Last week I flashed back to June 2008, when Tim and I were on the verge of being flooded out of our homes.
This week, let’s flash back to that same time, more or less–June 2008. (Hmm. Big month for me, apparently. I also turned 24 that month.) This is actually surprisingly hard for me to blog about and I’m getting kind of choked up about the whole thing because god, those were some pretty awful moments. I still look back at how horribly I treated my body and how in denial I was with a lot of shame. I feel so terrible that I just ignored this for years, but I suppose I wouldn’t be the way I am now without those years. So, onward and upward.
Before all that flooding went down I went home to Chicago for the weekend for two purposes: 1) my annual visit to the vag doctor for a pap smear and 2) my good friend and now bridesmaid’s bridal shower. Interestingly enough, both of these events played a crucial role in my consequent weight loss and lifestyle changes. Weird, huh? You never really think gynecologist+bridal shower=drastic life changes, but there you go.
Anyway, I went to the doctor for my visit. Usually, when I would get weighed at the doctor’s office, I’d conveniently not look at the number or squeeze my eyes shut. If I didn’t know what I weighed, I couldn’t be held responsible for the decisions that got me there. But, this time, there was no escaping it, as the nurse cheerfully announced, “200 pounds!” to me.
What? 200 pounds? Seriously? I was in total and utter shock. It was the 2– number that threw me off–I honestly think that if the scale had said 197, I wouldn’t have done anything. 200+, in my mind, was fat territory. And holy crud, I was there. I felt terrible. I knew I’d been quietly buying larger and larger jeans, but I pretty much wrote it off as the sizes getting smaller, not me getting larger.
I went home and cried. And then I dusted myself off and looked in the mirror and said, “Brie, you’re the common denominator here. Change something for REAL this time.” I had no idea what I was doing, yet, but I was going to try. I e-mailed Tim from my phone because I figured if I told someone, I’d feel accountable. He immediately told me that he’d be with me every step of the way (and, of course, he was).
The next day was my best friend’s bridal shower. I remember it very clearly. The lunch I had that day was the first attempt I made at intuitive eating–a concept I still struggle with. I didn’t really like the food anyway, so it wasn’t a big struggle, but I consciously limited myself to one piece of bread from the bread basket, only ate about half the entree, and took a few bites of dessert. I also remember having to drive back to Iowa afterwards and needing a snack–and I got apple slices at the drive through instead of fries. Little steps, I know, but I was so proud of myself.
And, I’ll be honest–the fact that this was a bridal shower had a lot to do with me changing. At this point, I’d been with Tim for a year. We had both known pretty early in our relationship (maybe three months in or so) we were going to get married. I knew that pretty soon, I’d be the one having showers and weddings and wearing a pretty dress, and like my header says–I didn’t want to cringe when I looked at the pictures. My turn was coming, and I wanted to be ready.
The next day I got these pictures back. I looked at them and was so ashamed, but then I remember telling Tim, “It’s okay. I’m never going to look like this again.” These are the fated pictures:
Once I saw these, I just kind of knew that this was going to happen and I was going to fight my way out of it, no matter how long it took and how hard it was. I won’t say I’m perfect, but I like to think I’m treating my body a damn sight better than I was then…and that I feel a million times better. (And I think I look pretty good too!)
What inspired you to change?