Sometimes I walk past a mirror, look at my reflection and think, “Is that really me?” I know it’s me. The nose hasn’t changed, nor have the eyes. The hair has improved due to a great hairdresser and regular cuts, but the really stand out piece is the silhouette. Tall? Yes. Always have been, always will be. But slim? That’s not me. I’ve always been on the chunky side. My BMI has always been in the overweight range. Until recently I maintained it was because I had a large, heavy bone structure, and the thing is, people agreed with me. Then, four months ago I decided to get serious about becoming healthy. I wanted to cease paying lip service and start acting on it. I began swimming and working out with regularity. I changed how much I ate and how I cooked. I found accountability through other people who had gone before me, and were still on the journey with me. I took on emotional eating, and refused to let it rule me. Rather than celebrating or sorrowing with food, I found other ways to deal with my emotions. And now, I barely recognize myself. In my head, I went from girl’s sizes to a size 12. And then the sizes went up, 14, then 16, then a tight 16 which probably should have been an 18, but I was in denial. Now I’m down to a 10. I’m 20 pounds lighter than my high school grad weight. I’m 55 pounds lighter than my all-time high. And you know what? I’m happy. I’m happy with my lifestyle change. While it requires a daily awareness of what I put in my mouth and the activities I choose to partake in, I wouldn’t change a thing. Was it difficult? I find that a tough question to answer. The closest I come to an answer is, “At times.” But really, it’s like anything else you take on. If you equip yourself with the right tools for success, you’re much more likely to reach success. If there’s one thing I can vouch for, it’s that if you do it alone, you won’t make it. You need a support system. You need accountability. You need to want it. If you don’t have these things, any weight loss you achieve will be temporary. I’m more content than I’ve ever been, and I don’t need food to make me feel alive. I don’t need food to verify my feelings, or give me a sense of completeness. When I eat, I pay attention and enjoy it. When I don’t eat, I recognize that life is more than what we put in our mouths. We only get one life, and I’m choosing to make the most of mine.
A Look in the MirrorIn Life in General on January 6, 2011 at 11:16 am