It isn’t what you’re thinking. Admit it. It did cross your mind, didn’t it? Size has always been a part of my life. Three years ago, I was almost 300 pounds. At 5’0”, I was the definition of morbidly obese. I remember seeing those words for the first time when I was 38 years old. I knew I was fat but those two words hit me hard. It would be another twenty years before I would reach my top weight and change my life.
I grew up thinking fat was “who” I was. My grandmother told me I was fat all the time. My pediatrician mentioned it at every visit. Kids teased me at church and school as well as in public. Gluttony and sloth are two of the seven deadly sins. I already knew God didn’t like me much and having two of seven of the biggest sins didn’t help me feel more loved by my creator.
My therapist once asked me to do a collage of my biggest fears. In the center, I placed a picture of a woman who was obviously over 400 pounds. Close to that was a picture of an old woman in a wheel chair and another of a woman in a hospital bed. My mother died because of her obesity and other lifestyle choices. I knew that was to be my fate. When my yearly physical showed pre diabetes, high blood pressure, and a fatty liver, I knew it was my death sentence. Every diet plan created had failed for me.
My caring friends and family assured me that my size didn’t matter to them. They loved me just as I was. I know they were being kind and I believe they did love and care about me. However, tough love and honesty are often the most loving thing you can do for someone. My size was killing me physically and emotionally. I couldn’t look in a mirror without seeing a disgusting fat body. I felt trapped inside a mountain of fat. I was sure I was going to die of a heart attack at any time.
I decided I had to change. I found an online support system and told everyone in my life what I needed. I started to lose weight and my body started changing. It has been a very slow process. After a year, my doctor took me off some of the medication. My blood sugars and cholesterol are perfect without it. I now take Karate and can keep up with those much younger than I am. I am eating a healthier diet although ice cream outings with friends are allowed occasionally.
I went shopping for clothes recently after my friend threaten to burn my fat clothes. For the first time in 35 years, I am a size 16. I look in the mirror and I don’t know this person. I want to get to know her better. I am not the same person I was at 300 pounds. For me, size does matter.