I NEVER SAW HOW FAT I WAS: My Defining Moment
Warning: Adult language
Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.
I am now, in this moment, standing in the place where you are headed. And I promise you that all of the things you imagine it to be and what you see in your dreams doesn't even touch it. It's a thousand times better than you even think it is. And it has NOTHING to do with what size jeans you can squeeze your ass into.
I'd really like some company on this mountaintop. I promise you the views are worth all the hard work. But the hardest work of all has to happen before you even start the climb. Are you ready to come join me up here?
It’s not going to be easy to hear what I’m about to tell you. But you absolutely MUST hear the truth so that you can find the resolve to embark on your own journey...
The very journey that will save your life.
I cried like a baby writing this article. Actually in almost every article I write, I have very hard moments. It takes me right back into my old life. The emotions from that life flood through me and consume me. They literally take my breath away sometimes.
But as oddly as it may sound, I relish the reminiscing pain because it doesn’t let me forget how I used to be. It doesn’t let me forget how easy it would be to go right back to that place if I don’t stay dedicated and persistent. My past pain and anguish fuels my insatiable passion to share my story so that it can help other women. Knowing there’s people just like you, who are living each and every day in the very same world I used to, makes me feel so heavy-hearted.
I remember the debilitating pain and heartache that comes with living life as an obese person. It kills me to know there are those of you still out there feeling that way when you don’t have to. You can fix this. I promise you, you can fix this. My God, if I did it, there’s hope for every single last one of you.
In the pic below, I'm not even my top weight. Here I was 220 pounds. I had gained over 40 MORE pounds before I started my weight-loss journey.
When I hit 260 pounds (262 to be exact), I had absolutely no idea just how big I really was. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew I was overweight but I had no idea the true reality of it. I mean, when you can't even tie your own shoes or take on a flight of stairs without feeling death upon you, you know there's a problem… but the mind is a very powerful thing and it does whatever it needs to do to protect you.
I truly believe this is a coping mechanism that our brains kick into to save us from despair and depression setting in. At least for me it was. I couldn't handle my reality so I lived in a pretend world. I lived in a world where I believed it wasn’t that bad. A world where I still had time to get my shit together. A world that protected me and didn’t let me see the painful truth. The truth that I have ruined myself, both inside and out. A truth that would bury me under a truckload of misery and render me emotionally paralyzed… or so I thought.
I lived in this land of make-believe for 10 years. I spent 10 years eating my way up to morbid obesity. I found food to help me cope with my problems and in the process I lost myself. You hear people say all the time in regards to obese people “how can people let themselves get to that point.” Well I know exactly how it happens and let me tell you something… It’s easy. Your brain tricks you into thinking it’s not that bad. You don’t see what everybody else sees.
I know it sounds insane, especially to people who’ve never had a weight problem, but even when your big ass is standing smack in front of a mirror, YOU DON’T SEE IT! How is this possible? I mean for God’s sake we have eyes, don‘t we?!
How it happens is actually really simple. Mind-Power.
Your mind can trick you into anything. It can also push you to do amazing and wonderful things. It's all how you use it. But most importantly, it's all how you control it. The mind has a funny way of settling it's ass into the driver's seat if we let it. I got into a very bad habit of sitting in the backseat and letting my brain take me anywhere it wanted me to go.
This wildly encouraged my obesity. It also let me go on pretending that I really wasn't grossly overweight. I truly did not see how fat I was. I would only ever get shocked into reality if I was surprised by my reflection.
For instance, it happened a lot in the mall. I’d be moseying along with my shopping bags and looking at my lists and all of a sudden I’d catch my reflection in a store front window. I swear to you, I never recognized the person as me at first. It would happen so unexpectedly that my mind didn’t have enough time to throw me into that protective world. It was especially bad when I would I get a full body shot. At home I only used bathroom mirrors where I could only see from my chest up. It’s so much easier to trick and fool yourself when you don’t ever get to see all of you.
So here I am standing in front of this store window wondering who the hell that fat person is. The second that realization sets in and I know it's me, I’m crushed. I'm talking deep down in my soul, utterly shattered to the core crushed.
I’m not kidding. It was that bad. In fact, if I was alone, I would leave. I’d get to my car and sit there and cry. I’d cry so soul deep you would think I was mourning. Well, in a way I was. Every time I saw the real me, I would mourn the girl I used to be. The girl I couldn’t even find in a mirror anymore.
So how did I find her?
I did the single most powerful yet most simple thing one could ever do… I FORCED MYSELF TO SEE THE TRUTH. This experience is different for everybody and each one of us has to find our own way of seeing the truth but let me walk you through my defining moment.
I waited until I was home alone one day. And I got naked. I stood in front of a full-length mirror (which I never did) and I willed my mind to let my eyes see the truth. I prepared myself to feel pain and sorrow but I was ready to embrace it. I knew in my heart that no amount of pain that would slither up could possibly be worse than the pain I stuffed down each and every day. The pain I would eat. I’d let all those cookies and brownies cover up all the hurt. I’d make my belly so sore from gorging on food that I would forget about my emotional pain… until I got hungry again.
So I’m naked and vulnerable and completely scared out of my wits. And it happens. It hits me. I see how fat I am. I see how sad I am. I see the girl I used to know. I see her in my eyes. The desperation and rawness in her eyes brings me to my knees.
It is on my knees where I stayed.
The tears flooded my face. The snot poured out of my nose. I refused to wipe myself off. I refused to look away from the mirror. I forced myself to see what I’ve been hiding from for all these years.
I wanted to drink in the moment so that if I lived to be a 100 years old, I would never, ever forget the shattering devastation I felt. Nor did I want to forget the sight that my eyes could finally see.
A damaged woman knotted up on the floor with rivers of tears down each cheek that were dripping onto her fat naked legs. Snot running down her neck and bubbling out of her nose as she wimpered. No, I would indeed never forget the sight before me. My soul had surfaced and it was so unbelievably broken and weak. What have I done? What in God’s name have I done to myself?
But more than anything, it was what I saw in my eyes that rocked me to my core. All the fat and the rolls weren’t a picnic to look at but that didn’t touch the emotional reality of the situation. I finally saw the girl I had lost a very long time ago. I finally found her. She was far away but I found her.
I knew in that moment that I was going to do whatever I had to do to get close enough to rescue her. To snatch her up and out of this stranger she has been trapped inside.
This was my defining moment.
On my knees, naked and crying, and completely stripped of all the lies and trickery that had allowed me to live in my make-believe world for so long. My heart and soul were running the show from that moment on. And they were fully on board to beat my mind into submission until it saw things their way. They weren’t going to take it’s shit anymore… and neither was I.
I have never told anyone, not even my husband, about my defining moment. This is the first I have ever spoke of it. That moment happened on January 12th, 2008. I didn’t keep it a secret on purpose. I just never felt an urge to share it, until now. I had a dream a few nights ago where I was in front of a crowd describing my defining moment. That dream stayed with me for two solid days and then last night I dreamt the same exact dream again. I woke up this morning knowing I needed to share it.
That moment changed my life. But even more importantly, that moment saved my life. Let me tell you, from that moment on, I saw exactly how big I was. I was like ‘damn, you weren't messing around with them brownies.’ I would think about how much volume I had been eating. I was eating like I was getting paid. It was crazy how I would remember things and see them so differently from how I did when I was under my fat spell. I saw the true horror of how I had been living. But amazingly enough, I was okay with it. I truly accepted how big I was.
For the first time ever, I truly saw what I looked like and I took all of the emotion that frothed up along with that truth and used it to my advantage. It is absolutely incredible what can happen when you use negative emotions in a positive way.
I took all the anger at myself, all the shame, and all of the disappointment and I used it to feed my motivation. I let it make me more determined to do something about it.
I couldn’t change what I had already done but I could redeem myself and be okay with the past if I got up off my ass and start doing the hard work. God knows it was going to be hard. But it couldn't possibly be any harder than waking up every morning and hating myself.
I knew hardly anyone was going to believe I could do it and that fueled me even more. I couldn’t wait to show all the doubters how wrong they were. I was hell-bent on proving to everybody, but especially to myself, that I was going to do the impossible. I didn’t care how long it was going to take. I knew that no matter how long of a journey it would be, it was going to be worth it. Man, I didn’t know the half of it. It ended up being light-years better than I even imagined.
But to find your way to this amazing place, you must force yourself to step out of your fantasy world. I’m not saying that you have to get buck ass naked like I did, but you do need to find a safe place to shut your mind down long enough to let your eyes see the truth.
You have to make the decision to see the truth. To take the blinders off and see what you have done to yourself and accept all of the raw deep pain that comes with that. It is imperative that you tear down your pretend world you’ve been living in. Bomb that son of a bitch to the ground. It served to protect you at first but now it is the sole reason you are stuck.
You see, the problem with living in a dream world is no real change can ever happen. There's no urgency to make changes. There’s no urgency to do something different. When we don't live in the truth, the lies that we tell ourselves chain us.
But just as the mind can be powerful in a deceitful way that keeps us in the dark, it can be even more powerful when it’s in sync with your soul. Your soul is who you really are. It’s that deep down voice that gives you those funny feelings when something gives you the creeps or doesn’t feel right. It’s also that feeling that keeps bringing you back to certain things or ideas that excite and intrigue you. It is your true voice and when it works with your mind rather than against it, miraculous things start to happen. It’s Herculean force will heave you into the right direction and give you clues all along the way. It was this very force that ended up catapulting me onto the right path. The path that I would follow throughout my entire journey.
You must make your own moment happen. Summon it. Will it. Quit looking for it to drop in your lap. You have to dig deep inside yourself and find that girl you lost a long time ago. She's been waiting to be saved.
It’s time to pony up.
Open the dam and let it all flood in. All the emotions, the pain, the sadness. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of emotions, regrets, and doubts and be open to it. Don’t try to shield yourself from it. Let it knock you on your ass and steal your breath. Embrace the reality so that you can change it. Your mind is a force of harnessed power. Crack open that bastard and unleash it's power for good instead of evil. All the answers and courage are trapped under that dupery. You’ve had the answers all along. It’s time to uncover them.
You've been living this lie for too long. It's time you see yourself for who you’ve become and forgive yourself for it.
IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE CHANGE HAPPEN.
You can no longer live in your imaginary world. There is no sense of urgency in that world. There’s no reason to change. You must let yourself feel the pain and see the truth so that you truly accept that you have work to do.
Seeing reality fuels a desire to seek change. It lets understanding and acceptance find a new home in that brain of yours and it evicts all the poisonous thoughts and lies that have taken up residence in there for way too long.
You are no less than anyone else because you've let this happen. This is how you've coped all these years, it's okay. You must forgive yourself. Your mind helped you hide the truth so that you could go on about your life. But what started out as a coping mechanism is now a nail in your coffin.
Like all bad habits, what starts out to help deal with a problem ends up BEING the problem. Everybody copes in their own way and most people do NOT cope in a healthy way. Forgive yourself.
You’ll get nowhere if you stay in the past and beat yourself up for it. Once you force yourself to see the truth, you have to make a vow to yourself to embrace it, accept it, and then move on. Being truly honest with yourself is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Hardly anyone has the courage to do it. Be proud of yourself for being brave enough to let it happen.
Now is not the time to try to punish yourself for your past mistakes. Now is the time to learn a new way to cope.
I promise you can do it. I was in the ranks of the biggest 'lost causes'. If I found a way, there's no doubt you can too.
There’s a better version of you. She’s the real you. She is the one who is supposed to be living your life, not this imposter that has been going through the motions. The real you has been waiting for you to save her. She’s been knocking on your conscience for years. Stop shutting the door in her face and let her in.
*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.
NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.