Every so often, I plan on featuring someone on Pretty Little Loser that is truly an inspiring individual. Someone that we can all relate to and connect with. And when I started thinking about who would be the perfect first “Loser” to share with you all, Kandi sprang to mind right away. Her story is one that speaks closely to my heart, being that we both have come from similar places. And when I read about the journey she’s been on, I am completely encouraged that the same success can be mine! I hope that you feel the same way! And be sure to check out Kandi’s blog Enough of the Fluff and “Like” her page on Facebook!
Today, I am many things….Wife. Mommy to two beautiful little girls. Grad student. Strong. Determined. Confident. Half marathoner. Healthy.
These are all things that describe me, but two years ago this was not the case. Let’s rewind…Two years ago, my list would have included wife and mommy…but none of those other things. At 5’5″, I weighed 227 lbs and wore a size 22. I was tired, uncomfortable and had no confidence. Being unhealthy was nothing new to me – I grew up overweight. I never joined any organized sports and I hated gym class due to my low confidence and embarrassment. I even skipped out on gym so much in 8th grade that I flunked and actually had to take it over again the next year. Talk about my worst nightmare! But being active, in front of people, felt like a sick form of torture.
In January 2011, I decided enough was enough, and I began my final journey to lose the weight, get healthy, and find myself. By cutting out most of the junk and adding in exercise, I have been able to lose 85 lbs. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I was getting up at 3:30 am to work out, because I was working 70 hour weeks and that was the only chance I had between working and my family. (This is a prime example of “Where there’s will, there’s a way”). There have also been bumps in the road, like getting stuck for months on end, gaining 10 lbs and having to re-lose it…but I’ve been able to get through it and have continued success.
Although my journey is nearing the end, as I have under 10 lbs left to lose, I know that in a way, my journey is just beginning. I have changed my life, but those old habits die hard and I am positive that they are still lurking, waiting for the perfect opportunity to work their way back into my routine. Being mindful of those old tendencies (and addictions – yes addictions, to food) is going to be a life long battle. But it will be worth it!
I have changed in so many ways, thanks to getting healthy. These are all things that would never have been possible before, or I just didn’t have the confidence. Some would have seemed downright ridiculous to me. I am in grad school. I am a runner and I LOVE it! I can run 5k in 27 minutes and I am training for my third half marathon. I am set on doing a full marathon someday, once my kids are a little older and I’m out of grad school and have more time to devote to training. I am a leader for my local chapter of Moms RUN This town (and was a leader in my previous location before we recently moved, bringing membership from 2 to 75 in a matter of a few months). I took the lead for a virtual 5k to benefit my local zoo after a flood damaged it and killed several animals. I’m actually comfortable meeting new people or having my picture taken. No more hiding in photos of my kids opening presents at Christmas! I can play actively with my kids, without getting out of breath in 5 seconds!!!! AND I know I am being a good role model for them! Oh, and shopping is FUN for the first time ever! I am wearing a size 8…6 on good days in certain brands
And best of all – I feel normal. I don’t feel icky, tired, uncomfortable, embarrassed…I feel normal. For the first time in my life! And it’s amazing! People say this all the time, but really and truly – if i can do it, anyone can. Even my own parents, who are very proud of me of course, have said they still can’t believe that I run half marathons. I’m sure if you were to track down someone I knew in high school who hasn’t heard about me since, and told them about me now…they would literally not believe you. They would think perhaps you have the wrong person. They might even have a good laugh. I wouldn’t blame them!
But I did it. I’ve lost 85 lbs, I’m healthy and active, and I am excited to see what the rest of life brings!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us Kandi! You’re an inspiration and we’re very blessed to have you as a guest here on Pretty Little Loser! I can’t wait to see the amazing things that the future holds for you!