“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Henry Ford
Hefty. According to Webster: “quite heavy. Marked by bigness, bulk, and unusual strength. Impressively large.” Not particularly the way I wished to be seen. As tempting as it sounds, I never had the desire to be impressively large. But two years ago, a dear old man, in a passing comment, referred to me as HEFTY.
It wasn’t one of those “a-HA!” moments, where I jumped out of my chair and yelled “That’s IT! I’ve had it with being fat!” Instead, I let it roll off, knowing he didn’t mean to be unkind, knowing that it was what it was: truth.
I wasted nearly 25 years being hefty. My size never really went up and down, I just went up and stayed up. I love to cook, love to bake, love to create, love to feed my family, love to make them happy with food, love to eat with them. So after John and I married, I began fixing all of our favorite things: mainly pasta, bread, potatoes – all that good stuff! The first thirty pounds piled on during our first year, and the next 60 happily jumped on the bandwagon.
Let me just say here that I did not dislike myself. John never made me feel unattractive or unworthy or unloved. I knew and trusted in the fact that my Heavenly Father saw my heart. But I just did not have any self-respect. And I don’t think that was all tied up in how much I weighed, but the lack of self-respect came from knowing what I needed to do, but refusing to do it.
I couldn’t cross my legs. I couldn’t get clothes out of the dryer without losing my breath. My footsteps sounded like an elephant’s on our wooden deck. Airplane seat belts barely fit. I had to get a rolling start to get out of bed. Standing at the sink hurt my back. I was afraid to sit in folding chairs. I hated pictures of myself. I never felt dainty. I skipped the magazine articles talking about diabetes and heart disease. Walking past a glass storefront, I was horrified to realize that the “hefty” person walking past was ME. I weighed 231 pounds. On a 5’3″ frame. TWO. HUNDRED. THIRTY. ONE. POUNDS. It still hurts for me to admit that.
Almost two years ago I purchased a 90 day trial app on my phone for Weight Watchers. As I sat at the kitchen table learning to use the app, Micah walked in the door with a Double Dave’s pizza roll. I ate it, savoring each bite, and then the following day, January 16, 2011, I began keeping track of what I ate. The first few weeks I lost four, five, or even six pounds at a time. By June I had lost 40 pounds. The next 35 came off over the next 9 months. Each week that I lost was motivating to me. But I have slammed into the wall of reality: my fat is not really gone, it’s just hovering nearby, waiting to come home.
Have you played the Angry Birds Star Wars game yet? There is a force field in space, and Darth Pig is holding the little piggies floating paralyzed in his death grip. If you break the force field, gravity returns and the piggies come rushing back to the planet. And that’s how I feel about me and my fat – every day finds me struggling to maintain the force field and keep the fat away.
Which brings me to today. My initial goal was to weigh 150 pounds. I thought I’d just get that far, and see if I still wanted to continue. Supposedly, my ideal weight is somewhere between 107 and 135. I weighed more than 107 pounds in MIDDLE school, for crying out loud. I’m not aiming to be skeletal, just healthy. So….I haven’t made it to my original goal yet. I’ve danced around it, hovered above it, flirted with it, but that 1-5-0 remains elusive. Depending on which scale I use, I seesaw between 153 and 157 pounds. Hey, let’s just be honest. The scale at the gym says I weigh 159. But that’s with my tennis shoes on, so I get to subtract four pounds for those, right?
I’ve decided to try my hand at blogging about my determination (or lack thereof) and struggle. Maybe if I commit to publicly confessing what I eat, I’ll be more diligent about making better choices. Which is why I didn’t start this blog a couple of days ago: I would’ve had to confess to eating one of Jordan & Erin’s fried cheese sticks, and a nice, hot, buttery roll from Logan’s Roadhouse (among a few other things.)
I know the majority of you out there may be groaning – even those of you who have made it this far through my ramblings – don’t really CARE that much. Feel free to laugh at me and never read another word. I’m really writing this for me. And the truth is, there are other things in life that are so much more important than numbers on a scale. Our souls may have no earthly weight, but they are eternally weighty, and THAT is my main focus in life.