She's about 5 years younger than me, a 2D visual artist/concept designer (generally all around creative person), and she's lost over 80 pounds.
Alas, there is no blog. She's not on twitter. And there are no progression pics. (I don't even have one of her working out).
So how did she do it? How does someone go from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle... without a support group? Without tons of research? Without a gym membership? Or a nutritionist/trainer?
I recently sat down with DubyaSis (that is via Instant Messenger) and asked her a few questions:
DubyaWife: How much weight have you lost?
DubyaSis: 80.5 lbs
DubyaWife: How long did it take you to lose it?
DubyaSis: I'd say probably a year and a half.
DubyaWife: What "diet" were you on?
DubyaSis: The DubyaSis Fantazgreat Super-Deluxe Big Bang Buster Diet....also know as eating healthy and exercising
DubyaWife: What type of exercise did you do? And how often?
DubyaSis: I am/was a big fan of the elliptical cycle. When I started, I actually didn't exercise at all. I just focused on diet, and teaching my body to like what's healthy for it (as odd as that sounds). Then I started slow, spending 15 min on the elliptical then doing some weight. Maybe 2 times as week. Then I got to 30 min. and would go 3 times a week. Then I started wanting to exercise everyday, and going on the elliptical for about 45 minutes. I'd always include weights, so that I wasn't just losing weight but also gaining strength.
DubyaWife: What would you say was the hardest thing about your journey?
DubyaSis: That's a tough one. Because I think it changed as I went along, my hardships changed as I changed with my journey. At the beginning, it was definitely perseverance. The desire to quit was a lot stronger than my dedication at first. I was in a rough spot as a person, and my body was just reflecting that. So in a sense, I think part of me wanted to fail. Overcoming that was definitely the hardest. Then it becomes difficult to decide "why" I wanted to lose weight. Some may not think it matters, but the wrong reason can hurt you in the long run. My reason needed to be the betterment of self, so I had to learn that I "deserved" to be healthy. Now it’s definitely obsession. When you spend a year and a half focusing on one avenue of yourself, it's difficult to prioritize the rest of your life. I still have to remind myself that I did this so I could improve the other parts of my life.
DubyaWife: What would you say was the best part about your journey (other than the weight loss, of course)?
DubyaSis: By far my confidence. And I don't mean confident about my body (which of course, is the case). I mean my self-confidence in who I am as a person. I've never been very self-assured, and was waiting for the inevitable failure. Hell, I wanted the failure. If I failed, then I wouldn't have to try and I could have reason to blame myself. Me and my pity party, we had good times. But living in fear of success, and blaming yourself is no way to live. I believe in what I'm capable of now. As a person, as an artist. I know I can achieve success.
DubyaWife: Just a few more questions...
DubyaWife: Did you use any resources in your weight loss journey? (ie: blogs, twitter, weightloss websites...)
DubyaSis: Nope. Course, my sister was a huge support system.
DubyaWife: Any advice for a person reading your story and wanting to start a journey on their own?
DubyaSis: It’s YOUR journey, so there's no point trying to have someone else’s. YOUR timeframe to lose weight will be different. YOUR diet will be different. YOUR reasons will be different. For this journey, be selfish, because this is for you. And it's never too late to start that journey. You can restart it everyday. You're not just discovering a new body, but a new self which is a journey well worth taking.
DubyaWife: Ok, so last question...
DubyaWife: How do you go on day by day knowing you're related to someone as awesome as DubyaWife?
DubyaSis: I spontaneously combust everyday from sheer amazement, and then reincarnate. Definitely made the weight loss journey tough, kept having to restart.
DubyaWife: Well we thank you for taking the time out to be with us today. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
DubyaSis: I love this blog. Your journey is truly inspirational. ♥
DubyaSis: Can I get your autograph?
DubyaWife: That'll be $50
DubyaWife's Reflections:Her journey isn't one that's blasted on the Today Show or able to be readily googled (at least now it is). It's a journey of one woman deciding that she wanted to change. She wanted something different. She wanted success. And she was determined to get it done.
Her story isn't very different from anyone else's. She was suffering, inside and out. It got to a point where she needed to change. In each weight loss story one reads (at least in my experience) they all spout the importance of inner-strength, or perservering. Of not giving up.
It took her a year and a half of this type of thinking to reach her goal and now that she's done, that thinking has stuck with her. Like a by-product. Now its impossible for her to turn off the "I can do this" attitude, because she's proved she can do anything.
The beautiful thing about her journey was that it didn't come with motivation or accalaids, it didn't come with rewards or fanfare. There weren't people posting on her blog or twitter feed saying "You can do it!" She, and she alone, made it happen. It was done with sheer force and will power. How many of us can really say we've made this journey alone? (It impresses the hell out of me.)
Now DubyaSis lives her daily life stronger, happier, and healthier. That is her reward.
But her journey wasn't unnoticed. Her example was a huge catalyst for my weight loss journey. Both out of sibling rivalry ("I'll be damned if you do something I don't do!") and jealousy ("No, that's mine!"), she stirred up deep emotions in me that created a domino effect. After seeing it was possible, face to face, in real life. I felt - "If she can do it, I can do it."
So there you are blog readers, you've met DubyaSis and her amazing weight loss story.
She did it.
Now I'm doing it.
I challenge you to start doing it, or as DubyaSis says:
"...it's never too late to start that journey. You can restart it everyday. "
P.S. Embarassing half-naked sibling photo:
(Sorry, sis, had to do it - "Sisters by chance. Friends by choice." ♥)