Sunday, September 30, 2012

Discovering the box under the bed

I was going through my closet today on the constant quest to purge the clothes that are way too big on me to wear outside my house.  It's hard to understand for someone that hasn't had the same experience, but it can be very exhausting to not fit in anything in your closet because everything is too big after so much weight loss, forced to get more clothes from somewhere.  I know ... a nice problem to have, right??  While I am so grateful to have this sort of problem, it actually is much harder to deal with than it appears on the surface.  I've been very fortunate that people have passed on clothes to me (thanks so much people!), but there are times when I have to supplement them with purchases, too.  No matter what, though, I have to get rid of my bigger clothes.  I can't hang onto them as if they're some sort of safety net just in case I might fit into them again in the future.  I don't want them to fit me again in the future.

There are some things that are too big that I have chosen to hang onto because they're not falling off of me quite yet or can be manipulated with belts and safety pins.  But, after I looked at what I was left with, I had a light bulb moment.  It was one of those aha moments Oprah would always talk about.  What a minute ... don't I have a box under my bed of clothes I had been hanging onto?  I dropped to my hands and knees, crawled under my bed and pulled out this plastic carton that had been sealed up so long that it took a little bit of brute force to get it open.  And, like a rainbow shining over a pot of gold, there it was.  Oh my gosh, there it was!  In this carton I put some clothes that were dream clothes I was hoping I would fit into again one day, items I was never willing to give up hope on.  Granted, they were in there for a very long time.  I think most of them went in the carton right before I moved over from the district office at my school district at work to my current high school site.  That was when I had lost about a hundred pounds, was looking awful cute in some short skirts and other things, then started gaining weight back until I managed to put back all the weight and then some.  I wasn't at my smallest by a long shot when I fit into them, but I thought I looked pretty good in them at the time.  Vanity run amok!!  So, it's been at least seven years since they've seen the light of day, if not longer.

As I opened the box and started pulling the pieces out, I looked at them and thought to myself, There's no way on God's green earth these are going to fit me.  Remember, I was not at my lowest weight when I fit into them but I had myself completely convinced that they were much smaller than my body is today as I held them up.  But, I decided to try them on anyway, just for shits and grins, as my dear dad always says.  I wanted to see how far off the mark I was.  At the time when I was wearing them, they actually were tight on me, probably a couple of sizes too small.  So imagine my utter shock when they all fit either perfectly or were too big on me now.  What a cool feeling that was.

Is this really just about a box of clothes?  No.  It's about a dream realized.  A dream I dared not think about for a long time.  I tried for years and years to lose the weight.  Like I've said before, my entire life has been spent on this roller coaster of weight loss, gain, loss, gain ... well, you get the picture.  I completely commend people who were able to put their minds to it and lose the weight through diet and exercise, all the while doing it on their own. 

Trust me, I gave it my absolute best effort and tried for a very long time.  It was failed attempt after failed attempt.  Instead of losing weight, I just grew larger and larger.  With the weight gain came a killing of my spirit.  I eventually grew to 417 pounds before I finally was willing to take life-saving measures.  Think about it -- how many times have you ever heard of a woman weighing 417 pounds?  I mean, you hardly hear of men weighing that much, never mind a woman.  Yet, that's where I was, so please don't judge my choice of seeking the help to lose the weight through a medically supervised program such as Optifast.  Until you have walked in the shoes of someone that was 256 pounds overweight or more, you can never understand the desperation, the utter despair, the hopelessness that comes with living in that body.  Even being 100 pounds overweight is not in the ballpark that I found myself in.  It's not my intention to disrespect anyone's weight struggles, but I just want others to understand where I was coming from when I decided to go on a liquid fast.  There's a lot of work that comes with this, though.  I work out often, I am committed to being 100% compliant in the program and I am walking through all the emotions that come along with releasing the weight.  Trust me when I say it's not an easy or easier road to travel by any means.  If anything, I'm constantly getting slammed in the face with overwhelming emotions because it's happening so fast.  Dropping 183 pounds in about seven and a half months is fast.

Okay, off my soapbox I go ;-)  Now that I've gone back in the carton and tried everything on, I have decided that these skirts, tops and other things deserve to be a part of my wardrobe again.  Some of the skirts are short, perhaps a little bit shorter than I'm comfy with because I haven't been showing a lot of leg in the last few years.  It's been out of humiliation and shame, thinking that I had no business exposing so much skin.  But, on my constant quest to better myself and be brave, I will wear them.  These things used to make me feel cute and pretty before, so why not now? 


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