After about 5 days of the scale toying with me and my body deciding it wanted to gain and lose and gain and lose, I finally hit a weight goal today that I have been looking forward to since I got into the 200s! This morning when I weighed in, I was 274.4 lbs. I like to make mini-milestones to look forward to so that my longgggg journey to losing 280 lbs overall doesn’t seem so long. I know that 274 lbs is a strange number, but there are a couple of reasons I wanted to get to this number.
FIRST, at 274.4 lbs and 5′ 9.5″ tall, I have a BMI of 39.9. This means that since I’ve never had any co-morbidities, I would not qualify for weight loss surgery at the weight that I am today. This is is crazy for me to even wrap my head around! I started this journey with a BMI of 63 and I can’t believe I now wouldn’t even qualify!! SECOND, this weight is significant because I *only* have 100 more lbs to go until I am considered a normal weight. Although my goal is to go a little further than that (unless I feel 174 is good enough w/ a few lbs of extra skin), it’s great to *only* have 100 lbs to go.
This journey to a healthier self is a crazy one. It’s difficult regardless of whether or not a person has had weight loss surgery. At times you feel the highs of the scale moving down and you think you’re looking great and then the next minute you could be frustrated with a stall and think you look terrible. For someone like me that started this process with 270-280 lbs to lose, it can be SO difficult to not focus on the fact that after all of this time, I’m now at the point where I have the amount of excess weight to lose that a lot of people start with at the beginning of their journey. Those kinds of thoughts can undo my success if I let it.
I’ll admit that many times throughout the past 9 months, I’ve repeatedly asked myself “Why couldn’t you get a handle on all of this sooner? Why did you let yourself get to this point?” After a lot of thought, I really can’t come up with an answer other than I just wasn’t mentally and emotionally ready to take responsibility for my health. One thing that I do know is that beating myself up about it really isn’t going to change anything and that I can’t be successful if I’m going to continue to think this way. I told my therapist at our last appointment that I am determined to never put my head in the sand like I had for 9 years. Even if I never get to goal or at some point gain some weight back, I know that I always need to do the following:
- See my doctor
- Check-in with my therapist
- Track my food
- Stay active
- Own a scale and actually get on it
Not doing the things above contributed greatly to me being 444 lbs when I started. Avoiding the doctor is one of my biggest regrets. When I talk about not being emotionally or mentally ready to get my life together, it reminds me of my Sophomore year of college when I met with a new PCP to become established as a patient in the town where I was going to school. This visit was in November 2005 and at that point, I had put on 100 lbs since graduating high school in June 2003. I was working a lot of evening/overnight hours (30-35/week), and taking a full course load. I had been putting on weight like crazy and in a really bad place mentally because of family troubles. I was 20 years old and in one of the worst points in my life and during this appointment, the doctor lectured and berated me about the amount of weight I had gained in the last couple of years. At one point he said, “My wife and I are both physicians and have two children. If we have the time to exercise, you have no excuse.”
I have mixed feelings about this day. On one hand, the doctor wasn’t telling me anything that wasn’t true or that I didn’t already know. It’s his job to tell me the facts and to push me towards better health. On the other hand, the fact that he couldn’t see a struggling, emotional (I was crying), 20 year old girl that needed serious help and change his approach just a bit upsets me. I don’t know what the right thing for him to have done in this situation is… but what I do know is that I did not see another doctor, for ANY reason, until I met with a new PCP in November of 2012 and that is when I tipped the scales at 444 lbs.
I’ve thought a lot about this day over the past 8 years and even more in the last 9 months. I think about how much better the last 8 years could have been if I had gotten myself mentally and emotionally in the right place to lose the weight at that time. This time in my life and this number (274) on the scale has been significant for me because it takes me back to that day. I know that in the future, I cannot let people affect me like this doctor did… and I cannot forgo see a doctor just because one hurt my feelings many years ago. In November, I had hit rock bottom and decided that I needed to get a doctor and do something about my health. I decided it was time to be an adult and face the fact that I might get another lecture… but that was ok because this time I was going to really take control. I’ve definitely taken control, that’s for sure!
I’ve also learned how much of this journey really is mental. When I was 274 lbs in 2005 (and on the way up in weight) I felt miserable, uncomfortable, sick and just horrible about myself! I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror. Well, this morning I weighed in at that exact weight and I feel confident, happy, and wonderful! I guess that’s because I’m on the way back down and eating better. I look at myself in the mirror and I smile… even though 8 years ago at this weight, my reflection just made me want to cry. It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess… and I like the view from where I’m sitting now.