Today I found out I was featured on the Pittsburgh Marathon website as one of their "Inspirational Runner Stories". I do have to say, I'm quite honored. I know there are people out there who will always try to downplay what I have done with my weight loss with the always helpful sentiment, "Well, you shouldn't have let yourself get fat in the first place!" I'm probably not the only one thinking, "No crap."
For me, I've struggled with my weight my entire life. When I went off to college, the problem became horrible because I was in an all you can eat buffet of food and I took that very literally. Dinner for me would often be two or three entree type dishes because I didn't want to pick just one. Looking back now, I can't believe I let myself get that out of control. I knew I wasn't making GOOD choices, but I honestly didn't know anything about nutrition. Sure, I knew that too much fat was bad and vegetables were good, but I didn't know anything about calories, portion control, why it was important to eat every meal, etc. Now I do and my life has been forever changed.
If you do happen to go visit my story on the website, there are two pictures of me. The before and after. The before picture was taken when I went to a conference with my mother. Sadly, I remember putting that outfit on that morning and thinking that I looked really cute. Now I see that picture and feel bad. Not about how I look though; I feel bad about how much of my life I wasted being fat. My after picture was taken a little over a year ago at my brother's wedding. I literally had family members that hadn't seen me in a few years asking who that girl was. That felt pretty incredible to not be recognized by your own family.
I still have my moments where I see myself as "the fat girl". I probably always will. I have a skewed body image and I'm hoping that changes. I can look in the mirror and see that I've lost the weight but I still don't have a good idea of how others perceive me. I've been at a stable weight for about two years now and I still struggle with that every day.
I guess that I'll end with saying to anyone who tries to downplay what I've been able to accomplish. We all have our struggles in life and weight just happened to be one of mine. I have never been a drinker or a smoker, but my drug of choice was food and boy, did I indulge. I indulged to the point that my addiction would probably have killed me at a young age if I hadn't made a change. Regardless, I overcame that addiction and came out triumphant. You can celebrate my success with me or not. I will continue trying to do what I've done since I lost the weight, which is helping others and paying forward what I have learned.
If anyone is interested in going to read my story on the Pittsburgh Marathon website, please go to this website: http://www.pittsburghmarathon.com/Left_Nav/Race_Participants/Real_Runner_Stories.htm