Well, here it is. At least, the biggest “reveal” thus far. I’ve been overweight my entire life and lost weight before, but all of this is different. For the last year and a half, I have been working toward a different outcome. This time, I feel differently. This time, it feels like, “I” am different.
I am never going back.
At my heaviest, I was almost 400 pounds and even my closest friends have a hard time remembering that or contemplating that was the case; the truth is that I never would have shared that with them at the time. My dad’s illness and eventual death tugged at every possible shred of my existence for most of my 20s, and, somewhat ironically, taking care of my own health held almost no market share in my brain.
Note: I have very few pictures from that time. Pictures were a penalty then (I’ve added a few that I did recently find at my heaviest, at the end of this post). Now, they are something of a reward – and a leveling agent for my brain.
I know that several people (friends, family and beyond) have been following me on this journey. And it seemed a fitting time to “share”. The pictures in basic blue and black are me from January 2014. The pictures in neon orange and gray polka dots are from about two weeks ago. I think the colors and patterns alone are indicative of how I feel now as opposed to then (and the “then” of 2014 was still 55 lbs smaller than my heaviest). In the spirit of transparency, it took me almost two weeks to work up the ability to share these pictures broadly. There is still more “work” to be done – I know that. My arms, my stomach, the extra skin I’ve stared at more and more with every pound lost… these things don’t trump the importance of sharing my successes, but they do wave a little frantically at the periphery of my thinking. For now, I’ve had to push them away so that I can focus on walking, writing and creating a healthier and more fulfilling life for myself, period.
The before and after above represents 100-105 lbs of total weight lost since early 2014.
The most private things aren’t always meant to be illuminated, but there has been something in shedding a body that never felt like mine that has brought the reality of my finite existence into focus. Life is MEANT to be lived. In orange neon, in gray polka dots, in art and nature, in Miami and LA, in the air and on the ground, and in all the ways every soul dreams of living: free.
Footnote: and me – at what I believe was my heaviest…