There are numbers everywhere.
Thirteen. The age I was when I went on my first diet because a dance teacher said I was fat. (I wasn’t.)
Ten. The number of weeks since my gastric sleeve surgery.
Three-eighty-three. The most I’ve ever weighed.
But the number I want to talk about today is 45.
As of today, I’ve lost 45 pounds…and it’s significant because I have gained and lost these same 45 pounds twice in the last two years. I would push and struggle and cry and use every ounce of my energy to lose it and for some reason I’d run out of steam around the 45 pound mark. Months of eating boring food, working out my 383 pound body until I got stress fractures in my feet, and guilt tripping myself for being so fat in the first place would finally take its toll…and I would limp to the couch and call for pizza. Or grab a candy bar. Or curl up on the couch with a pint of mint chip and watch “The Biggest Loser” until I cried.
Those of you who’ve been fans of my blog for a while know how hard I’ve tried in the past. The ups, the downs, and the conflict I felt as I finally considered gastric sleeve surgery. It hasn’t been an easy road – but the day I decided to have surgery, I knew one thing for sure: failure would no longer come so easily. (Failure is possible, by the way…but that’s a blog for another day.)
I remember the nurses at the hospital smiling at me during my pre-op appointment and asking brightly “Are you excited?”
No, I said to myself. I’m about to have major surgery. I’m going to go through a lot of pain. My life is about to change in many ways – some of which I’m sure I can’t even imagine. No. I wasn’t excited. I was scared. But it was what I knew I needed to do for myself.
Afterwards, many friends asked the same thing as I started to lose weight. Are you excited? No, I still wasn’t – because I was losing the same damn 45 pounds I’d already lost and gained twice in two years. In a way, I felt hugely ungrateful to be not very excited after giving myself such an amazing tool in my battle with my food demons – but you can’t control your feelings…only what you do about them. And so I decided to focus my attention on learning how to live my life as a healthy person.
I’m grateful for every pound I’ve lost, but it’s all felt a bit like an episode of déjà vu that wouldn’t end. Until today.
(And yes…that is the Gandalf stick from The Wet Fart from Hell post in the background…)
I’ve finally wiped the slate clean. Sure, I still have a lot more weight to lose…but these first 45 pounds were the worst. They hung over me like a dark cloud, reminding me of my failure. And they’re gone. They’re finally gone.
I feel free. I feel blissfully and happily free from years of guilt I heaped on myself because I couldn’t get a handle on my food demons.
Okay one more number: Five.
Five more pounds until I’ve lost fifty. That’s territory I haven’t seen in twelve years. Now I feel excited…and a little bit bad ass.
What’s your magic number?