My Aha! Moment...What Was Yours?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I just recently celebrated my 44th month anniversary on this never-ending journey to become the healthiest me I can be. I say never-ending because in all reality this journey is just that: never-ending with no clear-cut destination but to accept the time for what it is.

If my goal were just to lose weight, well I can honestly say, been there, done that many times (I was a pro at losing weight), only to find myself right back where I started or worse. But this time was going to be different and it has been every step of the way!

On February 9, 2005, I took the first step of my journey to totally transform my life. When I think back before that time, I had very low self-esteem. I believed people judged me because of my size. I thought they viewed me as lazy, undisciplined, and a poor example to my daughter. But now I realize those were just obstacles that I put up to keep me from reaching my goals.

There was and is something safe with what we know. Walking into the abyss was--and is--scary, especially for someone who liked (likes) to be in control of everything, including the scale. I had failed so many times before, what if I failed again? What if the weight never comes off? What will people think when I lose weight? Will they think, “Here she goes again, I wonder how long she will keep it off this time?” Once again these were obstacles that I placed on me. Other people didn't place them on me, I placed them on myself. I have since discovered many times we can be our own worse enemy.

My Aha! moment came about a month before my journey began when I went to put on a pair of black workout pants, that my family so kindly referred to as ‘Mom’s uniform pants’ that's when I noticed the seat was so worn out one could literally see through them. I was mortified! Now what am I going to wear? These were the pants that I could dress up or down for most any occasion. They became my main staple to my very small wardrobe. When my size 18 jeans became too snug for me to wear anymore, and like many women I was NOT going to buy a larger size, these pants became my security.

Weird as it may sound, before my journey I never really saw myself as overweight. When I looked in the mirror I looked heavy, but I guess I just accepted my weight for what it was until I couldn't wear my pants of security. And that was when panic set in.

I had very few photos of me when I was heavy. I was always the one to volunteer to be the photographer and not the one photographed. Sadly this came home to haunt me when my daughter needed photos of the two of us together for a Mother/Daughter high school graduation tea a few years ago. I searched high and low and found a few, but very few of us together. I think I cried for a whole week, and still it is hard to accept that I allowed myself to be so selfish.

Looking back I don’t understand why I was so self-conscious or allowed my insecurities to stand in the way of my daughter having memories of the two of us together captured on film. It was truly a selfish act on my part, but as I have learned on this fantastic journey one can never undo what has been done. That being said we can all learn from our mistakes. It is at that point when we truly grow into the people we are meant to be, regardless of our weight or size.

Now, the camera is my friend. I no longer allow anyone else to determine my worthiness. I have finally learned to let go of my need for perfection and most importantly I have learned to embrace this journey we call healthy living and everything that comes with it.

I wish you well on your own personal journeys.

I hope you will share your own stories of how one moment totally transformed your life. Have you had more than one?

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My aha moment was laying in a hospital bed 23 months ago for ten days wondering how I got myself into this situation and finally took an honest inventory of myself. Report
A-ha moment 1: diagnosed with diabetes almost 10 years ago. I had to change my lifestyle.
A-ha moment 2: after several months on low-carb, my lipid panel was normal for the first time since diagnosis. It can be done. Report
Mine came early last April when I polished off an entire gallon of my husband's ice cream in one sitting (generic store-brand too; not even good-quality ice cream!) It was at that point that I realized my binge eating had spiraled completely out of control, resulting in my being more than 70 lbs. overweight. I knew I had gotten fat, but didn't really appreciate HOW fat until the weight started coming off and I cold see just how tentlike my now-too-big clothes were! Report
I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy.
My aha moment was when I started not feeling myself, but instead bloated and unhealthy, not a feeling of well being. I need to do this for myself and my family. Report
along the way I have had many AHAA moments but I guess the most recent one was where DH was putting on jeans to go to work and starting squawking how I had shrunk his pants or something cause he couldn't get them snapped. After he left for work I was folding them and noticed that they were MINE. Now his butt in his jeans is cute but now I am imagining MY BUTT in his jeans........oh, brother.........When he came home I asked "HOW close to snapping the jeans closed?"..........girlfriend, you gotta get on that treadmill!!! we go.....AHAA!! Report
I just had and AHA moment. I was disappointed that I had only lost 6.5 #. After I took my measurements I had lost 6" . Works for me. Report
My "aha" moment didn't come for awhile. After my brother's death, I was really depressed and knew that I was also over weight. I went to the doctor, who told me how much I had gained in the last 6 months. Even that wasn't enough. Then I was with my 4 yr old great nephew. We were sitting on the couch reading books when he asked me when I was going to have my baby. Since I am in my 60's this obviously was not the case and I told him I was just fat. He wanted to know why and I told him I just ate too much. In his child like wisdom, he said "then why don't you just stop eating?" Report
My AHA moment was when my clothes started to feel a little snug soo I thought I would get on the scale and weigh myself. BIG mistake! The number looking back at me was 242 more than I weighed at 9 months pregnant! So my roommate and I started on the road to recovery LOL. Between the two of us we had picked up between 40and 50 pounds each since moving in together OUCH. However I am proud to say that today I'm 40 pounds lighter and am continuing on this journey of weight loss it has slowed down but I refuse to let it stop. Report
My moment- when a female relative gained weight and I was thinking how big she had gotten. Then I found out she was wearing my size. Report
I took my kids out to eat last night .. We have all been sick and no one wanted to cook or anything we had to eat at home.. It was very unhealthy to say the least..
I took some of mine home.. It started to call my name at 8:00 i was going to go warm it up when my 12 year old said mom really.. You always say that you what to loose.. SO do not go and eat that.. She then got me my big cup of ice water and an orange and told me that is what i could have.. They all know how hard it is for me.. My son at the rest of my fries and i gave the rest of my burger to one of my dogs.. I did not eat the junk.. and i was okay with the water and i shared the orange with her.. I am the only person that has to live in my body so i had better start to take better care of it.. I do not what to be unhealthy the rest of my life .. You have to start some place so you may as well start it everyday with i will do this because your the only person that can loose the weight.. so look at the bright side and think i did one health thing for me today and i am worth the work that it will take to come out the winner on the other side .. Everyone has to start some place.. My place is here and now.. thanks to spark i will be the health person that is living in the big body for now any way..I will make my goal it may not be this year but i will get there .. I know that i can do it.. Report
none of my Ah ha moments have been a kick in the butt hard enough for me to get over my laziness and do something. I know all the rules, I know what to do, but I just can't get off my butt and change. Someone kick me! Report
my "Aha!" moment was last year. there was an health day at my school, and they "forced" us to volunteer to be weighted and measured. I was measured, the boy shouted to the girls who were keeping track of it "1,67" (metres), everything ok. then he shouted "77" and I was like... what did he say? 67? until the girls wrote it down on a card, handled it to me and said "overweight". it was a 28 BMI. that's not borderline overweight. that would still be overweight even if the scale was off. plus, my bf had broke up with me the day before. can you imagine how much painful it was? Report
My Aha moment was meeting one of my good friends for coffee and her revealing her terminal prognosis of ovarian cancer. She (died a month later in July). She was always amazing! We played volleyball together in college and she was always my idea of an amazing, committed female athlete. She was always committed to eating well, exercising regularly, being a fabulous mom and volunteer at her kids school, a caring wife, etc. She drew a really bad card called ovarian cancer.
Anyhow, I can't quite describe it...but I left that meeting with her with a deep sense of guilt and responsibility. I had always been carelessly up and down with my weight and exercise committment. She had done everything right! I felt that day like my permission to be so careless with my health was unfair to her, my husband, my kids, etc. Here she was so sick...and she was still walking or running everyday, and looking forward to her next round of chemo, radiation or surgery in order to keep battling. I had this overwhelming urge that I should honor her struggle by taking better care of myself. I had to BATTLE!
I have lost 31 pounds for her and me and my husband and kids! I have lowered my cholesterol and tryglycerides to acceptable levels. I have about 20 lbs. to go to reach my goal...but I am in no rush. I am in this for the lifestyle...and I know that my friend is supporting my efforts and committment every step of the way from heaven. I have a profound sense of her appreciation to continue the work here that she had to leave. She'll greet me and be so proud of me when I see her again some day... Report
My "A-Ha" moment was more of an "Oh-No" quickly followed "Oh SH*T, No Way!" When I stepped out of the shower and realized the pregnant chick with the nice rack was me. My Six-pack was now a Party Ball and my pecs were morphing into a nice "B" cup. My subsequent measurements showed I had an 18" neck... a foot and a half of fat NECK! My neck has since been put on a strict diet and workout regimen and I'm happy to say it's shrunk an inch in 2 weeks. Bad news is I think it's going to make my noggin look larger :( Report
I think this may sound a little morbid, but my Aha moment was at my mom in laws funeral. She fought cancer for 25 years and she was the most beautiful and healthy looking dead person I have ever seen. Sure trying to buy an outfit for the funeral and having to settle for clothes that were not flattering may have played a part, but I decided I wanted to leave a beautiful corpse like hers. I know, morbid. But that day has inspired me to lose this weight, get healthy and fit and start living life for all it is worth. It is what she always wanted for me. Report
I went to but a pair of really nice jeans at a clothing sotre that deals with plus sizes and I could not fit in the size I thought I was I had to go two sizes up! I did not buy the jeans I decided it was time to be healthy Report
Oh my gawd! So many of these stories hit home. Pictures! I hate pictures always have. But as I read your stories I find I was more selfish to my children, they don't know me in pictures and never will because I never take pictures. The only pictures of me were taken without me knowing they were being taken. Very few are of me actually posing for them. I have a 26 year old and there are literally no pictures of us together! That is so sad. I feel so ashamed of myself. Children love us for who we are not by what we look like. I know this because my kids are always telling me I am beautiful, I am the one who doesn't believe it. I have yet to have that aha moment but this is as close as it gets. Thanks spark people for opening my eyes to something I never realized before. Report
My moment came when I went on vacation with my family and we rode go carts. The seat belt would not fit me and I was so embarrassed. I didn't know that they had "extenders" to make seatbelts fit because I had never had to have one before. I have to lose weight by our next vacation because I am NOT using a seat belt extender again, ever! Thanks for SP helping, I have lost 20 pounds so far. I wonder if that seat belt would fit me now?? Report
A seatbelt on an airplane didn't come anywhere near close to closing, and I had to use an extender. Report
My AHA (for me it was more like an Oh NO) moment was when I couldn't fit into ANY of my clothes. And I had (have) lots of clothes, so it was pretty obvious. I somehow managed to NOT notice that my entire wardrobe size had shifted (when I KNOW that sizes are getting inflated for vanity) but when I couldn't fit into even the larger sizes.... Report
I needed a friends help with my Aha moment. I got on the scale at work and I could not believe that number. And Monique was totally honest and informed me that she could tell I gained a bunch of weight. My whole family is overweight and no one has a problem with it. So to hear it was kinda shocking. But that evening I started SP and have been with it for -80 pounds. Gotta love honest friends!! Report
My Aha! moment came in July, when my boyfriend broke up with me. I looked at myself in the mirror, and realised that I was horridly, awfully fat. I also hated myself. I hated my face, my body, everything. I have not taken a photo in three years, because I was dating this skinny man who made me feel guilty about eating, so to get back at him, I'd eat everything in sight as soon as his back was turned. I also ate because it comforted me. I'd gradually replaced my need to be understood with food. That was my Aha! moment. Since then, I've modified a lot of my harmful behaviours and am starting to understand many of my eating triggers. Haven't lost anyw eight yet, but at least my knees don't hurt anymore! Report
I can relate to this Aha moment...looks like a lot of us can! yes, it was when I had to go to the plus size section that I said, OK, I really have to do something. At 5' 1", I did not need to be in those sizes; not healthy. Another big moment was not being able to get shirts that I wanted because the misses or the junior sizes were just too small...that irritated me. I just didn't feel as comfortable in my own skin anymore and wanted to get comfy again. Take care all! Report
My "AHA" was when I walked through the mall and I saw a butt in a mirror and a turned the corner and the butt was STILL in the mirror. And I thought "O-My, that is alot!?" When I casually kept walking, the pants looked familiar - they were mine. I dropped everything in my hands and couldn't believe that I had done to my body. Suffering from grief from the death of my brother, I hadn't "noticed" my weight gain. Working hard to get through the mental grief for almost 4 years I thought I was in a great place; only to open my eyes to see the "physical damage” I’d done to my body. In anguish, I realized I still had alot of work to do. The first 100, came off pre-SP and I have kept it off for over 3 years. Now I am ready to work on the rest of the grief weight residue. Report
My Aha moment was the end of summer. I am a RN and work in recovery room. I was helping a patient with a bed pan. Afterwards, I'm thinking my god is she fat--low and behold she only weighed a few more pounds than me. OMG-- I started with slimfast diet and found Spark People on their site in September. I love SPARK PEOPLE. Report
I'm happy for you!

Keep it up and God bless....

Kisses Report
My aha moment was when my pants wouldn't "close". The weight was creeping up gradually and I kept telling myself that I didn't look any different. I was avoiding the scale completely to help with the lie that I was telling myself. When the pants just didn't fit anymore and I literally had nothing to wear except a stretchy inappropriate skirt for a date with my husband (that was long overdue!) one night, I said "enough is enough", tomorrow I will have to evaluate the damage. We had just moved into my dream house, I became so engrossed with decorating, unpacking, rearranging, planning my house warming party (I had over 100 people) that for 4 months I neglected to workout and I wasn't eating as healthfully as I had for the past 2 years. The house bliss caused selflessness, and I lost a sense of what I looked like. Then the pics of the housewarming party came in at the same time as old pics from the gym (they had a 35th birthday kickboxing class for me). What a difference! I was shocked! I had gained 16.5 lbs and all of my definition had diminished. I was jarred back into reality. Since then I have lost 7.5 of it, and I am easing back into my hardcore routine. It hasn't been easy, I am all sore from the routines I used to do and find it hard to find the time. How did I fit in 7 days a week of workouts before? I can't remember. So maybe it has also been a wake up call for moderation in all aspects of my life. I am happy that I found myself before it got any more out of control. I refuse to buy bigger clothes, and I am slowly fitting into them comfortably again. Control resumed! Just not obsessive control! Report
WOW! That's me in a nut shell. I call myself a "fatorexic", I look in the mirror and don't see how fat I really am. I wear elastic waist, or stretch fabrics so I can fool myself into thinking I'm not getting bigger. My husband has asked for a picture of me for his office for the entire 23 years we've been married, and I won't do it. When I'm heavier, I don't want my picture taken because I don't look like I want to. I always say when I'm thinner, I'll do it. When I'm thinner, I don't want my picture taken because is someone sees me like that and then sees how I really am, they will be appalled. It is selfish. I'm only thinking about me, but not in the right way. I need to think about me in terms of getting and being healthy. And that is what I'm trying to do now. Report

This is exactly what I have dealt with the past several years....I have "that pair of pants" that I can always rely on and start stressing that they will wear out and I will be stuck without anything to wear...I thought of every excuse I could to keep from having my picture taken.....i thought i was ugly and refused to go to social events (even family gatherings). I thought I had to be skinny, to be accepted and if I didnt wear a size 2 then i was an outcast..thanks to sparkpeople....I am changing not only my weight but my way of life...burdens are beginning to be lifted and I am starting to live again. Report
WOW! You could have been talking about me, except that I KNEW I was overweight and thought I didn't care. Thanks for sharing. Report
What a great article, I almost thought I was writing it. Although I think I am in the middle of my "ah ha moment". I have went up adn down so many times. I have clothes ranging from size 10 to size 20. I think it really hit home for me when my twins entered high school this year and I was so excited for them. I thought, wait a minute, you have so much joy ahead of you with these kids, you need to be healthy for them. So I am really trying so hard to give this a shot again. Not only to lose all the weight I've gained back, but to really change my lifestyle. I really appreciate this whole spark community because it is really helping me get in the groove of losing weight. Report
A couple of things came together to bring me to an aha moment. I knew I was gaining weight, but as I have always been overweight to some degree, I felt very powerless about it. I felt that since I occasionally went to the gym and thought that I didn't eat too poorly that I was just doomed to be fat. I too avoided having my picture taken and I hated seeing myself in those that were taken. Then about a year ago, I got sick with a laryngitis type thing, and got sent to a new doctor. He figured out my BMI (I was at about 205 at 5'4 or 5'5) and told me (among other things, like that my blood pressure was high) that I would probably be a good candidate for gastric bypass in a few years. I was like, "What!?!" I told him that I thought that was for people who were more overweight than I was. He told me I was really not that far away from it. This is horrified me, and equally, I was pretty determined to show him that that was not going to be the case with me. It was definitely a wake up call! If I hadn't gone to that doctor, I may not have gotten inspired to change. I may have continued to feel like I was doomed to be obese. So I starting making what changes I could, and then about three months after that I found SparkPeople and learned a lot more about what I needed to be doing. And now I am so far from where I was a year ago!! Report
Wow! Congratulations on achieving 44 months of health. Thank you for sharing part of your journey with all of us. I didn't really have an Aha moment. I finally got my other knee replaced in April and was eager to get back to exercise (after 12 years off) and into shape. It was very slow at first but it actually came back fairly quickly - all things considered. Your story inspires me to continue to try my best. Report
I didn't have an AHA moment, just a lot of small ones. FIrst, the dr. delaying giving me a prosthesis until I lost 20 pounds. A picture of me at my graduation, someone asking when my baby was due when I was holding my 6 month old triplets, nearly having a heart attack and ending up iun the hospital with my 36th asthma attack in a row. I decided i'd seen WAY more than I'd ever care to. And weight was the reason why. Report
My aha was when I was sick three yrs ago and thought I was going to die. I had pneumonia on top of mobid obesity. I was over 500 lbs and that was an estimation no scales would weight me where I live in a small town. I changed the way I ate and I did have a water weight issue so I take lasix to. I have been as low as 360 let my emotions take me on a ride back to 425 and I am now back down to 388 taking it one step at a time agian.
Hugs Martha n Tx Report
My aha Moment.... came when I realized I don't fit into any of my clothes, and after that moment it was like someone turned the light on. I have known I needed to lose weight, but I had not realized how fat I was, I cry all the time, and am really taking a valant effort at weight loss now. Report
My Aha! moment was when I came home from the hospital after having my son, and I realized what all those excuses for "eating for two" did to my body. Without a baby in there anymore it was time to face the music. Report
My Aha moment was looking through pictures of a friend's graduation party. There were several pictures where a bigger woman had her back turned to the camera and I couldn't think of who it was. Then I realized it was me. Report
Sadly, I saw myself all too well in your comments. I hate how I look in pictures, so therefore, avoid it like a fungus! You have made me think. Report
Of course I had a little panic each time my waist size would go up to the next size.

My biggest Aha! moment was when I could no longer weigh myself at home because my scales only went up to 308. Report
My recent "AHA!" moment came when I looked at the pictures my S.O. had taken of me playing with my grandson at the beach last summer. I knew I was overweight, but didn't really think I looked *too* terrible in a swimsuit...until seeing those pictures. My immediate response was to stop going to the beach, for the remainder of the summer. It had taken me years to finally get up the courage to wear a swimming suit in public, and seeing those pictures took me right back to square one again. I was angry with my SO for taking such unflattering pictures (as if there was another option), and angry with myself for deluding myself into believing I looked better than I did (do). Eventually I realized that it would be much more beneficial to just work on changing those things I don't like about myself that it is to become angry with myself, as well as others, about them. I prefer being happy to being angry and/or upset, and the best way to achieve that happiness is by becoming proud, rather than ashamed, of myself. Report
My "aha" moment came when I started to become depressed about what I looked like and felt like. I would bowl and my knees would just ach. I would ride a bike or walk and not be able to keep up. I never had a stomach, I hit 30 and fat just seemed to appear everywhere. I'm sure it started before 30 but it took one birthday at the bar to realize I didn't like what I had become. I love to dance and I was tired after dancing to a few's a horrible feeling. My husband used to tell me I looked nice every once in a while but that stopped after a while. He never has come to me and told me that I need to make a change and I don't think he would ever do that but he does do his best to push me when I say I want to make a change. Now is the time. I'm doing it for me. To feel better about myself and to get the both of us in the habit of being healthy. I'm happy I have found this sight because I could use support from friends when it comes to my health and I don't get a lot of that from the friends I currently have. Good luck to all!!! Report
Well, not a moment more like moments. After losing both parents in a two year period (Mom to colon cancer and Dad to complications after surgery), I kind of figured out that eating healthy and being active is an important goal for me. Both my parents were obese which contributed to their health problems. After a year of status quo, I started to work on myself. Oct 27, 2007, I quit smoking which lead to weight gain. Feb 2008 I joined a gym. Jun 2008 I went to a nutrtionist and gained Sparkpeople.
The weight is coming off slowly, the body is much more toned and I feel better. Still working on the bad eating habits, some days are better than others. But I'm still working on myself, not giving up!!! Report
My most recent ahha moment was while in China. We ate at alot of non-tourist restaurants (and even at the tourist restaurants I noticed the same). The table set-up consists of a small plate the size of a saucer, a small handleless tea cup, a small bowl, a 4 oz juice glass and chopsticks. Most foods are prepared in a sauce and the bitesize foods are covered enough for taste, not drowning in it. All were placed on a lazy susan so you would spin the dish to you and take a few pieces with chopsticks. While we were given many dishes of food, there was enough for a taste or 2. Every other dish was a steamed veggie. Rice came at the end of the meal and by that time you were so full, you either ate a little or none at all. Dessert was always watermelon. The chopsticks really slowed you down! So what I was reminded.....SLOW DOWN! Variety and spices make a meal. That small plate thing really does work!! Report
My a'ha moment came just over 4 years ago. I was over 500 pounds with no end in sight. I wondered how much larger I could get. I also wondered who would carry my casket; as I surly was killing myself slowly. I have carried a few caskets with 'normal' weight people in them and it's a handful for 6 grown men. Now 4 years later I have learned a great many things. My diet has changed quite a bit as well. I never used to shop the produce aisle, but now it's a staple of my diet. I truly feel that if I can change for the better anyone can. Report
My "Ah Ha Moment" came this past January. I went through a horrible ordeal with swelling in my neck behind my ears. Doctors did tests and I was sent to specialists. When all was said and done, it was chalked up to a strange flare up with my Fibromyalgia. I was sent to my Rheumatologist who changed all of my medications and expressed great concern over my weight gain. He asked questions about family history with diabetes. He also decided that I should discontinue my chloresterol medication because of side effects. On the way home I thought about all of my medical problems and all of my medications. I was trapped by them and they were getting worse, but I was the reason they were getting worse. My eating and lack of exercise was what caused my weight gain which was causing my medical problems to snowvball. Now that I found myself being the cause of my own demise, it was time to stop avoiding the scale and figure out how to be the cause of my revival.
I lost 10 pounds on my own in a month, but I knew that I needed help. Should I go back to Weight Watchers? eDiets? I've done those diets before. They worked until I stopped dieting and exercising, but I always gained it back. The closet full of sizes 8 through 18 would testify that I have done that over and over again. I needed to find something new. I searched the web and found Spark! I am so glad that I did!
Now, I have lost a total of more than 40 lbs. (Once I hit 200 lbs, I was afarid to look at the scale again. I never really knew exactly how much weight over 200lbs.) I went from a really tight size 18 to a very loose size 10. I exercise 4-5 days a week. I haven't had any swelling in my neck or problems with my ears since April. I feel so much healthier. I have a life back. I freed myself from the jail I created! Woo Hoo! Yay Me!! Report
my recent aha moment came when I was given a picture of myself with my newborn daughter, in the photo, I'm happy and glowing as I look at her but as I'm looking at the picture all I could think was "oh God, how many people are going to see how overweight I am in this picture?" a mom should be happy to see pics of herself with her babies but I haven't been and now I'm taking steps to change that, I want to be happy even when I look at the photos I'm in. Report
AHA came in January of this year. I had had to buy one size up post surgery due to swelling, but then had a devil of a time getting back to the pre-surgery clothes. But bigger than that was the fact that who I felt like and who I looked like were miles apart!

Nearly 50 lbs later, I am beginning to look much more like the person I feel I am! And with so much more energy, I am able to do the things I love even better than before! I feel like I am finally discovering my true self! Report