- 1.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: How It Happened
- 2.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: Confidence is Key
- 3.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: The Beginning
- 4.A Weight Loss Transformation Worth Sharing: An Introduction
There’s an inevitable irony that accompanies every weight loss story: it doesn’t actually begin with weight loss. I would never have had the opportunity to lose 150 pounds if I didn’t first gain over 300.
For some, weight gain is a result of identifiable triggers – the death of a loved one, a divorce or a pack of relentless bullies at school. For me, the beginning of my journey is the beginning of my life. There was no specific moment when the weight gain began, nor was there an era of sudden exacerbation. For as long as I can remember, my weight chart was a straight diagonal line climbing up the y-axis, measured against the passing of time.
It’s as if a higher power or worldwide ruling body once passed a law of obesity, simply stating that if you are overweight, you are supposed to be emotionally affected by it. The heavier you are, the more miserable you ought to be. If you weigh more, you struggle more. If you don’t like what you see on the scale or in the mirror, you don’t like what you see in the world. I was one of the big kids to which none of this applied. I didn’t need to be thin to be happy. I didn’t need to love my reflection to love the person it reflected. I don’t know how it came easy to me and seemingly no one else, but living the skinny girl life allowed me to ignore the fat suit in which I lived it.
Throughout my childhood, I lived in denial of and without concern for my body’s condition because it never caused me any significant hardship. I had great friends and I flirted with cute boys. I was a popular class clown and the life of every party. I had straight A’s, I played first base and I danced on stage. Because I never needed to confront the issue otherwise, I avoided scales until they were literally forced below my feet. To me, the multiple nutritionists my parents forced me to visit were just buzzkills to my carefree youth because adding vegetables and substituting snacks were changes I was just not willing to make. Every year, the pediatrician would spend almost no time launching an effortless attack on the weight issue due entirely to his professional obligation; then he would close my medical file in conclusion, knowing there was just nothing left to say.
I felt that my parents, as well as every doctor and every nutritionist that had gone out of my life as quickly as they came into it, were all probing for a deep answer to a question that didn’t exist. I just ate however much I wanted of whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Why did there need to be a reason for everything? The conversation always picked up where it left off, never making the slightest impact on how I chose to live my life. The never-ending dialogue was kept in motion by either my unwillingness or my inability to open up about the truth of a subconscious explanation for my obesity. I still don’t know if it was because I was unwilling or if it was because I was unable. And I still couldn’t tell you the reason for my obesity.
Because I never paid a second of attention to what I put into my mouth, and because I don’t think I ever once made a conscious effort to be aware of the quality or quantity of my food, the way I lived my life proved in hindsight that ignorance really is bliss. To me, food was good and that’s all it was. Calories didn’t exist, moderation was unfamiliar and restriction was a foreign concept. I wasn’t concerned with forming proper eating habits because I knew nothing about proper eating habits. I wasn’t bothered by how inactive I was because I never really considered being active. I was content with my lifestyle and completely uninterested in the alternative.
I don’t know what changed. I still cannot figure out why I decided to attack what I saw as my one major flaw. I don’t know why it took me reaching over 300 pounds, I don’t know where the motivation came from and I don’t know why I was suddenly willing to give up the way of life I had so passionately clung to and defended. I don’t know why my body, which I considered only a physical shell for my inner self, began to matter.
To continue following the rest of my journey, stay tuned for upcoming posts! And if you’re interested in some inspiration, check out my first motivational speech here.