When I first started working with Jennifer, the weight practically fell off of me. It was effortless. Not to take away from the work that I was doing, or the commitment that I made, which was significant – but it just seemed to come off without much discomfort. Like I was in some unstoppable zone. My biggest fear back then was tied to my old dieters mentality of “how long will this last?” I was, at least at some level, suspect of the process. There was a place inside of me that feared this would be like all of the other times I tried to lose weight. Because they all started off the same way, with an initial bump of weight-loss which would eventually taper off until I threw my hands up and said, “fuck it – let’s go to In n Out!”
Now the script has flipped, and I am fighting for every pound – but the fear of eventually giving up is completely gone. Almost laughable! In the most humblest of ways, I am confident that I will never, ever, EVER go back to my old habits. I like who I am becoming. I feel good in my skin. Great, in fact. What I struggle with now is not getting discouraged when the weight-loss is slow, or seemingly non-existent. Or worse, when the numbers on the scale fluctuate a bit. It is during those times that I usually have some kind of off-scale breakthrough, or a “save.” Some of my past saves have been trying on old dresses that suddenly fit, or needing to order a new bra because I have run out of rungs to cinch them up. In some ways, it’s those moments that are the most profound reminders of how far I have come. Over the last few weeks, I have been pushing myself harder. I am extra mindful of what I am putting into my body, and leaning into the discomfort a little more. I am not snacking at night. I am up-leveling my steps and my cycling classes While the scale isn’t responding as quickly as I had hoped, there have been a few notable differences.
For example, the other morning, my hand to god, I thought to myself, “girl, you need some new underwear!” Now, I have thought this thought before. But it has been because of pregnancy, or weight-gain, or general unsightliness. Until the other day, I could count on NONE fingers the amount of times that I needed to procure new undergarments because of shrinkage!
And speaking of clothing, I have also vowed never to step foot in a plus sized store or department section again. Do you hear that, Encore section of Nordstrom? We…are never, ever, ever, getting back together! Like, ever! It has been a few months of clothing purchases in regular stores – and while I am not completely out of the woods yet (like, if I needed a pair of trousers, I would probably still need a size 18), I am going to make due without any help from those particular manufacturers. To celebrate, I tossed all of my 2X and 1X workout gear and did some bold online shopping at Lucy’s. Five pairs of XL sized pants arrive, and 5 pairs of XL sized pants are now in my rotation. I still had to fight that knee jerk reaction of avoiding disappointment by ordering the wrong size, but the fact is that the XL is what fits me now – and that makes me feel really proud of myself. While we’re on the subject of normal clothing, I also purchased and sort-of / kind of / partly zipped up a god damned designer Kate Spade dress, which is my goal dress for New Years Eve, this year. Even at my absolute skinniest, I never would have dared to bare my arms. But I am changing. Becoming more properly proportioned, perhaps. Or maybe I’m just not looking at myself through poo-poo colored glasses any longer.
But the biggest, and definitely boldest revelation came during a recent business trip to Austin. While getting reading early one morning, I caught myself in the bathroom mirror – and for the first time (I don’t know, maybe ever) I thought I looked beautiful. I have had other moments this year when I thought I looked really good – or I could clearly see the difference I am making in my health and in my body. But standing in front of a mirror in my undergarments has never been a particularly positive experience for me. As I stood there and studied my body, I thought about the two beautiful babies that it made. I thought about how this body carried me down an aisle toward Craig, through 26.2 miles of marathon hell, across most of Europe with nothing but a friend and a backpack, and all of the most significant moments of my life. I noticed the stretch marks on my hip, and the white patches of skin with no pigment (vitiligo). I looked at all of this, and I felt grateful, and I felt beautiful. And I still do. Of all that I have accomplished over the past eight months, being beautiful is easily the most rewarding.