Seven weeks ago, three point five digits jolted me out of denial. "164.5 lbs," the scale said. I am 4'11 and I am obese.
Regardless of my weight, I have always expected the world to treat me the way it did when I was in my teens and a size 2. I grew into a size 4, hovered there for a bit, and then crept into a terrifying size 6. "I am not a small girl anymore,' I thought.
But at size 6, I could still fake it. I simply dropped bank at Ann Taylor Petite and successfully masked the person inside of me that is eating her pain away. I stopped paying attention to my weight and wallowed in my darkness until I woke up one day and I was a size 10. "I can walk my way back to size 4," I thought.
I stopped shopping, afraid to confront the enormity of my pain hidden under layers of fat. But one day, I got a job that required me to wear suits every day and there it was... was it size 12? 14? 16? Even now, I don't remember. Even now, I refuse to walk over to my suit to confirm that I was that large. Even now when I am larger.
Photos became an issue. No selfie angles could hide my size so I stopped taking them too. Then photos of me crop up online and I resented the people uploading them without my consent. So i stopped being in pictures.
I avoided everything that confirmed that I no longer physically represent the person I view as me. I started rolling with fat jokes because to be outwardly angry is to betray my struggle. I can fake the confidence because I knew inside me exists a small person. I know what that girl looks like and I remember how differently the world treated her then.
Two months ago, I started yet another attempt to scale down. 165. i never thought I would get that large. Never. About a week ago, after spending two weeks of active days outdoors, I mustered the courage to step on a scale. 160 lbs.
It was disheartening to lose so little weight, considering how much weight I had to lose. So I started to do the math. If lose 2.5 lbs a week, it would take me 5 months to deal with the damage I have done in the last 18 years. I can find that small girl in me in just 5 months. Piece of cake.
I started to run, and by run I mean jog and but jog I mean mostly walk. On June 22, I started to cover a minimum of three miles a day and six days later the scale says 155.6. Nearly ten pounds. That is more than water weight, right?
Before today, I wrote down my goals:
1. 154.5 (first ten pounds), goal date: July 3.
2. 148 (out of the obese zone)
3. 138 (ten pounds less in the overweight zone)
4. 128 (ten pounds less toward the "normal" BMI zone)
5. 123 (no longer overweight)
6. 113 (ten pounds less in the "normal" zone)
7. 103 (the final ten pounds)
Today, I mustered the courage to take my baselines photos - confident in my ability to put in the physical labor and mental restraint to find that small person I identify with.
To be honest, I'd be happy with 120. But in drafting my goals, I heard that voice of doubt...that I could not make it to that zone where I have looked my best. It echoed the voices of many others I have listened, people who never helped me reach my goals but unknowingly pushed me to seek the comfort of food. Lots of food.