I shocked myself a bit yesterday. Since the end of the Biggest Loser competition, I haven’t been bad, but I haven’t been as strict about what I have been eating and I have been feeling guilty about it, but not guilty enough to try harder. Then, yesterday morning as I was standing in front of my mirror getting ready for work, I remembered a picture I had taken of myself a few years back when I first started exercising again. It is a picture that immediately after printing it out, I deleted it off of the camera and the computer so the only copy in existence is in my bathroom upstairs. I did have it hanging up in my make-up cabinet, but the tape tore so lately it has been sitting on the top of the cabinet and I haven’t looked at it for months. This picture of overweight me in my undergarments was used to inspire me to stay active and watch what I ate. It worked for a while, but then it fell down and I shoved it on top of the cabinet. Well, yesterday I pulled it down and compared it to the image of myself I saw staring back in the mirror. And boy was I shocked. I had no idea what a difference 45 pounds can make. I had no idea just how round my face had been, not to mention other areas. Yes, I have been realizing that my clothes are way too big and I am down two clothing sizes, but to actually see the difference was shocking, amazing, and inspiring.

I am over half way to my goal and that look in the mirror yesterday was part of what I needed to get back on track. The other part was walking with a couple of my BL(a)’s this morning and hearing them talk about the fact that they have been struggling since the end of the competition, too. We all are realizing this week that we let our guards down and fell off the wagon a bit, but we all also realize that we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and climb back on because we don’t want to go back to where we were. We want to keep moving forward.

Add this to the fact that everyday this week I have had at least one person, and usually more than one, tell me how good I am looking, how I am glowing (not in a pregnancy kind of way-thank God!), how I am drop-dead gorgeous (yes, someone used those words), and so on, and it encourages me to keep going, stay strong, eat well, and get out of bed to exercise even when I am exhausted.

So what happens today when I am determined to stay strong? A tin of Danish butter cookies was delivered with our Quill order to the church. I love Danish butter cookies. And I want to eat the whole tin. But I asked God for strength to avoid them. And every time I was tempted to get up and get one, someone was in the hallway or the workroom, which completely deterred me from picking up a cookie. God definitely answered my prayer by using the fact that I have told people I am not eating sweets and carbs and thus I didn’t want anyone to see me eating a cookie. 🙂 Maybe that reveals something else about me that needs work, but I didn’t eat the cookies!

I added some pictures of me to this post. The first one was taken about the time I was at my heaviest, the second one in early June, right after starting the Biggest Loser competition, the third one part way through the summer, and the last one two weeks ago at our victory celebration. (No, I am not including the picture of me in my skivvies – no one gets to see that one.) It’s pretty neat to see the changes just in my face over the last few months. Here’s to more changes to come!

What changes do you want to see in your life right now? How can you document those changes as they happen to keep you going?