I could go on about all the emotional, physical, and mental changes that go along with tossing off the equivalent weight of a food service-sized bag of flour, but as much of an adjustment as that is, I wouldn't ever want those pounds back. I haven't let myself forget how hard it was to begin Zumba at that size. I'd been doing Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii, and thought I was ready.
I thought I was ready.
That first time, around a year and a half ago, I didn't know how I'd make it. We did the warm-up, and all that was running through my head was if this is only the warm-up, I'm going to die. And it felt like I was. I got nauseated, had to gulp water like I was at an oasis in the Sahara, and felt so frustrated with the state I'd gotten myself in. My brain knew the way my body should go, but it felt like I was in a dream running in slow motion. (At least in real life no bears were chasing me.) Not to mention that when I did get my feet in the right direction, a half second off the beat, my stomach was still swinging the other way. You know those hula hoop performers who use the momentum of their bodies to keep the hoops in play? Well, I was fighting to keep my hoops all in the air.
But I stuck with it, and even with some ups and downs in the summer, continued to lose weight. I rededicated myself to my health in the fall, and actually met two goals I set for myself to reach by Christmas and New Year's, which was AMAZING. I can't even begin to tell you how good that felt--me, who would make goals and not reach them over and over, actually made a couple of goals, and worked hard, not thinking I'd get there, but I did. Even with injuries and illness, I didn't give up (just waited until I could work out safely again), and most of the time I can actually do the jumps in class now, even though I need better--ahem--support so certain appendages won't threaten to hit me in the face.
For the first time in many years, I can actually find clothes that fit me, and I don't mind looking at them in the mirror when they're on me. As I've said to my husband, "You can drape a sack of potatoes in silk and it will still look like a sack of potatoes." Or in other words, lumpy. I still have plenty of lumps, but they're easier to work with than they used to be.
The only, and I mean only thing I've ever thought was a plus (pardon the pun) about being heavier was how well fat insulates. I'd forgotten that little tidbit until our weather plummeted to the teens overnight, and I ran out to the grocery store Thursday evening. I'm much colder this year, but I'd rather be freezing than have more insulation! Since I have the last half of the weight to lose, here's to attaining icicle status by next winter! For now I'll stick with my current warming strategies--Zumba, sweaters and socks, and swiping the soft, snuggly, fleece BYU blanket I made James for Christmas.
The difference this time is that I want this. I thought I wanted it before, but I didn't want it enough to do what I needed to do until one day in particular, which I will post about at some time in the future.
The difference now is that I made a commitment to myself, a plan, and I made my smaller goals small enough that I could reach them and build on them with more. The more successes I have, the better I feel about myself, and the results are extremely satisfying.
The difference is not only do I know I can do this, I am doing this. I'm finding the me who has been trying to get back out for years. And not only get back out, but emerge stronger than ever before--even though I gave in and feasted on chocolate today (and Thursday too, though it's funny that I lost weight Friday morning). The old me would have thrown her hands up in the air and quit. The new me?
She keeps going. And she'll have a lot of greens tomorrow to balance out that chocolate.