Fat chick attempting to kayak

Even after a life changing year, huge strides in my physical abilities and strength, 70 pounds lost (so far) and a new lease on life and fitness gained…I am still fat. 

Yep. Still fat. 

When I leave the comfortable bubble that is my home where my husband loves me and treats me like Beyonce, or my supportive and amazing gym where I am treated like a rock star, I still have to live in the real world where I am still obese and have 100 more pounds to lose. It can be jarring to feel my baby confidence that has just taken flight, crash to the ground where I have to find the will to try and build it up again. The old me never saw the point.  

My pesky social anxiety sneaks back in at times and starts to whisper in my ear…”You’re still the same. You don’t belong here. Who do you think you are?” 

 And the paranoia of wondering if the people at another table are snickering at me and my “bigness” trying desperately to melt into normalcy, praying no one will consider me a target for a good joke? 

Still happens. 

 I’m learning to not let these things be the TRUTH about who I am anymore. Strangers who don’t know me or all I’ve accomplished on my journey do not get to be the “sayers” of who I am.  

The tragedy is when I tear my confidence down MYSELF.  
This is the biggest lesson I’m trying to learn right now.  

Yesterday, I went on a kayaking trip with my gym friends. Having never participated in any “outdoorsy” type of adventure, I took a leap of faith and tried. I was scared to death and exhilarated all at the same time, praying the life jacket would buckle, (check)…praying I would be able to get in the kayak and not break it (check)…praying I wouldn’t slow everyone down and be a terrible nuisance (check, I hope). 
When I finally managed to get the hang of it and not fear wobbling and sinking to my death in the middle of the lake, I silently and privately rejoiced and thanked God. Here I was still 300ish pounds DOING THE DANG THANG. Such a cool feeling, to allow yourself to be proud of what you were able to overcome.

And then….THE PICTURES. 

FML if pictures aren’t gonna be the death of me and all of my efforts.  

How is it that seeing myself in pictures from this beautiful day almost ruined my entire night, and put me in such a funk that I actually had to step back and check myself? 

I was so disappointed that I didn’t look in those pictures the way that I FELT. 

And you know what? 


I have an incredible life. God has given me a second chance at living by blessing me with the strength and dedication to change my life. I’ll get to where I need to be…in the meantime? How dare I have anything but gratitude for this body I have and/or its reflection? 

So here I am, in a kayak. 



12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie Mason
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 09:59:36

    Get on with yo bad self!!!!
    You go girl!!


  2. Randy Siever
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 10:24:13

    And here we are, sitting on our asses, watching you kill it in a kayak. Rock on, Mandy. So very proud of you.


  3. Elizabeth Brooks
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 11:57:44

    Dearest Mandi, I want you to know that you blessed my life the day I got to meet you. I met you before you started your weight loss journey and I have to tell you I thought you were the coolest! I don’t know if you remember that day, but you and I hit it off major! Heck, my whole fam fell for you. We laughed and played games and you cooked an amazing feast for us all. What you don’t know, is that on out long trip home, Tim and me talked back and forth about how we wish we had met you sooner because we had such a good time with you and your hubby and how Bradley and Will ran a muck around the house together like they knew each other forever. I always read your blogs and I’ve told you before and I will tell you again, YOU are MY inspiration on a daily! I’m positive you are also MANY others inspiration on a daily. Your weight did not define you the day that we met and never has! You truly are so cool, so fun, so funny, so kind and so much more than a fat chick. This I promise. Continue to kick butt and WOW! Congratulations on becoming that bad ass outdoorsy chick. We love you Mandi.


  4. Diane
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 12:48:48

    You are rock’n it girl. Let me know when you’re ready to Paddleboard at The Sparks Marina. Flat water. Best place to learn. Great blog post! You are amazing! And see…..I haven’t even met you yet, so technically, I’m one of those stranger’s.


    • mandimon
      Sep 14, 2015 @ 13:32:17

      Diane!!! YESSSSSS! Paddle boarding is for sure next up on my radar….πŸ˜‰. Thank you so much for the encouragement! Can’t wait to meet someday in person!!


  5. scarletpen28
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 16:00:28

    Pictures always do it to me too. I feel great when I’m at home and slowly noticing changes in my body; my husband makes me feel beautiful; and I start to think that I’m really looking different…and then I see pictures that remind me how far I still have to go before I’m where I need to be. It’s so frustrating and disheartening but you’re right in that all we can do is keep going!


  6. Tammie Jennings
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 19:24:02

    I am would be lucky to find half the joy you find in life. You never cease to AMAZE me. Love you 😘


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