With getting to goal comes a time for reflection. I mentioned previously how this process has changed my life and indeed, gave it back to me. This is my story of what it was like for me being overweight and what I found along the way.
Before I started to lose weight, I never realized (or perhaps forgot) just how full of zest life can be. I was resigned to feeling tired, unwell, and overweight. A "good" night at home was spent in front of the TV with comfort food, snacks, and treats.
I rarely took care of myself. I emerged only occasionally to grudgingly buy new clothes. Underpants were ragged. I hadn't bought a bra in years because every time I went bra shopping, I'd leave in tears.
I was bitterly ashamed of myself and constantly felt I was a big disappointment to my loving husband. I didn't want to go to parties and have people realize that he had such an overweight wife. Always in my mind was the thought that my husband deserved the best and I just wasn't it.
Up until I joined Weight Watchers, I had been overweight for 10 years. I tried dieting a few times and failed. I walked slowly, I didn't dance, didn't jump, didn't do anything risky. I stopped really looking at myself in the mirror. I guess this was so I wouldn't see that I was gaining more and more weight.
And yet through all these years, I thought I was "okay." That things were supposed to be like that and that was my lot in life. I also convinced myself somehow that I didn't look all that bad. I avoided the camera and even when it caught me, I still would look at the pictures and try and convince myself that it was still okay, that's just how I was meant to look.
I've mentioned before that I never had a lightbulb moment when I knew it was time to start losing weight for real. Even with 10 years of subtle hints under my belt, I began Weight Watchers not with any sort of expectation that it would drastically change my life. I'd lose weight, fit in nicer clothes and that was the end of the story.
After I achieved my 10% goal, I had an inkling that it wasn't about that at all. It was about saving my life inside and out. As each new accomplishment was achieved and as each hurdle was cleared, I gained confidence in myself. Each pound lost revealed something new that was to be cherished. All the conceptions I had about myself as an overweight person were discarded along the way. I could do much more than I ever thought I could.
In the process, I learned that life was worth living again. And not just simply living. Rather, taking it out for a joy ride all hours of the night.
Here, now I can look back on all that I earned and learned. Every little step, every tiny step I made was a victory and flew in the face of everything I thought about myself.
I am not tired anymore. I have a spring in my step. I am a source of pride again. I have been described as a "battery" and told to "stop making it look so easy" when we go hiking. I can assertively order my salad with dressing on the side. I can buy bras without crying. I can walk a half marathon. I can run a 10k. I can kick butt at Bootcamp and take the ultra-advanced-crazy-person spinning class. I can climb a tree. I can go curling. I can laugh freely and make jokes. I can say no to cake. I can eat veggies and fruits and like it. I can achieve long and short-term goals. I can look in the mirror and be proud of my body, stretch marks, cellulite, scars and all. I can forgive myself. I can love myself. And most of all, I can do anything I set my mind to.
That is what it means to have taken back my life. And not only took it back, but made it better. A shiny new life was inside all along. I just had to go looking for it.