Just kidding, this is not a blog about losing weight by eating icing. Sorry! I’m sure someone has tried it though.
Being thin is nice. I very much enjoy looking in the mirror and seeing a healthy woman, not an obese one. I am loving shopping for my new size 12 body. I love just trying clothes on. It puts a huge smile on my face. And I love seeing that smile radiating from my own face, features no longer buried by chub.
As wonderous as it is to have lost 102 pounds, it is nothing compared to what I have gained.
I won’t say I’m a completely different person, because I am and always will be me. My weight is just one thing about me. Whether I am fat or thin, I am creative, kind, strong, intelligent, and brave. I have done well in my career. I have a wonderful relationship. I have succeeded in the face of adversity. I have fallen down and picked myself back up. And I did all that when I was fat.
Over this journey, I have learned that I deserve to be respected and treated well, most of all by myself. I have learned that there is no point in hating yourself because of your flaws. Everyone is flawed. Some flaws are visible and some are hidden. Being overweight is impossible to hide. Your flaws are out there for the world to see. It can be really hard to like yourself when you feel constantly judged on this one-dimension. People can say some hurtful things.
But I’ve come to realize that people don’t say hurtful things to you because you are fat. People say hurtful things because they are insecure, angry, and sometimes assholes. Some people are going to be assholes whether you are fat or thin.
There are other people who don’t care. I’ve made many friends and had many boyfriends while fat. There are some people who can truly see you as a person and love you for who you are, flaws and all. These are the people worth knowing. I wouldn’t want to date someone who only liked me for my physical appearance, whether I was fat or thin.
I have learned that the only thing that was standing in between doing what I needed to do and not doing it was me. Life is always going to be a combination of good and bad. It is uncontrollable. All you can change is your focus and reaction. You can use the negatives as excuses or you can utilize the positives and get results.
Nothing external changed me. I changed myself. I guess I was just ready. I wasn’t unhappy because I was fat. I was fat because I was unhappy. When I started to think I deserved to be happy, I was able to change. When I started to focus on the good things, more good things came. I learned to take a good hard look at the bad things, cry if I feel like it, and then move on.
Bad things aren’t banished by eating cupcakes.
I have gained a love for my body. Because I love my body, I can see all the good things about it and not focus on the flaws. I can look in the mirror and feel proud of how much weight I have lost and how exercise has transformed my body without the “but…” or “if only…” Because I love my body, I want to feed myself the foods that will nourish me best. Yes, I still think about taste and pleasure. But i also think about how food will make me feel.
I have gained a love for exercise. I never thought I could be an athletic person. But I realized recently that I am! Friends invite me to play on sports teams or go hiking. I love to run and can run 5 miles. I’m organizing a group to run a 5K from my office to raise money for breast cancer. If someone asked me if I wanted to climb a mountain, I would say “Hell YES!”. And to think, a year ago, I could hardly make it up the stairs.
I have gained confidence. I find that I speak my mind and people listen. I get up in front of a group of people and I feel like the professional woman I am. It isn’t that I’m thinking “I look so great” it’s that I’m not thinking about what I look like at all. I can focus on what I’m saying and getting my point across.
Finally feel sexy. With curves like these, how could I not be? 42″-30″-39″ at 5′ 8″? Hell yes, I am sexy!
And finally, I have gained hope. Not only for myself but for many people around me. This isn’t that hard. Changing isn’t that hard. It just takes time. We have the same amount of time whether we use it to change for the better, stay the same, or to sink deeper into despair. Why not change? When one person changes, it is like throwing a pebble in the ocean. I have many friends who have told me how I have inspired them. A high school buddy who got back into running when she saw me doing it. Coworkers who joined a gym. Family who started cooking more healthfully. Innumerable people who have written me online to tell me I helped them see it was possible and gave them hope. Many who have said “If you can do it, why not me? I can too.”
There seem two be two main groups of people trying to lose weight. There are those who simply want to be skinny at all costs. And then there are those who want to improve their health and overall well-being. I have been the first type of person and I know now that I was misguided. Being “skinny” isn’t the end all be all of everything. Skinny is not worth the price some of us are willing to pay.
Now I am the second type of person, and losing weight is just the icing on the cake.