I turned 40 in 2014, and as I was staring down at my much over-candled birthday cake, I made a decision: I was tired of being fat, and I was going to make sure I never was again. In the succeeding six months, I lost 60 pounds, which got me within 15 pounds of a normal BMI for the first time since I was ten years old. I managed to keep it all off for a year before I started dating my sweet husband, and…I guess I can only agree that it’s true what they say about happiness and heaviness: if the former is a new thing, then it will almost certainly cause the latter. By the end of 2016, I had to put all of my “skinny” clothes into the boxes that had previously contained my “fat” clothes, but from the moment I did it, I knew I couldn’t stand to keep things that way for long. I could not go back to plus-size clothing, not with my pear-shaped build (read: I am not so blessed in the boobies department, and plus-size clothes are made for women who are).
But I ended up keeping the weight longer than I intended. It turns out that feeding a couple of teenagers means keeping in the house a lot of Oreos, cheddar and sour cream potato chips, ice cream, and pizza, and after more than a year on a calorie counting diet, I found not a single thing on that list that I could resist. That is…until this week.
A week ago last Saturday, we got home from a week in Myrtle Beach. It was the first vacation we’d ever taken as a family, and the first vacation that the kids had ever had in their lives. It was a good time, even though the heat was stifling and led to much less time on the beach than we wanted. But despite the good time and the total joy of being in a place I love with the people I love most in the world, here is what I primarily took away from our vacation:
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE PICTURE OF ME FROM THAT WHOLE AWESOME VACATION THAT I CAN STAND TO LOOK AT.
So I came home, ate about ten more Harry & David’s chocolate covered cherries, and decided that come Sunday, it was back to counting calories for me. I’ve done great. As of this morning, I’m down eight pounds and back on the road to being able to wear my sweet American Eagle jeans by fall. But I’ll tell you what, it feels even more amazing and unbelievable than it did the first time–I can’t believe I’ve found the willpower to do this on top of so recently giving up smoking. The first time, all I had to do when I felt like eating was light a cigarette. This week, I haven’t had that fallback and so I had to find something else to occupy my mind and my fingers. It’s been rough though, I’m not going to claim that it hasn’t.
I have, however, really tried to make lemonade from the lemons. I started writing again–every day, whether I felt like it or not. And then, a few days ago, I came back home to online journalling…for the first time in more than four years. It’s great to be back, and I intend to stay long past the time when I can stand to look at pictures of myself again, perhaps even after my fingers stop itching for a cigarette.