Sunday, September 9, 2012

Following myself around Wal-Mart

I was at Wal-Mart earlier to pick up a few things I need since I generally don't have the extra time during the week.  My cart looks very different these days when I stroll through there.  I had a case of water, highlighters, some cleaning supplies and vitamins.  When I go there now, I get flashbacks on the way things used to be.  They have cheap food there, mostly the processed variety that made it really easy for me to make bad decisions.  Things like Pringles, frozen pizzas, sausages, potato salad, ice cream, donuts and a myriad of other foods found their way home with me after an excursion to Wally-Mart.  I'm not blaming them, it was me that bought those foods.  It's just that it was a very dangerous place for me to be, yet I was there a lot.

As I was in the water aisle, I spotted a woman who looked very similar to the way I looked before.  Or, at least, the way I envision how I looked before.  I smiled as she walked past me, but I couldn't stop looking at her as she continued to walk away.  She was significantly obese and looked to be in considerable pain as she went down the aisle.  I noticed she wore flip-flops and had swollen ankles, just like I used to.  I sort of snapped myself out of the trance and went about picking up what I needed, only to spot her again.  I walked towards her and, pretty soon, I found myself following her to the next aisle.  Why?  Lord only knows.  I promise you, I am not a stalker!  The resemblance to me was striking, although she probably didn't look that much like I used to but there was something drawing me to her.  Then a few minutes later, when I went to check out, there she was again!  Okay, God, you've got my attention, but why?  As her things were being rung up, I noticed her items were very similar to what I used to buy.  She was breathing heavy and looked to be very uncomfortable.  I felt tremendous empathy for her because I remember that place all too well.  All you want to do is get the hell out of there with your stuff, go to the privacy of your own home, only to be stopped by a very slow cashier.  Here are some pictures of me that I have never posted on here, looking my absolute heaviest.  I'll post them on my "Pics of Progress" page, too.  Forgive the big hair (it was the 90's ... what can I say??).

Me in my high school graduation pic at 17, told you the hair was big! 
19 years old

Compare me to the person standing next to me, 19 years old here, too

Wearing a sweater during the summer to cover myself, 20 years old

Feeling miserable, a very unhappy girl at 24 years old
At a friend's wedding, 32 years old

I am flooded lately with the way things used to be and I share these pics with all of you because this helps me to be honest.  I don't want to go back to that world, I can't go back there.  God bless her, but I am not that lady at Wal-Mart.  To be honest, I don't think I ever was.  Perhaps in the bodily sense, but I was never satisfied with that life.  Although I am not at goal weight yet, or even transitioning into maintenance, I am already taking action towards making healthy changes in my life in hopes of making them habitual.  One of the biggest things is that I have truly incorporated living a more physical life.  Yesterday I went hiking up and down a none-too-easy cliff.  Today I did about three and a half miles around a lake.  When I went shopping, I parked my car far from the entrance so that I could be in the habit of doing that over the long haul.  The magazines I subscribe to now are all about living a healthy lifestyle - Fitness, Shape, Women's Health. 
In fact, there's a book I'm reading now by Bob Harper (one of the trainers on the Biggest Loser) called The Skinny Rules:  The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to Thin.  It's not because I want to read it to learn how to take the weight off.  I think I'm doing that pretty well with Optifast and believe very strongly in the program.  This book is read for me now because I want to incorporate things into my lifestyle to keep the weight off.  I just love, love, love Bob and his very direct style.  There are some very striking things said in that book, like:
"You've got to divorce yourself from the past and
find a different way of living.  And you can never go back."
I can never go back.  That Wal-Mart lady today is a symbol to me of going back.  I pray for her and, at the same time, I pray for myself.  I pray I never forget what it felt like to live in that world and that I can literally be one bite away from that.  It all begins with that one decision to say, "Oh, screw it, I'm going to have that piece of _____.  After all, I've worked hard and I deserve it!"  It's true that I do work hard, but what I deserve it this.  Right here.  This is what I deserve.  That's not to say I am perfect, nor will I be with the food, but I also can't let that sort of thinking creep into my head.  Even though I am often times very scared of this place because it is so foreign to me, I am willing to learn the language and do the best I can to say I don't know all the answers but I'm willing to fall flat on my face to figure out what they are.  And someday, very soon, I'll stop falling.  Someday, very soon, I'll feel comfortable in this world I now find myself in, as well as the one in the future.


Melissa said...

You know, I definitely believe that taking that first bite of processed food can lead you right back down to the rock bottom. One bite is never enough -- 1,000 bites is never enough. You've hit on something very, very important here. I also think you WILL become comfortable with the beautiful new you that is emerging. It just takes time. and the wisdom that brings. Your writing is so beautiful. A true delight to read.

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