March 24th- Weighed in at WW and lost another 3.2! I reached the goal that I set for myself 2 weeks early! I charted my progress on a sheet of graph paper 27 weeks ago, and at the top was the 40 pound goal. I reached 40.8 pounds today.(50.8 since September). The girl weighing me in actually said that you don’t see numbers like that at this point, especially after losing so much weight consistently.. so 3.2 was a great loss today. I couldn’t wait to call everyone waiting for my weekly call, and email those whom I email each week when I get home.
I emailed Steve, the owner of the gym that I go to (he is one of my weekly emails after ww each week), and his response has become another amazing moment in this journey that I will never forget…He wrote…
“You should wear it with pride, you are doing an amazing job, what to you need for this final push to then, let me know and we’ll do it. Is it extra rowing classes, personal training, anything let me know. You’ve do so much for so many people let me haul you to the end, no cost, just whatever additional you feel will help you get to the finish line”
I couldn’t believe it…that email made me feel like some sort of celebrity! Steve, along with his staff, have supported me since the first day Meg and I walked through the gym with our “coupon” to just try it for a week. I was a very overweight woman, filled with fear about walking through those doors of the gym. I remember videotaping myself out in the parking lot of the gym, talking to Dr. Oz, saying that gyms seem filled with perfectly fit people already, and I wished there were gyms for people who had a lot of work to do.
I am so thankful that the Lord lead us, and gave us the courage, to walk through those gym doors. I remember everyone at the desk being so kind to us, and making us feel so welcome right away. I remember the very first week, when Steve brought me to tears when he tagged my blog that I had just created for the first time in my life, and put it on the gym’s facebook page. I, still, when I share that story, tear up, as I ask, “who does that?, Who puts an overweight woman on the facebook page of a gym?” These are just some of the incredible moments that I continue to share with others as they ask me about this journey.
The night of March 24th, I received another email that took my breath away. A wonderful friend, who is a professional photographer, sent me an email and offered to take pictures of me every week until I reach my goal. She said that she wished she had thought to do this sooner, but was offering to see if it would be something that I would like to do. Again, I felt like I had to pinch myself. First the amazing offer from the owner of a gym, and now a beautiful offer from a professional photographer. How does this happen??? All I can continue to do, is share these incredible stories and end with two powerful words….ONLY GOD! Only God could orchestrate all of this, and as I continue to walk through it, I am just in awe!
So, as I now head into the last week of the challenge, and sometimes the fear and doubt start to creep in a bit, especially at the thought that 1.2 million people have supposedly signed up for the challenge….I stop and hold onto all of these incredible “God incidences” which have happened since the day I sat up on the edge of the couch, listening to Dr. Oz launch this challenge, running to the computer to sign up and start the process….I remember having that overwhelming belief that this was going to be the time I could overcome this battle with weight… and I also had then, and have had so many times throughout this entire journey… a full belief that I will be standing next to Dr. Oz on the 23rd of May when he announces the winner.
This past Monday, I finally went clothes shopping for the first time since the challenge started 27 weeks ago, October 1st. I knew that I had to go get pants, as all of mine are way too big. I’ve been living in work out clothes, and just wearing everything way too big. (the waist of the pants are rolled over 2 or 3 times under big shirts. So, it was time to get some clothes, as I certainly had nothing to wear for Easter coming up. It took me 4 hours of shopping get some clothes. Mainly, because I had no idea what size I was, and after losing a lot of weight, it doesn’t really register in your head yet. I started out taking 1 or 2 sizes smaller into the dressing room. Then, when I would walk out to get something else, I would realize the pants were still too big. It took a while, but at one point, I was standing in the dressing room with pants on, in a size that I have not been in for 25 years! I thought, maybe it’s just that designer, go get a different pair in the same size…and those fit also….I kept looking at the tags and just stood there for a moment and looked in the mirror and just said, “Wow, thank you Lord. This is, again, above and beyond what I ever could have imagined at this moment.” Each time I have taken off my workout clothes, and grabbed the jeans this week, I am amazed.
Yesterday, Jen came over to take some pictures. She had me put on very form fitting clothes, and yes, of course, I had that “third layer” blouse over it… and we went outside in the backyard to take the first group of pictures. She took a few and then said, “ok, the outside shirt has to come off.” It was so hard to do, but she was so amazed, and she continued to click away as she just kept saying, “you look amazing”. It was very difficult for me to take the pictures, but I know that it is important to document every step of this journey, and I am so thankful that she offered, or it would never happen. Again, after she left, I closed the door, and just thanked God for putting it on Jen’s heart to do that for me.
So, it is now Wednesday…halfway through the last week of the challenge. When I met with Steve and asked him what I should do to pull out one last big number, he said to double up the workouts for as many days as I can. So each day, Meg and I have done at least 2 workout sessions. In fact, today, I played platform paddle tennis from 8:30-10, then took a Zumba class from 12:30-1:30, and tonight I will take a rowing class from 7:30-8:30. I am exhausted, but excited to finish as strong as I can.
As I’m praying and listening reading and thinking about so many things this week, even worrying about getting narrowed down as a finalist…. I am reminded over and over again of all of the amazing moments in this journey so far. As we go into Easter Sunday, I remember that last Easter Sunday I was in California watching our Church’s Easter Service on the computer …as Olivia and some of the other contestants from the Biggest Loser shared their testimony during the service…I was just watching and praying that maybe one day I could get to where they were. That maybe something extraordinary could happen to me, so that I could get motivated and put together all that need to be put together to finally win the battle with my weight. I was in California, about to go to the church service there, wearing clothes to hide my weight, knowing that it was spring, and summer was around the corner..and it would be another season where shorts would not be worn, and cute summer clothes were still something in the distant past.
When I signed up for this challenge, I didn’t realize that the final week would be going into Easter week. At first I thought, wow, that’s a strange time to have everything due, and the kids are off for vacation, etc. Then in these past few weeks, I realized.. what better time to finish this challenge…Easter week. The hugest Christian holiday of the year, as we celebrate that Christ had the ultimate victory over death…and I realize that because of that victory, in His power and through His grace I have had victory over this battle with weight.
He has been answering my prayers, placing the most incredible people in my life throughout this journey, strengthening me and providing just what I needed when at times I didn’t think I could get through another day, as some of life’s toughest moments and situations happened this past season in our lives and the lives of family and friends. He has blessed me with moments and opportunities that have literally taken my breath away…He has been with me, strengthening me and walking with me through some of the toughest of times on this journey, times where I had to ask for help, and help arrived in ways that I never could have imagined.
So, although I’m in the final days of the challenge, I still have a long way to go until reaching my goal weight. I continue to hold onto all that I have learned, and continue to learn from Weight Watchers, Dr. Oz, the owner and trainers at the gym…and continue to watch my body transform…inside and outside! I have shared with many people, I know that I am walking through something that is much bigger than I am. I am so excited to keep watching it all unfold. I know that there are millions of people in this challenge, but if it is the Lord’s will that I am the one, then I will be the one. I’m asking Him for it, praying that He will continue to lead me one day at a time, holding onto the promise that, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philipians 4:13) and as He is the author and finisher of our faith, I’m holding onto this promise as I pray that He will bring me to an amazing finish…abundantly more than I could ever ask for or even imagine! He has done it over and over again already.
Thank you, all, for encouraging me through your emails, letters, phone calls…and especially your prayers. You have inspired me to keep going, and your words and love have been such an important part of my inner transformation. My heart overflows with gratitude!
The final weigh in is this Saturday, all of my information is due by April 9th (Monday). Then they will choose 200 people….then we have to send a 400 word essay and they narrow it down to 50 people, then we are interviewed and they choose the top 10 finalists. That is my prayer right now…that I will be chosen in the top 10. Then after that, I will need all of you to vote for me from May 7- May 13th, and pass it on to everyone you know. I will let everyone know how to do that as soon as they let us know.
So for now, I am heading back to the gym….going to finish strong for Saturday’s weigh in…praying for the biggest number yet….and then praying to make it to the top 10 finalists! Doing my absolute best…and then placing it in His hands!