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The weight of it all

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

I'll be honest with you. I've never been the kind of woman that looks in the mirror and sees someone who's fat, unattractive or unloveable. I've never related to that — if anything I think I have a fortunate kind of body dysmorphia that's allowed me to always see a skinnier version of myself.

Most mornings when I look in the mirror, I see a well put together boss lady who is doing the best she can with what she has. I have my own style and I take pride in doing my hair and makeup every day.

It was only when I saw certain pictures of myself that I would have to be confronted with the fact that, yes, I'm overweight. Even then, I wasn't willing to do anything about it — I had a husband, a great job, amazing friends, a supportive family, great self-esteem (some would say maybe too much) — I was doing just peachy.

I didn't mind being overweight because I've always considered myself overweight — even as young as 11 years old. I remember my 5th grade health class and my teacher talking about weight and how it was harder to lose the older you get. I remember that thought scaring me. I remember thinking, "I really need to get this under control now." I was 11 and not even overweight. I was still growing!

I never binged or purged or starved myself — I ate whatever I wanted, drank too much and the pounds just kept adding on slowly. At a point you just accept that's who you are and you stop trying to change it. The weight just didn't impact my life... until it did. It turns out all that weight I'd been carrying around became too much when life piled a bunch of stress, grief, depression and beer on top of it.

After that doctor's appointment in July, I started the meds and I started a weight-loss program through an app called Noom. I remembered my friend asking me in January if I would do it with her but of course I said no at the time.

It seemed sensible — counting calories, learning more about nutrition and working on forming a healthier relationship with food by managing my mind. What a concept. As someone who always has to have a to-do list, I appreciated the daily prompts I needed to complete. That was doable.

It taught me which foods were healthier and which ones would keep me fuller for longer. The daily calorie counting really woke me up to how much I was overeating. My craft beer has how many calories? Damn! I started walking the dogs on a regular basis trying to reach 10,000 a day — that rarely happened but I always did my best for someone who it used to sitting at a desk most of the day.

I knew the only way I could lose weight was to eat better, eat less and exercise — also something I've never been willing to do — but Noom taught me the importance of commitment and also that failing to meet my goals one day didn't mean I gave up the next day. You just keep going, making mistakes and doing better the next time.

Immediately the weight started coming off. I swear in the first week I dropped 10 pounds like it was nothing. Wow, I can definitely do this! As the weight came off — more slowly after the first couple of months — my mind also started to feel lighter. I began to believe I could do things that I'd never had the courage to do before and I just kept trying to challenge myself to doing more while focusing on my ultimate goal. My ultimate goal wasn't to lost 50, 80 or 100 pounds necessarily — it was to be able to live the adventurous and joyful life that I'm meant to live. That's who I was underneath everything I'd piled on top of myself.

And I had two big adventures to immediately prepare for — another trip to Europe with Amy in September 2019 and my baby sister's wedding in late October.

To be continued...

My wonderful friends taking me out to Asheville for my 34th birthday in August.

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