Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Personal Triumph

Disclaimer:
This is not a post about decorating, or design. It's a personal post, one I hope you'll read. 

Many of you know that I've been on a journey to health for the last few months. I said I would share photos and more of the story at some point, and I figured that now was as good a time as any. This week I started working with a personal trainer. I'm sore, and angry. Thankfully though, I knew to expect this, and am actually rather excited that this journey I've been on since February has come to this point; the end of the road, you might say.

You see, in February, I had a health scare, and realized at the Dr.'s office that I was tipping the scale at 281.4 pounds. It wasn't my finest moment. While I knew that I was getting heavy, I always thought I dressed it well, and no one ever threw any comments about my weight out there - so I figured I was fine. Sitting on the table in her office, she asked: "Artie, how much do you weigh?" I thought about it for a moment, wondering if I should tell her that I hadn't been on a scale in more than 2-years. I answered "245 pounds". She gave me this head half tilted look, and said, let's go get on the scale.

The scale was ominous, this giant square on the floor, big enough for a wheelchair, and above it, a little digital screen with burning red numbers. I stepped on, hoping, praying I was less than 245 pounds. Then, there it was. Like demon eyes glowing in the dark night, the terrifying numbers 2, 8, 1, and 4, clearly NOT in the order I had wanted them to be.

At that point, I was so embarrassed I immediately began apologizing to the doctor, and after leaving her office, I vowed that I would go on a diet. Fourteen days later, and probably a lot heavier, I started on the Paleo diet, which I would stick to without cheating from February 4 - May 10. In that time period, I lost 69 pounds. The diet, paired with exercise worked wonderfully for me, and there are so many forums and blogs about the Paleo diet, I felt like I was consistently able to find inspiration, recipes, and stories of success when I felt like quitting.

Now, 3-months later, I've lost 96.2 pounds from my once 281.4 pound frame, and I'm moving on to the muscle building and sculpting phase of this journey. I have to admit, it's not easy. Although I have been running 5-7 miles a day for the last few months, the work-outs that I get when working with my trainer really push me to my limits, and work muscles I never knew existed.

For the next 6-weeks, I'll be on a super strict diet, much more strict than Paleo, working out twice a week with the trainer, with cardio on my own, and one lifting day on my own. Sounds like fun, right? Like I said in the disclaimer, this isn't a post about decorating. What it is, however, is me sharing with all of you, who have become friends over this long blogging career, a little more about me. I also hope, that you'll understand why blog posts have been short, and nothing of CDLV has been shown. I have focused my efforts to work, and achieving my fitness goals ... and unfortunately, that has meant that the blog has suffered some level of neglect.

I will however, be posting again soon. Including news about the secretary, which is actually coming along quite well, and looks beautiful - and my new chinoiserie wallpaper panels in the bedroom.

Until then, however, I'll leave you with some photos of my journey. I hope they inspire you to start a healthy journey of your own, if you need it, and to continue on your healthy journey - if you've already began.

BEFORE
Here I am, with Linda - a talented florist, at a tour of kitchens I did 3 years ago. I loved this little patio dining room. Too bad it rained the entire tour!
 
AFTER 
And here I am, sitting in a ridiculously oversized chair outside of Philadelphia, middle of July 2014.
 
 BEFORE
Here I am, inside of Biscotti's (my favorite restaurant in Jacksonville, FL) in July 2013.
 
AFTER
And here I am with my best friend Allison, at the end of July 2014.
 
BEFORE
A really blurry photo of me after winning Best in Show at the Lewiston Tour of Homes 2012
 
AFTER
And a photo of me and some of the guys from the Buffalo Gay Men's Chorus after our last concert of the Spring Semester, 2014. (I'm fifth from the left.)
 
 SIDE BY SIDE BEFORE AND AFTER
I started doing side by side photos to help me see how far I've come. When you've been living it for months, it's hard to remember what you looked like when you started. So on days that I feel "fat" I just put together a side by side like this ... and realize, I'm not.
 
Left: me at Christmas 2013; Right: me in late June 2014
 
BEFORE
Me, in January 2014 outside of Sardi's in New York City after seeing Kinky Boots.
 
 AFTER/DURING
And lastly, a photo I had taken about a week ago, before I started training with the personal trainer.
 
 
So there you have it. The evolution of losing probably more than 96.2 pounds, and the reason why I've been so quiet. I've been spending all that time I used to spend researching and typing, running and preparing healthy meals. So if you hop on the blog from time to time, and wonder what I'm doing... well, I'm working hard at getting to my goal. I haven't forgotten you - and I'll be back soon!
 
All my love,
A
 
 
 


30 comments:

  1. You are a BIG inspiration to me! We moved here to this new community, it will be 2 years on Oct. 1 and I have gained weight and am hating the way I look. This Spring I started on a walking course and I feel better but I have to fix my eating and cut back on the wine. This is a very social place, w have made many new friends and we all get together and have WINE. I am trying to substitute water now. I would LOVE to have a personal trainer, my best friend does. Keep up the GREAT work!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So very proud of you my dear friend Artie ben and a big congratulations to you on your weight loss and defeating the 'battle of the bulge'. As Pinky says, "keep up the GREAT work!!!!! Warm hugs -Brenda-

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, you've almost lost a whole other person! Looking good!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Artie, this is such a huge personal accomplishment, for not only your health, also your confidence and self-esteem! Congratulations, you are so very inspiring!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW!!! This gives me the push I need to do something about my weight. But that seems like an awful big weight loss in such a short time. Were you under a doctor's care? Again, you are an INSPIRATION!!!


    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations! You look so great! I am always trying to lose weight and your post about your journey is inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Extraordinary! And you are wrong ~~ this IS a post about decorating ... "The Decoration of Artie"

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats to you. You look totally amazing. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congratulations. This is life changing and life extending. A journey like this isn't easy but the alternative is a decline in your health. Good for you!!!
    And - it is about decorating. You now likely have more inspiration and energy to tackle projects.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You were handsome before but now you look like a movie star!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Artie- I haven't been blogging due to my husband's cancer and my serious health issues. I just logged into blogger and saw this and WOW! You look amazing! I am so very happy for you on so very many levels- your health, your happiness, your self worth, and holy cow- you are GORGEOUS!! You do know I was a trainer in a past life? I know exactly how hard you had to work to do this and I am personally so very proud of you. Much, much love xoxo,
    Pattie

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations Artie; you look like a model now. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gracious alive!!! You look like a brand new person. I'm so happy for you, and the benefits you obviously are enjoying will be worth all of the hard work and sacrifices. I did the same thing this year (on a smaller scale), but for my size it was monumental for me too. I lost 23 lbs. and did it slowly over several months. It really shows in your face the most....wow...what a transformation! I'm pulling for you to keep it up and keep it off! Bravo :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congratulations! You look fabulous! I wonder how many people know the courage and perseverance it took to accomplish what you did?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, Artie! I am so impressed at your accomplishment. You were cute before but now you're hot, hot, hot! Though I've missed your posts I am so happy to know that you put yourself first. You've had an amazing transformation. Kudos to you for all your hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congratulations! I am saving your post to use as inspiration. You look great!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Not at all the post I was expecting to find in my inbox this morning, but a very interesting one. You look awesome and handsome.

    ReplyDelete
  18. YOU LOOK FABULOUS ARTIE! HUBBA HUBBA!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Artie, you are an inspiration! Congrats on your hard work and dedication. It has really paid off! I am trying to loose weight now and I know it is a constant battle. Now I have a new manta, "Artie can do it, so can I!" :o)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Keep up the good work of taking care of yourself. You are such a hottie!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congrats to you - I wish i could be that dedicated! You should be very proud of reaching so many healthy goals!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bet you feel as great as you look well except for the sore muscles. Congrats Artie such a tremendous accomplishment - I have been struggling for the last few years with weight. I know how much focus and energy it takes. Always thought your were cute but now you've got that chiseled, handsome thing going on.

    ReplyDelete
  23. so inspiring, artie. you look so healthy and happy. AND you look fantastic! donna

    ReplyDelete
  24. Totally impressive. What a great journey and gift to yourself. I'm in the midst of the same. I turned 50 in March and the reality of where my fitness level (or lack thereof) was it hit me hard. It's so easy to be complacent. Now, down a few pounds, are more importantly more fit, I'm feeling great. We need to care for ourselves and keep ourselves strong. It's so good for us, inside and out. I've been watching you, but missing the befores. While you are a cutie either way, I'm glad to see you fit and happy!! Keep at it, my friend!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. WOW! Very impressive results, and you look amazing! I'm 63, and I'm not sure my skin will still fit with that rapid of a weight loss, but it is certainly an eye opening transformation. Definitely Paleo is the way to go!

    Thank you for sharing. I have not read your blog before, but I am adding your blog to my favorites bar, and will be working my way through your archives, as well as keeping up with your new posts.

    Blogless Peggy

    ReplyDelete
  26. The transformation you've undergone is amazing but I just want to encourage you to move forward with a plan that's SUSTAINABLE. While your weight loss is a big accomplishment, it's unfortunately the easy part. Losing weight is motivating. You see yourself looking better and better and that's the encouragement you need to keep going.

    Keeping the weight off is the long-term battle. When you've reached your goal weight and the progress stops, it's easy to let yourself off the hook but skipping a workout or giving yourself permission to eat something that's not on the diet. So when you say you're working out with a trainer and getting more extreme with your diet, that worries me. The goal should be to come up with a workout plan and diet that works for the long haul.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Artie! Awesome job and congratulations. I know how difficult it is to change your lifestyle and make those changes permanent. I can see it...you're much happier and you should be so proud! It's so hard to take off the weight and make sure that not only are you a new slimmer you but the trick is also a new healthier you. Looks like you're on your way! Good for you my friend...hard work pays off...all the time!
    **Tami

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congratulations. Your perseverance is impressive. I and going to share this with my husband who could use some inspiration to get started.
    All best,
    Phyllis

    ReplyDelete
  29. WOW!!!!!

    Congratulations! All doctors who care about us should have such "good patients"!
    BRAVO!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow, look what you've done for yourself! I just discovered your blog and was scrolling through older posts and found this one. You've inspired me to get rid of the extra weight I've been lugging around. You look great!

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments, so thank you for leaving them!