Have you ever done something that made you feel all tingly inside at the time only to be haunted by it later?
And in this case, I’m not actually talking about my teenage years when mooning people and pantsing friends were some of my finer achievements.
I’m not referring to deciding to have kids, either.
Let me share a passage from my old “Losing It!” weight-loss column that I wrote for the Deseret News in April 2009:
I am obese. Have been — by clinical definition, not my own — for the past 20 years.
That time period, by the way, includes all of my adulthood, plus most of my senior year in high school when I was voted “Most Likely to Own a Fast-Food Joint” and won a mouth-stuffing marshmallow contest.
Ah, those were the days.
Speaking of things in my past, that’s where I left my membership in the 200-pound club.
Yep, medical professionals can still call me that O-word. Heck, they can even call me late for dinner now. But they can no longer call me a 200-pounder.
That was a fun column to write. Over the course of a decade, I’d gone from 371 pounds down to 246, back up to 355, then dropped to 265, then up again to 328 to 233 to 275 and then all the way down to 198.2 pounds at the time that column was published.
Fast forward to 2017, and I’m thrilled to announce that I now weigh 197.4.
My “I LOST 0.8 POUNDS IN EIGHT YEARS! ASK ME HOW!!!” shirts will go on sale soon.
I joke because I’m trying to not cry while I write this blog. While I did celebrate after stepping on my scale this morning and seeing that number, there are a lot of emotions rattling around my soul.
I was so happy to get below 200 in 2009. It had been a long journey. I’d been on a lot of diets. I’d exercised a lot. I’d gulped down a lot of cabbage soup. I’d finally reached my goal of being in “Onederland,” as some dieters call the 100s, after spending all of my adult life in the 200s and 300s.
The celebration didn’t last long.
By the time I wrote my column in May 2009, I’d jumped up to 214. I gained 16 pounds in a month. It just kept going up and up and up — there was the time in 2011 when I did an Ironman triathlon to get my weight back down in the 230s from the 280s — and up and up and up and up.
Fast forward to March 2016, and I wasn’t so pleased to announce that I weighed 373.7 pounds.
My feelings went from tingly to torment.
Geez. I’m writing the most depressing “I’VE LOST 176.3 LBS AND GOT UNDER THE 200-POUND MARK” blog ever, aren’t I?
My intention isn’t to have you mourn my success with me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited. Very excited! I smiled and cheesily said “WHO’S THE MAN!?!” out loud after stepping on the scale this morning.
(Nobody in my house answered my question, but the correct answer obviously is: “You, Jody. You are the man! Don’t even think about mooning or pantsing me even though you weigh what you did as a teenager.”)
I just have mixed emotions — a common theme for me lately — about getting under the 200-pound mark. I’ve drowned my self-esteem in feelings of failure and frustration over the past eight years because I only stayed in the 190s for a few weeks after working so hard to get there.
Who does that!?!
I was like the lottery winner who quickly burned through his winnings and ended up poverty-stricken again.
It’s hard to want something so badly and then have it slip out of your hands.
I felt that pain, that anguish, that regret for years. While gaining pound after pound after pound, I’d tell myself that it wouldn’t even be worth trying to get back under 200 pounds again.
Seriously, do you know how hard it is to lose 170-plus pounds once let alone twice!?
Do you know how big of a failure someone feels like when they gain that much weight a second time?
Do you know how awful it feels to know that people can see your biggest weakness and body get bigger by the day? And to think — accurately or not — that they’re judging you and your inability to seize control of your appetite and life?
Do you know what kind of doubts creep into your mind about even thinking about attempting to do something so massive they’ve already done and failed at?
Do you know that I just reached my limit on how many “Do you know?” questions I can ask in a row?
I was such an emotional mess last year when I finally decided to tackle this issue another time. I’m so grateful that I found the spark within myself to try again. It’s OK to fail. It’s not OK to give up. As a health coach, I’m turning my mess into my message.
I definitely am.
It means even more this time than it did last time.
It’s one thing to climb a mountain once. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to climb a mountain a second time when you know how tough it really is to do and you just tumbled from the summit to the bottom.
After the emotional release I just experienced from writing out some painful thoughts in this blog, my heart and mouth are smiling.
And I should be smiling!
I’ve lost 176.3 pounds.
I only weigh 197.4 pounds after starting at 373.7 just 17 months ago.
I’m now down to the lowest weight I’ve been in nearly three decades — since the beginning of my senior year of high school in 1988. (Go Kearns High! Class of ’89 rules!)
I’m just three pounds away from moving into the Overweight Category on the BMI chart instead of being labeled Obese.
I’m 10 pounds away from being half the man I used to be.
I’m 36 pounds away from my goal weight.
And better than all of that — far more important than any number on the scale — I have health, happiness and hope. That all seemed unobtainable while I wallowed in misery and self-destructive behavior and self-loathing before I decided to choose faith in my future over fear of my past.
Do you know how good that feels?
This week’s weigh-in:
- Starting weight (March 6, 2016): 373.7 pounds
- New Year’s Day weight (Jan. 1, 2017): 262.0
- Last week’s weight (July 28, 2017): 200.8
- This week’s weight (Aug. 4, 2017): 197.4
- This week’s loss: 3.4 pounds
- Total loss: 176.3 pounds