And by a shit-ton, I mean one hundred pounds.
Here's me in mid-May 2012, ten days or so before Mom was hospitalized and subsequently died:
And here is me now:
I have TONS of those "before" pictures, because my boyfriend Stacey and I went on a wonderful vacation right before Mom died. These are not just pictures of me before I gained 100 pounds. They are pictures of me when life was good. When Mom was alive. I have changed so much since these pictures were taken, from the inside out, out of necessity. For survival.
I look at them sometimes, and they make me a little sad because I think of them as the last days that I was truly happy with my life.
But, I have been grieving (and EATING) for almost two years now, and I think that I can finally see a light at the end of the cliche metaphorical tunnel.
Because guess what I've realized? I'm fucking strong. I'm fucking smart. I'm fucking incredible.
Here are some things that I've accomplished since Mom died:
1) I trained for and completed a half marathon.
2) I qualified for, applied for, was chosen for, and completed
a prestigious internship at the Tennessee Capitol
3) I started a successful social media campaign to bring back the snow globes!!!
(Please see here for the CNN article and here for the LA Times one and here for the Facebook campaign. It may seem silly, but this was a huge deal for me!)
4) I went platinum blonde.
5) I graduated from college! Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Memphis, class of 2014 (and yes, I had my hair put back to its natural dark blonde for the occasion, just in case later in life I decide that platinum blonde was a ridiculous phase).
So yeah... I am still moving forward with my life. I'm trying to pick up the pieces and build a new future. It's completely, 100% different from the future that I thought I would have a couple of years ago. My goals, my desires, and my priorities have all changed drastically.
Mom was my best friend, such an important part of my daily life, and I miss her every moment. It still feels weird that I can't just pick up the phone and talk to her about everything that's going on in my life, and get her advice and support.
Everything changes when you lose someone you love with all of your heart. Everything has to change.
I'm more determined now than ever to have a good life. I'm going to be successful, happy, and healthy. No one can get in my way but me. And I'm going to step aside and just let me do my thing. Because my thing is going to be great.
(This started out as a post to describe how I'm planning to lose the hundred pounds, but it totes went another direction. So I will share the plan next time, because I kind of love where this entry ended up. Just know that because of my newly rediscovered self-confidence, I'm going to lose the weight and keep it off, no problem. Seriously, I got this.)