In my pursuit to change my life for the better, part of the equation is to lose weight – a lot of it. Two contributing factors gave me the final push to take action against the body I felt was no longer really mine: first, there was the warning from my doctor that it was only a matter of time before the weight won the war over a body that was inherently pretty healthy. Second, there was the bizarre set of circumstances that brought me into contact with Sharron Matthews and Christian Vincent, who, probably mostly unknowingly, gave me the inkling that maybe I was strong enough or hardworking enough to change things.
On the health front, it was becoming evident that my body was giving up. My feet were in pain daily, to the point where I could barely walk when I got up in the morning. My knee and ankle, both of which I’ve injured repeatedly over the years, were constantly sore and lacking the muscle support I need to constantly work on to keep them stable. My frame, all nearly 6 feet of it, was starting to have trouble supporting everything I piled on it. Even with this, though, it felt like trying to hold back the ocean if I tried to change anything. So far gone, what was the point? How would I even start, when I knew I’d probably fail?
Enter the most bizarre set of circumstances, which somehow found me captaining a glee club on reality television (Thank-you, Heather!). In this surreal environment, I encountered the dynamic force of nature which was our artistic team – Sharron and Christian. Sharron told me I was good enough, and Christian told me (with telling looks alone) that I needed to work harder. Somehow, though neither I nor anyone else had gotten that through before, those two got it through my skull. I both owed and deserved more to/from the body I was given.
Note: My family is endlessly grateful to the editors for keeping (and subtitling) the line, “I don’t want to be the weak link.” (seriously, they’ll get years of mileage out of that thing)
I’ve lost 40lbs. This is about a third of what I need to drop, overall. There is still a long, tough way to go, working against complacency and distance from that scary starting point. But it’s a hell of a feeling so far. I can see my collar bone again, which is always a bonus. I get little boosts along the way, too (like when the show finally aired and Christian said that if I couldn’t make it through 5 minutes etc.; I cursed at the TV screen and said, “Watch me!” and went to the gym). I went to New Orleans this summer, and instead of melting and dying and complaining about walking 20 blocks in 45 degree heat with 100% humidity, I wore a cute sundress and eschewed the cab because I could.
I’m cutting my hair tonight, something I’d avoided for several years because my face had become too round to pull it off. I’m cutting off the length and all its held memories of exhaustion and embarrassment and laziness. Also, it will look cute – I intend to see to it.