I’m really good at losing weight. I’ve done it hundreds of times, including that time I lost nearly 70lbs before my wedding! And, yet, I’ve never been thin.
You see, am your classic yo-yo dieter. I can’t even tell you the number of times I have flirted with the same 20-30lbs. Up (busyness, holidays, stress, babies, vacations, heath issues, and just plain old apathy) and down (weight watchers, Whole 30, Paleo, 21 day fix, My Fitness Pal, supplements, shakes, fat blockers, and the list goes on…).
For a long time, I classified my weight loss journey as a complete and total disaster. No matter how well I was able to find success in other areas of my life, in this, I failed again and again and again. When people complimented me on my weight loss I began to say things like, “Yeah, well, we’ll see if it sticks.” But my wife, who has seen me cycle through the ups and downs many times in our 16 years together, has a different reply. She simply – sweetly – says, “You always go back to it.” What I saw for so long as a weakness, she viewed at a strength. As the peace creeps in, I’m starting to see it that way, too.
The truth is, despite my struggles with my weight being such a prominent, and visible, part of my life over the past 20 or so years, I have never considered it to be a barrier to a full and happy life. Even with the backdrop of the dieting and gaining, I maintained self-confidence. I had great friends. I fell in love. I did well in school. I volunteered. I got married. I became a homeowner. I found a career. I traveled. I adopted 3 beautiful children. Regardless of what the scale said at that particular moment in time, I still lived. My weight has never defined me.
When I look at my weight loss journey through that lens, the peace finds me. My arms that sag with loose, stretched, skin carried 2 babies at one time. My thighs, far thicker than they “should be”, have helped people in need by building houses, harvesting vegetables, and pounding the pavement for signatures. My suit is not a size 8, but I have given presentations in it that gain respect and instill confidence in others. Yes, indeed, I have lived.
For a long time I told myself that no matter what, I was not going to be a Fat Mom. Well, here I am. By varying degrees, of course, but I have been overweight the entire time I’ve been a mom. But I haven’t just been a Fat Mom. I have been a tenacious, never giving up, always going back to it, striving for my goal even if all evidence indicates I will never reach it, Mom. So I am even finding peace with being the one thing I told myself I didn’t want to be, because I’m realizing that this version of myself may have more to offer my children than my goal Thin Mom ever did.
I’m on a down streak right now and feeling pretty good about myself. Not because the scale reads a certain number or because my ass is looking good in my leggings, but because I’m here. Again. Once more fighting for something I could have given up on long ago. And that says so much more about me than my clothing size.