Last night I actually told Beve my weight. This is a big deal to me, folks. A really, REALLY, gigantic deal. I'm married to a very tall, almost always very fit man for whom weight has never been an issue. And ever since I put on that white dress (and discovered it had been taken in too much so I thought I looked chubby, HA!), stumbled down the aisle in those ridiculously high heels and placed my hands in his for life, it's like my body is a living magnet for calories. I gained 10 pounds in the first six months, just eating meals with my own husband. But then, meals with the Beve (and his family) could stretch from breakfast to dinner with barely a moment to catch one's breath. My pokey metabolism couldn't, that's for sure. At big family gatherings, we'd still be washing up from breakfast and one of those giants was getting out nuts or cheese or some other snack to graze on to tide them over until lunch. I'd never seen such "hay-burners", as their parents called them.
Of those kids, only Beve has lived to keep his youthful physique. They all kept eating like there was no tomorrow, but it caught up with his brothers. Beve just kept moving (which is a different post!). And I...well, I had three babies in short order, and managed to gain more than I lost (in every way, of course, and I certainly am glad I had them, and today I'm especially glad I had the middle one, who turns 25 this first day of spring!). But that weight. More and more. Until by a year ago, I was creeping near a mark I never dreamed I'd close in on, a mark so large it made me squirm to imagine. And refuse to tell of--should Beve ever have asked, which he never did, because he loves me and not because of how I look, thank God.
But I'll tell you now. A year ago, I weighed 193 pounds. Wow, seeing that number in print is a little harder than I thought it'd be. But there it is. I was fat. Not merely chubby, like I tended to call myself, but downright fat. And getting fatter all the time. Drinking my ginger ale and eating my pastas and enjoying the donuts Beve bought on Saturday mornings, I was living large and barely fitting into my clothes and embarrassed by it all. I'd lie in bed at night thinking of what I'd do to change the course of this weight path--the sea-change in diet, exercise, life-style. Then I'd get up the next day and continue in the same old practices.
Just about a year ago, my sister began a cleansing diet, where she cut out sugar, wheat, dairy and soda. I think that was what her cleanse consisted of--I can't really remember now. But she felt better, she told me. So at the end of March, I decided to try it. I did cut out those things. The dairy was something I'd been meaning to cut out for a while, ever since my doctor told me I shouldn't eat any without taking a Benadryl first. Doesn't seem right to eat something one has to take a pill to ward off the allergic reaction guaranteed to come. So dairy was easy. And I started putting honey in tea, on peanut butter and toast (the amazing home-made multi-grain!!!), stopped eating pasta, and stopped drinking pop. Well, stopped drinking everything except water and tea. Water became my new best friend. All day, all the time. ALL THE TIME.
Within three days, I felt better than I had for years. YEARS. The fibromyalgia pain has been gone ever since, which has made staying on this 'diet' easy and irrevocable, because even when I decide to have a dessert, or eat a few greasy french fries, I feel it the next day. And that's just not worth it. EVER.
And--drum-roll, please--as of last week, I've lost serious poundage. More than a Christmas turkey poundage, by a long shot. 35 blessed pounds. And that's when I finally told Beve how much I weigh. And how much I weighed. About five months ago, when we were in a store, I held up a shirt and asked him what he thought of it, and he said, "It's too small for you."
"Beve," I said. "Look at me. What size do you think I wear now?"
He was a little surprised--he hadn't noticed that I'd lost that much weight. But these days, he constantly thinks I must be a size smaller than I am. He started paying attention finally (which is nice, I must say!).
Here's the thing; I'm not very disciplined. I'm certainly not an exercise junkie. In fact, I haven't exercised at all to lose this weight (which I know, I know, I really need to!). My discipline starts and stops with spiritual disciplines. So I'm here to tell you, if I can change the way I eat, anyone can. And the only way I did it was that it made such a HUGE difference in how I felt. I sleep better, feel better, and have more energy for life. For the life I have to live--which is full of hard enough stuff without dragging all that extra weight around.
There's plenty more pounds to lose. And there is more weight to lose in other ways as well. The weight I carry from my past, the weight of worry and fear and obligations. Those pounds also have a way (weigh--get it!!!) of creeping up on us. Don't they? But losing the physical pounds has made me very aware that it's possible. That it's always possible to drop the extra weight I carry around that keeps me from feeling as God intends me to feel. It's possible--and by God, yes, BY HIM, I'll lose that weight too.