I have been on my particular weight loss journey since July 29, 2006. I am closing in on 10 months of a new lifestyle. So many things have changed in that time. I try to listen to my body and eat when I am hungry, but not famished. I have grown to love most water. I enjoy fruits and vegetables almost more than chocolate and have not had ice cream since last July. I don’t miss it and for those of you wanting to lose weight, “no ice cream” is not a stipulation – I promise.
I am not sure why this time has been different or exactly what the turning point was. But I remember not fitting into any of my clothes and not being able to find shorts last summer to fit – anywhere. I finally found size 20w capris in the woman’s department of Cato. They fit and looked as good on me as my mind’s eye would perceive them to look – but after several beach trips with Dave snapping pics with his newly acquired Nikon D50 I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I have had a lifelong battle with self-loathing but now there was external physical proof. When leaving, my first husband said I had let myself go (I weighed in the 180s – I eventually – long after he was gone – topped out at over 220 and yo yoed several times). A lot of things get said during a break up. My first husband was not an evil person. I had indeed let myself go, although knowing that he was much deeper than that I am sure that was not his primary reason for leaving.
9 days after my 36th birthday, I had enough. I pulled out the only program I knew how to use and that I had had success with – weight watchers. The journey started off very slowly. I was doing everything by the book – water, exercise, fruits and veggies – but my body did not want to give it up. Instead of giving up, I got angry – VERY angry. I was not going to be beaten again. I have had many break throughs. I have worked it almost constantly since that very first day. I try to learn things about myself when I succeed and when I fail. I have become more physically active than even and started running for a while. The pounds have slowly come off and I blew past a couple of obstacles – 180 always seemed to be my point of return to my old ways and size 16 seemed to be where I would start eating again. I cannot articulate why this has worked. I have continued to push forward – not being side tracked by the usual life chaos that has side tracked me in the past.
Yesterday was another moment – I am no longer emotional about success, but instead numb, as if I will awaken from this dream at any moment. I went to my store. Yes, Cato. I pulled a pair of size 12 capris off the clearance rack and went to the dressing room – my 14s were getting loose, but with the fabrics of today with a hint of spandex, I had convinced myself they were merely stretched out. I slid into the 12s, fully expecting them not to button, but they did – the next thing I did was something I have done a gazillion times since starting this program. I turned sideways to see how they looked. and I saw it – or started to at least. The mirror can be a game of distortion of reality. My mom (who has lost 100 pounds on weight watchers but was a thin child, teen, young adult) says that she had never realized she had gotten so large because she always saw the younger, thinner her in the mirror. I have always been large. I was born at 9 lb 14oz and never looked back. I weighed 132 in 5th grade and there was only one girl and one boy who were in the same ballpark – childhood obesity had not reached its epidemic status yet – so in the early 80s, 132 was a HUGE number for a 10 year old. I was teased for my size from early on – so the lingering effect is viewing myself as fat, grossly obese. For almost 10 months I have looked in the mirror and have seen the same 210 pound woman. Yesterday in that dressing room, I saw it – I still cannot say what I saw – but it was there. I saw a glimmer. Oh, today I feel like 210 again, but there may just be hope – and if there is hope in this area of my life, there is hope in some of the more challenging troubled areas as well. I sit here typing in my Cato size 12s – and it is just the beginning.