“You’ve circled this mountain long enough. Now go north.” Deuteronomy 2:3
In July of this year, my mother called to tell me that we’d be taking family pictures when I was out to see them later in the month. I moaned and groaned over the phone hoping to talk her out of it but this is my mother we’re talking about and so I hung up the phone and casually wandered into the bathroom to step on the scales wondering what weight this year’s family picture would commemorate.
And then I burst into tears.
I weighed 200 pounds.
The first part of this year was so incredibly stressful for me. In between selling our house (and keeping it “show-ready” at all times), hunting for new houses, thinking we’d found our perfect house and losing it (twice), then finding our current home, packing, unpacking, and doing all of this while Craig was gone every week on the busiest travel schedule of our entire married life, let me tell you, my ability to manage stress had fled to some tropical island leaving me with no coping skills whatsoever.
So I did what any non-self-respecting girl would do.
I ate jelly beans. I ate sushi. I ate entire family-sized bags of Pirate’s Booty. I got to be such a loyal customer at Jersey Mike’s that they gave me a reward card that I punched enough times to get the free foot-long sub.
The kid behind the counter said he’d never seen a woman claim the prize.
I was absolutely mortified when he said that.
So I ate the whole thing.
And week by week, and month by month, my clothes got tighter, and tighter, and the sizes went up and up, and by the end of August, I was bigger than I’d ever been in my entire life and the new clothes I’d just bought were already tight and I sat on the couch and bawled my eyes out and scared my poor husband who had just walked in the door from yet another business trip.
It was ugly.
Something had to be done.
So August 19, I grabbed a journal and wrote the following reasons why I was about to make some drastic changes.
1. I feel like my husband is embarrassed by me.
2. I’m embarrassed by me.
3. I weigh more than I should.
4. I ache.
5. I don’t want diabetes at 41.
6. I don’t want to fight this battle at 42.
7. I want to stop using food as a crutch.
8. I want to set a good example for my kids.
9. I don’t want to avoid mirrors for the rest of my life.
10. I feel old.
And then I went hard-core on a special program and cut out sugar, bread, potatoes and any and all fast and fried food and got seriously cranky for about two weeks while I adjusted to losing my primary fuel source.
Every day while I ate my VERY LITTLE bar of food or drank my shake I would read over the list of reasons why I was doing this, and every time I’d repeat an affirmation or two to keep myself motivated, chief among them “I am made for more than this” and “French fries are not my friends” and day by day and week by week, I inched toward my goal.
Ten pounds down
Twenty pounds down
Thirty pounds down
Forty pounds down
And today, four months later, I wrote down ten new things in my journal.
1. My husband is so proud of me.
2. I’m proud of me.
3. I’ve lost all my baby weight
twelve years later.
4. I don’t ache anymore and don’t dread walking upstairs.
5. I’ve lowered my risk of diabetes tremendously. Cancer, too.
6. I’m at a perfectly normal weight.
7. I don’t eat emotionally anymore. I eat because it’s mealtime.
8. My kids are eating more fruit and vegetables than they ever have before.
9. I don’t dread the dressing room mirror any more.
10. I feel young and energetic.
Good-bye, 43 pounds, four dress sizes, and thirty inches.
Happy Birthday to me.
Have a nice day.