In working on losing the 30 pounds I’ve gained in the last year and a half I’ve really been thinking about what was it that lead me to start losing weight this one last time; what began my new ending in life.
Last week I shared how learning to love myself “even if I never lost another pound” played a key part in my weight loss journey, but today let me tell you how even love has to be honest for it to be truly effective.
It was April 2009 and my friend and her husband had come over to drop off their son because she was going to be induced to have his little sister the next morning and I said, “You should weigh yourself!! See how much you weigh at your heaviest, in case you forget to check tomorrow.”
You know, because that’s the kind of weird things us moms do. Then we can add into our story, “I gained __ pounds!!!”
Then, for whatever reason that I still can’t explain today, I weighed myself too. Go figure. I wasn’t nine months pregnant and it was at night right before bedtime; everyone knows you don’t weigh yourself at night if you want to be kind to yourself.
But apparently I was caught up in the moment and thought it would be fun.
Until I saw 232.5 staring back at me and realized I weighed more than my friend who was about to deliver a baby. She wasn’t huge, but she wasn’t a small pregnant lady either, which I think is why we were both surprised I weighed more.
I was mortified. I felt so stupid for doing that. And my friend was so kind to tell me, “Wow! You look so good! I never would’ve thought you weighed 230.”
I’m 5′ 4″. It was obvious to anyone that I was overweight, but it was sweet of her to try and comfort me.
The awkward moment didn’t last long and they went on their merry way to rest up before the big day ahead. I was babysitting two other little boys for a couple days and after everyone was in pjs I got an idea to do a group picture of my husband and I and our mixed-matched bunch, so we gathered together and smiled as the self timer went off on the camera.
I raced over to the stand, telling everyone to stay still, looked at the picture and quickly informed them we needed to take another picture. My husband wanted to see and when he looked he said, “Oh!” I told him I looked awful and his slight gasp and ‘oh!’ confirmed what I felt. I guess seeing me in person didn’t have the same impact seeing me on film did. Since I was just as shocked I wasn’t upset and he never said another word about it.
I made a mental note to hide behind the children for the next shot and tried to brush off the embarrassment at how big I’d gotten.
We took that next shot and I was happier with the kids kind of covering up what was the biggest version I’d seen of myself without being pregnant.
The “sleep over” was a success, but I couldn’t forget that night.
A few days passed and I couldn’t quit thinking about that night. Not only had I seen such a high number on the scale (and in front of a friend!!), but I also hid behind someone for the first time in my life in a photograph because I felt so large and wanted to cover up.
I also took note this higher weight was 20 pounds heavier than I’d been the previous summer when I had decided to love myself as I was.
I think that’s when it hit. I was continuing to “love myself” and eating whatever and however much I wanted and my health was taking a hit for it.
You see, besides seeing 232 pounds and hiding behind kids for photos I had been experiencing knee pain when standing for long periods or going up and down stairs.
At 32 years old the only reason for the knee pain was my weight and I knew it.
It wasn’t easy, but it was probably the second best decision I ever made with regards to my health.
I was honest with myself.
Faced the truth and was honest about where my choices were leading me. Honest about the fact that real love doesn’t always mean getting what you want, but often getting what you need.
So, I pondered what I would do to change and one baby step at a time I began to turn my life around.
Looking back I smile, because it seems in the end love and honesty will often bring what you wanted in the first place. It did for me.