When I went to my very first counseling session my counselor told me very matter-of-factly that my weight does not define who I am as a person. I pretty much dismissed her comment as hogwash and nonsense. It sounded good in theory, but in reality, my weight completely defined who I was. It went with me everywhere that I went. It tortured me from the time I woke up and stepped on the scale each morning. It haunted me throughout the day as I wondered will this chair hold me and uncomfortably crawled up in bed with me at night. It was the first thing that people saw before a word even came out of my mouth. How could she dare make a such a bold off kilter comment as to say that my weight does not define me, when it played such a major role in my daily life. “I can make everything else work, except for my weight” I told her. She told me that she was pretty sure that “everything” else was not perfect and that my weight did not have to be perfect either in order to accept myself.
Several months later and many sessions down the line her “theory” started to become more realistic and less like a fairytale. My weight does not define who I am as a person. I’m smart, I’m beautiful, I’m a paralegal, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a hard worker, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m an Aunt, I’m a friend. I’m finally getting to a place where I can accept me as I am right now with all of my issues. I’m an emotional over eater and that’s okay because that’s how God made me. It took me a long long long long long time to accept it, but I have finally gotten comfortable with my personal truth. Who was I to think that I was so fabulous that I should be born perfect with no flaws? Everybody has something that they have to work on.
Once I got my mind in that space, I was able to do the work necessary to get healthy.
I asked my counselor “Don’t you think it’s crazy that I need church and morning affirmations and a personal trainer and a food plan, and counseling sessions and my blog and this and that just to lose weight?” She said “Absolutely not, you’re trying to transform your whole lifestyle, not just lose 5 pounds.” It made sense when she put it that way. For some people it may not take all of that, but for me it does. Now that I’m no longer living in denial, or mad about my situation, I’m finally seeing results. This feels so completely different than any other time that I’ve lost weight before. With Weight Watchers I learned about healthy food and good portions. With the hospital weight management program I learned that there is a huge mental and emotional component involved with weight loss. But, I never really wanted to accept that I had a “problem.” This time I’ve added the spiritual aspect combined with what I’ve learned over the years and I’ve accepted that I’ll have to work at this every day for the rest of my life. It doesn’t make me sad or depressed or ask “Oh why, me?!” I just sit comfortably knowing that this is the only me that I’m ever going to have. The alcoholics anonymous serenity prayer makes more sense to me now. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I’m still tempted almost every day to weigh myself but I have the courage to stand up against that inner person and say no. I managed to break that nasty little scale habit, and now I weigh once a week on Wednesday, for information only, no judgment. I know that sometimes I’m going to have some relapse moments and some relapse days. Some days the scale is going to “make me feel fat” and some days I’m going to eat too much ice cream and regret it. The difference is now, I know those days are coming and I’ll be prepared and I won’t stay stuck there. I can accept that the desire to over eat will always be there, but I have the courage to fight that feeling, make healthy choices and maintain a healthy weight in spite of it all.
And, because I know at the end of the day people still like numbers, I’m thrilled to announce that I have lost more weight! At the beginning of the year I was at my highest weight ever. I’m still not quite ready to broadcast that number to the whole world wide interwebs but from that time till now, I’ve lost 21 pounds! (Trust me, I did the math three times to make sure it was right.) 14 of those pounds have come off in the last seven weeks since I’ve been working with my trainer and eating with his food plan. I’ve lost 1.5% body fat, 1 inch around my chest, 1 inch around my waist, and 1 inch around my upper arm. Finally y’all, I’m doing it!! Thank you so much for your support and love.
It sounds like you’re making progress in all aspects, not just on the scale. Which feels more victorious. Congratulations on progress!
Yes it does feel more victorious! Thanks Angela.
Congratulations, Carli! Thanks for being such an inspiration to others. I truly appreciate your blog and 5K training program. You have been a gift in my life.
You are amazing and the hard work you are doing in all aspects of your life is inspiring!