The beginning of a new year allows us to reflect on our lives over the past twelve months. Ordinary people all over the world resolve to make any number of changes in their lives over the next twelve months and so resolutions are made.
Dictionary.com defines resolution "as the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action". Synonyms associated with resolution include determination, perseverance and declaration. A resolution then is simply the act of making a plan or declaring that you have made a plan to change something in your life but making a plan is not enough. In order to for your resolution to be successful you also have to be resolute. Synonyms associated with resolute include determined, strong willed, purposeful, relentless and the one I like the most, brave. If a resolution requires change then it also requires us to step into unknown territory and that takes bravery.
When I began my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers I was lost. I weighed 376 pounds and was only 5 feet 6 inches tall. I identified with a Garfield cartoon which pictured Garfield standing on a scale beneath the caption which read, "I am not over weight. I am under tall!" I needed to be eight feet tall. My New Year's resolution to lose weight began on April 28th, my fortieth birthday, not New Year's day. I rejoined Weight Watchers with the determination to reach my Lifetime goal. I told the leader that day I would be there until one of two things happened; either I died or I reached my goal. I didn't know it would take FIFTEEN years. I was resolute and I was terrified by the knowledge I needed to lose almost 200 pounds so I decided I would just lose ten pounds. When I had lost ten pounds I decided to lose another ten and then another ten and another. Ten pounds at a time was attainable and not so frightening but it also quickly accounted for one hundred pounds. Over the next fourteen years I was able to lose another 96.4 pounds bringing my total weight loss to 196.4 pounds and my goal weight. I was now a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers. I believed that after the lengthy battle to get that amount of weight off I knew how to eat and maintain my loss but then Christmas came. Today I am 10 pounds above my goal with a weigh-in in 6 days. I am responsible for my gain. I ate irresponsibly and without attention to what or why I was eating. I knew better. Today I have a new resolution, a plan, and I will be resolute, determined, and purposeful. I will follow the Points Plus plan this week, exercise 6 or 7 days and I will bravely walk into my meeting on Saturday morning, stand on the scale and face the numbers whatever they may be, knowing that it was my decision to eat the foods that caused me to gain weight but also with the knowledge that I have the guts and determination to say good bye to those pounds yet again.
This morning I reread the letter I wrote to the weight I lost to remind myself what I gained by losing more than half of myself. I am re-posting it here as a reminder and perhaps as encouragement to anyone else who is lost.
To the weight I have lost:
You are gone, good riddance! I lugged you around way too long overwhelmed with the enormity of you. You no longer have any control or power over me. I gave you way too much of my time and my life. I hate you! You stole years from me that I can never replace and filled me with frustration and sadness. You made me feel ugly and stupid and inadequate. You made me ashamed of myself. You cheated me out of play time with my children as they ran through the sprinkler in the front yard and begged me to join them, when they climbed trees and when they built “forts” out of discarded furniture boxes which were far too small for me to get into. You embarrassed me when we went to amusement parks and I was too large to fit into the seats of the rides. I hate you! You made me hide in public places. You kept me silent when I wanted to participate in a group for fear of drawing attention to myself. You cheated me out of the joy of a plane trip with my husband and instead filled me with dread as I wondered if the seat belt was going to fit around me or if I was going to have to ask for an extender. I hate you! You made me embarrassed to laugh and dance and enjoy myself for fear of being laughed at or ridiculed. You made me a shadow in my own life.
Those days are over.
I have reclaimed my power over you and I will never see you again. I am now less than half of what we were together. Today I am saying good riddance to the half of me that once was you, forever. I will not waste a minute mourning your loss nor will anyone else who has carried the burden of you. You are dead and gone. If I look back at you it will only be to see how far I have come. I will be reminded of how strong and powerful I am. I will walk another half marathon and I will improve my time. I will fly to exotic locations with my husband. I will look forward to someday playing with my grandchildren and teaching them how to climb trees and build forts from refrigerator boxes, and I will be in the fort with them playing and telling them about their mom or dad. I will continue to put on my bathing suit and teach water aerobics in front of strangers who are now part of my family and I will not give a second thought to my flabby arms or sagging thighs- remnants left by you. Instead I will rejoice that I have arms and legs that work and let them show as a prize won after a battle which lasted way too long. I will continue to encourage others to get rid of you forever and I will support them when they come up short and try again and again and again until they too are rid of you and I will dance. Oh, how I will dance!! You see in the process of losing you I found me. I will never again be a shadow in my life. I will hold my head up and look to the future with anticipation and joy because now I know without any doubt that I was, and will continue to be worth the effort.
Before 376 pounds. After 180 pounds! Lost 196 pounds without surgery or drugs.