Friday, May 2, 2008

A Step Back in Time: 227

This morning I weighed in at 227. An emotional moment for me. It is a "Magic Number" for me (which I wrote about way back here). This is a weight I have not seen since early 1998... over ten years ago. When I first started this blog and began writing about "escaping from obesity," I had in mind getting back to where I was a decade ago. I wrote that I had spent TEN YEARS being severely obese. And now, seeing 227 on the scale, I am transported back in time.

I was 28 years old and newly divorced with four small children. When I found myself alone for the first time in my life, I was scared. How would I support myself? How would I raise these kids with no help? I had no family. Their father moved far away. I had, in 1996, gotten myself down to around 170 pounds but the stress of the next year saw me back over 200 again. After the divorce, I was left broke with no income. I had been a stay-at-home mother for years. I didn't even get any child support for a couple of months, and I had a mortgage to pay and kids to feed. I ended up eating from the food bank, which hands out loads of donuts, cakes and cookies but very little in the way of fruits, vegetables or meats. That combined with stress got me up to 227 pounds.

I went out and got a full-time job and put my kids in daycare. It broke my heart, but I had to do it. I spent most of 1998 working and hardly seeing my children. I was making about $7 an hour, no benefits. It totally SUCKED!

I don't remember feeling especially fat during that time, even though I had never weighed that much before. Weight just was not one of my primary concerns. I was so focused on work, paying bills, trying to get my kids' needs met, and trying to keep the house that I just did not have time to care AT ALL what I weighed. 227 just didn't matter to me. I had to take my first paycheck and buy new clothes so I would look presentable at work. I still have most of those clothes... they are pretty, and I have spent ten years wishing I could fit into them again. But oddly enough, now that I am 227 again, I have no desire to wear them. They hang there all dusty, and instead of being a constant reminder of how fat I am, now they just remind me of how far I have come. I am not desperately trying to make ends meet anymore. I quit that job and went back to college and got a couple of degrees. I not only paid the bills but also always had enough money to go on a simple camping vacation with my kids, and though money was ALWAYS tight, it never got to the total desperation point again once I was back in school and working.

Yes, seeing 227 throws me back to that time when the older kids were still little, and I had no idea where my life was going. A time when I was fat, but still was getting plenty of attention from men, and met one of my very best friends who I dated for some time, then went back to being friends, and is still someone I love very dearly to this day. And somehow now I feel like I have gone back in time and am regaining something I lost when my weight went sky high over the next ten years. I am regaining my SELF.

I have a picture of myself from back then. I am at Chuck E Cheese, standing next to my little son who is riding in a red car. He is two years old. I am bright and young. I look into the face of that woman and I see such freshness. I was stressed but I was not worn out. I was beautiful and full of hope and energy. On that back of that photo is written, "227." All this time, that has been my goal: to get back there. I never even really thought about the "beyond" part. But now, I know I am going even further. I am going down beyond 227, back in time to before I got so tired and jaded. Ten years of severe obesity drains you, physically and emotionally. I know I am ten years older but I am very hopeful I can regain the energy and freshness I see in that picture.

I am going to try on those ten-year-old clothes today. And then I am going to send them to the Goodwill. It's time to let go of THAT goal and move forward towards the healthiest me I can be.

13 comments:

Vickie said...

loved this post. I stop by and check in to see how you are doing every day. i don't always leave you a comment - but I am always here enjoying what you write about your journey.

Hanlie said...

I had tears in my eyes when I read this... I think for me it's also very much about regaining part of myself, to be that fresh faced girl again. Even though I'm very happy now and I know that losing the weight won't erase the intervening years, I also know that I'm losing more than weight here.

This motivates me to carry on!

Honi said...

all i am going to say sweetie.. is AHMEN.. that was beautiful... and you wether you see her or not will always be that fresh faced beautiful young woman..that will never leave you..

Tam said...

This is a very wonderful post- raw and authentic coupled with solid writing. Plus, it's inspiring. The lowest I can remember weighing was 220 when I started college in 2000... before that I think I was 120 in seventh grade or so, but I really can't remember. So the day I hit 219 will be a very interesting day, much like yours.

Congratulations, and you will keep going. Great job, being that the work is paying off. Totally worth it.

Lynne said...

Lyn, Thanks for sharing. Everyone has a "NUMBER". Now that you've reached yours, where are you going to next? Onward Downward!

Lasserday said...

great post, as others have said. really lovely how you reflect what so many of us feel about these somewhat arbitrary numbers. :)

Take One Stripper Pole said...

Thank you for your honesty and sharing ... it helps so much!

Dinah Soar said...

Time is on your side! You are still young...and you've come so far...made it through the really tough times and survived...and now you are winning at losing. The best is yet to be.

RunningNan said...

Wow. What a great post. You will get there too.

Teale said...

How amazing for you! You are such an inspiration, not only with the healthy eating/exercise aspect, but with how you're growing & changing emotionally throughout this!

Heather said...

how wonderful!! I know how much it means to reach that "magic" number. you really have been through at lot so celebrate this and just keep on going.

Anonymous said...

I also loved this post, because 227 is one of MY magic numbers, oddly enough (I think I mentioned that before here). That would be 1996 for me, and we had had some upheaval and were heading for a move to a new place after living in our "newlywed" home for 13+ years. It would be a 12 year back trip for me. I was 36, and I was newish to the internet.

I'd like to get to 227. I need to focus on that. My eating has been crappy for days--stress from hubby's lay-off. I need to just have faith, believe, and take care of myself so our transition THIS time is not hampered by my self-hurt via food.

Congrats on a wonderful milestone. You've had some hard times, girl, but look at you...doing so well...May your next milestone be reached soon.

The Princess

jj said...

You've got quite a story to tell here and you did it so well. And huge congrats on your weightloss!! I love your attitude. What's that saying..."What doesn't kill us will make us stronger", or something like that. Sounds like you've become a very strong, self-sufficient woman!