Since I briefly touched on it the other day, I wanted to talk a little bit more about what I am doing to lose weight these days. I guess that since I am being out there and open about everything, I may as well include my weights.
On February 28th of this year, I weighed 363 pounds. For the last few years, I have been staying steady between 345 and 350, but the eight weeks spent away at training class and having so many delicious choices and absolutely no willpower (and alcohol. So. Much. Alcohol), I shot up to my all-time heaviest weight. 363 pounds. I was disgusted when I stepped on the scale. I always swore that I would never let myself get to 300 pounds when I was younger, but I've been over 300 for several years now.
I've always had a problem with my weight. Always always always. Being named Margaret didn't help, because it easily shortened to "Large Marge." Thanks a lot, Pee Wee Herman, you sonofabitch. I've always hated my weight, and never had the strength to do anything about it. Since probably junior year of high school, I've worn a size 24. The only time I ever did anything about it was the year I was 19. I was still living at home, and managed to develop an eating disorder. I'm not even exaggerating when I say I weighed myself five or six times a day on many days. Wake up. Hop on the scale. Pee. Hop back on the scale. Eat something. Hop on the scale. Induce vomiting. Hop on the scale. Walk for an hour. Hop on the scale. It was bad. And scary. And lonely. I only had one friend who I could really confide in, and only really because of her very similar demons with food. She didn't make herself throw up. But she barely ate. Ever. I remember her going on a diet once where there were days she would only allow herself to consume 300 calories. But she was thin. And thin was good. And thin was what I wanted to be. I lost seventy-five pounds in about six or seven months. People were starting to tell me that I looked good, but my dark secret was killing me. I stopped making myself throw up when I went away to college, mostly because there was no way I could hide it when I was sharing a bathroom with so many other girls. The weight came back. And brought friends.
Something snapped in me when I saw the scale in February. I had already given up soda, probably two weeks prior (so I'm sure my weight was even more before that). I immediately started making some better decisions about food. I still ate what I wanted for the most part, but I watched portion sizes, and cut back on sweets. When Lent rolled around, I decided to officially give up sweets for the forty day duration - though I had already probably been off of sweets for a week or so. When it felt like a habit, I ordered an exercise bike. I've been using the bike for almost three weeks now, and it too has become habit. The bike has become an old friend. This morning, I did seventeen miles. My original goal when I set it up was to be able to do a five-mile-in-one-shot ride. I hit that in the first week. Last week, I had a ten, a twelve, and a fourteen mile ride. Today? Seventeen. Tonight, I will do more. At least four or five more miles today.
When I wake up in the morning on days that I work, it doesn't matter what kind of mood I am - I hop on the bike. I go at least two imaginary miles every morning. When I get home from work, it's back on the bike. It doesn't matter that I have been on my feet all day and am absolutely exhausted. It doesn't matter that it's usually the last thing in the world that my body wants to do. It's on the bike. For at least two miles, but usually more like three or four. On days that I am off, I am starting to push myself as hard as I can.
I hold myself accountable. Every time I ride the bike, I write down how many miles I went on a calender that hangs in my room. Once a week, I also write down my weight. I do weigh myself more often than every week, but only really hold myself accountable for it once a week. I like to see fluctuations, though. I like to know if "cheating" yesterday really made a difference, or if riding those extra five miles on the bike payed off.
My goal is not to be skinny. My goal never has been to be skinny. I am just shy of six feet tall, and am a big girl. I don't think my body is even capable of being a size six. My goal is to not be "the fat girl" in every crowd that I am in. My goal is to to have babies one day and be able to run around with them in the yard without feeling like I am going to keel over. My goal is to be able to shop in the regular section of a store, and not have to go to a plus size store (it's very hard for me to find clothes that are well-fitting and age appropriate and don't make me look like an old woman). I want to be able to fly and not feel completely crammed into the seat and struggle to fasten my safety belt. I want to be a size fourteen. I don't want two or three "extras" in front of the word "large" on my wardrobe. I want guys to give me a second look, not because my ass is enormous, but because I'm pretty. I've been told I am a pretty girl, and have a pretty face, but I want to feel it.
I am doing this entirely for me - not because of what anyone else has said or done, or to land a man, or anything else. I am doing this because what I want out of life is going to be easier to achieve when I am not carrying around the weight of an extra human being on me.
Today, I stepped on the scale. I have hit my first mini-goal. I weigh 330 pounds. It is still a lot, but I am so proud of my first 30+ pounds that I have shed. My present to myself is going to be a new computer, which I will probably buy in a week or two. I'm pretty excited about it (my next mini-goal is the 300 pound mark, and I intend to pamper myself as my reward. Dying my hair will be on that list). My ultimate goal is 200 pounds, which should put me into a size 14. For the first time in my life, I think I will get there. I know I will get there. No turning back now!