A long time ago, in a land far away (Okay it was 1998 and Mississippi, but I digress), a boy asked a girl he barely knew to marry him. The silly girl said yes, even though they had only known each other for six weeks. So they ran off to New Orleans and got married, quickie Las Vegas style. The boy said “I’ve never been happier”
Then the boy and the girl (both being in the military –Go Air Force!) were transferred to Omaha, Nebraska…way far away from everyone they knew and loved. But they had each other… and a dog. They were very happy, and very in love and as we all know, when people are happy and in love, they eat and drink and “sleep”. After all this eating and drinking, the girl began to gain some weight but the boy promised to always love her, no matter what. So, the girl didn’t worry.
One day, the girl found out some really good news! Pregnant! the boy was really excited and told the girl how he had never been happier in his WHOLE life. Life was good for the two of them and they continued to eat and drink, after all, they were eating for “two” now. Several months later, baby boy was born. He was a big one: eight whole pounds. The girl wondered why she had gained nearly 40-if he was only eight pounds but the boy said “It’s okay, I love you anyway”. So the girl didn’t worry and they all continued to eat and drink-after all, they were breastfeeding, so more calories the better, right?
Four months after the joyous birth, the girl started feeling ill. She worried that something was really wrong–so she went to the doctor and got some news… Pregnant again. The boy said “I have NEVER been happier in my whole life” so the girl didn’t worry about how she looked. She knew he loved her, no matter what. So came baby boy number two. He was even bigger ! Nine and a half pounds…and the boy said “Wow, you gained almost forty with him too, I can’t believe he’s only nine and a half pounds”, and the girl started to worry that the boy didn’t like her anymore, but the boy said “You are getting heavy, but I love you anyway”, so she stopped worrying.
The boy and the girl and baby boy one and baby boy two all were very happy for about a year. Then came baby…number three. A girl this time! The girl was very happy because the boy said ” I have NEVER been happier” and she believed him. Before the baby was born, the girl decided she didn’t want to re-enlist in the military so she didn’t. But the boy did. The girl wanted to go home to their families but said “what ever makes you happy, love”. So the boy re-enlisted.
The little (big) family all lived together happily in Nebraska for two more years… and then one day thegirl came home and saw something funny on the bed. A camera..the girl didn’t think much of it and took the film into the store to get it processed. When it came back, the girl was confused because it had pictures of one of her very good friends on it. She asked the boy about it..and he said “She must have left it here when she was here the last time…”, but the girl didn’t remember the last time that the friend had been over, so she chalked it up to “pregnancy brain” and let it go. A few days later, the boy came home and said “We are moving!” and the family went off to Iceland and were very happy there. .
While they were in Iceland, the girl met some good friends and started eat out and drink all the time with them. The boy said “Have fun, you need to be more social”. So the girl did. One day the boy came up to the girl and said, “I want to go back to school.” So the girl said, ” I will get a job and help you pay for it. ” so the girl got a job and put all of the money she earned into school for the boy. While helping the boy fill out paperwork one day, the girl saw an email that was on his computer-it said something about a “wonderful night” that the boy had shared with someone and that someone “hoped they could do it again soon”. The girl asked the boy what it was about, and the boy said it was just a joke from an old friend. The girl believed him.
Then one day, the boy and the girl and their little family went on a vacation around Iceland. They stopped at a cabin to spend a few days. The boy and the girl decided to get into the hot tub. When the girl got in, the boy said “Hey Shamu” and laughed at the girl. The girl became very upset and asked the boy what he meant by that. The boy said he was just joking so the girl believed him. The boy came home from work a few days later and said “We are moving back to Nebraska” and the girl was happy. The little (big) family moved home and were happy for a few years.
Then one day, the girl and the boy went to lunch with the kids and the boy asked the girl if he could tell her something. The girl was excited because this usually meant good things. The boy told the girl…” You are fat. I am not attracted to you anymore. I don’t want to be married any more”. The girl was devastated and asked the boy why he never said anything to her before…he had always said he was happy. The boy said…I LIED.
The girl said “I need to do something to change this” and she found a special website (SparkPeople) and a very special friend, who sat her down and told her all the things that she needed to do to make her life healthier. This friend was an inspiration and is still counted among the girls nearest and dearest friends, because if the girl hadn’t met with the friend…she wasn’t quite sure if she’d make it through. The girl went and got on a scale that same day and saw an awful number (257) and she told the boy…and he said “You disgust me”, so the girl started kickboxing.
The girl worked hard at getting healthier and told the boy that she was trying to get better for him. He said, “that makes me happy” …and she believed him. Then the girl found out that she was pregnant again. The boy said “That makes me even HAPPIER” and she believed him. But things went wrong, and the girl lost the baby after three months. The boy said “Oh Well..now you can lose weight again”, so the girl went back to her exercise plan and decided to become a vegetarian.
Then one day, the girl went downstairs and looked at the bank statements and found that the boy had paid for a divorce lawyer…and when she asked the boy why he said “You’re too fat, I am not happy”. So the girl and the kids went home to her parents for a few weeks.
While she was there, she talked with her mom and thought a long time about the boy and their marriage and figured out that he wasn’t making her happy either. So, she went back to the boy and said “You make me unhappy too.” and the boy was shocked. He said “you won’t find anyone like me, ever. You are too big to find anyone”, and the girl said “Try me.” and walked out on him after living with the boy for twelve years. A few days later, the boy moved in a young woman and told the entire world that he had “NEVER BEEN HAPPIER” The girl laughed then, because she knew it was a lie.
It’s a long story, I know. I apologize. I had to get it out there and hopefully
someone can benefit from my experiences and pain.
It took a lot of soul searching and yes, even counseling to realize that I need to be happy for me..not for anyone else. If I want to lose weight and get healthy, it’s got to be because I want to do it for me, and no one else. I have worked for the last two years almost to get to where I am. I am now (give or take a few) 50 pounds lighter and a whole hell of a lot stronger, physically and emotionally. I am not going to lie and say I’ve never done anything wrong, or wanted to quit and give up or that I couldn’t have done things differently. I’m sure I could have, but I didn’t have the strength then to say “enough is enough”. I still have days where it’s all I can do to get out of bed and get dressed. I’m not perfect, somedays– I don’t work-out and I eat like crap, I feel down and wonder if it’s all really worth the effor that I am trying to put into it, and I ask myself, is this the choice I want to make right now, and yeah, sometimes I really want to choose the chocolate cake and beer, so I do. But, making choices and learning from them is the best part of this journey, because there are always choices, multiple paths to take to get to where you want to go and one of them will invariably be the easy path, but its only reward at the end– is that it was easy. I’m not one to take the easy path. I started thinking about this a while ago, and I guess the epiphany moment for me was that “weight-loss” itself can not be, IS not, my “Choice.”
My choice has to be more tied into what I want out of life, my long term dreams, my goals, my aspirations in life. How can I possibly get excited, how can I possibly dedicate myself to something that I have not linked to the more important things I want out of life. Yeah, I want to fit into smaller jeans, but c’mon, when I lay back on my deathbed and think of the important things in life, am I really going to reflect back to the day I finally fit into a pair of skinny jeans? Maybe, but probably not.
I realized that my choices are my larger life goals, the things I want, my dreams, and that weight loss is merely one tiny step, one tiny choice out of that whole journey. I guess what I am saying is that somewhere along this journey I lost that perspective, and a little bit of myself, as well. I did ultimately come to view myself as a number on the scale and that was a measurement of success/failure that I clung too. It was for that number that I worked the various programs, with the goal being to get skinny. Of course, I had other reasons “to improve my health” and to feel better, but I completely lost what that meant or why it was important. Simply losing became the goal and honestly, a shallow, unsustainable, and hollow one. No wonder I burnt out, no wonder I can’t find dedication. If someone at the end of my life asked, “and what did you do with your life?” and my answer was “I lost a lot of weight,” that would be really, really sad. And of course, not true, because I was a great mother, a good friend, a caring person, but in terms of the goals that I set for myself and carried out, if losing was my only goal, I would not be satisfied, because losing weight in and of itself is simply not enough.
Losing weight is not going to take me to my goals and dreams, but it is a step towards them, not something I am simply doing for getting skinnys sake. At the same time, that being said, there are a lot of other steps/transformations that I need to be doing at the same time I am working my towards my weight loss goals. My weight loss is not my lifelong dream, it is a choice towards the kind of life I want, but that life is not going to be magically waiting there for me once I hit goal. Larger dissatisfactions are not just going to melt away cause I am skinny. Shaky relationships are not going to miraculously improve just cause I got skinny. My self esteem is not going to magically improve because I am thinner (it may improve some, but so far, it hasn’t). It just isn’t. o I make the choice to to take the hard path, the one where I cry sometimes and hurt sometimes and push myself to make the choices that will ultimately take me to where I want to to go.