Sunday, December 14, 2014

And Suddenly You're Just Different

In honor of my birthday week, I put together a photo montage of me from age 18 to 28.  If a photo couldn’t be found from the day of my actual birthday, it is definitely close.  I’m the smallest I can ever remember being and am way lighter than I was in high school at age 18.  It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago I was getting ready for prom, prepping for college, stressing my way through AP statistics class and caring more about my social life than anything else.

Recently, while hanging out with my friend, Aly, we were talking about my blog, and how awesome it is :), and it was brought up how I was fortunate to not be bullied in high school. It’s totally true. No one was ever deliberately mean to me in high school because of my weight. I had plenty of friends, played a sport and was voted friendliest by the senior class. My true friends never saw me as fat, they just saw me as Sarah. Elementary and middle school was where kids were the cruelest.  I can remember crying to my mom over being the fat kid and feeling so ugly.  I was afraid to try new things and go out for teams because when I did, I wasn’t ever good enough.  Kids would call me fat, or other equally creative names but I’ve always been funny and sarcastic so if anyone said anything mean to me I usually had a comment right back. I let being fat define me and believed it was all I would ever be. Being overweight held me back from a lot and lead me to miss out on things. It’s hard to believe that it took 20 years for something to finally come along that was worth giving up being fat for. Not being chosen for cheerleading in the 7th grade, not being asked to prom, being too fat to ride roller coasters, always being in the friend zone, skipping parties in college when being scantily dressed was theme required or being described as the, “big girl with red hair.” None of these things ever pushed me to be successful at losing weight. Nothing was worth the sacrifices and hard work required for long-term results. Until last December.

Around my 27th birthday, I started to panic that life was passing me by. I called my mom to tell her something I hadn’t been able to admit to myself out loud. I’m terrified of being alone for the rest of my life.  What if I miss out on some of the best parts of life because I can't lose weight?  What if I never find my happy?  We talked about it for a few minutes and she said to me, “You know you’re going to need to lose weight.” I know this might sound harsh but I love her so much for saying those 9 words to me. This wasn’t the first time mom and I have talked about my weight but this was the first time I realized she was, as usual, 100 percent right. A few months earlier she asked if I’d be interested in getting lap-band surgery. “It’s not that bad, mom,” I think I countered. It was that bad, I was just so blind to it.  Mom would never say these things to hurt my feelings. She said them because she’s my mom. She wants what all moms want, for her kid to be happy and live a fulfilled life. I quickly realized after our honest phone conversation that I needed to start designing the life I’d been dreaming of. It was time to stop sitting on the sidelines watching others have happiness. I started going to spin classes, I kept up my (small) gym routine through December and attempted eating better. After the holidays, it was incredibly obvious that I was going to need a little help. All of the pieces fell into place after that. Girl gets meds. Meds help girl lose weight. Girl eats less and moves more. Girl starts blog. Girl loses more weight. Girl gets hot. Okay, you’re all caught up.

I have finally found the one thing capable of snapping me out of my fat phase. After all these months, the one thing keeping me going all this time is the same reason why I started. It isn’t a material object, it isn’t money, it isn’t dreams of being skinny, it’s a concept. The concept of a life where I am happy, accepted and loved.  A life where I'm actually living each day not just passing through it.  A life worthy of being the great story I tell my grandchildren when I'm 90.  Hell, actually seeing age 90.

Looking back, I cannot believe how much has changed in a year since that epiphany.  It’s amazing to witness all the engagements, weddings, babies, job changes, moves and personal growths of friends and family.  I know I am a completely different person than I was this time last year.  I guess that’s the fun part about life, you never know what lies ahead.  I never dreamed I would be where I am or have accomplished the things I have this past year.  Sure, I was optimistic but this year has completely exceeded all expectations.

This past year was, honestly, the most rewarding and the most difficult I’ve had in all 28 lived.  In 2014, I found myself.  I found a girl who was tired of the bullshit she was putting herself through.  I was fed up with being me, so I changed.  I finally flipped the light on and became the person I was too lazy to be before.  Twenty seven was a transition and 28 is my debut.

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