09 November 2012
But, before I get going with blathering on about weight related things, with Remembrance Sunday fast approaching and in light of my 'miseries' post of a few days ago, I just wanted to take a moment to consider how fortunate I am.
In particular , to give thanks that my own life has been unaffected by the horrors of conflict experienced by so many people in the past, and still suffered by so many people in other parts of the world even today.
Life is such a fragile thing and can be so deeply affected by events outside our own making. The phrase 'Lest We Forget' is one often voiced around this time, and it does make me stop and think.
In a similar (albeit somewhat less important, in the great scheme of things) way, I sometimes need to stop and think about the changes my life has undergone over the last few years, and to give thanks for the positive things which stem from that. Actually, I can't think of a better time than this.
Again, I feel very fortunate. This time, it's gratitude that the likely 'future' which faced me whilst obese (having been so for years) and desperately unhappy, has been averted. Because I made that one choice, set my mind on that firm committment to set out to turn myself around and improve my health (and my life) by losing my excess burden of weight, in some ways that prospect now seems almost a distant memory. But it's a memory best not forgotten.
Had I not bitten the bullet, accepted responsibility and 'done something' to change, I shudder to think where I'd be now. My weight would almost certainly have continued to rise, year by year. My fitness (minimal though it was back then) and mobility would have deteriorated even more. I'd likely be on medication for a wide variety of health problems by now and, because I pretty much hated being 'me', the spectre of descending into serious depression was very, very real. Not to put too much emphasis on this point, but there was also a chance that, with the strain I was inflicting on my poor abused body every single day, it could have failed me altogether and I might not even be here.
Contrast this with where I actually am today. Today's picture is much rosier by far.
Since my story began, I've lost just under half my old body weight and around eight dress sizes. Better yet, along with this, I have lost fear. Fear of getting even fatter, and of my health further deteriorating. Fear that my lovely hubby could maybe decide a slinkier model would be a better bet. Fear of being out of control of myself. Fear of dying young, but also of living for decades longer but remaining desperately unhappy with my lot. And yes, fear of failure (yet again) if I tried to do something about it, so a very real fear of being trapped in my own body.
I've lost other things too. I have lost much of my old self-consciousness, replacing this with a previously undreamed of confidence. I've lost my cringeing embarassment around new people (although, by God!, I hid it well), and a similar shame around those people I'd known before I grew my fat suit and who now viewed my bulk with pity (and often frustration).
I've lost the need to hide in baggy, drab and unflattering clothes, and the resentment that 'pretty' was out of the question, and the 'big girl' shops were my only option if I did ever want something new. I've lost the sheer horror of seeing a mirror or, worse, a camera pointed my way now that photos don't hold the terrors they used to. I've lost the need to make sad-sack excuses about why I 'didn't want' to do something, when often it was more that I wasn't sure I was able.
I've lost a lot of things I considered 'normal' back then, but now see to have been symptoms of my body's distress. Things like feeling 'old' before my time, like my almost unceasing aches and pains, the near-constant 'bugs' I used to pick up. the skin rashes, the chafing, the horrible spots and zits, the breathlessness. I've lost the need to carry an inhaler with me on every occasion (although habit means I often still do). I've lost the desire to bury my emotions under a sea of food... only to find that they surfaced again all too quickly.
And I've gained such a lot too. I've gained fitness and health and freedom and a new delight in life. I've gained the desire to be active, to get out and about in the fresh air - whatever the weather. I've gained the ability to bend over to tie a shoelace (believe me, I couldn't without a good strong support!). Now I can even pop on a pair of heels if I want to. Hell, I've gained a swimsuit... and I'm not afraid to use it!
And, most of all I've regained 'me', and I've gained my long dreamed of 'more love' for every 'square inch' of me that remains. That is a gift beyond rubies.
So, a time for remembering and a time for giving thanks. Sometimes, maybe especially when things seem to be going awry, it's worth all of us sitting quietly for a moment amongst life's daily madness, and making time to do just that.