A few years ago at my highest weight, I remember watching the story of David Smith, on the TLC documentary, “The 650-pound Virgin.” It was one of those “if he can do it, I can do it” moments where I watched in awe and admiration as he lost over 400 pounds. Today, Alan posted on Instagram a screenshot from an interview David did with the Today Show this morning, having gained over 300 pounds of his weight back.
My heart broke for him because I’ve been there before. Pre-2006, my highest weight was 445, 10 pounds under what my highest weight in 2009 was (when I started this journey). In 2005 and 2006, I lost 140 pounds. I did it with zero exercise and with eating a super strict low carbohydrate plan. I remember thinking back to how easy I thought it was at times.
In 2007, I quit my full time job and went to graduate school. I maintained my weight pretty well, but didn’t lose anything else. Then came the big 3 events that dropped my ass back on the ground: burying my mom, getting married, and losing a job. (Not that the getting married was hard, but it gave me a reason to “relax” when the wedding was over).
Over the course of the next 8 months, I gained all my 140 pounds back, PLUS 10 more pounds. Worse than square one – I was at square zero.
It happened so quickly and in such a mindless manner that I didn’t realize what was happening until I hit 400 pounds again. It took a while for me to realize that I had just quit life. Depression and anxiety overtook my daily activities, insecurities had their grip, and I let them pull me down into my binges of massive piles of cheese fries with extra ranch dressing and fried chicken fingers with french fries and honey mustard. I ate so I didn’t have to feel anything. Eating was easy. Living was hard.
Once I decided to start fighting the demons, I knew that I had to do it differently than before. I wanted to focus on fitness and health versus just the numbers on the scale. I wanted to move with ease and keep up with others. I truly think that is why this go-round will be successful. I already feel so much better and have accomplished so much more physically than when I weighed even less than what I do now. The road to a lower number on the scale has been much longer than my previous attempt, but that’s on me. I have ballooned so much that my body doesn’t know what to do. So I go with it.
I’m training my body to live a life that it’s never known.