Before you get all excited, no, this story is not about marriage…that will hopefully come in the near future.
Anywho….yesterday I was cleaning up in my bedroom, and happened to come across my old class ring from high school. I could not believe it! I graduated high school in 1999; I probably have not worn it since. I knew I had not thrown it away, but had no idea where it was. It was buried underneath a ton of costume jewelry and some junk that needed to be thrown away.
I tried it on, and to my surprise it was fitting pretty loosely, so loose that you can clearly see a big gap of space. And that’s when it hit me…I’m smaller (and more healthier) now at age 35 than I was when I graduated at age 17! I’ve struggle with my weight since middle school. By the time I finished high school, I remember being approximately 270 lbs. I distinctly remember my prom dress was a size 22. I was terribly unhealthy; I ate a considerable amount of junk food, and did not exercise unless I was forced to do so in PE class (where, of course, I was the slowest and always came in last). I shudder to think about the amount of fast food I ate, usually in secret to avoid the ridicule I constantly faced about my being overweight, especially when I started working a part-time job (first in a fast food restaurant and then later at a retail store that sold chips, soda and candy I consumed regularly). That extra money almost always meant a “treat”, especially on pay day, because I saw it as a way of either rewarding myself for working hard at work and school, or making myself feel better because of how terribly I felt about myself. I kept up that habit well into my adulthood and still struggle with that mentality now. I’m grateful and thankful to have a tool in place to help whenever I do face temptations, but as we’ve discussed before, weight loss surgery can only do so much. It’s always going to be up to you to manage your eating habits.
It makes me feel really good that I’ve made so much progress that I’m lighter than I was as a kid – right now I’m at 97 lbs lost – but it also makes me feel really sad for the kid that I used to be, and how I wish I could go back in time and change the things I was doing and how I started talking down to myself. I wish it had been emphasized to me how much the eating habits we develop as kids can impact you as an adult (just as much as our sexual health, mental health or dental/oral health), and that loving yourself includes taking more care with what you put in your body and getting in some type of exercise everyday. Again, not about looks, but actually loving and caring about yourself.
I can’t go back in time and change how things were, but I am practicing those lessons now and am striving to be a good example to the children I wish to have in the future.