When I say, "A really freaking long time...like five years," they then get a look on their face of disgust or pity or annoyance or...something that's not, "Oh my God, this is so great!"
Truth is, I've been actively trying to lose weight since 2006. So instead of five years, let's tell the truth. Eight years.
Further truth is, I've lost almost 140lbs (138.6, if you must know), as of this morning.
Even further truth is, I'd still like to lose about 60lbs. I might change my mind about this, but that's how I feel today.
Final truth? I haven't used any pills, wraps, tapeworms, or Biggest Loser appearances. Because, yeah. If I had? I would probably have something way more impressive to say. At least at the end of year one.
People are disappointed when I say how long it's taken me. Those people on television lose like 100lbs in a few months (the aforemention Biggest Loser) or a year (Extreme Weight Loss, featuring the yummy Chris Powell). Eight years. That's like only 17.5 pounds a year. And that's nothing, right? Anyone can do that. Not impressive. Not at all.
What I didn't do was gain it back.
I didn't gain it back.
I didn't gain it back even though I moved 500 miles away and it was really freaking stressful. I didn't gain it back even though I started going to the gym with a girl who was about the same size as me and within the time it took me to lose 20lbs, she'd lost 50lbs (she would also bring her Taco Bell into the gym and eat it when she was done with her cardio). I didn't gain it back even though the gym closed the location close to my house and I had to go to another one, and then one morning when I showed up that one was closed too. I didn't gain it back when I struggled with infertility, I didn't gain it back when I changed jobs, I didn't gain it back even though I was frustrated as Hell when I stayed the exact same weight every single day for eighteen months. Eight. Teen. Months. I was doing all the right things, all the things that had gotten me to that point and every single day for eighteen months that scale gave me the middle finger. I didn't break that plateau until I had to have a root canal and I was on such strong pain meds that I slept for three days straight. Let me assure you, that is not a positive way to lose weight.
I didn't gain it back even though I've often felt like life was incredibly unfair and somehow I've been repeatedly kicked in the lady business by fate. I didn't gain it back even though I'm still often pissed at how much easier it is for some people (Jason, "I skipped lunch twice last week and lost twelve pounds!" Me, "OH MY GOD STOP SAYING WORDS!"). There were times when I was climbing a hill in East Tennessee, trying to finish a walk, just trying to get back to my car, and I would stop, sit at the base of a tree and cry. Just cry. Because I didn't know how I was going to finish.
I'm not trying to be as dramatic as I'm sure this sounds. I'm not one of those people who refer to my weight loss as some big epic journey. I'm not on a vision quest, I'm just have fat that I need to lose. It's not making me a bad person or smelly or whatever, it's just what it is.
It just is what it is.
Do I wish I had lost 100lbs in a year? I don't know. I do wish it would have been faster than it has been, but does it really matter? I mean, really? I was going to be thirty-eight either way. In less than two years I'll be forty. Even if I don't lose the next 60lbs in that time frame, I've still lost what I've lost already and I'll still be forty. It's still good. I'm still healthier than I was before.
So if you are disappointed that I've been working on it this long and "only" lost 17.5lbs a year and I've been working on it this long and I'm "still" not done and I'm "still" not skinny and my arms "still" are flabbier than lady arms should be? I suggest you bite the fattest part of my still ample ass.
If feel sorry for me for any of these reasons, don't bother. I've wasted enough time feeling sorry for myself about how hard it is. It's all hard. It's hard to be fat and it's hard to lose weight. It doesn't matter. Life is hard.
If you want to come take a walk with me? I'm totally open to that.