I used to tell myself I was going to commit suicide if I ever reached 250lbs but when that day came, that number went to 275. When that number came, I was in so much pain physically & emotionally I was ready to end it—the pain, not my life.
It was an accumulation of years of being uncomfortable in my own skin, being bullied relentlessly, & navigating life—mostly adolescence, a fragile & impactful time— with an absent father that had led me to my turning point. How was I supposed to think anything of myself if my dad, the person who should be there for you always, walked out of my life & with ease? Was I not worth sticking around for? I had gotten so heavy I required surgery to relieve ankle pain from walking & I was told I might not wake up or it could take longer to heal because of my weight. I was 21.
I found a 20-week program at the local gym that taught me the fundamentals of leading a healthier lifestyle. This program forced me to focus on myself: to be the protagonist of my story.
7 years ago today, I finally reached #onderland for the first time in my life--where the number on the scale starts with 1, rather than 2. I had dropped 75lbs—a number I’d never reached before in my several failed attempts at weight loss. That was easily one of the top 3 proudest moments of my life. This was the day I felt like I finally mattered— not because I had dropped below a certain weight but because my self-worth exceeded the number on the scale. For the first time in my life, I had begun to heal the emotional pain that led to my weight gain and my body and health reflected my healing. I used to equate being skinny with happiness. I wasn’t skinny by society’s measure, but I was approaching happiness.
It took what seemed like forever, but eventually, I came out of the darkness & into the light. Even now, years later, there are cloudy days, but I’ll take the storm every day over no life at all.
Everyone struggles. I was lucky enough to have a great support system that most people don’t. If you’re having these thoughts, I implore you to get help. Life can get heavy. You don’t have to go at it alone.
I am one of the strongest people I know—then & now.