Last week, while on the treadmill at the gym I was glued to the tv because they were airing the story of a 18-20 year old man that weighed 1345 pounds. They had commentators and specialists talking about his situation. Repeatedly I heard different guests asking how this could happen to someone.
My thought was very easy. It happens one pound at a time. It happens one bite at a time. I have never really talked about the number that was my high, because it is and was too painful to face. My high was 340. Just typing that makes me feel nauseous. I come from a good family. I have great friends. I have always worked. I am smart and yet I ate my way to 340 lbs. It is no ones fault, I take responsibility for what I did, but I cant put my finger on when it happened. There is no way to pin point the moment that it started going horribly wrong. Even at my heaviest I didn’t see it. Denial is a powerful thing.
How many people get a do over? I do! I created my own second chance. Walking up a flight of stairs was painful. Now I workout because I can. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I don’t, but being able to exercise is a gift.
Deciding that my high is just a number is the first step. Facing it and dealing with the shame and what that represents, so I never go back there again.
All it takes is wanting to change and making the decision to do it. If I can do it anybody can.
And I thought to myself, yes it may be hard for people to understand that this man ate his way to 1345 pounds, but I get it. I understand that people have triggers, they have demons they need to fight, and they use food as a means to cover something deeper. I felt for him on screen because I knew what he was going through and I knew the difficult challenges he will face, but it was his ability to come forward and tell his story that inspired me most of all. It allowed me to look at myself and say, I’ve been through this and like a phoenix, I have risen from the ashes, ready to inspire just like this man is trying to inspire those around him. It solidified my desire to help those who feel like I once did. The person who didn’t want to get off the couch, who didn’t want to face their demons, and who were too afraid to begin anew. I knew at that moment, on that treadmill, watching that young man, that I wanted to help carry the torch and provide support to anyone going through the journey. Because if I can help, just one person, I know it will have been worthwhile.