I have been in the 200’s for the bulk of my adult life, but I finally crossed the threshold into “Onederland”—which is 199lbs or less—six months ago. I have to say though, it wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought it was going to be. Apart from sending an all caps text to my husband with a dark picture of my feet on the scale, there wasn’t much fanfare. Angels didn’t sing. My life wasn’t suddenly sparkly and new. It had felt like such a big goal to attain—and of course I was very proud of myself—but I couldn’t help but feel like I had already arrived in Onederland long before the scale ever said 199.
It took me two long years to get pregnant after suffering a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. When I finally held my first child in February 2010, he was everything I had hoped and prayed for. More than anything, I wanted to be a mom. My brother and sister-in-law had kids before us, and while I really loved being an auntie, I was so happy to finally have my own child to raise and do fun activities with—like going to the zoo; It should have been one of the happiest days. Unfortunately, at 5 months post-partum, I pulled out my summer clothes and found that nothing fit. I had gained a lot of weight with the pregnancy and weighed an all-time high of 299lbs. I squeezed into the largest capris and a nursing-friendly t-shirt and set off to meet my parents and brother’s family, baby in tow.
I was discouraged and miserable. I had made so much headway, but here I was again, waist-deep in the muck at the bottom of the pit. How did this happen again?! How did I get here? Why couldn’t I just DO what I knew to do? Why did I keep slipping up? Why couldn’t I just resist the temptation? I knew in my head I was free—but why wasn’t my heart free? No one knew the depth of my shame. It was a deep dark secret concealed by carefully hidden candy wrappers and forgiving clothing choices. I held the shame in my heart, berating myself for every perceived failure with my eating. It was my penance, the only weapon I held against the fear of losing control completely.