I wasn't planning on blogging today, guys. I figure my last blog post was pretty awesome (go read it here ... ) so you'd be satisfied for a while.....but as I was coming home from the gym this morning, thinking of what I was going to wear today (does anyone else do that? Or is it just "whatever's clean?" for you)... anyway, I was thinking of what I've worn on Halloween in years past, and something occurred to me.
Having spent my entire life obese, morbidly obese...(except the last 5-ish years), I would feel DREAD when I had to wear something specific, whether it was for a holiday party, or even day to day.
I remember every summer season going into my closet with dread, wondering if once again, by some unknown factor, my clothing had mysteriously shrunk 2 sizes since last year, like it did every year. Who's with me? The jeans... will they still fit? I remember going through every single piece of clothing - every shirt was too tight, showing way too many fat rolls, too much muffin top, showing the world, on the outside, that I had demons haunting me on the inside.
I remember each season feeling sad and ashamed as I walked into the Target and Walmart "Women's" section and feeling defeated as I went up a size every time. XL, XXL...3X, etc. It was painful. I remember my husband asking me so many times, "Why do you have so much clothing?" and excusing it away "because women need options!" (ok to be fair, I am now a size 6 and I still say that - but whatever)....
It was awful. I know some of y'all can relate. Because it's a problem so many of us have. We put on weight unexpectedly. Inadvertently. Mistakenly. Then more weight. Then more. Then the next thing you know those gremlins shrink your clothes.
Today, though. Today was different. For the fifth year in a row, today I went into my closet and pulled out my favorite Halloween shirt. Today, like every year of my life, I inhaled, afraid to pull it over my head, afraid of the same feeling I know all too well. Afraid it won't fit. Afraid it'll be too tight to wear. Afraid...so afraid. Always afraid. Will it ever go away?
It's a legit fear. And though I've conquered the pounds and maintained this weight (plus or minus 10 pounds, in about 5 years).... the fear never leaves. It's tangible. Palpable. I can FEEL it. I felt my heart rate go up, even slightly. Maybe it's habit that I've had for so long it'll take years to break. Maybe it'll never go away. It's been 5 years, and I still panic. I still look at the clothing, inhale, and pray it fits like it did last year. The panic is real. The fear....
I'm sharing a few before/after shots of me so maybe a few of you can relate. Here's a few before shots of me:
You know what, heifers? I'm afraid. It takes my breath away, the fear. It wakes me up at night sometimes, during a dream that I'm obese again. I live every day in fear of slipping back into old habits. Afraid of the old me. The me who didn't care. The me who was ashamed of how I looked. The me who sat in the corner of a room, never making eye contact for fear that someone would judge me based on how I look (because let's face it - that happens every damn day. People judge you on how you look. It's a fact, whether it's right or wrong - it happens.)
So today, I was able to exhale, after putting on my favorite Halloween shirt, for the fifth year in a row. Today, I conquered the feeling, even if just for today. I am winning today. And I will win tomorrow. I can't go back and I won't go back. But that doesn't mean the fear isn't there. It's a daily companion, laughing in my face every damn time I go out to eat. Every damn time I attend a family function and eat maybe one too many bites of something yummy (this time it was Cousin Emily's cornbread - it was delicious, if you're reading, Emmers!).... I fight that fear and I fight it SO hard every damn day.
But today I conquered it when I put on my favorite shirt. And that's what keeps me moving forward. They say fear is a good motivator - I've found that to be true. Here's a few pics of me now - including one in "the shirt" (excuse the selfie - it's hard to get my face AND the shirt, so you'll forgive me this once please for the shameless pic hahahahaha)
Today, Today I won. And i will win tomorrow, too. And so can you.