I am finally moving into the weight loss zone where clothes I had ‘grown out’ of are now fitting again. Some of us have multiple sizes in our closets, and we hold on to the smaller clothes almost as if it’s a dim hopeful candle burning.
Most of my life I was not over 200 pounds, and never 235. In fact, up until five years ago that only happened when I was pregnant with each of my children, and then typically I was able to take off 25, then stopped. Over these last four months, I have gone down two sizes and am now able to fit in most of my size 14 wardrobe, with a total of 44 lbs down, and 20 inches off my bust, waist and hips.
For those who haven’t done big battles with weight, this may not seem like much to celebrate. Some might even judge me for letting it get so out of control. Well, you’re not alone. I’ve spent the better part of the last five years judging the crap out of myself. And where did it get me? It got me 100 pounds overweight, into sizes 16, then 18, and then, into sweatpants and stretchy clothing.
I am slowly creating what I’m calling the Down and Done pile. All of my clothes that are officially falling off my ass or are just too baggy are going on the pile. Part of me wants to take them out and do a ceremonial burning. But there are fire laws, so I will probably just quietly give them to charity. Staring at the pile, I realize how few clothes I was actually wearing during those 200+ pound days. I struggled with the notion that I would invest in those sizes, because it might mean I was sealing my fate. If I bought clothes that fit at size 18, I was giving up, I would forever be that heavy middle-aged woman who didn’t seem to care about her appearance.
So, exactly when did it really click? Well, as you may have read from the bio, there was the family gathering in July, where I saw pictures taken and didn’t recognize myself, followed by the high school reunion where standing next to old friends I looked like overstuffed bratwurst. But I had been reactive to pictures for awhile. So while it was upsetting, I still didn’t do much about it. I cut back on night time eating for a few days, but no big shift like, THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT. Then, one day I was in the edit room, working on a tv pilot, and my editor was cutting footage I had shot in St. Tropez with fabulous looking 20-somethings. One girl in particular had the most care-free spirit and the body to go with it. My editor said to me, “Don’t you wish you could feel that free? To be in your body that way…”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was such a powerful statement. Don’t you wish… I had stopped wishing. I’d stopped hoping. In fact, my body was nothing more to me at that moment than a means to carry around my tired, depressed brain. For several days, my editor’s comment stuck with me. Both of us seemed aligned that we had left our younger selves in a ditch somewhere. Walking out of the edit room, I began to get really angry. This was one of those times when anger was my friend. It pushed me into action. It also happened to be a time of pure stress. I hated the job, and a few weeks later decided there were other more important things to deal with and exited out. Change #1: No job is ever worth damaging your health or self-esteem. Doesn’t matter how much they pay you. Just like the food I eat, I now make better choices on the projects I say yes to. And the better gigs finally came along.
Over the summer, my dad suffered a stroke, and I knew I was needed there much more than the chaos I was dealing with at work. I began to assess everything in my life. I needed to find my way again. I needed to find me again. I considered doing a 12-step program like OA, but that didn’t seem to fit for me. And as I punched in questions to Google, the new plan began to take shape. I would have to radically change my diet. Not just cut back, or start exercise. If I wanted to say goodbye to the ‘teens’ sizes for good, I would have to do something to insure my success all the way to goal. And that’s how this plan was born. But now that I had it, the sober knowledge of the long road ahead hit, and I knew I couldn’t do this silently nor could I do it alone. Change #2: Be willing to surrender to black and white rules and trust the outcome.
Finally, Change #3: Go a little public. I am a visual person, what I see plants itself in my brain, so being more transparent about my weight loss journey has done two big things: I am finding my tribe of like-minded men and women who want to get on this road with me. We call ourselves BadAsses. I have found a plan and a group that fits. And these people are teaching me just as much as I am leading them. The road isn’t always pretty. I am not gliding through each and every day. But it is MUCH easier now that I’ve gotten real about what it’s going to take to get to my perfect size. I’m not fooling around this time. I’m in it and it’s public and every day it’s one step closer to Down and Done.
In turn, I am finding my closet a less depressing place to be. I’m not running out to buy a whole new wardrobe. I am committed to getting to a single digit size. Maybe even a smaller single digit size than I’ve seen since well, ever. More than the numbers on the scale, my body isn’t just transport for my brain anymore. My clothes aren’t about one big cover up. And I am no longer hiding away the shame of feeling out of control. For the first time ever, I got this. I feel the freedom of knowing that food isn’t the enemy. I got this.