Helen - two years and 107 pounds later

When I started this blog, I promised that you would occasionally hear from my family. Perhaps you remember my wife's journey to lose weight and be healthier. Two years after starting this journey, my wife, Helen, gives this update on her weight loss battle, in her own words:
So, today (Nov.10) marks two years since beginning my health journey and, to be honest, sometimes I find it hard to remember a time when I wasn’t trying to fit in daily exercise or worry about everything I put in my mouth. Before this journey began, I didn’t count calories or try to find the healthiest entrees on a restaurant menu. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and you know what? I weighed 284 pounds. There it is – in writing. Before today, the only people who knew that number were my husband and me. Fortunately, most of the time, he couldn’t remember it. Luckily, my kids don’t remember how large I was either either. I recently found some old pictures of the heavier me, and my 11-year-old son, Liam, looked at one of the photos astonishment and said, “Wow, I don’t remember you being THAT big.”

Truth be told, I never thought I was THAT big. It scares me to think how much I ignored how big and unhealthy I was. It scares me to think of where my health would be now if I had continued down my previous path.
Ironically, I still struggle with some of the same issues I did two years ago. I still have some really great days filled with healthy choices and awesome workouts, and then there are days where I want to eat the refrigerator and my exercise is somewhat torturous (and not in a good way).
I have learned a tremendous amount these past two years about who I am and what I am capable of doing. Because I know you may be facing the same struggles, I’d like to share the five most significant lessons I've learned during these two years.
1. Any sacrifice is ALWAYS worth it
The payoff that comes from giving something up has been a huge motivator for me. Focusing on the benefit helps when trying to push to finish that extra mile or not eat something I shouldn’t. You will never regret resisting temptation. It’s worth it.
2. Don't compare yourself to others 
While many people struggle with similar issues, no two people are alike. My husband is lucky enough to have an awesome metabolism. In the 25 years I have known him, he has not gained any significant weight. He doesn’t have to always watch what he eats. I’m different. The things one person needs to do to be successful at weight loss and fitness gain is different from what will work for anyone else. That’s probably why I enjoy running. I truly only compete against myself and the clock. I want to improve my time – for me.
3. The journey never ends
There may be days when we don’t make the healthiest choices, but we always have to get back on track. Regular exercise is critical (and for me, that means every day). While I have a goal weight that I’d love to achieve, more than anything, I want to be fit, strong and an example for my children. They are watching and learning from everything I do.
4. You cannot do this alone
Did I mention my husband rocks and my kids are awesome? Jason supports my goals, sets aside time for me to work on them and encourages me every step of the way. My kids look forward to our next race and have learned to leave Mom alone when she has to exercise. Liam is always up for the next challenge. If I ask, “do you want to run a trail 10K with me?” he never hesitates to agree. I would not have been able to start or maintain my healthy ways without my family. I have also been so deeply encouraged by others who have said such positive words or sent encouraging e-mails and cards. Each one has been such a gift to me, more than anyone will know.
5. You are worth it
Many of us struggle every day with choices. I am often annoyed at the number on the bathroom scale. Some days that second piece of dessert looks so enticing, but I know that we were made for more. We need to make the choices that, in the long run, give us more. I’m worth more. God loves each of us and wants so much more for us every day. So each day, I continue trying to choose more.
Here I am, two years into my lifetime journey of good health. I continue to work on fulfilling the promise to myself, my family, my friends and to God to work hard and fight to live every day, glorifying my Creator and honoring the gifts I have been given.
Thanks, Helen, for your inspiration! I hope these words bring encouragement and hope for others who are looking for a healthier lifestyle.

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