We are certainly more than any number given...
However, there are moments in my journey when that number means a lot! There are moments when that number defines, in some way, who we have become.
When I started this journey, that number defined me at 233 pounds. (I'm 5'7) This put me at severely obese, I even read on one chart that I was morbidly obese.
I was fat. I liked food a lot. Like, a lot, a lot! I didn't exercise. Like ever.
I would be out of breath climbing one flight of stairs! I would never get down on the floor to play with my kids because I couldn't sit comfortably with all my fat bulging (not to mention I was too tired!). My wardrobe consisted of sweatshirt hoodies and stretchy exercise pants most of the time. (That I wore because they had an elastic waist, NOT to exercise in...) I did have 2 pairs of pant that "fit"...and by "fit" I mean I could button up if I sucked in really hard and held my breath while the waist band pinched off all feeling creating a rather large muffin top.
I remember how awful I felt. I remember hating mirrors. I would NEVER look in them! I was miserable. I felt stuck.
One might question how a person gets that way. I can't speak for everyone, but I can tell you that for me food was my comfort. I hated myself. HATED MYSELF! I had repressed a lot of emotional garbage.
For years (10 years to be exact) I allowed the self-hate and the self-blame from being raped affect me. You see, I decided all those 10 years ago (11 now...) that I didn't deserve anything out of life. I decided I was damaged goods after everything that happened to me. Over the years I ignored my feelings, I ignored myself. I ate to numb the hurt and pain that was too difficult to face. Eventually, it began affecting every aspect of my life! I would even try to self-sabotage relationships when I felt I didn't deserve to be in them...luckily I have an amazing husband that never left my side through it all!
I had let myself become the girl that ate upwards of 3,000-4,000 calories a day at times (maybe more...I stopped counting). I had let myself become the girl that would go through 3 different fast food drive-thrus for 3 different dinners...then be so ashamed and embarrassed that I would stop at a dumpster before heading home to get rid of the "evidence." Because if my husband never knew, it must have never happened....right?
I was the girl that could eat a whole carton of ice cream without thinking about it! I was the girl that would eat a 4th and 5th meal every night!
I was the girl that was so sad at who I had become that I just kept spiraling downward.
Then. It hit me. Like a million bricks! I took my daughter into the doctor for a well-child check up where he told me that if I wasn't careful, her growth pattern would continue down a very bleak road. He showed me the graph. We followed the pattern, and by age 18 she was set to be at a 36 BMI.
(Before I go on, let me add in a side note: My children have an EXCELLENT pediatrician who was very careful to talk just to me about this as to not birth any self-esteem issues in my daughter who to the average joe looked relatively healthy....not fat, maybe a little thick, but by no means fat! And I'm so grateful to him for his caution in approaching the subject!)
I left the office that day and sat in my car and took a good look at myself. For one of the first times, I realized I needed to make a choice. I could choose to continue down the path I was leading my children, OR I could choose better for them.
Up until this point, 9 times out of 10 I would let my past win. I would let the hurt and the anger and raw emotions of all that happened to me get the best of me! I was allowing those pathetic jerks, who forever changed my life, to continue dictating the path I was on because I didn't think I deserved any better for myself. I was being a victim in my own life.
And had it only been affecting me, there is a chance this story would have been totally different. However, that day I looked at myself in the mirror and decided that the obesity was going to stop with me! I realized I put my family (and myself) through enough already, now....a decade later I needed to finish fixing what I started when I ran that marathon to heal. You see, I had released the hurt and the pain and the anger when I trained for that marathon. But I never had been able to fix my "deserve level."
I can honestly say, thanks to my children and husband I realized I did deserve more! They also deserved more! They deserved a mom and wife who looked forward to living. They deserved a mom and wife who was teaching them healthy coping mechanisms, rather than the garbage I'd been showing them for far too long!
And that's where the journey began...slowly.
And while the journey is still in progress, yesterday became a milestone that for YEARS felt so out of reach! Sure, it might just be a number on the scale to some...but to me, I can look in the mirror today and FINALLY say I am healthy again after a decade of suffering guilt, anger, remorse, frustration, loneliness, embarrassment, shame, and so much more!
I finally hit 159.5 which puts me at a healthy weight again for the first time in my life since I was raped!
The emotions I felt (and am still feeling) as I saw that number on the scale were so overwhelming! (The tears still stream down my face now!)
Everyone has different reasons for why they do what they do. And no matter what the reason was that you gained weight, you have the power to stand up and change! It may feel hard. It may seem unrealistic. But I promise, I PROMISE! Each of you has the power to determine your own success story!
Don't let things from your past determine who you are today, and who you will be tomorrow! I allowed my past to dictate my life for far too many years! Years that I will never get back! And now today, seeing where I've pushed myself to physically...I know I am strong. I know I can can accomplish hard things!
(just for side by side comparison)
While I couldn't say this 10 years ago, I can today: Life is good today! And I am in love with the life I have. Sure, it is still hard...LOTS! But it is good, and I feel so blessed to be living the life I have! Crappy things happen to all of us! ALL OF US! But the true determination of character is who we become from our past, how we let it shape our lives!
It is never to late to take back control in your life....NEVER!