When I was around fourteen years old, I saw a girl at Carowinds amusement park with the prettiest, darkest tan I had ever seen. It was the 80’s, and dark tans were the most covetous feature a girl could have in the Summer. I was so impressed by her tan that I turned to my dad, excited, and said, “I would do *anything* to have her tan”.
Not missing a beat, and never even looking at me, dad responded, “No you wouldn’t”. I was confused and offended that my dad would presume to tell me what I thought or how I felt. “I would too”, I protested.
Dad, still not showing any thought nor feeling to my desire, said to me, “No, you wouldn’t. The fact that you don’t have that tan right now proves it. If you would do anything to have her tan, then you would have been working toward it just like she has been. You don’t think it just fell on her, do you”?
I stared blankly at him, mouth wide open and nothing coming out. Dad had just taught me something that has stayed with me to this day. If it is something I wanted, then I would have to work for it.
In late September of this year, I finally admitted to myself that I had been abusing my body for quite some time. I was eating anything I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was drinking vast amounts of wine or beer on a daily basis. I had gained over one hundred pounds in around an 8 year period. I could barely walk, my hands would go numb and my legs would often cramp from lack of circulation. My weight had skyrocketed to its highest ever, 254.5 lbs. I had to do something.
I began a diet (again) on a Monday morning in late September. I had tried and failed a hundred times before. This time, I wasn’t going to do Weight Watchers, Atkins, Jenny Craig, or any of the other popular diets. I was going to create my own and just cut calories by eating healthier and limiting alcohol. It wasn’t really difficult, but what made it not-so-hard this time is the “Doggonit-ness” I had. I clamped onto the idea of this weight loss journey and wouldn’t let go of it for any man’s money. I’d give anything to lose that weight.
I had to say no to a lot of things that I wanted, and I still have to say no. When my friends were having burgers or pizza, I ordered salad. When it was someone’s birthday, I didn’t eat the cake. On vacations, I’d only choose lean fish and vegetables from the all you can eat calabash seafood buffet. I even declined dinner at Rioz , an all you can eat meat-lover’s paradise, and also my favorite restaurant at Myrtle Beach. After losing 50 lbs, I began walking, then ultimately running every day. These sacrifices were all needed to keep me on track, and I accepted it happily. I knew that the reward would be worth it in the end. I would do anything to lose that weight.
Over the last seven months, I have managed to drop 67 lbs, placing me at 187.9 lbs. I’ve also dropped from a size 20 to a size 12. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t come to me telling me how great I’m doing or how amazing I look. I have men trying to catch my interest again. I have women telling me I look so much better. I also have people asking me daily how I am doing it. I always give the same answer. Diet and exercise.
I will succeed at my goal to shed 100+ lbs and ultimately reach my 150 lb target weight. I would do anything to do it. I’m proving that every single day.