Today I would like to tell you a little bit more about my story, my testimony to God’s unwavering faithfulness. I have had a good life for the most part, I have followed the Lord since I was 5 years old, holding true to His promises and while I have had some times that I have stepped out from under His covering, I know that He has always been faithful to bring me back to Him.
I have struggled with my weight and my self-esteem my entire life. I remember going to school and always feeling left out, feeling like the odd man out. I remember going shopping at the mall with my friends and going into the only store I could find clothes that fit me which everyone at school referred to as “The Fat Girl Store”. I remember how much it hurt to always look like I was 10 years older than I was because I was wearing clothing that my mom wore. These scars ran deep in my life. Being rejected, and made fun of by others even my own friends. I can remember all the way back to sixth grade being called a school bus because we had to wear these awful yellow t-shirts for gym class… to this day I won’t wear the color yellow.
I had lost all hope of ever being truly attractive and of worth when I was 18 and my doctor told me “Melissa you just need to accept that you will always be overweight. Between your PCOS and Thryoid issues you will never be able to lose the weight you need to. So just accept it and be comfortable with who you are.” My doctor didn’t know that he had just shattered my world with that statement. So I set out to prove him wrong… I tried every diet out there; Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Adkins, South Beach, Master Cleanse, and so many more I can’t even remember them! I would have some measure of success on each one usually about 25-30 pounds, and then the plateau would kick in and I would give up and gain what I had lost plus 4-5 pounds. So at 27 years old nearly ten years after that earth shattering day in the doctor’s office I gave up. I decided to accept myself as “the fat girl” I decided that I would just love who I was and anyone who had a problem with it could take a flying leap! (Can you sense the anger.) At this time I had just lost 3 babies to miscarriage(due to my health issues and weight), my marriage, my Job, my best friend, and my house, Most of all I had lost my hope for the future. I was in a very dark place and was ready to give up on everything when God brought my son into my life, He needed a mommy and lots of love, and I needed him to teach me how to be whole again. We cried together and laughed together, and grew together. My son saved my life in every way possible. Our adoption was finalized 9 months to the day after I brought him home to my parents’ house and told them that he was going to be my son. (You can only imagine their shock most people bring home puppies I bring home a baby! But that is another story)
Let’s fast forward two years, I was a now a mom with a renewed joy in life. God has already begun a work of restoration in my life and I was serving the Him faithfully once again. At this time decided that it was time to begin another new chapter in my life and return to my education! I began nursing school in the fall of 2012 and my life would literally never be the same! I can’t even begin to give you a list of all the wonderful things becoming a nurse has brought into my life, I met one of my best friends in nursing school and we became like sisters. She has truly been one of my biggest cheerleaders in life sincere day I met her.
It was during nursing school that my beautiful sister Diana began her Trim healthy journey. A friend of hers gave her the book Trim healthy Mama and she started following the plan. It was a true life style change. Not only was she losing weight and inches but she was gaining confidence, energy, and stamina like I had never seen in her. She kept telling me “Melissa you need to read this book! You just have to, it will change your life”. I wasn’t ready to change my life yet at this point , so I made excuse after excuse! I was too busy with school to read another book, it was going to be too confusing for me to grasp, too expensive, it wouldn’t work for me just as none of the other plans in my life hadn’t worked for me… It wasn’t until 6 months after hearing about Trim Healthy Mama that I finally did the unthinkable, I READ THE BOOK!! Within minutes of finishing the Drive Thru Sue chapter I realized that this woman and Farm Fresh Tess were my soul mates. They were me in a book. With in hours of pouring over the pages of the Satisfying & Energizing Chapters I was in tears because for the first time in my entire adult life, I FOUND HOPE FOR WEIGHT LOSS. I had given up on the remote idea of being healthy or being thinner, but I found my hope again in this plan. I found a community of women who were dedicated to encouraging each other! I cannot emphasize enough how vital reading the book is, i had looked at the Pinterest recipes and Facebook boards for months prior to reading the book. Everything seemed like a bunch of granola crunchy mumbo jumbo… UNTIL I sat down and read the book. Then it all clicked! It was a light bulb moment probably in my top 5 life changing moments.
My Trim Healthy Journey began on January 18, 2014 I went full force, there was no looking back for me! I began at a weight of 326 lbs and a size 24. My first week I lost 12 lbs! and then a month and a half later I reached 30 lbs. It was at this point that old fears began to creep in… I had mad it this far before… would I be able to keep going? Could I actually be successful at this weight loss and Trim healthy journey? The answer to that question is YES! Month after month week after week I kept going kept losing pounds, and if I wasn’t losing pounds I was losing inches. I was gaining energy like I had never had even when I was a child. My aches and pains we gone. I no longer required sleep aid medication to fall asleep! The list goes on and on with the many miles stones that have come along with starting Trim Healthy Mama.
As of my last weigh in I have lost 66 lbs, and 4 dress sizes and 1 ½ shoe sizes! I will never go back to where I began, because it would be going backward! This journey has changed my life in so many different ways, on the surface I don’t cringe when i walk by windows that will show my reflection anymore. I can run and play with my son! I can go shopping and not be confined to one shelf of clothing. I am in control of my food intake! I am no longer controlled by sugar and potato chips! When people ask me (and they do ask frequently) when are you going to start eating normal again? I simply smile at them and say “this is my normal!”
I have gone from Hopeless to full of hope! God has brought me full circle, He has changed my life in so many ways that I am sure I can’t even see yet! I have to say thank you to Serene & Pearl for this Heaven inspired plan, thank you for taking time away from your family and friends to minister to women like myself who have lost hope! God has used your plan to change so many people.
Trim Healthy Mama is a commitment, it is long term and it is a LIFESTYLE change. I would like to share a couple of pieces of advice that have helped me along the way:
- Find a THM Buddy. Having someone to walk through this journey, bounce ideas off of, and cry and whine to on days that aren’t easy is priceless! I could not have made this change and been successful without my sister’s guiding hand and loving help.
- Be prepared! Make a plan even just a loose idea of what meals and snacks you will have for the week if you don’t want to be detailed. IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! You can find a printable menu plan here: Blank Menu Plan.
- Be open to new ideas and new foods. Just because you didn’t like a recipe the first time you tried it doesn’t mean the next time you try it you won’t love it!
- Buy multiple sets of measuring spoons and cups Jit really comes in handy when you have more than one set in your kitchen!
- Become involved with the THM community. Get on the FB Boards and be an encourager! J never in all my years of weight loss have I found a more encouraging, loving, and honest group of women to lift me up on my bad days, or call me and encourage me when I feel like cheating & giving up.
Here are some before pictures: Top right: I was 17 years old Top Left I was 19 Bottom Right: I was 27 Bottom left I was 29
Next are the Pictures from the day I began THM:
These are during my journey of the last 6 months! my favorite was being able to ride the carousel with my son at the zoo and not breaking it!