Last week I shared with you the email that Sissy wrote that proved to be the catalyst to start me on this ol’ weight loss journey of mine. Still, it took me a week to bite the bullet, so to speak, and make the decision to do something about the state I had gotten myself into. So it was that on January 24, 2011 I signed up for Weight Watchers Online with a starting weight of 311 pounds.
This means, ladies & gents, that tomorrow is my two year healthy living anniversary.
To be honest, I don’t know if I ever thought I would actually get here.
At the onset, this was just about losing weight, which I’ve done in spades: Down 130 pounds, my XXL t-shirts have been replaced with Mediums. My size 28 pants exchanged for 12s and 14s. And I’m not even done yet. At the onset, this was just about losing weight because I couldn’t see anything beyond that. Of course had I been asked, I can’t imagine I ever believed I would reach a point where I had lost so much weight I was no longer considered obese. All the previous times I had attempted any sort of weight loss program, I hit a wall after six months. So to be here two years later, still going strong & with the momentum to finish, is nothing short of mind blowing.
Along the way, though, I’ve discovered so many other things about myself. I’ve also done things I never could have possibly dreamed of, let alone anticipated. A few weeks ago I celebrated my one year yogaversary. I ran five 5Ks last year, my first 10K is in exactly one month, and I’m registered for an October half-marathon. Over the weekend I was able to buy bras at Target. I realize that this might not seem like a big deal, but bras for the very well-endowed are fucking expensive and can usually only be found at department stores or specialty stores, like Lane Bryant. So to be able to walk into Target and walk out with four bras for roughly the same cost as what I used to spend on one is amazing. And might even make up for my shrinking boobs.
But beyond that, I am happy and healthy. Like, really happy, not the pretend fake-it-til-ya-make it happy I was quite adept at maintaining for, oh, two decades. I know who I am now and, most importantly, I like who I am.
And let’s not forget how much my relationship with food has changed for the better.
This truly has been a journey of self-discovery but it’s hasn’t always been easy. There was a point near the beginning where I almost quit and gave up. About two or three months in I had gained back nearly all that I had lost up to the point and was back to weighing over 300 pounds. It was one of those critical moments where you have to make a choice. I could have called it a wash and been done with it or I could look in the mirror and refuse to settle and get the fuck after it.
If you are very, very lucky, you, too, have people in your life who love you so much that they make it their mission to push and encourage you to make different choices and change your life. But the fact of the matter is, when it comes down to it, the destination, determination and deliberation has to come from inside. All the love and support in the world isn’t going to be enough if you don’t love and support yourself.
I hear the word “inspiration” quite often. From friends and coworkers, telling me that I am their inspiration. I am their hero (one coworker actually calls me her “Shero”). I love it, really. I love knowing that what I’m doing — what I’ve done — has so much more meaning and purpose that goes far beyond the actual daily work and dedication I put in. It’s why I write this blog and why I want to tell my story, to show that it can be done. But while I may joke that like Batgirl I moonlight as a librarian, the truth is that nobody is going to swoop in and save you.
In the end, you have to be your own hero.
Back in the middle of that critical moment, I knew that quitting would have been the lazy way, but it would have been far more easier than embarking on this journey. And, to be honest, looking back I probably underestimated how difficult the past 24 months were going to be. But I had had enough. It was time to commit and there was no fucking way I was going to let myself stay above 300 pounds. So I looked in the mirror and refused to settle and I went. the. fuck. after. it.
Just call me Tenacious J.
Love from the ashes,