Why I started.

I’m sitting here on New Year’s Day and cannot stop thinking about why I started my healthiness journey. My mind is consumed with remembering what it was like to be overweight, uncomfortable in my own body and ashamed of what I had let myself become.

I flipped on the t.v. this morning and found a show on TLC called “Half-Ton Man”. I only caught the tail end but the show shared a man who had weighed well over 1,000lbs and his journey to try to get help. Following “Half-Ton Man” was a show called “Half-Ton Dad.” Apparently TLC was running back-to-back episodes. I watched in fear, horror and sadness as this “half-ton dad” talked about his life for the last 7 years. I felt an overwhelming sense of rememberence of where I came from.

I was no where close to weighing a half ton.

Me, at my heaviest, holding my cousin's new baby.

I’ve struggled so much the past couple of months. Struggled to continue the fight. Struggled to be active when my body just wants to hibernate. Struggled to work out when I don’t want to.

And today, I’ve realized why I’ve struggled so much the past couple of months.

I forgot.

I stopped remembering what it was like to be overweight. I didn’t think about the hurdles I faced when I was obese. For so long, I fought to lose weight because I knew what my life would be like if I didn’t. Motivation comes from knowing what your options are. Motivation is fighting for a life you want because you don’t want the life you’ve had. For the past couple of months, I’ve struggled because I forgot.

I forgot what it felt like…
to get winded walking up a flight of stairs.

I forgot what it felt like…
to be only able to shop at one store for my clothes.

I forgot what it felt like…
to not be able to use the bathroom on an airplane.

I forgot what it felt like…
to not be able to paint my toenails.

I forgot what it felt like…
to only feel comfortable wearing black.

I forgot what it felt like…
to feel guilty after eating.

I forgot what it felt like…
to feel like I had no control.

I forgot what it felt like…
to be ashamed of who I was.

I forgot what it felt like…
to be obese.

Why I started.

I started my healthiness journey because I allowed myself to be vulnerable. A raw moment in life when all of a sudden, I realized that I was responsible for who I am. I allowed myself to look in the mirror and stop playing games. I started to fight because I knew I had no other option. It was either allow myself to continue to complain about how unhappy I was…or do something about it.

I started my healthiness journey because I had a choice. As I sit here today, I am reminded about why this healthiness journey is so important. I am reminded about why I began, and why forever, it is important for me to keep close to my heart, those feelings about why I started.


  1. you are amazing!! Keep fighting the good fight! MUCH LOVE!

  2. I saw those shows. They are horrifying. It just makes me think, “What would those poor people (who are literally imprisoned inside their own bodies) give to be able to walk out the door and go for a run? And here I am complaining because I don’t FEEL like it?” It’s a very humbling thought.

  3. Thank you Jen! I needed to read that today! I’ve been struggling with my eating this month and forgetting about how I felt BEFORE I started my journey. I have lost 46 lbs now and I just want to HIT that 50 lb mark so bad.
    This post was what I needed to remember WHY I finally STARTED this in April and why I’m going to stick with it for the rest of my life….because I DON” want to go back to those days when I felt “that” way……I’m so much happier now and I know I will be even happier and healthier next year.
    It’s hard to see that the struggle continues even AFTER you lose and maintain the weight loss BUT it’s good to know so I can prepare myself! thanks so much for everything you do for us readers! I’m bummed I can’t come see you again in Jan, but hope to be able to share with you a 75 lb weight loss at your NEXT get together– whenever that may be.

  4. Its good to remember these things so that you dont get back to that place …some days will always be easier than others
    Happy New Year!

  5. Great post today, Jen. Jay and I were watching those shows on TLC, too, thinking about how people got to be SO BIG!! The scary thing, is that their symptoms and coping mechanisms are the same as ours – turning to food, “using” it to fix a problem or deal with an emotion. And yes, 1,000 lbs is absoltuely horrifying, I am no more better off than the person featured on a TLC show if I don’t understand WHY I eat, and How to move foward. Thanks for the reminder, especially about the “mental” aspects of any weight-loss journey!

  6. That is a great entry! Thanks!

  7. I need every reminder I can get. Fell off the wagon again, getting back up now.

    Don’t forget that at that size that you could be dead from obesity-related health issues at any time.

  8. I never want to forget because I am never going back there again. I think I am always going to be the fat girl in my head, which is okay because she will keep me on track.

  9. Hi Jen,
    I have been a blog stalker for ages now and after reading your latest post i just had to say thank you for posting it. Its so easy to forget those feelings, especially during the festive season.

    Thank you for your openess and your blog – they are a huge inspiration to me!


  10. I myself find myself thinking about my weight loss journey as well. I have finally, after 14 months, reached my goal. I dropped 70 pounds. I used Weight Watchers. When I hit my goal, I spun out of control. I have 3 weeks to get back on track. I gained over 6 pounds in 2 weeks. It comes back on so much easier and faster than it comes off. Keep up the good work!

  11. Thanks for reminding all of us why we do this! Great post to start the new year!!

    Wishing you and Carlos all the best in 2011!!

  12. Jackie Smith says:

    Thanks, I needed to hear this today.

  13. Jen, I look forward to your posts and always find a little motivation, wisdom, encouragement in them. I am delurking today to tell you how much this post resonated with me. I find myself here today, beginning the 3rd year of maintaining a 60 lb. weight loss, and reading your post really made me stop and take a second to just “remember”. Ugh. It was mis.er.able! The weather here today was 45 degrees and I was able to get out there and get an awesome 6 mile run in, and I couldn’t have been happier. Thanks for making me acknowledge my own “anniversary” of sorts, and I look forward to another year of following you and all that lies ahead for you. Holy crap! You’re getting married! WaaaHooo! Happy New Year!

  14. Thank you so much for this post Jen!!! I can’t believe how easy it is to forget where I came from and it was such a dark time too. Making the sacrifices are so worth it!

  15. SallyGirl says:

    What a touching and inspiring post! It is very easy to forget. I am just starting, or I guess, restarting my healthiness journey, and its great to hear from someone who has had so much success but still struggles, as all people do. You’re very motivating!

  16. Thanks for posting this. I watched part of Half Ton Mom, and it was a wake up call to the life I once had. 43 pounds heavier, I had aching joints and negative thoughts. I had self destructive behavior. It was a reminder that I’m worth the effort it takes to reach my goals. We all are 🙂

  17. I soooo needed to read this today Jen, before eating anything. I have been struggling for months, have regained 12kg, and find it hard to believe I am struggling with my choices. I especially love: “Motivation comes from knowing what your options are. Motivation is fighting for a life you want because you don’t want the life you’ve had.”

    Thank you (*_*)

  18. Thanks for the lightbulb moment 🙂

  19. Why oh why those are good questions. Looking back is always important. I prayed for you a few minutes ago when I read about your mother. Earlier today I sat down today and realized that I will be 30 years old in 280 days. I also realized that I weighed 258LBS. My goal is to lose 58LBS by the day I turn 30.. http://ashandlewplus2.com/2011/01/01/280-days-to-a-new-me-lew-that-is/
    You will be in my prayers

  20. This post inspired me more than you know. THANK YOU!!!

  21. Thank you for this post! It was exactly what I needed to get my own booty back on track and get rid of my last 10 pounds. I forgot how unhappy I was 50 pounds ago, and had become comfortable in my new, healthier body.

  22. Thank you Jen, just Thank you. I can’t even watch those shows without fighting back tears they still hit too close to home. I sit here in the 270-280 range, only a year or so ago I was in the 420-430 range(!!!).
    I keep saying over and over that I will never forget where I came from the tomb I was living in, but I think how easy it would be just to do it. I promised myself I am worth more than that. Long hard lesson learned the hard way.
    Thank you for sharing your start with us!
    Hope you have a wonderful 2011!

  23. Thank you.

  24. If there were Oscars for blog posts, I’d nominate this one! Thank you so much for sharing this, Jen. You made me cry. You made me feel what my life is like right now and that it’s not okay. That there is a different option and it all boils down to choice. Thank you!

  25. That just gave me the chills. It’s amazing what our brains allow us to “forget”…..

  26. Jen,

    You forgot because you feel good about yourself. Your self-esteem is higher than it was when you were over-weight and you are comfortable in your new homewith a man that loves you for you and you have all of us rooting for you. There is not one thing wrong with that. I’m not saying you should forget where you came from, I’m just suggesting that you have come a long way in not only your weight loss journey, but in your emotional growth. You are becoming comfortable with your body and should remember to say positive and nice things to yourself when you have that little conversation in your head earrrrrly in the morning to get your behind out of bed to work out. Jen is my cyber-friend and motivator and she can do anything!

  27. This was very inspirational Jen! THANK YOU!!

  28. I think I needed to read this, just as much as you needed to write it. It really struck a chord with me, thank you.

  29. Well said!

  30. Thank you. I lost over 100lbs successfully a few years ago…and by forgetting those things and still feeling horridly massive even when I wasn’t, I let myself slip back to what I was basically.

    I really needed to read your list of forgotten things and if it’s ok with you I’ll be linking a post to this list.



  1. […] also wrote a post titled “Why I Started.” Specifically, her section about forgetting really moved me. I think it’s normal that […]

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