Victory: Two Hundred Pounds Lost

I made it. I finally made it to my mini goal.  On Friday the 29th, I weighed in and found I had lost another 2 pounds & change, and that brought my total to 201 pounds lost!  In just over two years I have lost 201 pounds.  Let me repeat that…I have lost TWO HUNDRED AND ONE POUNDS!  I have to keep repeating it because it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.  When I started this whole journey, I had my doubts.  I had no idea whether or not I would see any success.  And I certainly had NO clue I would get this far.  Nowhere in my reasoning or experience was I prepared to understand the hurdles I would encounter.  So to be sitting here today, penning this post, and thinking about how far I have come…I am honestly not sure I can fathom it all, at this point.  It feels overwhelming and intensely emotional…but it is victory. 

Did I jump up and shout with victory?  Well, yes and no …  Yes I did pump my fist and let out a whispered scream, but I certainly couldn’t yell at the top of my lungs like I wanted to.   C’mon …I’m Minnesotan AND of Norwegian ancestry …that kind of outburst just isn’t done. My great grandmother was a very lovely Scot …so add in that and I am more likely to smirk over tea rather than jump about in grand gesticulations of success.  But trust me …I wanted to.  On the other hand …Vikings had berserkers amongst their fold …so maybe a little celebration is ok!

me claiming victory

Today, I can claim victory.  Checkmate.   

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The Hurdles:

It’s taken me two years to get here – and with the months lost to injury and gout over the last two years I could have shortened that time by 6 months.  Yep …I had THAT much injury and illness time over the last two years.  That’s a LOT.  I am not usually that prone to injury or illness, but I think losing weight has had something to do with how gout affects me and how stubborn it is – or it could be a byproduct of age or something else I simply don’t understand.  What’s important is that I identified a shift in how my body was behaving and went through the process of correcting it.  Going forward I should not have to deal with that problem again.

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The injuries on the other hand were a combination of imposed activity on a usually sedentary body, and possibly some ill-fitting shoes.  If you’ll recall a lot of my small injuries have been in the lower body.  Knees, Achilles tendons, hip, calf muscles, feet, etc.  All of these things are likely related to use – either overuse or improper form doing exercises.  It’s a life-lesson for sure.  Make sure you have good shoes and you know what you are doing.  Working out with a partner helps a lot to police your form and make sure you aren’t slipping in to bad habits.

My Fat Brain: 

The hurdles have not only been physical, there have been mental roadblocks too.  My “fat brain” is something that constantly plagues me – causing doubt, making me question myself and forcing me to fight it for every bit of progress.  So many years spent as obese have conditioned me to think about myself through that lens …and all the limitations that come with it.  So breaking through that barrier is a constant struggle that demands daily attention and, often, help from others.  However, there have been many moments of victory over my fat brain. This is a topic that I could wax on for hours …so it might be best saved for another time. 

The Little Victories Add Up:  

me and tammey
Me and Tammey with The Belt

Many of you remember this recent moment when I could fit two people into a belt that once wouldn’t even hold just me!  My friend Tammey Skinaway was kind enough to help me illustrate the change!  That is another one of those moments that is great when it happens, but it takes a minute to process afterwards.  I still have a hard time comprehending that I used to not fit in that belt.  It sits on my desk to remind me of the results that I have achieved.

Out With The Old:

the donate pile
The purge pile getting sent to IOCP

I recently went through my closet and purged it, yet again, of clothes that are too big for me.  So I have another pile all set to go to Interfaith Outreach Community Partnership.  This is an organization run by LaDonna Hoy – who, for decades, has been doing amazing work helping people.  She is the mom of my friend, Johnny Hoy and it’s always a pleasure to talk with her.  So when it’s time to purge the closet, it goes to IOCP.

In With The New: 

I have to admit that it is fun getting rid of clothes that are too big!  It has led to a new experience for me …clothes shopping in regular stores at a mall!  Do you know how long it has been since I have had the option of NOT going to a “big and tall” men’s store for clothes?  I will tell you …never.  Not that I can remember anyways.  Recently I had that opportunity.  I shopped at Macy’s and The Gap.  I’m sure many of you out there are thinking “so what’s the big deal?” …well, when you have never been able to do that, it’s pretty fun.  It is, every inch, a huge non-scale victory.  You have to get down to the point where stores carry common sizes!  That’s monumental for a wide-body like me!

Not All Peaches And Cream:

Do you realize that how I have dressed for my entire adult life has been dictated by what was available at the big and tall stores?   Let me disabuse you of a myth – style choices available to the fat man are limited to what is guaranteed to not be noticed.  Think about that a second.  The styles I could find were all anonymous and generic …designed to not draw attention. Either that or they were comedic on the level of a court jester.  What does that say about us as a culture? What does it say about how we see each other?  Sometimes the mirror we hold up to our society is dark.

gap sweater
A Cardigan from The Gap

Ever thought about what your personal style is?  Yeah, I didn’t because I didn’t have that option.  Now I have the option of defining who I am not just by how I present myself but by how you perceive me.  That’s another head-scratcher for me.  It’s hard to fathom given a lifetime of being at the mercy of how society chooses to see me, and what clothes manufacturers are willing to make for fat people.  But that’s over with now as I have changed that dynamic and broken out of that mold.  It’s liberating.  So …what’s the first thing I bought at a normal store?   I got a cardigan on sale at the gap for $12.  Yep …$12.  It’s an awesome sweater, I love it!  It’s a great feeling! For the record, yes, that IS a cup of tea on the red chair in that picture.  I went shopping with tea.  It’s the only civilized thing to do.   

This is a Team Sport:

There is not one iota of doubt in my mind that this journey would not be possible without having a great team of supporters. This topic will shortly appear as a post all its own because I feel it is THAT important.  But on this momentous occasion, I wanted to take a brief moment and give a mention to some great friends that have been cornerstones of support in this journey.  I will talk more about these people in that separate post, but here I wanted to throw their names out there: 

  • Francis and Barbara Flatten, my parents.
  • Lani, Ann and Laurie – The Weaver girls.
  • Linnea Forsberg Harju (Brian, Sierra, Parker and Britt!)
  • Johnny Hoy & Olga Dovgopola
  • Ingrid Pearson
  • Lisa Neuberger
  • Fred Finch
  • Patty Cochon
  • My entire Isagenix team (there is too many of you to list here, but in the next post you will get bylines!!)

Thank you, my friends.  You’ll never know how much I have leaned on you and love you all.

A Retrospective:

So just how far have I come?

200 pounds is: 

  • 75% as heavy as a kangaroo.
  • 1.25 times as heavy as a keg of beer.
  • 20% of the weight of a grand piano, polar bear, horse, or grizzly bear.
  • About half as heavy as a reindeer.
  • The same as 2 typical toilets.
  • About the same as 20 cats.
  • The same as 29,025 tea bags.
  • About the same as 80,000 jelly beans.  And I love jelly beans.

I dug up some pictures of me prior to embarking on this journey.  Let’s take a look: 

me and friends
Me, Audrey and Rey
fat me1
Me, Jill and Linnea
Jill, Me and Linnea – they are both as awesome as it gets!
fat me 5
Me at woodford
Me at the Woodford Reserve Distillery many years ago
Me at McCormick's
Me at McCormick’s Irish Pub

And today here is what I look like:   Quite a change, I think! 

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me2
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Where I Am Going From Here: 

Well, for the short term, I would like to add another 10-15lbs to my total. Then I will be visiting with my doctor to address excess skin issues and possibly consult with a surgeon on this.  At that point, what I will be doing will largely be driven by what the surgeon recommends and any timetables we establish.  So that’s a long way of saying “Beyond just losing a few more pounds, I don’t exactly know.” Stay tuned to find out!   

No matter where progress takes me next, you can be assured I travel there on the wings of friends.

Linnea and me
Linnea and me …always in my corner. My sis.
Me and Lani
This pic is old, but I adore it. That’s me with the ravishing Ms Lani Weaver. Without whom, none of this would be possible. (and Mr.Boo in the foreground!)

8 Responses

  • Lani

    You are so amazing and this post made me cry. What a journey! I love you so much and I’m so proud of you <3

    Reply
    • Awww Thanks Lan! Love you too! You’re the best …I couldn’t have done this without your years of constant support 🙂 <3

      Reply
  • Aunt Kathy

    Congratulations E, we all knew you would do it. You are awesome!
    XOXO

    Reply
  • Tavia

    Ethan, you did it!! 2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣!! So happy for you!!

    I can’t wait to see you again & congratulate you! 201 in 2 years; that’s over 8 lbs a month.

    Your cardigan was great at the last event.

    It is interesting to hear you talk about your ‘fat mind’. I’ve often wondered about that topic.

    Great post!! Yay!!! #unplowedroad #goalgetter

    Reply
    • Thanks Tavia! I really enjoyed chatting last time! Yeah, “my fat brain” is an interesting top for sure. I’ll be discussing that more on the blog, for sure!

      Reply
  • Mandy

    You are amazing! Love this!

    Reply

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