Early February, 2010
I had just finished a grueling 2.5 hour workout, the second of the day. It was after work, and I had done 1 hour of treadmill work, 30 minutes of weight lifting, and then another hour of treadmill work. During the course of the workout, I stopped three times to see my weight. As I walked up the stairs for the fourth time, weighed myself on the scale just inside the Men’s locker room.
It was 4 and a half days since I last eaten, a day and a half since my last drink of water.
I had to stop several times in my workout that day to avoid passing out. I would move slowly outside working out to make sure I didn’t get dizzy when I walked. When on the treadmill, I would put it at a 7% grade, and walk as hard as I could, often using the rails for support. I was 2 weeks from visiting Australia and New Zealand for the first time, and my goal of getting to 240 was in reach.
249 pounds. (113 Kilos). I had lost 110 pounds in 9 months.
I was happy.
I was miserable.
My entire world had become being focused on the weight loss. In the aftermath of my breakup with my fiance in 2008, I went into an eating spiral, which lead to (at the time), the largest I had ever been. I went for several months losing weight, but things got more serious, and dangerous, after I decided to go to Australia for Mardi Gras. For me, the goal was everything, and I would post on social media how excited I was that I was the lightest I had been since college. I was getting compliments from everywhere, and while some were concerned, I ignored them with the sole goal of losing more weight.
Having achieved my goal of getting under 250 pounds, I went to my car, and sat in it.
It was devastating.
I was so hungry, so thirsty, and I worried that every ounce of water would help defeat my goal. I wanted to eat so badly, that it was the only thing I thought about. To me, it was the force of will that was important. To withhold is what people say. Calories in, Calories out, and I was in such caloric deficit, I should be dropping in weight.
But the nearly 5 hours of working out for days on end, and I just could barely get under 250.
Back then, after days of not eating, I would go to Outback Steakhouse, sit in the same booth, at the same restaurant (On Lee Highway) and have the same thing every time: A 16oz (450 Grams) Rib Eye Steak, Sauteed Mushrooms, and steamed vegetables and lots of water. Along with the loaf of bread you get at the beginning. That night I did the same thing. Euphoric and devastated, I ate the dinner in silence (as I usually did), playing on my phone. I went home, and sat there. Trying to figure out how to get lower on the scale, knowing that I had just defeated myself by eating so much food.
The next day, I woke up at 5:15, so I could get to the gym at 6 for another 90 minute workout.
I woke up, laid in bed, and admitted to myself that I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t go to the gym that day, or the next. I didn’t eat until the third day, but in my mind, I had failed. I reasoned with myself that Australia is only a couple of weeks away, and you can ease up until you get back, and that may be a good thing.
I never reached that number again, though I had tried, using the same brutal tactics that I used before, each time giving me diminishing results.
June 16, 2017
I walked back into my apartment after a 9 kilometer walk in around 90 minutes. It is my 5th walk in 6 days, and I am nursing a small blister on my right foot, a result from walking in my new shoes. (hense why I didn’t walk yesterday) Generally, I do a shorter walk (6km) on weekdays, but because it is Friday, and I am working from home, and I was awake earlier than usual… I decided I wanted to see the Bay down by the Harbor Bridge. The morning was chilled, but pleasant, and with headphones in ears, I listened to songs to motivate me as I went through walk. I thought about the Pride Flag Arguments, about the Apartment tower fire in London, about Heroes of the Storm, and how wonderful the city looked in the pre-dawn light. Getting home, I took the dog out, and then prepared breakfast for her. After that, I went and weighed myself.
I stepped off, waited a few moments, and stepped on again.
There was no ambiguity there. I turned around and took a shower, the number rattling in my head. After the shower, I got out, dried off, and then checked again.
“Fucking hell, I did it”
55 Kilos lost in 4.5 months. (121 pounds)
This time I didn’t cry. It almost doesn’t feel real in a way. I went out, grabbed my water and my multivitamin and had a little bit of hummus (as I often do in the morning, I will have 1-2 spoon fulls).
This time I didn’t starve, this time, I didn’t become manic. This time, I didn’t wage war against my body in order to get to a number I shouldn’t have been achieving. Last night, I had 275 grams of chicken, basically the same routine I have had for the majority of the last month. I am drinking tons of water each day, and here I am… at 113.
I never thought I would reach this again. Even in my most manic moments of weight loss, I felt like I was chasing the white dragon, hoping for a goal I could never achieve. The last week, as my weight started dropping again, these feelings kept bubbling up. The Husband and I spoke the other night about my progress, and asked where I feel I could get to in terms of weight, and for the first time, I actually contemplated, seriously, about a number lower than 113. 110? 105? 100 or less? These numbers are truly uncharted territory.
I have said throughout this, that I would listen to my body, and that when my body stops, I will stop. Right now, I don’t know where it will stop. In the back of my mind, I thought that 115 would be the place it would force me to stop, being that was the wall I hit last time. That is looking to not be the case.
To say that I am happy is an understatement. I am thrilled and humbled to be in this position. I do my best to not focus on the number, and instead focus on clothes, activities, social stuff, and the general goal of fitness and being healthier… but today, the number is important because of how important it was to me back then, and how I have learned… the hard way… to not solely focus on that.