One year ago today, weighing in at a whopping 273 pounds, I started the Medifast program and lost a lot of weight and inches. Here is a look at where I started and where I am today:
- Weight: 273 lbs. to 147 lbs. (-126 lbs.)
- Upper Arms: 16″ to 10.5″ (-5.5″)
- Chest: 50″ to 36.5″ (-13.5″)
- Waist: 54″ to 34″ (-20″)
- Hips: 50″ to 35″ (-15″)
- Thighs: 25″ to 18″ (-7″)
I won’t lie, the numbers are staggering and amazing. I am amazed that I was able to accomplish something that I have always dreamed of. However, this morning, my friend Scott Carden asked me a series of difficult questions on Twitter: “How do you feel about yourself today vs. a year ago? How much of a different person are you? Inside and Out?”
These are great questions that have really caused me to reflect upon my internal and external appearances. I have always been overweight which led me to constantly dream about being thin. I would often visualize myself residing in a fat suit that at anytime I could unzip, step out of and instantly gain favor, love and acceptance from those around me.
For 20 years I fostered that belief and it created an expectation that if I was skinny, my life would be better. That I would feel better about myself. That I would do what I wanted to do with my life, because I wouldn’t have to deal with how I looked anymore.
How do I feel about myself now? I am now dealing with those false expectations. My life didn’t change when I weighed in at 147. My insecurities still exist. I am still me on the inside. At times, I look in the mirror and still see the old me. Sometimes I don’t even recognize myself.
I did notice that how people treated me changed. When I was heavy, my worth was determined by others based on what I could do for them creatively (website design and development, graphic design, video production and photography). But as I lost weight, people started to value me because of my physical appearance. That was really hard for me to accept at first, because I still wanted to be valued based on what I could do.
I can honestly say that I have been successful because in addition to learning how to eat healthy foods, I was also seeing a counselor in order to deal with the emotional issues of why I was eating. I have always been an emotional eater. I eat to numb my pain. I remember as a kid, eating bags of Chips Ahoy cookies in one sitting or downing a whole container of frozen cool whip, just because I was bored and hurting deep inside. Emotions are a powerful force and food is my addiction. My drug. That is the biggest thing I have learned about myself in this whole process and I accept full responsibility for my actions in the past, present and future.
I feel like I am rambling a bit, but the honest truth is that while the exterior has changed tremendously, my interior needs a lot of work. The exterior was easy compared to the journey that I am now on.
At the end of the day, I am grateful for losing the weight, because it has led me to a place of acceptance and desire to be emotionally healthy, even though the work is a million times harder when dealing with the interior of my life.
Thank you Scott for asking these tough questions.