Highway to Health

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“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

My biggest fear is fear of failure.

My weight was never about the number on the scale or what size clothes I wore or trying to conform to a cultural ideal.  My weight was an outward representation of how I felt on the inside.

My weight became my excuse.

My excuse to withdraw from life, to hide.

The worse I felt about myself, my circumstances, the more weight I put on, which made me feel even worse, creating this pattern of cyclical despair.  I felt sorry for myself and every pound represented that self-pity.  I wasn’t just physically unhealthy, I was emotionally unhealthy.  I felt abandoned in my self-imposed exile.

My weight was a way to keep everyone at a distance.  I felt shame.

Shame that I allowed myself to spin so far out of control.  The more shame I felt, the higher the walls I built around myself.  Every pound was a virtual brick, shame the mortar holding it all together, higher and higher the wall grew almost with a life of its own.  I felt trapped by my own inadequacy to make impactful change.  I felt paralyzed by fear.

Fear of failure.

Every diet or exercise program I attempted ended with me gaining more weight.  The weight gain or failure to lose pounds fueled my negative internal dialogue.  It was simply a matter of self-control, of which I clearly had none.  Why keep trying?  I can’t do it. I’ve tried.  I’m tired of failing. The biggest lie of all that I told myself, “I can learn to be happy at this weight”.  Why should I try to live up to some unrealistic societal expectation?  Look at so and so, she’s fat but rich, famous and seemingly happy.  I don’t care what I look like or how much I weigh.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s just a number on a scale.  Why am I putting so much emphasis and importance on it.  Let it go.

My walls appeared to be constructed out of indifference and self-deprecation but truly they were born out of depression, fear and loneliness.  I lost my faith, my way…myself.

I was a spectator of my own life, not an active participant.

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I flipped the script.  I know the decision to have Gastric Sleeve surgery was the beginning.

Every pound lost is a huge victory for me, emotionally and physically.  I haven’t gained any weight since my surgery, but I certainly have had weeks when I didn’t lose any.  I feel disappointment, but instead of letting that spiral into feelings of failure and seeking comfort in the pantry or fridge, I’ve learned to accept, adapt and let go.

However, whoever said nothing tastes as good as being thin feels must never have tried the Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit from Whataburger. I have a love/hate relationship with food.  I’ll never strictly view food as a source of nutrition or fuel, for me it’s also about comfort and solace.  I eat when bored, upset and/or angry.  Food and I are frenemies.  At times it’s my best friend, other times my mortal enemy.  Food and I will never have a normal relationship, my success is dependent on recognizing this fact and learning alternative methods to deal with my emotions, both positive and negative.  I have good days and bad days.  Days where I struggle and find myself standing in the pantry waging this internal war.  Some days I win.  Other days I lose.  Every day is a new day.  I don’t beat myself up anymore, instead I’ve learned to celebrate every victory, no matter how small.

I have learned to appreciate views like these on my hikes –

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I’m an active participant in my life again, and it feels glorious.  I celebrate getting to experience days like these with my children –

We laughed so hard, I nearly peed myself.  Actually, I might have a little…

LIFE IS GOOD!

I started this journey at 287.5 pounds.  My BMI was 49.34.

Last month, I checked in at 220.2 pounds.

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Today, I weighed in at 213.4 pounds. My current BMI is 36.6.

Over the last month, I’ve lost 6.8 pounds.

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I can’t really see the 6.8 pounds lost in these photos, but I can feel it, in how my clothes fit and in how I feel.  Every pound I lose gives me more energy and more encouragement.  I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t take pics before my surgery.  Oh well.  I may not remember what I looked like, but I’ll never forget how I felt and I never want to feel that way again.  Plus, I’ve kept my size 26 pants.  I put them on occasionally, and I can still remember those days when they felt tight.  I smile at how far I’ve come.

Total pounds lost:  74.1

My BMI dropped 12.74.  I’ve added years to my life, both in quantity and quality.

I learn something new about myself every day.  I am constantly looking for new ways to challenge myself.  I’ve come such a long way and it feels great to say that I’m super proud of myself.  My journey is far from over and I’d be lying if I said I can’t wait to hit “ONEderland.”  I don’t remember the last time I weighed in the 100’s.  I’ll have another update for you in a month!

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” Ben Okri

2 thoughts on “Highway to Health

  1. I’m so proud of you and for sticking to it and not giving into the “Well it is jut a number thing and I’m happy at this weight” – you rock girl keep up the good work ! ;D

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