Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Although my first post was October 7th of last year, it wasn't until October 14th that I actually got on the scale (after many moons of avoidance) and posted my weight of 277 pounds on a blog that I wasn't sure that anyone would even see. It's a year later and I wanted to recap what has become perhaps the best year of my life so far.

Let's start at the beginning. My 39th birthday in Puerto Rico, late September 2008. When I looked at this photo I was shocked. I almost didn't recognize myself. When did I get so fat? How did I allow this to happen? And make no mistake, I made it happen. But it was this photo that made me realize that I could turn it around. I can see the sense of humor in the face of the woman in this photo, a glimmer of the happy, vibrant person that I could be if I wasn't buried under the strain of emotional eating and poor fitness.

277 pounds, waist 52 inches

After that trip, I decided that enough was enough, I was going to deal head on with all the stuff that was holding me back from being a lean, strong and healthy person. No longer would my emotions dictate what I put in my mouth. I decided that my body was worthy of being treated with the utmost care and respect. I decided NO MORE DIETS! I decided that making small changes like giving up fast food and sugary soda and drinking freshly pressed vegetable juice every day was a very good place to start. Then everything else started falling into place. I read up on how to stock a healthy pantry, about sensible portion control and how by making nothing forbidden I could break the cycle of "on the wagon, off the wagon." I learned that making thoughtful choices about what I put in my body was the easiest way to getting healthy. And I lost weight in the process!

Once I started feeling better, lighter from fueling body appropriately, I decided to tackle exercise. I added a short walk a couple of times a week, either around the block or with Leslie Sansone in my living room. After a while it got easier. I walked longer. I started having more energy, less stress. I felt happier in a way that I hadn't in such a long time. So I kept doing more until it became part of my daily routine. And I'm getting fitter and stronger every day!

All the while I sat at the computer and blogged about the information that I had learned, the strategies that were working for me and how I was feeling. The accountability factor was key, by not only being accountable to the blog (and the readers) I learned how to become accountable to myself. It may have been the hardest thing to assimilate but it's the most valuable tool that I have on this journey.

What a difference a year makes. I feel amazing and have a whole new outlook on life. I lost 87 pounds by not being on a diet. By not having to give up my favorite treats and my beloved Chardonnay. By not having to workout 3 hours a day. After a lifetime of struggling with emotional overeating and yo-yo dieting, this is the longest I've ever sustained a healthy, balanced lifestyle. But why is this time different? Because I've changed my thinking, eradicated the diet mentality. No more "good food behavior" vs. "bad food behavior." I learned what my body needed and I provided it: Nutritious and delicious foods in sensible portions, treats and wine in moderation, enough rest and a balanced fitness plan.

Of course I haven't done it alone. I want to thank my husband, Rob, for supporting me through this process and putting up with many experimental recipes that weren't always winners. I want to thank my friend, Lisa, who has always been there when I needed a little extra push at work out time. I want to thank my friends and family for putting up with all my "health chatter" over the last year even when they probably wanted to talk about something else. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, taken the time to leave thoughtful and supportive comments. This is by no means the end of my journey, I have lots more to do and lots more to say but it has been a fabulous year!

190 pounds, waist 35 inches


  1. Andra, how amazing! I am so proud and happy for you. You did it the healthy, sensible way. That means that the weight will come off and stay off! And the changes already have been miraculous. You must get such a charge just from looking in the mirror! I hope next year holds even greater things and bigger adventures for you.

  2. Woohoo! Congrats, Andra!! YOU did it-you made a change and stuck to it. I'm so happy for you. You look so happy in those last two photos. Can't wait to read all about the rest of your journey in the next months and years to come. :)

    PS. I was just thinking this morning how I was missing your posts this week, but it turns out you were saving up for a big one!! Please keep writing, you're a great motivation.


  3. Happy anniversary!!!!!! This post was EXACTLY what I needed to read. You're awesome :)
    Keep up the great work :D

  4. congratulations! i'm psyched that i found you on your one-year anniversary. you've reminded me that anything is possible, and that while the big picture can sound overwhelming, month by month and week by week it's just one small decision after another. i woke up this morning and worked out first thing - first time in a LONG time that i've done that. I'm on my way!

  5. Happy Anniversary Andra! I for one was quite happy to have found your blog some time ago and have enjoyed reading along with you on your Journey.
    You have done a fantastic job and your future will be nothing but sucessful!
    Way to go!!!

  6. Awesome! You look so happy and healthy! <3

  7. You are amazing! Happy anniversary!

  8. All I can say is WOW! You are truly an inspiration. Congratulations!

  9. Andra, you look absolutely, radiantly happy. :) your blog continues to be an inspiration to me. Congratulations so much, and many wishes for continued success and joy!