Fighting a Lifelong Battle (What's Yours?)
In February of 2012 (two years ago now!) I started doing something I never believed I would be able to do. I began losing weight, and instead of giving up like I'd done a hundred times before, I kept at it. My best bud, iPhone, had an app on it called MyFitnessPal, (awesome site, by the way . . . I couldn't have lost the weight without it) and my info when I first set it up showed me weighing 221 pounds. I am 5'6" tall, so this put me in overweight, definitely pushing something else, especially since my BMI (body mass index) was over 30 which meant I was that word that I can't even stand the sound of . . . obese. Ugh, what a way to think of yourself.
Today, at this very moment. I am still 5'6" but my BMI is 23.9. I weigh 148 pounds.
The thing is, in my head, I will always be that fat girl. I spent so many years being her, compensating for how it felt to be overweight but not seeing it. Oh, I felt it. I understood it. But even though I looked in the mirror every day - I never really could see myself, and be honest about it.
But I can now.
Even now, two years into my new body, when I look at the pictures from before, I cringe.
How did I not see it? How did I have such blinders on? That little voice that lived inside my head was constantly telling me, "Hey, you're not that big. Plus, insert excuse here. (You're a new mom, you're just built this way, you eat healthy, you only had a kid x years ago, how fast are you supposed to lose it? And on, and on). That voice was also the one saying, go ahead, have a bag of Hershey's, you deserve it!
Just like when I was big and couldn't see myself in a mirror or in photos for how I really looked, now that I'm 73 pounds lighter, I don't see the new version of me. In my head, I'm the same as I always have been.
About 10 months into dropping the weight, and about 5 months into my relationship with Luke, he took me to the casino. I had never been before and we thought it would be fun/funny to go and see how I did (Side note: I'm terrible at going to casinos. It's a depressing place and I lost all my $20, hustled out before I did any more damage, and have no want or need to go back). They have a huge bathroom there, two rows of stalls, and when I came out and rounded the corner, I was startled by this skinny dark-haired chick coming toward me. As we got closer to each other, it was obvious that she was me.
I didn't know her at all, and as I stood there washing my hands, I wondered how I would ever be able to see the fat girl I was and this new person as one and the same.
I'm two years into being "skinny" by outward appearances. All my life, I longed to be a skinny person. I wondered what it would be like to wear clothes of a certain size (it's several, by the way: size S and M, size 7, 9, 10, 11, junior 13. They all fit me at different times and on different days). I thought, life would be so much better, easier, free-er! It would all change when I became skinny!
My life did not change because I'm skinny. I still have the same job, same house, same parents, same family and children. I still struggle with being introverted, with a messed up self-image, with wanting to eat things I shouldn't. For a long time, I hovered at 143-145. Now I'm at 148.
It freaks me out a little and I'm struggling to cut back so I can be five pounds less again. So I'm not so worried that this is the beginning of a slow climb back to fat. I run my very first 5K tomorrow. I don't know what, if any, feelings of accomplishment that will bring? I still hate running, but I make myself do it so I can prove "I can."
Somebody said to me when I told them I was doing a 5K this weekend, "Oh, I didn't know you were a runner!" I replied, "Neither did I. I was just as surprised as you are."
I didn't know there was a skinny person in here, either. I'm still getting to know her. It turns out, we're a lot alike.
Have you ever achieved a goal, and it wasn't quite what you expected? What was different?
Did you struggle with weight, image, a bad habit, or something more serious like drugs, alcohol (hey, gambling?) and now don't?
Once you got through it, did it change your life or the person you thought you were?
I'd love to hear your thoughts . . . leave me a comment.