Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weighing In

I watched a show with my friend last night called “I eat 33,000 calories a day”. Wow. I was so intrigued, and we couldn’t wait to see what that looked like. The show highlighted 4 people. 3 of them were well over 600 pounds. One woman wasn’t though. She was very large, but she wasn’t that big. The thing that struck me most was that….she looks like what I once looked like at my heaviest.

She explained how food has so much control over her. She would eat when no one was around to watch her. She would eat before bed. She would always feel guilty afterwards, but she would push that guilt aside with some more food. She shared what a typical day’s worth of eating looked like. She thought she was eating around 3,000 calories/day. Actually, she was eating over 13,000.

What struck me was not only that her body was similar to what mine once was, but her eating habits…it was like looking back 3 years ago and seeing myself. I always struggled with eating in secret. I didn’t want people to know what I was doing to myself. I would eat SO many calories and always feel guilty. The diet would always start “tomorrow”, and I would do okay until 5pm, and then I’d give in and feel like I’d ruined everything. I always took something in to eat before I laid down to sleep.

But as I watched her, I realized how much has changed in me. I’m not the woman who hides when I eat anymore. I haven’t eaten before I went to bed in so long….I’d forgotten I even did that until I watched the show last night. Something changed in me 3 years ago. A switch flipped, and for some reason, the taste of a greasy pizza bought after I’d already eaten dinner didn’t matter as much as living a healthy and long life. A box of doughnuts wasn’t as appealing as putting on a shirt in a smaller size. The satisfaction from a pan of brownies didn’t come close to the satisfaction of fitting into the seat at the movie theater.

That doesn’t mean I don’t still love food. I do. I’m a foodie. I think it’s wonderful. Sometimes, my greatest delight would be to have an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids or 4 slices of pizza with some breadsticks on the side. That all still sounds wonderful, but somehow now….it’s different. I might indulge once in a while. Everyone, even the thinnest of people, go overboard occasionally. However, now when that happens, my mind doesn’t assume I’ve ruined everything. It just means that I enjoyed the moment, and the next moment is back to “normal”. Now, normal for me is eating a healthy diet full of whole foods, fruits, lean meats and eating for the sake of “fuel” 95% of the time. Now, exercise is part of every day of my life. Taking 3 mile walks and swimming every morning is just part of who I am.

I saw the me from 3 years ago on the TV last night. But, I’m a completely different person now, and I’m so thankful. This morning I weighed myself. I’ve lost 125 pounds. I lost the equivalent of an entire person. I lost pain in my knees and back. I lost the terror of going shopping for clothes or flying in an airplane. I lost the baggage of guilt and poor self-esteem. I lost that monkey on my back.

My journey isn’t over. I have another 55-65 pounds to lose (so I think..I’ve never been thin. I don’t know what I should weigh), but I can do it. I know I can, because I’ve come so far. It’s a good feeling.