Hefty.

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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.

So, while I may still be considered pleasingly plump or a little bit tubby, that’s okay. I’m just aiming for a little bit less, and no “moore” of me, please. 

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20 responses »

  1. Thanks for the encouragement in this article. It is hard to get it off, it is also hard to keep it off. Hang in there. Also, don’t forget 1 Sam. 16:7.

  2. Carla, This is just what I needed! You know that I was losing weight while Rob was in Afghanistan. I lost 40 lbs. Unfortunately I’ve gotten back into my old eating habits. Like you said, the fat isn’t gone – it’s just hovering around waiting to come back. I’ve only gained back 10 of those 40 lbs and even though it’s “only a little bit” it feels awful! I’m with you! You can do it and I will cheer you on! I think you look great and am very happy for you! It’s nice to feel “in shape”. Keep it up! Love you!
    Martha

  3. Refreshing honesty! I, too, have a constant struggle with weight. Was comfortable with the 170 I was at following gastric bypass surgery until I was off work and nearly bedridden for a year waiting for a back surgery. During that year I gained back 60 of the 135 I had kept off for 5 wonderful years. Working at getting back to that size 10 now while waiting for another back surgery :(. I definitely feel your pain!

  4. Thanks for this post – I have lost 60 pounds, but have recently lost some of my motivation – your words have been encouraging to me – back on the “band wagon” I go! I does feel better not to be carrying some much weight around – doesn’t it! Shall we inspire one another?

  5. You are a great role model for me. I have watched you and Uncle John, Uncle Tom and my Mom lose so much weight this past year plus, and I have been encouraged. A lot of what you wrote mirrors my feelings and I applaud your courage and discipline to post this and look forward to the day wen we have to take a new family picture and we don’ t have to use the wide angle because of our waist size. P.S. this is Deric.

  6. This is awesome, Carla! Very encouraging. It’s something I’ve had to work hard on too. I’m very encouraged by you guys. Sure was nice to be w y’all at Dripping last Sunday.

    Best wishes!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing! You share a lot of the same sentiments that I have felt (and still feel). After doing better for a while, I’ve started neglecting myself again and your post has really encouraged me!

  8. Carla, I think you are doing fantastic! To make a determined effort and keep following through is such a hard thing to do, you are an inspiration!

  9. Carla, You are a brave soul for such deep honesty. You definitely echoed my feelings and thoughts with every single word. I have to tell you something that has rung though my head for years….When you and I talked years ago about dieting, you told me ” I just want to enjoy life with my family and there isn’t ANYTHING low calorie that tastes good” I said to myself “Hey she’s right. I just want to enjoy life too!” because I too love to cook and love to feed my family the goodies. But I have come to learn that there are better ways of enjoying life with your family. There is being able to be alive and able to do things with them that is sooo much more important. The hardest part for me is putting it in reverse. I work on it everyday of my life and as you get older it’s even harder. I am so inspired by you and I am thankful to God everyday for your friendship!

  10. What a sweet precious article one that hits way too close to home for me. I get 100% of it. So you suggest the Weight Watchers App. Maybe I’ll download tomorrow. I’m getting my foot out if a surgical boot after six weeks. Did you do a lot if exercising? I’m limited by my foot 😦

    • Rhonda, the first 40 pounds I lost without exercise. For ME, it’s 80% diet, 20% exercise. Exercise develops muscle that helps burn calories faster…so it’s definitely good. But you can still lose weight even with limitations.

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