I ran into numerous wonderful friends today while showering some brides-to-be...some that I haven't seen in awhile...and several of them noticed that I'd lost some weight. I suppose I can understand how shocking it might be to see someone lose a considerable amount of weight in a not-so-considerable amount of time...but alas, it is what it is.
I'm grateful, by the way. And I don't mind telling the story...it never gets old to me.
One question came to me at church today that I haven't had asked so far from a sweet lady who I am not friends with on Facebook or that I interact with on a regular basis. She's seen me around but apparently didn't register who I was until today. She stopped me and asked me if I'd had surgery. I suppose that's a fair question...but since I've been so open with everything for the past nine months...it caught me a little bit off guard.
No, I did not have surgery...although I did consider it. Why wouldn't I? I was 140 pounds overweight with no turnaround in sight. I accepted who I was and my friends and family loved me anyway...and believe it or not...my health numbers were always very good. With regard to the surgery, I researched it fully and had some testimonials from people I trust completely. My issue was that I knew that if I had the surgery but didn't find out how to fix my problem and change my lifestyle...it would just be a temporary fix.
But more importantly, my spirit kept telling me that this was a battle royale that God was going to fight through me. And He has...and is. But that is my story...and for others who quietly wrote another one that has also had amazing results...that is not judgment. The bottom line is that we are all trying to get healthy. I think we're getting there.
My biggest challenge right now is being comfortable. Settling for "good enough" instead of "great." Celebrating too many things too often. Not making my limits as stringent as they need to be. Getting frustrated when weight loss slows to the 1-2 pounds a week that is considered healthy instead of the cosmic leaps and bounds I experienced several months ago.
But there are the little changes. The pushing to do something I didn't know I could do. The fact that I ran a 5K (3.1 miles) without stopping on the treadmill on Saturday just to see if I could instead of the two miles that I intended.
I am grateful to be getting some things right...but I cannot just say "BOOM! DONE!" at any point because I'm not done. Far from it.
I explained to a friend this weekend that my issues with food are very similar to those of an alcoholic or a drug addict. I'm addicted to a substance. The only differences are...mine is legal...and I have to partake of a certain amount of it to survive. I am not pretending that my food addiction is anything akin to the hell that people addicted to other substances are...but if you've never been there...you honestly do not know.
So, management of it is critical. I'll never be cured and will always be subject to the whims of well meaning folks who want me to drink a little of this or eat a little of that in the name of fellowship. I have to be extremely careful in that regard. Not crazy...but careful. Because all it takes is a few days away from eating correctly and a week off from the gym and I risk a relapse.
So I keep going. I keep trying. Continue striving to move toward the goals I've set for myself.
There is something beautiful about people on a mission. Folks who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they are doing. I get that because I am attracted to people who just love what they are doing because it ramps up my hope that I can have that same experience. I believe that a lot of folks have seen a dowdy 50-something woman try to transform her life...and have been unbelievably kind to me in the process.
One person reminded me today that "you do this..." meaning that I lose weight and then gain it back. It's true. I've done that. But I've never been set up as well as I am right now to succeed. I've also understood that this battle is the Lord's and not only my own. It feels completely different somehow.
I know that I'm waxing all philosophical tonight as I think about some of the conversations I've had this weekend...from people that I've known and loved as friends for years. Who are ready to join me in trying to live their own dreams by finding their authentic selves. Who aren't ready to just have the part of their lives where they feel fit and good behind them. Who realize that 60 is the new 40.
I have learned so much these past few months that I wouldn't even know where to start listing. I suppose the biggest lesson is that physically...90% of it is what you eat and 10% is about exercise. That your success is 90% your attitude and 10% everything else. That it is never too late...and that most of what you hate doing in the gym is what is going to eventually have to be dealt with because that is what is going to help you the most. That when you run...for the first ten or so minutes...your mind will try to get you to stop. If you keep going...it will eventually quiet and your breathing will regulate. I didn't know that because I'd never run for ten minutes before. Not really. Running is about 90% in your head and 10% in your body when you first start.
I have met people who have been helpful, people who are threatened by my changes, and people who keep talking about my "willpower" or "self-control." Hardly. I just removed failure as an option. I still do.
My reason for writing this is that I need to put in writing that I am just a few pounds away from having 100 pounds off my frame. 100 pounds. 1-0-0. I need to get past that number so that I can address the 40 pounds behind that as well. I've come a long way...but I still have a long way to go.
I realize that there are people reading this who are wondering how to get 10 pounds off rather than 100. Well, you just do it. You just decide. You stop eating crap. You commit...and the teachers will show up. They certainly have for me.
I'm grateful to everyone who has said a kind word, shared some encouragement, given me tips to do better, inspired me, helped me stay faithful to the program, exercised with me, passed down some clothes, loved me when I was heavier and still love me now, or prayed for me because you knew I needed it. All of that has made a difference.
And still is...