This isn’t a “Transformation Tuesday” post or a “Weight Loss Wednesday” one either. It’s an “I Gained It All Back (insert day of the week here)” post.
I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. What a cliche sentence that oh-so-many of us have written, said or simply thought about over and over again. The latest chapter in my saga began about a year and a half ago.
I was unexpectedly thrust into a new position at my then job. My first justification to begin a weight loss endorsement was for job security. Oh, and losing weight was another obvious plus. The program worked. Low carb. Low fat. The people coaching me were nice. However, I was facing an uncertain future.
My contract was up, I knew I’d get renewed, but the specifics were not at all what I was expecting. With three months left on my deal, I made the decision to amicably leave after my contract finished. With that, my weight loss had stalled.
I couldn’t tell them (the weight loss endorsement company) why. I couldn’t tell them about my stress. I couldn’t share with them that my entire world was about to change and that I needed their help, and wanted their help, more than ever because if I did, it’d affect the business relationship they had with my employer.
Why not just tell them? Well, remember the word “amicable?” I wanted to keep the split between me and my job that way. I also had three months left of income that I needed to collect since I wasn’t sure where my next paycheck would come from. Money talks. Or in this case, money made me not talk.
Ultimately the weight loss program put me on a somewhat suspension. They wouldn’t coach me or help until I could produce results. I believe they could have helped me navigate this stress if I was able to share my circumstances. But that’s a moot point now.
I was determined to, at the bare minimum, keep the weight off I had lost. I was down 30 pounds. I felt great on the outside. I looked the best I had in years but inside I felt the worst.
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By the grace of God my next opportunity came in television. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to lose this weight because it’s TV and duh, looks matter. So at this point I’m transitioning into a career that’s even more in the spotlight and puts an emphasis on my outside appearance. All of these changes meant I needed new clothes but I couldn’t afford them and I made do with what I had. Things were going great. I didn’t lose anymore weight but I wasn’t gaining. I was steady.
Then my home was flooded. A pipe burst between my condo unit and the one above mine. It was a slow leak that ultimately gutted my place and mold consumed my walk-in closet and all of it’s contents. Everything was gone.
What they had said would be a 6-8 week evacuation has turned into a 7 month (and still on going as of this writing) ordeal. I left my place with nothing but my dog and a small suitcase. I didn’t know the level of destruction at the time. (The details of the rebuilding process are a completely different story and one for another day.)
I was renting a room from a co-worker. I had nothing of mine. And I wouldn’t get reimbursed from insurance until I was able to make it back into my home. Well if I thought I was broke before, I really was now.
The weight started to come back. My life was a disaster so I convinced myself that I deserved a cheeseburger. Ok, lots of cheeseburgers. My life looked nothing like it did just a few months before. My hair color went from blonde to brunette. I changed careers. Didn’t have my clothes. Didn’t have the same body. Didn’t even have the same bed to sleep in or toilet to shit in. I leaned on cheeseburgers. They were cheap and they made me feel good.
I convinced myself I could get back on track. That didn’t happen. The new track I was on provided me a bigger waistline, a lot less sleep, and took a big toll on my mental health.
I don’t share this story for sympathy because I’ll be fine. People have it way worse than I do. I woke up on the right side of the dirt and for that I am thankful. I share this story because 1) I want to forgive myself and move on and 2) I want to show that while things may seem great, happy and better than ever on social media, they might not be in real life.
I’m too scared to get back on the scale. I know I’ve gained the weight back and possibly even more based on how my clothes fit. The waist to muffin top ratio has increased as has the bra band to back fat ratio.
A year ago, I was the most confident in my physical appearance but my world was a mess. Today I’ve got a handle on this amazing new career. A position that I never thought I’d get. One that I thought I was too fat, old, or simply not good enough for. One that I’m actually pretty dang good at! Outside I’m not where I want to be. But damn, despite the on going chaos, life is good!
Wait. Let’s be honest. Life’s not good every single moment of everyday. No. But overall. God is good and has blessed me. He has put tribulations in my life not to break me but to prove to myself that I can, with His help, be better than I ever thought or imagined I could be.
As I sit here at Starbucks writing this, with my jeans digging into the aforementioned muffin top, I can’t help but think that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, looking exactly how I’m supposed to look, on the the exact path I’m supposed to be on.
There are a lot of questions. Everything from will I lose this weight forever or will I yo-yo for life? Will I ever get into my condo? How long will the amazing career last? Will I ever find love? Have babies? Grow my business? Hell, will I start to consistently blog on this site?! Phew…that was a lot. And that just scratches the surface. But the answer I have today is I’m thankful. I can’t fix everything. It’s not my job. I leave my anxieties at God’s feet and live for today.
At the end of these kinds of posts comes some type of promise or motivational quote. That’s not happening here. There’s not a stereotypical happy ending because this isn’t the end. This is a part of my story. One that’s real. One that I know others can relate to.
No one on this earth has all the answers. We’re not supposed to. Just know, you aren’t the only one. I can’t promise it’ll get better. I can share my story, my worries, my fears and anxieties in hopes that you will cut yourself some slack and know that it’s OK to not be OK. I’m not saying to flaunt the muffin top or back fat or whatever it is that you’re physically insecure about (if you want to, hey go for it!) but what I am encouraging you to do is appreciate life for what it is. Perfectly imperfect.