I sat on my bed and cried off and on for two hours. I had a good day today. I wasn't sad when I sat down on my bed to relax and watch TV, but I get so emotional every time. I can't disconnect myself from people that I don't even know. When other people see me, they automatically assume that I have nothing in common with the people that I cry for...that I couldn't possibly understand their pain. They have no idea that some days when I look in the mirror...I don't see me...strong...thin...healthy me... I see those people looking back at me.
Four years ago, I weighed 200 pounds. I decided that I was ready for a change. I don't know why the number 200 "woke me up". I don't know why 180 or 197 didn't. I just know that I opened my eyes and made a decision. I decided that I didn't want to be out of breath at the top of my stairs anymore. I decided that I didn't want to hate my reflection in the mirror. I decided that I couldn't remain a prisoner in a body that felt uncomfortable and foreign to me. It took me several months to figure out what worked for me and in the end it took me over a year to lose 70 pounds. I didn't go to a doctor. I didn't take pills or starve. I ate better and I ate less and I started working my body. I NEVER thought I could go from a size 18 to a size 2/4. I've never been strong. I've yo-yoed between being fairly thin and being slightly chubby off and on throughout my life, but even when I lost weight, I was never fit...never this small.
My body has changed, but sometimes I think that my mind has not. I struggle to see what others see. That is why I cried tonight while I watched "The Biggest Loser". I cry just thinking about it now. When I see those men and women on the television, I feel their pain and struggle. I KNOW how hard it is...everyday...even now. I know what it feels like to be ignored in stores. I know how it feels to see people's faces when they haven't seen you...in a while...since you gained weight...the disappointment and the shock that can't be masked with kind lies and fake smiles. I know how it feels to wake up hopeless.
My life is totally different today. Today when I walk in a store, sales people look me in the eyes. They speak to me. They help me. Today when I walk in the gym, I feel like I belong there. Today I run to the top of the stairs and back down again and hardly notice it. Today I enjoy shopping and trying on clothing. Today I notice men noticing me..and they no longer have a look of pity or disgust on their faces. Today I am no longer ashamed, but I am proud...proud of how far I've come...proud of the sacrifices that I have made and the lessons that I have learned.
I am not a fat girl anymore, but the fat girl that I once was still lives inside me. Sometimes she's barely noticeable...sometimes she overpowers me. She overpowers me with fear...she tells me that what I see in the mirror is just an illusion...that I am ugly and fat...that it will not last. I'm trying to learn to quiet her, but she is an important part of who I was...who I am. When I see a fat person, I do not judge. I do not make fun. I do not make assumptions. I hope. I hope that one day that person will "wake up" like I did and be reborn. The fat girl that I used to be has made me...kinder...stronger...more grateful. She motivates me to get up every day and work hard...rain or shine...cold or hot...sick or well. So while I will never totally abandon her, I need to ignore her when she lies to me and puts me down. I need to teach the "old me" to accept and love "the new me"...to not be embarrassed by the stares...to believe the compliments...and to accept my beauty.