In September of 2008 I got to take a trip with John to visit my younger sister and her husband at their new home in Orlando, FL. I was thrilled to get away, visit my sister, and spend time with my husband, sans children. We had a great visit. We played Rock Star on their PlayStation (which I am terrible at), we ate out at the most awesome Mexican Cantina—complete with a HUGE hot sauce bar, we got to watch an Ohio State Football game at their local wing joint with other OSU Alums. What a blast! That was until I got a few of the pictures back from the trip.
The person looking back at me from the vacation photos was not me…or not the me I was familiar with. The person in those photos was very unhealthy. I was shocked. I. Was. Overweight. And, not just a little overweight, a lot overweight. I felt dumbfounded. When did this happen? I knew I had gained weight with both my pregnancies, but I didn’t realize that I had kept gaining. I’m married to an exercise physiologist, so this was particularly devistating, and I'm sure not just for me but for him as well. This was my rock bottom. The only way to go was up through a loss.
The day I looked at those pictures was a Tuesday. By the next Friday morning I had joined Weight Watchers. I tipped the scale at just under 200 pounds. I had never weighed that much. The Weight Watchers staff member that weighed me was very kind. She wrote down the number and caringly said, “Just think of it as never having to see that number again.” As I wiped tears from my eyes, I stepped off the scale and took her statement to heart.
My poor eating choices and little exercise were bad habits. Habits I allowed to develop over time. Some of the habits I didn’t realize were so devastating to my waist line. Learning the Points Values of foods was a good tool to make better choices. Taking tips from meetings was great too. Such as “nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”
It took me 56 weeks to lose 50 pounds. Losing weight was a LONG journey. I learned things about myself I wouldn’t have otherwise. I regained control of my weight and myself. But, most of all I changed my habits. This isn’t a diet I’m on; it’s a whole lifestyle change. For me, there is no going back to size 16 pants, but not just for the smaller pants size; it’s because I feel better overall.
Today I have maintained my weight loss for 20 months. Maintaining a healthy weight is a constant effort. I have a job with Weight Watchers to help keep me accountable (as a staff member you have to weigh in monthly). My body isn’t perfect. I could probably lose more weight, but I accept where I am.
What I have realized though is that I have other habits I still need to work on. Getting my body to the correct BMI wasn’t the only answer. I read this quote this week from Pastor Matthew Barnett. “Rock bottom isn’t where you fail; it’s where God recreates you.”
I’m going to face other “bottoms.” Things about me will always need to be reevaluated, changed, and challenged. I’m certain it’s only through a strong faith that I will have the courage to face these habits. But, each time I look at a photo of myself now I can be reminded that I can succeed. Breaking any habit, whether it be over eating or over speaking (something I am currently working on) isn’t about perfection, it’s about persistence. When I lean into God for guidance and courage I will always be successful.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Thank you for reading.