Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Ugly Truth

I’m {morbidly} obese. There, I said it. Have you ever made yourself speechless? I just did. Ten entire minutes of watching the little cursor on the screen blink as I desperately tried to strangle the tears and emotions of the stark reality I'm about to admit this openly, online!

I truly have no excuses... sure, there have been some contributing health factors which exacerbated my weight problem, but deep down I know there were things I could have done to curtail the effect. In the last three years I attempted to lose weight about 5 times. Each time weighing more than the last time I started. A few times my Bipolar disorder botched my most successful attempts.

Instead of rallying, I backslid, fast and hard! Ultimately, I completely surrendered. Defeated; I accepted the belief I would just be this way for the rest of my life. Que Sera, Sera!

I was Pinterest surfing and I came across a before/after photo of a lady who remarkably resembled what I felt I probably looked like. This before/after photo had an instant motivating effect on me!
Photo Credit: Runs for Cookies

WOW! Losing a LOT of weight CAN be done! In fact, I’ve lost more than 70 pounds 5 years ago (and a few years before that I lost 60 pounds). I definitely know it can be done. Unfortunately along the way I lost more than just motivation; I lost hope and clarity. I am glad to welcome them all back into my life once again. I CAN DO THIS!

Ironically, for a fat person, I know a LOT about weight loss, fitness, and even the biochemistry of food and nutrition. I actually eat fairly healthy. I cook nearly everything from scratch; using (mostly) whole grains, fresh vegetables and conservative amounts of fats/oils. I buy plenty of fresh fruit, virtually no prepackaged/processed food, and only eat out once every couple weeks (sushi only).

Ultimately it comes down to this very simple reality: Eat less; move more!

The one thing I’ve never done is take a before photo. I *just* took a couple moments to go put on something which wouldn’t appear too slimming (I wear a lot of black/dark colors for the minimizing effect). Due to my own personal convictions I cover my body with loose fitting clothing. However, for the following picture I opted for something more form fitting but without being overly revealing and compromising my modesty. Here I am...

I see myself in the mirror every day but I have NEVER seen myself as being this fat or looking this bad. I almost don't even recognize myself. For the second time today, I’ve made myself speechless. I'm not going to get terribly depressed by the photo. Am I Frustrated? Yes! Angry? Yes! Determined? Absolutely!

Game on, Serena. GAME ON!

God (Allah) give me the strength to prevail; without You I can never succeed!


  1. I know you CAN do it! If I've been able to shed the weight then you are definitely able to. My current weight loss total is 75lbs. I'm working on shedding another 75. If there's anything I can do to help please let me know. Maybe we can even walk together!

    1. Thank you Tina for your support. I'm so proud of how far you've come and how determined you are! I'd love to get together for a walk sometime and catch up - just need to find a date when someone can watch my kiddies! Here's do DOING it!

  2. Jennifer, an old friendFebruary 4, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Serena, you can do it! You've always been a strong determined lady, which I know now u are stronger and even more determined. I know u can do this, you've already accomplished your first step, admitting. Now the next step... Please keep us posted on your progress, Im rooting for u, and if u ever need encouragement call on me pls!!! Keep smiling!!!

    1. Thank you, thank you! I told myself I wouldn't cry but everyone's loving and supporting comments have brought me to tears. I am strong! I am determined! I'm not going to give up and surrender even if those little negative demons in my head tell me to surrender... I'll just have to set them on fire! I will definitely need encouragement so thank you, in advance, for all of yours! I'm planning on posting monthly photos - so stay tuned! :D

  3. my dear Serena,
    I'm glad you're as motivated and determent because as your other friends I KNOW for certain that you can do it !! It might be a long way but you will feel good getting there. I think realizing that it will take time is one big step, since I've been there, with less to lose but .. don't we wish that we could just run without end until it's all gone?? Back in the past I used to go jogging and I had this wishful thinking that my big but would drop to the floor and then I'd just run for my life, as fast as I can !!! LOL...
    If someone can do it Serena you are it !! May Allah give you the strength and will power to keep going to the end !!
    I will keep you in my dua's insha'Allah

    your sister in Islam and sister from another mother *smile*

    1. I've always set really high expectations for myself - and of course, as we all do, I want results and I want them as quickly as possible. I've wished more times than I could possibly count that the weight would magically melt away faster than normal. When I was a teenager I used to pray I would wake up "skinny." Thankfully, however, I finally accepted the reality of just how long it's going to take this time and I'm okay with it.

      I'm immensely grateful to be surrounded by such amazing family and friends. Seriously, after seeing myself in that picture one of the thoughts I had later was, "My husband is AWESOME!" In 8 years he has NEVER a single negative comment about my weight problem. Smart, loving man! Having supportive family and friends is going to make a huge difference - so thank you in advance for everything. Love you!

  4. Good luck with your weight loss and getting healthier!

    Have you thought about using any thing to guide you and keep you on track? About a year ago I was 212 lbs but have since dropped a little over 52 lbs and I've kept it off for 6 months! I don't think I could have done it completely by myself, so I chose to use the free app on my iPod called Loseit to track my calorie intake, figure out a weight loss schedule and my daily calories allowance. It can also track your exercise and calorie burn if you input it. if you don't have a device that can use the app, they also have a free website at that you can do all the tracking on.

    I entered my info into it religiously for a good 6-7 months and that's when I lost the most weight. Plus by then I'd changed and controlled a lot of my eating habits, so I didn't have to track every little bit of my day any more. I haven't lost much in the past 6 months, but I have been able to maintain my current weight and that's just as exciting.

    Once again good luck!

    1. Thank you so much Shane. Major kudos to you on the 52 lbs loss!!!

      There is definitely no way I could do this blindly. I'm using the "old" Weight Watchers program (the newer version just didn't work for me the last time). I've never done great with calorie counting - but I'm a pro at counting points.

      I set up an online calender through to track my points and to journal everything I eat as well as any exercise (I also posted the daily entry to my blog on the right toolbar so everyone can see what I ate... I'm hoping this will really keep me in check! Keeping "written" track is crucial - there's just something so powerful about having to write it down!

      I also bought the iWatchr app ($0.99)- but I'll look into the LoseIt App you recommended - it might have a few features I would benefit from.

      Thankfully I have a really awesome treadmill at home and I'm planning on buying a bike for those times when I really don't "feel" like getting on the treadmill. I have other things for incorporating weight training too.

      Thank you, again, for your support! I'd love for you to follow my progress...

  5. I needed to read this today!! I've been feeling this same way about myself, and I get depressed w/ myself when I look & the mirror and think about how much weight I've gained since I lost so much last year {I gained back all I lost and then some} I KNOW I can do it, I just HAVE to actually do it.

    So just know, I'll be right here with you trying to lose weight & get healthy too!!! =)

    1. The depressing thoughts are what I refer to as the "demons in my head." I'm not aiming for a particular weight goal -- I think I'm actually going to blog about this because otherwise I would end up leaving you a terribly long reply comment! :D So rather than get caught up in exactly how much I have to lose - I'm going to let my body be the guide. This way I won't be beating myself up with the thought, "Oh, I have to lose 130+ pounds!" Which would only create a vicious, never ending cycle that always knocks me off the wagon.

      It's GREAT you've lost weight before - so mentally you know you can do it (I think we all know we can, but having done it before has a more powerful effect for than simply believing). Aside from the before/after picture I saw - my own before picture was a HUGE motivator because I just really never saw how bad I really looked (even my face was almost unrecognizable - if you scroll down to the bottom of the page and see my profile picture you'll see a huge difference in my face!) I would strongly encourage you to take a before photo - I'm fairly confident it will motivate you a lot!

      Looking forward to having another partner in crime!!! :D


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