Around that same time, my little sister sent me an email that sent me on a two year journey of self-discovery. I lost 135 pounds, getting down to 175 and looking like this.
This weekend marks my three year health living anniversary and you have no idea how much I want to be able to tell you I still look like I do in the picture just above. But I don't. These days I look like this.
If you've been following my blog for any length of time then you know the past year of my journey has had some....detours. Some hills and valleys. Some ups and down. Specifically, at the beginning of the year a combination of work and personal life stress left me falling on some old habits which created a decrease in my self-esteem which, in turn, led to an increase in my weight.
Over the past twelve months I've developed a cycle. I'll have one really good week and instead of using that as motivation to keep going I, instead, use it as an excuse to grow lax. Really lax. So lax I'll have a really bad week. Then the next two weeks will be kind of half-hearted and at the end of those two weeks I'll decide I must change my behavior and will then have a really good week. Which starts the whole cycle over again.
I've spent the past year in the Land of Yo-Yo and the end result is a gain of 47.2 since February. From 175 to my current weight of 222.2. To think I used to actually wonder how I got up to 311 pounds to begin with. Turns out, gaining weight is a lot easier than losing it. I'm only aware of it this time around because I've been keeping track.
When I first rejoined Weight Watchers again back in late November, I weighed in at 220. So, at 222 I'm sort of bordering on having maintained that weight for the past two months. But I don't want to maintain this weight and lately I've been asking myself why. Why is it so hard for me to focus? Why am I have so much trouble getting back on track?
My main motivator three years ago was to lose weight so I'd like myself. Because I didn't. I didn't then and I hadn't for a very long time. So that was the proverbial carrot. The more weight I lost, the more I internalized the compliments I received, the more I started to see the positive parts about myself I'd forgotten or ignored in the past.
That worked for awhile. But it was more of a band-aid than anything else, because nine, ten, eleven months ago when things in my life started to head south, all those old demons came banging on the door yet again and I was left without the strong sense of self to tell those demons to fuck off.
The unexpected part of this unlikely turn of events is that in regaining the weight I discovered who I really am and found out she's pretty damn fucking awesome (if I do say so myself). Of course, I've always been pretty damn fucking awesome I just didn't know it. So here I am, all awesome and fabulous regardless of and despite what the stupid fucking scale says.
So now it becomes a question of why I want to relose the weight I've gained back. Because I do. At least some of it. At the very least I want to get back under 200 and decide from there. It can't be because I need to feel good about myself because I already do and it can't necessarily be for health reasons because my tests always come back in healthy ranges and it can't be because of society or the beauty myth because fuck that shit.
That being said, there are clothes I miss being able to wear comfortably. Oh, I can get into them but they don't look good. A Calvin Klein dress that made me cry tears of joy when I first tried it on months ago makes me cry for all the wrong reasons now. I also have no doubt that the excess weight I'm carrying has been a big reason my running pace has significantly decreased.
But if I'm being really, really, really honest with myself my main motivator for wanting to get back to a smaller weight is my collar bones.
When you weigh over three hundred pounds you don't really think about your collar bones. I don't even know if I ever thought about having collar bones at all back then because I couldn't see them. Out of sight, out of mind. Then I lose all this weight and even at just under 200 lbs I was rocking a gorgeous neckline with some hefty 3D collar bone poppage action and it was beautiful. With the weight gain, most of the bones have receded and I'm left with a mere shadow of them.
When I was at my parents' house last weekend I was looking through the scrapbooks my mom put together for Sissy and I and came across this photo.
|bow ties are cool|
Clearly I was destined to be a librarian with an outfit like that.
Collar bones don't make a very good long term motivator but that fancy doll right there with her big toothy grin and off-balanced bangs does. I mean, just look at that smile. That is a lil lady who doesn't have a care in her little world. Things are good. Things are fabulous and she has no reason to think things won't always be that way. Now, do I want to the be one to let her down by undoing two years of sweat and tears? Do I want to be the one who says "Well, y'know, kid, I know things in life are pretty peachy keen right now and the hardest decision you have to make is which My Little Pony to play with but things get a little more complicated as you get older. But it's okay because you make a decision to change things and are a huge success. Except, see, well, then things start to go backwards and in the end I just kinda decided we weren't worth it."
Because that's the key. If I am so confident and assured of my sense of self then now is the time to put my money where my mouth is and prove it.
So here I am today on my three year Healthy Living Anniversary, recommitting to this. Recommitting to this journey and healthy living. Recommitting to making good choices and necessary sacrifices.
Recommitting to me.
Love from the ashes,