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Friday, February 5, 2016

My Weight Loss Mission: Why I Gained the Weight

Sometimes when I look down at my now massive female peaks, round belly, and wide calves, I ask myself, ‘How the fuck did I end like this?’ I mean seriously, I worked my ass off in my twenties. I ran all the races I could, read the work out books, and ate healthy. How did I become the woman gasping for air at the top of the stairs? Or even worse, why am I resting at the Wal-Mart park bench to give my aching knees a break? This is not who I am. The short answer to those questions is, I ate my feelings. We all do it.

In the past, I’d celebrate a payday with a special meal and some Dateline. It felt good to reward myself with some new culinary adventure or escape into a fresh confectionary dream. What’s so wrong with that? I didn’t binge eat, and I rarely would buy enough of those high calorie foods to have seconds. When I was working out on the regular, I even allowed myself cookies, and brownies. What I’ve learned about successful diets is the ones that allow you to live your life tend to last the longest. So, say you’re craving a Krispy Kreme donut. Who wouldn’t? When that hot-n-ready sign is on it’s like the race bells are off for me. I’m going there no matter what. But, the healthy way to enjoy these sugary delights is to have one, enjoy it, and maybe put in a little extra in the workout the next day. Trust me I know all the right things to do to lose weight.  My days consisted of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. I was also sure to drink lots of water. I almost never felt empty.

But that all changed when the thing I started feeding wasn’t my stomach anymore it was my heart. One night I came face to face with the decisions I made, the men that left me, and the friends I didn’t have. To ease my heartache I took a sip of a sugar laced Vanilla Coke. Over ice, the brown fizz came alive. That sound of fresh soda took me a way for a minute. Then I had to have something with it.

“What do we have in the house,” I ask myself.

Well there’s leftover pizza, and even cookies.  Then something in me says, “Yes that will do it.” I take the treats down to our family movie room, I plop down in front of the television, and my mind escapes. Some nights it was A&E Biography, other nights Alfred Hitchcock. Whatever it was the captivating stories mixed with my food debauchery took me away from any regret I felt about my past, the pain I felt in my present, and the hopelessness I felt was in no doubt my future. Every time it hurt, I just took another bite, another sip, another swallow. I let myself get lost in the flavors, the glare of the television, and before long I was in a full blown food coma. Knocked out on the couch, belly full of food, and for the moment a heart that didn’t ache.

I wish I could say that was the only time I used the food/television to comfort my broken dreams, my shattered heart, and low self-esteem. But it became my norm.  So, today when I look in the mirror and question where the fullness of cheeks came from or the extra jiggle in my step, I know exactly how it got there.