat guy so I know how it goes. I remember tipping the scales at 268 and being appalled at that number and at how I looked. I am sure I weighed more than that at times. I used home-based workout programs such as Power 90 and P90X to lose a lot of weight, and I drink a product called Shakeology almost daily. It has helped me drop the pounds too! And, of course, I have made some radical changes to my diet, for the better.

    You have done great! Keep up the good work! :)

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    1. Thanks Jeff... and congratulations on your weight loss too

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  12. This is such a great story that everyone who has a weight problem should read. It shows that you should never give up on loosing weight just because "you have too much to loose to even try". I'm always impressed by seeing people who achieve a goal. It's really inspiring! Thank you.

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    1. Thanks.. it is somewhat embarrassing to look back in the blog (I have been blogging here since 2006 and see how many times I lost weight then gained it back..

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  13. This touched me and made me cry. You are so amazing, your willpower is to be admired!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your story!! I also have had my share of being over weight, but I lost it, and stick to conscious eating. (hugs)

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    1. Conscious eating is so important.. congrats on the weight loss!

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  14. Thank you so much for this post. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, and feel as though I've tried everything. You are so strong, and brave for posting this - those of us reading really appreciate it. I've followed your facebook page for a long time and I remember when you moved to Boston. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life, even if it is just via the internet. I love all of your posts!!

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  15. you're getting there! keep it up! i have a blog with healthy recipes if you're looking for some :)

    http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Katherine! Love healthy recipes for sure!

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  16. Thank you for having the courage to write this. I also identify with a lot of what you wrote as I have struggled with my weight since middle school.

    You look so much happier in your current pics! Keep your spirits up and stay focused. You're an inspiration!

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    1. Yes, I am SOOO much happier. Looking back on this it is difficult to remember the misery I used to live in.

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  17. You are amazing, Mel!!! I am your biggest fan!!! :) Gorgeous always, inside and out, no matter what you weigh!! XO

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    1. Thanks Lauren, I feel the same way about you.

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  18. Thank you for posting this. You are very brave to post and share. I know that you will be triumphant (you already are). Hang in there.

    I really enjoy your recipes and tips.

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  19. You are doing amazingly. 2 years ago I was at my lowest/healthiest weight and was finally feeling pretty good about myself. Then I quickly gained 80lbs. I'm so disappointed with myself and have been working hard to lose it all again. So far I have lost 40lbs but I still have 40 to go. And I am so ashamed of my appearance that I rarely leave the house other than to go to work.

    I live in Boston, too and you know how it is here. There is no excuse not to get out and enjoy all our beautiful parks. I live right in the middle of an amazing park chain and rarely make use of it. I think the hardest thing is not having the support I need but I am getting there. Slowly but surely.

    Thank you for posting this, your attitude is such an inspiration and it's good to not feel so alone!

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    1. If you ever want to go for a walk around Boston, let me know! I work at 570 Market on Tremont St and am done with work usually by 4 ish at the latest and am always up for walking partners!

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    2. That would be awesome, especially since the weather is getting nice!

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    3. Alison, you can email me at melodypolakow at gmail dot com and we can set up something up!

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  20. Wow... thank you for sharing. So moved by your story. And thank you for not waiting till you got to your goal weight. It's nice to know there are others still figuring it out, still on the journey. Thank you.

    Love your blog!

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    1. Thanks.. I think the ups and downs of weight loss is important to talk about.. and there are many who are in my shoes.. it is frustrating, but also so wonderful to actually talk about and receive such lovely support.

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  21. Well, congratulations! You look fantastic! Thank you for sharing, I currently weigh 200 lbs, which is my high weight. I've been struggling on losing and keeping the weight off, but slowly and surely- I'll get there! :)

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  22. Thank you SO much! I am currently in the stuck-in-a-rut stage. My bf and I started a whole foods plant based (vegan) diet when we were living in Santa Fe. But when we moved in November, the moving process and living in an almost hotel-like situation for over a month got us back in the fast food, junk and convenience food merry-go-round. I gained over 30 pounds, back up to 220, feel horrible, look even worse, not happy and in a great deal of pain. We are struggling to get back into the discipline of eating WFPB. We KNOW that an omnivore diet is killing us, but it just seems, I don't know, easier. I'm just tired, and not where I want to be. Feeling powerless about where my life is headed. But I found GREAT INSPIRATION in what you wrote! If you do get motivated to write about some of the other things you touched on but are putting on hold for now, I will be happy to hear your views. Thank you so much! Keep up the good work! Hope you are recovering well from your surgery :)

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    1. Thanks.. feeling powerless is such downward spiral. I was feeling that way too... which is part of the reason I wrote the post.

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  23. Amazing story - honest and telling.

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  24. I can't believe the change in you - as well as being healthier and able to do more things, you look SO much younger!!

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    1. Thanks!.. I feel so much younger too.. although I think The Boyfriend might have something to do with that lol

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  25. It takes time and perseverance for sure. I'm trying to drop the 20lbs I've gained due to my thyroid disease. I'm at 165 now, but my highest weight was the same as yours (~300lbs). Exercise helps a LOT, especially when your metabolism is slow like mine. I lift weights 3X a week and do high impact cardio 3-4X a week. It's helping a lot. Don't give up, whole foods and getting processed junk out is key! :)

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    1. Thanks! Now that I'm not walking so much, I need to add intentional exercise .. thanks for the weight reminder.

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  26. I feel so much younger too!

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  27. Thank you so much for your post, Melody. I cannot believe the things people said to you--it breaks my heart. I know it was hard for you to share this post, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have gained weight lately too, and I am very uncomfortable and unhappy where I am right now. I need to lose this weight--no ifs, ands or buts about it! If you can do it, then I know I can too. Thank you!

    Courtney

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    1. Yes you can! We all can!

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  28. First of all, thank you for so bravely sharing! Secondly, how in the world do you have 2 kids over 20 when you look so young?

    I deeply acknowledge you for being so committed to your health. Weight tends to be relative to height and numerous other factors and 185-190 looks pretty healthy on you from the photos you posted. I fully support you in your quest to be the healthiest you no matter what the scale says! And I know that your commitment will lead you straight to the goal weight you mindfully chose.

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    1. Thank you so much!

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    2. I was thinking the same thing. She looks SO young! I thought she was in her early thirties for sure, at the most.

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  29. LOVE! Stay strong . . . plant strong! You know exactly what you have to do. You found your groove and can get back to it. Just do the next right thing. Don't worry about tomorrow.

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    1. Thanks Wendy! The next right thing.. indeed! Simplicity.

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  30. You are a hell of an inspiration, Melody. Thank you for writing and sharing this.

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    1. Thanks.. you're an inspiration too!

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  31. I love your blog, your creativity, your openness. Thank you for writing and sharing. It impacts my own life in a very real way.

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    1. Thanks for the kind comment, Renee.

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  32. Thank you so much for sharing this. I felt as if you were looking into my heart. I've had lifetime struggles with weight and food addiction. I have lost 50-80 pounds a few times just to put it back on again. I'm once again on track and losing, but it is such a daily mind game. I can certainly relate to the embarrassment that one feels as a morbidly obese woman. Just last week I was at work and I was seeing a patient for another doctor that I work with. As I walked away to grab something that I needed, I heard the patient say to her companion, " she's really heavy." I know she didn't mean for me to hear, but I was humiliated! I wish I could say that this was the first time something like that has happened.

    Thank you for your honesty.

    Tressa

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    1. *HUGS*.. the humiliation is very difficult to deal with.

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    2. Can I send Kiahsmom big hugs, too? What I find hard to deal with is how people treat me differently according to my weight. I was really thin until I was in my early twenties. Then I went down to a size ten for awhile in my mid-thirties (stress, divorce, and a demanding boyfriend who wanted me even thinner), and then I packed it on again. I'm at the heaviest I've ever been now (size 22-ish) and have since remarried a wonderful man who treats me like I'm luscious. With him, it's just not an issue. Still, I *do* notice the way people treat me differently in generaI, in professional life, in public life, in friendships and even family. I can especially see it with many people that I knew when I was thin many years ago. It just...hurts.

      More hugs to Kiahsmom for good measure!

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    3. Thank you Renee... It is so surprising how differently people treat overweight people, especially women. Thanks for the hugs

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  33. Thank you. I was meant to read this today. I, too, have the same struggle. I know im commenter 70something....mmm, BUT, i have watched your blog since you started, but not consistently----why? Because i have been on similar food journeys. I will list them here: WW several times, atkins, south beach, vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo, gluten free, sugar free, and more i cant remember. but it all points to the fact you made so generously: it 's not the diet, it's about what's going on inside. To make things even more complicated sometimes illness gets involved. I always wished i had a thyroid problem when i was a kid and could blame my chubbiness on it. Now i do so this weight thing is 10x harder goddammit.but you have inspired me to stay mindful and keep going forward. One thing i do know: processed food is my downfall. Im keeping it real. Thank you again!

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  34. I initially became vegetarian to lose weight. I was not even that big, I was 5"2 and about 130 lb but I was never satisfied. Eventually I became vegan because I only managed to lose about 7 lb from being vegetarian and it turned into a full blown eating disorder weighing slightly less than 90 lb at 5"4. The whole time I thought I would be happier if I could have more control over my food and weight and that I should make it a task to lose it. When I was 90 lb, I looked skinny in every picture. There was no bad angle or a way that my legs looked fat but let me tell you, I was never so unhappy in my life. Life is so much more valuable than how you look. You might not realize it, but trying to get to your goal weight will never bring happiness but it would rather make you miss out on amazing things that could be going on.

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  35. (Long time reader, first time commenter. :) ) I'm a little late commenting, but, I felt compelled to write a little sumthin' sumthin'. First, you are absolutely stunning! I'd love to have your gorgeous skin. :)
    I can't believe how cruel and callous people can be and am truly sickened and heartbroken over how you were treated. :(
    Your perseverance and attitude are inspiring and motivating, and, armed with those things, I am more than assured that your body will release any extra weight you are holding on to. You carry it well, though! You look quite trim at your current weight (in your door self portrait from your other post). I'm quite a bit smaller than you, and you look better than me! :)
    I'm simply amazed at how far you've already come. It's easy to forget about our accomplishments and hard work to achieve them, so I hope that this post reminded you of your already phenomenal accomplishments!
    Keep us updated on your journey!

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  36. Your journey is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing this. And you are beautiful:)

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  37. Wow. Just wow. Very inspiring. Keep it up--I love your attitude and fortitude. You'll do it. And it's not too late to go to the gym. There are lots of ways to keep fit and healthy, but consider going to a gym as part of...well, what you love. Don't let it intimidate you. There'll be all kinds of fit young girls and muscular boys who will walk around the gym like they own it, but they don't--YOU DO. As much as anyone else in there does. If I were closer, I'd show you the ropes. This is just a suggestion, something that I love and would like to find out if you do, too. REmember this though--it takes a while to (this is my informal neuroscience here) get the pathways in your brain to turn the hard things into pleasure things. Start out slow--hell, you know this from how you started walking. But you'll build up stamina and one day you'll miss a couple of days in the gym and think, gosh, I love that. ANyway, like I say, just a suggestion. You know what you're doing. Listen to other's suggestions, like mine, but chart your own path. I think what you've done is wonderful.

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  38. Wow. Just wow. Very inspiring. Keep it up--I love your attitude and fortitude. You'll do it. And it's not too late to go to the gym. There are lots of ways to keep fit and healthy, but consider going to a gym as part of...well, what you love. Don't let it intimidate you. There'll be all kinds of fit young girls and muscular boys who will walk around the gym like they own it, but they don't--YOU DO. As much as anyone else in there does. If I were closer, I'd show you the ropes. This is just a suggestion, something that I love and would like to find out if you do, too. REmember this though--it takes a while to (this is my informal neuroscience here) get the pathways in your brain to turn the hard things into pleasure things. Start out slow--hell, you know this from how you started walking. But you'll build up stamina and one day you'll miss a couple of days in the gym and think, gosh, I love that. ANyway, like I say, just a suggestion. You know what you're doing. Listen to other's suggestions, like mine, but chart your own path. I think what you've done is wonderful.

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  39. Wow,you just told my story,especially the regret with your children,those are days we can't get back,and when you look back it is all so stupid. I wanted to be the skinny mom and I couldn't get past that I wasn't, I would do field trips and such but I was embarrassed about my weight I was self conscious and awkward around other parents. Those days are gone and so is my son and I think of all the things I didn't do with him because of my weight and since his death I've gained 25 more pounds because it didn't matter anymore,but three years later I'm still here and I'm tired of carrying all this weight around with me,I'm 5' and 205 the heaviest I've ever been, which makes me see I wasn't all that heavy before, but perception can be a tricky game we play with ourselves, I've gone plant strong and am following Forks over Knives, Engine 2,and Happy Herbivore,I came on this site looking for a healthy corn bread recipe and couldn't believe what I read and how close it was to me. You are beautiful,inspiring and I am so glad I stumbled upon this,I hope you write more and I wish you the best life has to offer and I know you'll go out and find it!!!

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  40. So glad you hung in there, Mel xox I started reading 'Eating Animals', couldn't even finish it... it's still in my coffee table. I'm working to get more 'raw' in my diet, as I had good success with that lifestyle, but fell off the wagon. Why do we do that? Back at it now! Keep working at it, but remember that sometimes we plateau, and that's okay as it gives our brain time to adjust to what we see in the mirror. You have always been beautiful, now you are healthier.

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  41. I truly admire your bravery in posting your journey. :) Will be thinking of you and checking back in! <3 - Katie

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  42. Hi there, I come from other culture/language/nation/race, but when I read this post in English, I feel like its me writing in translation.

    I am on my way to healthier/leaner life (not there yet) but compared to where >I was, its already much better.

    When I was at my highest weight, I felt like there is no hope anymore. For this reason I did not even attempt it (or attempted it in wrong ways) for years, to lose weight, to improve my life in essence.

    What my advice is, in case people are like us and reading here, is to find passion in your life, and to do that, you know, you have to find something that really drives you. It can be animal rights, human rights, travelling, nature, improving your career, anything.As long as it takes your mind away from food.

    Combine your passion with daily super mild (never to hurt) exercise at home. When you are a bit more self-confident, you can try exercising out. Then one day, after some time (not too long, maybe 2 years), you suddenly look at the mirror, and hey, its not a 'whale' anymore, its a dolphin :)

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  43. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. Me, life long struggle with minor weight issues. Got too skinny in a bad way, by not eating and pills. I was average for a while, got married, and had my 1st and only child at 38, put on a lot of weight. It was slowly coming off 2 yrs down the road. I had major surgery and 4 months later, our then 3yr old was diagnosed with cancer. In the beginning I lost weight from the stress. Then came the stress eating.... and it continues. She's now 7 yrs in remission and I'm still struggling... with many things.

    What is ringing true for me is what you said about being more mindful of what you put into your body. I have NO WILLPOWER and a wicked sweet tooth. I have a vegan, and an ovo-veggy in the house so I have a lot of great influence. I cheat on myself all the time. The 1 doughnut at work, the small starbuck's frapp, chocolate anything, chips, all stress eating. I don't keep it at home on purpose. It's what happens when I leave the house. I discovered zumba 2 yrs ago and it's helping. Unfortunately I feel I'm undoing all the good when I cheat myself with the processed carb poison. I'm trying, and will keep on trying.

    I'm sorry for what you went through with your children when they were young. How Proud they must be of you now. Thank you for all your encouragement and sharing your healthful recipes.

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  44. Hi Melody,
    My son had sent a link to your pesto recipes - and I marveled at your creativity and loving attitude. Wandering around the site, I saw your narrative and pictures. Even when you were heavy, you were so beautiful - and I am stunned that people could be not only cruel but also so spectacularly ignorant. I know your kids must be amazing - the hot dog sandwich caption, so tender and loving, said it all. They must be so proud, not only of the person you were, but of whom you continue to be as well - and all that you have accomplished. You mustn't be hard on yourself about the extra 20 pounds - after all, you did it once, you can do it again. Your candor is inspiring to all who read it!
    Back to the recipes...you are so creative and very generous to share your gifts. And so we delight in the oasis of beauty you have created for yourself and your community of readers. Thank you!!
    Mari

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    Replies
    1. thank you for your kind words.

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  45. Good for you! In 2001, I weighed 320 lbs... now I am 240 or so... maybe less... I haven't bothered to weigh... just switched one week to mostly vegan diet... no meat... no eggs... no dairy... unless in Starbuck's scone or such... not going to make myself crazy about it... psoriasis already getting better... I love Dr. Michael Greger's nutrition facts... haven't been walking... not even around the block... I know it is necessary but haven't been able to get started... thanks for sharing... it is encouraging to see your story about walking... don't like tofu but purchased some and going to try your dry fry and bbq recipes... Patricia Ann

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  46. Well done! and a great blog. I have only discovered it today through youtube.com through eco-vegan gal she gave your blog a plug in one of her video's. I've been vegetarian all my life and just switched to vegan. I am currently tipping the scales at 130kg and want to lose 31 kg in the next 12 months.

    Look forward to more of your blog posts.

    God Bless

    Sam Burton

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