Wow, Michelle! 50 lbs. in 20 weeks! You're doing an amazing job at this!
I've been at this weight loss thing a looooong time, too. I will be 42 in June. My very first "real" diet was undertaken when I was in 8th grade. I ate an apple a day. That's it. Unless I was really hungry, then I'd eat a peanut butter sandwich - with no jelly, of course. I also drank copious amounts of Tab. (Does anyone remember Tab? Do they still make that stuff?) I don't remember how much weight I lost, but I do remember I was down to 103 lbs. and I was about 5'4" tall. No one told me I looked anorexic (and I *must* have!). I got kudos from everyone about how great I looked. Of course, that's what it was all about back then - looking good for the boys. (Specificially, Marc P., who never so much as glanced my way even when I was tiny!
I spent years yo-yoing and falling into some extremely disordered eating, which I won't describe here because it makes me shaky and, also, I don't want to trigger anyone else's ED. It was all about looking good. Looking back, my worst periods of disordered eating came after a comment about my weight.
I had actually become friends with my body for a while, back about ten years ago. I weighed about 155 lbs. and was exercising regularly. Then I became a teacher in a low-income, critical needs school with a LOT of problems. My naivete smacked me in the face and I ran for cover under food. I gained sixty pounds in nine months, and have not been under 227 lbs. since.
I finally decided the same thing you did, Michelle. I decided I was just destined to be fat, and that was all there was to it. I figured if food was a vice, well, it wasn't as bad as cigarettes or Jack or adultery or smoking crack. I was fine with it.
And then, in November, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. I took a leave of absence from work and went home to help my sister care for her through that first round of doctor visits and radiation and the whole nine yards. I love my mom, and I would (and probably will) do it all again, but it was HARD. It was hard to see her cry when she finally lost the last little tuft of hair on her head. It was hard to spring up at 2:00 AM when she went into a coughing fit (she's got a tumor on her lung, too) and needed a breathing treatment. It was hard to see her gasp for air after walking ten feet, and to help her clean up after she couldn't make it to the bathroom in time.
Obesity is a big risk factor for breast cancer. I am obese. (Morbidly so, in fact.) Over that four weeks of taking care of Mom, I made the decision: I don't ever want my daughter (she's 19) to have to take care of me like that. I don't want her to experience that worry, or to have to put on the face that, hey, everyone pees their pants and loses their hair just so I don't feel worse.
That's why I'm here. That's why I'm doing this - for real this time. It really isn't about great clothes or a sexy body for my husband. (He can't get enough of me now as it is, and I weigh more than he does!
) It really is about my health.