I learned a long time ago that I am much, much more than my weight.
Throughout my teen years and early 20’s I was a size 12 or 14 sometimes a 10 depending on which diet I was on. And I thought I was fat then.
In 1994 when I met my first husband I was at an all-time adult low in terms of weight. About 140 pounds. And that was after losing about 15 with what was my latest diet effort.
In January of 1996 when I got married the first time I was about 160 pounds.
In August of 1996 when I moved to Philadelphia to go to school to be a physician assistant I was at an all-time high of 185 pounds. When I graduated top of my class in August of 1998 weighing less than 200 pounds was just a memory.
Pictures of me at that time and afterward become fewer—and I am hiding in most of them.
Nine months pregnant I never reached this weight. Although I have come within a few pounds of it, I have never been at such a dangerous weight again. And I never will.
I lost about 20 pounds just being out of the toxic environment of my first marriage. No real effort.
And I was about 230 pounds in July of 2001 when I met my husband, Clayton.
July 2009 and I am at a number I can’t face. It is not back to 250 but I am close. It may have been looking at the pictures from a trip my husband I took to Maine (below left), that got me focusing again on what I had to do.
We returned to Maine in October of 2009 and I am smaller. Even fitter. I am doing the Couch to 5K program for the first time. But I have also started working nights.
Just after my 40th birthday in 2009 I ran in and finished the Turkey Trot 8K Thanksgiving Day race in Buffalo, New York. I didn’t run the whole thing. I had to walk some but it was my first race and I finished. I never finished the Couch to 5K program because this was the last time I had my sneakers on for months. I just stopped.
In December of 2010 I had a revelation. I had not been able to get pregnant after 3½ years of trying. My youngest child was 5 years old and I was 41. My husband is 5 years older than I. I was struck with the reality of aging badly.
I was 236 pounds when I started following the Weight Watchers Program online. I had an app on my iPod and then my iPhone which made it so convenient to track every morsel.
In March of 2011 I started the Couch to 5K program again. In June 2011 the results of my efforts started showing. I bought some smaller clothes. More importantly, I packed up the fat clothes and got rid of them. I had never done that before. In a lifetime of dieting I was always prepared to put it all back on again. Although I am fantasizing about breast reduction, it’s the only surgery for weight loss I have ever considered. In my years of medical practice, everyone puts it back on after gastric bypass. And where do you go from there?
Now I run in races with some regularity. I still cringe looking at photos of me, but I am more peaceful about it because I know that every day for the past 14 months I have been working toward my goal. My goal is healthy, not a number. Although I do confess that I will celebrate long and loud when I get under 200 again.But not with food. I have a yoga outfit all picked out from the Athleta catalog. That will be my reward.