I could have waited a few more days, but with the things that keep popping up at me with great urgency, I figured I better write now while I had a few moments to collect my thoughts. Alone.
And let me clarify ahead of time, this isn’t just to pat myself on the back. It kind of is. But not just to do that. But let’s start back a few years for context.
I haven’t been the skinniest girl. Ever. I remember I worked with a guy at the bank eons ago who was a real creep. Like seriously. Eww! I don’t even remember what his name was. But I remember his words ringing in my ears. He was doing his typical male chauvinist pig walk, checking out the girls, making rude and lewd comments. And he stopped at my little cubicle and told me the only thing that would ever be thin about me was my ankles, and he turned and walked away. What a prick. And this was BEFORE I had Rob! Way to crush a 20 year olds soul. But why did I let it bother me? I don’t even remember his name, so why can I still hear his voice in my head? Guess I need to call my shrink for that one. ::Adds another thing to my To Do list::
Through the years my weight had always yo-yo’d. Up 20 pounds. Down 15. Up another 30, Down 10. The down never seemed in line with the up. Never gain 5, lose 5. Or even gain 5, lose 10! Wouldn’t that be something?
Then a few years ago, I went through a horrible, devastating, soul shattering, “how I am going to ever get through this?”, “I can’t breathe” break up. Not with my husband, but with a friend I had made way back at the same time and place as jerkhead who made the ankle comment. We worked together, became immediate and hard fast friends. A friendship that lasted longer than my first marriage and she was there for me during and after the divorce. Was there for the second marriage. Through thick and thin. Forever and ever amen. Til we weren’t. A few years ago, I didn’t think I could or wanted to come out on the other side because I was to devastated, way too wounded. It was harder than divorce. A huge part of me was gone.
And in my despair, I turned to comfort food. And I ate. And I cried. And I cried and I ate. (As I side note, please understand, I am not in any way, shape or form blaming anything on anyone but myself. This was MY internal struggle. This was MY self sabotage. This was MY unfortunate way of coping with the void and loss. I am not placing blame on anyone else. I hope we’re clear.) I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t see past what I thought was solid. Grounded. Permanent. But there was always cookies. Or chips. Or Michael’s fabulous chicken alfredo with homemade real cream and cheese alfredo sauce coupled with garlic cheese bread and a salad. And salad is good for you, especially drenched in ranch dressing, right?
And as the weight piled on, and my clothes got bigger and bigger, and my already severely fractured self-esteem and sense of loss just seemed to grow, I lost myself. I didn’t care that I was the fat mom. I didn’t care that I was clearly obese to everyone who looked at me. I deserved that look of pity. That look of embarrassment. “You have such a pretty face” or “Your personality just *shines* through you!”. Yea, pass the donuts.
Until the donuts don’t work. Until the thought of not being able to fit into the last new pair of pants makes you weep. Until your doctor is cautioning you of diabetes, heart disease, and a range of other symptoms that come along with that bag of Doritos.
Until a friend says, hey, let’s go for a walk. It doesn’t matter how slow or how long it will take you. Let’s just go. I’m here with you. Let’s try jogging. Let’s see if we can run *one block*. If we can’t, no big deal. We’ll try. And we do. And we did.
Until that friend introduces me to yoga and I discover that I can do this and focus solely and exclusively on me and it’s not only ok to do that, but you’re SUPPOSED to do that! Inside the corners of my own mat is all that counts. I didn’t get that at first. I didn’t get that it wasn’t about how I compared to the other people in my class. At how graceful and beautiful they were and I could barely touch my toes. But in the year I’ve been practicing, I have learned that. I have learned I can be stronger than **I** was a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. It’s MY journey. And I have made strides!
As of today, I have lost 44 pounds. I have gone down 6 sizes. I haven’t weighed this in a very very long time. But it’s not just about a number on a scale or the tag inside my shorts. It’s about an attitude shift. I don’t need pasta to fill a void. I don’t need Twizzlers or sitting on the couch feeling sad about how something turned out. I can move more, eat less. I can eyeball a new shirt and know it will fit me. I can wear those little yoga tops with the built in bras instead of the mandatory “hold ’em down” sports bras. And yea, I’m damn happy about that.
My goal is to lose another 15 pounds. I know I’ll get there very soon. Because I will get myself there. Who says 40something is too old? I’m just beginning! My journey, my success, my set backs, my hurdles. But I’ve learned about myself and what I’m capable of. And I’m so thankful to my friends who didn’t give up on me, who encouraged me, who made me see that I was worth fighting for. THAT is what a girl needs. Not a plate of nachos.