Those of you who‘ve read my back story, know I’ve been through hell and back over several years after having been the target of workplace bullying. If you’re interested in reading more on it, feel free to check it out HERE.
There is no real way to sugar coat that I had rough pregnancy, traumatic emergency delivery, nearly rupturing, couldn’t produce milk and then to boot, returned to work with a boss who essentially discarded his right-hand senior finance leader like a piece of garbage. That’s right, I was put through the wringer, and like many others, my comfort sadly became food.
Warning signs immediately after I informed my boss of the pregnancy became apparent and were laid on much thicker after returning from leave, which apparently I wasn’t supposed to take [feel the sarcasm].
Sadly, I was a bit predisposed to easy bullying (I’ll share this story after I publish the book I’m working on), and had I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself from the brutal verbal beatdowns, the suffering of my family, and more important risks to my own personal health and wellbeing.
Who knew the occasional munching could in just one years time turn into 10, 25, 40, 65, 80, or even the 96 total smackers that I gained? That’s right ladies and gentleman, I quite literally became unrecognizable at 216 lbs. I didn’t recognize myself and was ashamed to even look in the mirror. Don’t even think you can find a single picture of me during this timeframe that shows much more than my face other than the one below, because you won’t. From a former athletic build, always active, and the life of the party, to becoming the couch potato, too busy to exercise, and sadly hiding from the world, and those who loved me (and I needed) the most.
Just shy of three years ago, I received the biggest wakeup call of my life when landing in a hospital bed half-paralyzed from a mini-stroke. I had become so blind from what I became, that I truly lost who I was. Sadly, corporate America bullies got the best of me and destroyed me several layers deep. The good news though, is that wakeup shook me to the core, which only “I”, and I alone can control.
I could sit here and tell you there is a magic cure diet, pill, or exercise video, but I won’t. Trust me, I tried! I remember actually going to see a nutritionist after leaving the hospital and pleading for help. His invaluable response was, “I cannot help you until you help yourself.” Wow, and I mean wow! Can I get an Amen? I walked out of that office humbled, awake, and very much alive to the fact that if there was going to be a change, my entire being to the “core” had to be on board.
I was taking the blame for something that was never my fault from the start. I felt victimized and confined by mental chains which sent me down a spiraling and unhealthy path. After legitimizing through research, support partnerships, and understanding my downfall was the result of direct targeting, I was able to free my mind, break the “chains” and start a truly remarkable life-changing journey.
No lies, it’s not easy. Although my butt was proverbially kicked with a difficult hospital stay in 2016, and I started going to the gym religiously for a year subsequent (didn’t lose a single pound), I did not get my mental state and my act together until December 2017, which is when the real progress began.
I started small, and encourage you, if you’re in a similar situation to do the same. Here is what I did [cliff notes] in addition to setting weekly quantified goals.
- Thanked God every morning for another day
- Reminded myself each morning that I’m worth it
- Established a support system comprised of family to keep me motivated
- Nourished my body with the right amount of water (I followed the old rule: Current bodyweight / 2 = No. of oz to consume daily) Yes, you’re supposed to pee that much!
- Started portioning food and ate what my body needed only (despite popular belief, it’s not what a restaurant puts in front of you!)
- Took a daily multivitamin including a probiotic
- Brushed my teeth often — this helped minimize my desire for snacking
- Weighed in daily to maintain accountability
This quite literally became ritualistic to minimize slippage. Look, I’m not perfect, I splurged from time to time, but honestly, after so long, my body didn’t even desire certain things, so the usual (sweets) became easy to give up. I’ve tweaked things along the way, but the one thing that‘s held steady is the 80% of the list above that has driven my overall success (Items 1,2 & 3), which I proudly announce have dropped the numbers on the scale by 88 lbs. Although I look at my before picture in a bit of disbelief, I now accept it as a badge of honor and pride in where I have come.
Not that I like picking on myself, but you’ll notice that my happiness meter also increased with each picture taken as the weight fell off. So, although I HATE the picture on the far left, I believe it’s a pretty good “control” out of the group of pictures to demonstrate weight loss and feeling good in your own skin directly contributes to happiness levels 🙂 The below transformation from a size 16 back down to a size 6 was achieved in right at 18 months.
Okay, so now what? I’m not done, which is partially why I am posting this, but it is only a minor piece of the “why” for me. I could not be here without the people who have supported me in their love and friendship along the way, which includes a multitude of friends, my children, and my loving husband. I feel so much was given to me through this journey that it would be quite unfair of me to take, and not give in return. It’s for this purpose I wanted to share my story, in hopes to inspire others and help them to root around, find the switch at their core that needs flipped, and turn it on!
I made changes which have been instrumental in my quality of life and led me to a place most people only aspire to achieve, which is full independence. What does this mean? It means that I am in control, and that I choose. Doesn’t that sound nice? If you think you’re struggling or having a hard time, trust me, I’ve been there, and know it’s not insurmountable, and if I can get here, YOU CAN TOO!
Just for kicks, I thought it would be fun to also share what it looks like to lose a full person! Okay, he is not exactly a FULL sized person, but it counts to a certain extent, right?
So what are you waiting for? Get your butt in gear? Need help, let’s talk!
If you halfway enjoyed this read, I’d appreciate a like and possibly a share, but would also love to hear from you! It is through the sharing of experience that we as individuals can grow ourselves and would be excited to hear your story!
I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by following me on Twitter @nancymouellette or Facebook @OwnYourPurpose and by going to www.nancymouellette.com