Note: For the 500 words challenge, Jeff encouraged us to write about "the end". I thought about what it might be like to write about the end of my weight loss journey. This is what I imagined. One day, I'll actually be able to share these words.
I was shaking as I walked towards the scale. This could be it, I thought. I slipped off my clothes, took a deep breath, and stepped on.
A smile erupted onto my face.
I did it.
I lost 150 lbs. It took over a year, but I did it.
I wanted to hug every single person in the locker room. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run around naked.
I stepped back on the scale, one more time, just to be sure. When the same number came up, I cheered. I clapped. I quickly put my clothes back on and pushed through the crowded locker room to go find Tom, who was waiting for me outside. I jumped into his arms and began to cry. He held me tight. He knew what this mean- I had done it.
When I finally let go, Tom had tears in his eyes, too. "You did it babe!" He said, smiling. We hugged again. I wouldn't have done it without him. Most mornings, he was right at that gym with me.
Tom and I drove to my parents house. As much as I wanted to send them a mass text message that I had finally reached my goal weight, I wanted even more to tell them in person. I burst through the front door, nearly tripping over Seamus, our loyal golden retriever. My parents were on the couch, watching the Notre Dame game.
"I did it", was all I said, and they both jumped up from the couch to hug me. We were all crying. This was the happiest I had ever felt in my entire life.
For 90% of my life I have struggled with my weight. I've been medically obese since I was 19. I was a food addict who struggled with anxiety and depression. For the longest time, I didn't care enough about myself. I just stuffed myself with food to make me feel better, not caring that I was slowly killing myself with food. It was not until I was 25 that I decided I actually wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to live.
And I did it.
Anyone who tells you weight loss is easy is a damn liar. It's hard. For over a year I counted every calorie I put into my mouth and worked my butt off at the gym. There were many obstacles I had to overcome- stress, illnesses, life changes, plateaus, etc. But I knocked every single one of those hurdles down as hard as I could and I kept fighting.
The biggest change was my emotional mindset. I realized I could not solve all my problems with food and I couldn't numb the pain with food. Every time I wanted to binge eat, I would remind myself of how awful it makes me feel, and I would distract myself with prayer or writing or eating a healthy snack. And it worked.
I know people who are looking to lose weight hear this all the time, and you may not believe me, but you can do this. Look at me. I used to get tired walking to my car. I was wearing a size 24 pant. I couldn't shop anywhere my friends did. I thought popping a frozen pizza in the oven and eating the whole thing counted as dinner. I stood out- people stared at me. I got called fat. I was always uncomfortable. And now? I am a totally different person.
You CAN do this.
I did it.
The tears I cried today after stepping on that scale are tears of rejoice. They represent all the tears I cried when I thought I wasn't good enough, when I didn't feel worthy of love. I know now that isn't true. I am, and always have been, worthy.
I cannot believe I am saying this, but this is the end. The end of a journey that changed, and saved, my life. It is not the end of my story. I don't quit here. I keep it here as far as the weight goes, but I move forward with my life, with a new body and a new mindset. It's my time to shine.