Sunday, September 14, 2008

10%, Gone. Forever. Amen.

If I were a Weight Watchers member, I'd be getting a token of some sort. Since January 1st of this year, I've lost a total of 21.6 pounds, or just a tad bit more than 10% of my original body weight of 214 pounds.

I'll never forget that day I visited my doctor in December. It was for my yearly ladies' exam, and as much as we all hate those, I've got a really awesome OB/GYN. She's non-judgmental, honest, and is always open to listening to my health needs. It had been a long, hard semester. I'd be graduating in the spring, and I was busy trying to put together all my grad school applications, write my honor's thesis, keep my apartment from falling apart, trying to keep my job together (I was the secretary for a small church that had a terrible pastor for only 6 months. I got all the reverb from those miserable 6 months). I'd been gaining weight steadily since my last bout with Weight Watchers in 2006. I'd been with Dustin for about 8 months, and the evidence of our many restaurant dates hung uncomfortably on my middle. And more, I was feeling, emotionally, miserable. I was happy with school, and head over heels in love with Dustin, but I was beginning to let my self-esteem slip back to middle-school levels, which is to say, really, really bad. I was irritable, easily frustrated, and completely dependent on others (mainly Dustin) to keep me happy and thinking positively about myself.

I shouldn't have been suprised when April (my ob/gyn) told me, rather frankly, I needed to watch my weight. She asked me how I'd been eating, how I was handling my stress, and after I told her how I was doing pretty miserably with both, she matter-of-factly told me what kinds of foods I should be eating and that it would help me both physically and emotionally to find an outlet for my stress. I cried as I left her office, feeling like I'd completely failed myself. I kept replaying the nurse's face as she scribbled my weight on my chart. She didn't grimace or scoff, but I was horrified, more at myself than what she thought. 214 was the heaviest I'd ever been, and I realized how quickly that number could continue to rise.

For a month or so, I continued to beat myself up, aware that I needed to change my habits, but not ready to do anything about it. I don't even know what snapped in my mind, but Dustin and I started going to the gym at our school together. I began using the Weight Watchers system as a rough guide for my diet. I started this blog, and reading others. I joined SparkPeople.com. And the weight started coming off. More importantly, I was feeling so much better. So much healthier. So much more alive.

Towards the end of the spring semester, my upcoming graduation (and all the stress entailed) consumed my energies, and I let myself slowly slip away from all my progress. The 15 pounds or so I'd lost since January were slowly adding back on. I was preparing to move to Oxford, Miss (to go to Ole Miss for my Masters), and I just didn't think I could handle both trying to lose weight and preparing for grad school. In these three or four months, I continued to read blogs and I usually cooked healthily at home, so I only gained 5 or 6 pounds back.

Slowly, I'm learning that my goal is not to lose weight. It's not be a size 10, or to be skinny, or to even look sexy in a swimsuit (although those things must be very, very nice). I want to be healthy. I want to be vibrant and alive throughout all of my life, and I want my life to be long. I want to enjoy all the days I get to spend with Dustin and my family and friends. I want to feel confident in my body; I want it to reflect the beautiful and spunky person I truly am. I feel held back by the condition I've let my body come to, and I want to let myself grow out of it. So really, although I typically talk about this blog as a weight-loss blog, it's really not that. It's about letting myself grow.

4 comments:

MizFit said...

oh WOMAN I ADORE THIS POST.

not just because it's fraught with success but because of what you said toward the end.
about the journey being about wanting not to be skinny but to GROW.
when I was a trainer Id oft encourage people NOTNOTNOT to have a goal of skinny'hood but if being BIG AND STRONG AND BEING NOTICE. OF CLAIMING SPACE IN THE WORLD!

Miz.

Shanna said...

Congrats on the 10%!!! That is a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

You sound just like me sometimes! I have always put myself, or rather my health, on the back burner, but no more my dear! We are putting ourselves first and getting healthy, and it shows! =)

ptg said...

I think it's fantastic that you are putting YOURSELF first. It's time for you to grow and whatever that entails, and that's a beautiful attitude to have!

GREAT JOB on the 10% lost!! It's absolutely fantastic!

Karyn said...

Congrats on the 10%!!! You deserve a badge, WW or not. :)

with your attitude, I am sure you can handle school AND changing your eating habits.