I set my goal weight of 180 pounds in January of 2009. In August 2010, I finally met that goal.
I found it very emotional to meet my goal. When I set my goal weight, I really had no thought of ever reaching it. On the one hand, I thought I probably would. I am the type of person who finishes the things I put my mind to. On the other hand, I knew it was very far away and would take a long road to reach. I knew it would not be easy. And it wasn’t.
But I made it at long last. More has changed about me than I originally planned. I knew basically what I needed to do. I knew I needed to eat conscientiously and I needed to exercise. But I didn’t know about the other changes that would occur. Somewhere along the way, I found hope and optimism. I had been a cynical person and a pessimist for so long. I had been lazy and apathetic. I overslept as often as possible and I overate by habit. I had been avoiding the feelings associated with a painful family situation. But through taking care of my body, I also started to heal my mind.
Then I started to see many flaws in my former way of thinking. I saw the blame and guilt I was heaping upon myself manifesting itself as weight and as the weight came off, I set the guilt free. I started to see that burying my feelings in food and sleep simply did not work.
I saw that when I was stressed or frustrated, I ate. It made me feel worse. In a way, I now see my overeating as a form of self-punishment. I was punishing myself for not being good enough to fix everything. Nobody should ever ask so much of herself or carry the weight of the world on her shoulders.
I am still the same person I have always been, but I am unapologetically me. I don’t need to be a perfect person to be proud of myself. Nobody is perfect.
I didn’t deserve punishment for things that were beyond my control. Not from others, and especially not from myself.
These changes did not happen because I became thinner. It isn’t about being “thin” or “fat”. It’s about being healthy or unhealthy in body and mind. These changes happened long before I got to my goal. I didn’t do this because I thought I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t do it to please anyone or fit into a mold of beauty. I did it for me, because I deserve to be taken care of. I know I will only live once and I want to live as long and healthy and engaged in life as I possibly can.
I feel light and free these days. I’m finally putting myself first and it makes me better at my job, a better friend, and a better partner.
I look in the mirror and I am just soaking it in right now. I have come so far and changed so much. My body isn’t perfect but it is healthy. I will continue this lifestyle for life. I will eat food conscientiously, make time for regular physical activity, and most importantly, I will take care of myself out of love and respect for myself.
I know many people are struggling with weight. All I can say is, never give up. When you are ready to change your life and your body, you can. Some may look at someone like me and think that losing 100 pounds is a massive feat. But there are others who have conquered even larger hurdles. No matter how much you have to lose, someone out there has more or has lost the same amount. And no matter how much you have to lose, you have much more to gain. Do not be afraid. One step at a time, one day at a time. You will reach your goals too, as long as you never give up.