Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Journey Begins

I embarked on this journey a little less than a year ago.  I went to the diet center with my mother because she was told by her doctor that she would need to increase her daily medicine if she didn't lose weight.  I really DIDN'T want to go!  I wanted to support my mother in her health, though, and went out of obligation rather than some innate desire to embark on a life-changing, spiritual weight loss journey.  I remembered back to my previous attempts to lose weight with this program and others and I dreaded the incessant, obsessive counting of calories and points and carbs.  I abhorred the all-encompassing obsession with food that these weight-loss programs stirred in me. I couldn't imagine that this attempt would be any different than previous efforts I had undertaken and doubted my resolve in reaching any weight loss goal.

That was January 2, 2010.  Today is December 21, 2010.  It's been nearly a year.  In January I weighed 211 lbs.   I'm only 5 feet tall, so 211 pounds on someone my size is considered super-obese.  I don't know how it happened that I reached that size.  Pound by pound over the last eight years brought me to that weight.  When I left the Peace Corps in 2002, I weighed in 144 lbs.  While I was never thin, I was a comfortable size at that weight.  At the time, of course, I always felt too heavy and self-conscious of my body.  I would kill to be that size now!  The thing is though, I'm on my way.  I've lost 33 pounds since last January.  I had hoped to average a pound a week which would have brought me to 52 pounds of weight loss.  While I didn't reach that goal, my progress has been slow and steady and the effects that 33 pounds of fat gone have created in my life, both physically and spiritually, have been too numerous to count.

Since January 2, 2010, I have found the person that I used to be.  Hiding behind pounds of fat, I had turned into the shell of the person I had once been.  Before this weight consumed my life, I had been a fun-loving, confident and independent person.  As the pounds added on, I lost the sense of who I had been and what I wanted for my life.  Perhaps I can't blame everything on the weight, but this changed person that I had become over the years was certainly somewhat a result of adding on pound after pound.  I don't know how it happened, how I let myself get to over 200 pounds, but somehow I did.

What I know now, though, is that I have regained control of my life.  The dreaded calorie counting and obsession with food didn't happen this time.  Before this journey, I had thought that diets were about me being controlled by food.  I had to limit what I ate and I hated the idea of having to be controlled by what I ate.  What I discovered this time was that it is really the complete opposite.  Food doesn't control me, I have gained control of food.  I am more in control of my life because I don't have to have food dictate what I do.  Instead, I have power over what I eat.  I have control of my body and my habits and I make the choice of how I treat myself.

I have made the commitment to treat myself with the respect that I deserve.  I won't stuff myself until my stomach hurts.  I won't poison my body with fat and grease and carbs.  I won't inflict heartburn and indigestion and diarrhea on myself because of how something tastes.  Instead, what I will do is explore new spices and flavors and eat until I'm satisfied.  I will know what it feels like to eat a meal and enjoy it for the party it creates in my mouth and not the sensation of in my belly. 

Since I started losing weight, my body has changed.  I feel rejuvenated.  I don't suffer from constant heart-burn.  My skin is so much clearer than it had been and my hair is softer and doesn't break as easily.  I don't come home from work everyday unable to interact with my children because I am so tired.  I can now interact with my family instead of taking a nap.  My energy level is so much higher now.  I was even able to run a 5K with my daughter's Girls on the Run program.  While I didn't run the whole time, I was able to finish it.  It was probably the most difficult thing I had ever done.  It wasn't that it was so physically demanding (although it was certainly a challenge), but for me getting over the mental obstacle of thinking that I couldn't do it was more valuable to me than actually crossing the finish line! 

I can't wait to continue this journey!  I can't wait to find the person that I was and to discover the person that I am becoming!  This journey has been the most empowering of my life!  I have taken control!

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