If you asked me 3 years ago I never would have guessed I would be writing about reaching my goal weight. Today, thanks to perseverance, trial and error, and the many teachers I have met along the way, I have not learned how to diet, I have learned how to simply live.
On Monday night, August 18th 2008, my husband and I attended our very first Weight Watchers meeting. My starting weight was 276.6 pounds. Last night, November 7th 2011, 3 years, 2 months and 19 days later, I reached my goal weight. I am now 46% smaller than I was on that first day. I have been trying to think about all the pithy little things I could fill this post with but now that I am writing I really just want to take a moment and let it all sink in.
When I was a teenager I used to curl up in my bed and pray as hard as I could, with hot tears streaming down my face, that somehow someway I would wake up with a new body. My brain would begin to tell me what to eat and when so that I would not be fat anymore. I desperately daydreamed about unzipping my skin or out running my fat, anything to release myself from the prison of obesity. Some prayers just take a very long time to be answered.
Over the last 3 years I feel like I have lived an entire lifetime and the person I was before has become a distant stranger. I am smaller now than I was in 5th grade. My weight loss stalled when I approached that number, I started to ache for the little girl I was and the many things I missed out on because of my feelings of self consciousness. There are so many things that I had to forgive myself in order to keep moving forward but I did. One of the things that helped me was looking in the mirror to marvel at how far I had already come. To see thousands of small choices adding up to my own amazing transformation kept me focused and looking ahead when looking back became too painful.
And, I never quit. I decided early in this process that there was only one way that I could fail and that was to quit. So, I took the option off the table and worked on putting one foot in front of the other for as long as it would take. There were days I faltered and made choices I later regretted but I knew it was better to move forward than to go back.
Those “bad” days were the ones when it was most important to have my community to lean on. The gleaming pillar of that community is my husband. I don’t know if I could have made it this far without him. He calls me out if I am venturing down a path of questionable choices then helps me get my head back on straight – as I do for him. We encourage each other to get up and move, order lighter choices at restaurants, and just stop it when we get into a funk.
I also need to sing the praises of my Weight Watchers leader. Pam, you are a one in a million and it is no accident that we landed in your Monday night class. Your straight talk and dry wit are always what I need to hear. Knowing that once a week I will be walking into a room of people who are all working toward a common goal keeps me motivated to be successful even in the face of temptation or melancholy. I have met some really terrific people in our Monday night meeting and I have never once left a meeting feeling like my time would have been better spent elsewhere.
This is not the end, not by a long shot. I still have a ways to go on my personal goals but they will all be accomplished in time as long as I just keep going.
Now for a visual: I am sure when I posed for these pictures, I never intended to publish them, so, please excuse my pajamas. The first set of pictures was taken in August of 2008 a week after we began Weight Watchers. I had lost a few pounds and felt like it would be a good idea to take some pictures, just in case this time it actually worked. I am wearing either a XXL or XXXL shirt and at the time my pants were probably a size 24.
These pictures I took this morning. My t-shirt is a medium and my pants are an 8. I still can’t get over wearing single digits. I get all fluttery when I think about it.