This happened towards the end of last week and I've really been thinking about it. Someone I know came in sat down and sighed. ""Why can't I be more like you?" she said. I turned to her starting to laugh thinking she was being funny. Then I saw that she was staring at me with the serious look on her face.
"What do you mean?" I said.
"I just look at you and think 'She did it! So can you!' But I have tried this so many times and I just screw up over and over. I guess I'm just going to be fat forever." And then she burst into tears. "You look so fantastic!" she continued "I just want to have that...."
Two things came into my mind. My first instinct was to say that I don't look good. You see when I see myself, I see hanging ugly skin on my thighs and disgusting stretch marks. But I stopped myself. For someone who is overweight, looking at someone like me - that's clearly not what she sees.
And then immediately my heart just went out to her. That guilt, shame and desperation in her voice. It's a powerful feeling that I remember OH SO WELL. The desire to give almost ANYTHING - and I mean ANYTHING - to be thin. Or maybe not even thin. I didn't ever think about that, really. I fantasized about being NOT FAT. A size 14 would have been a dream come true.
I didn't know what to say to this person. I can offer all the tips and tricks in the world. But I can't take the journey for anyone. And I have no great words of wisdom that will suddenly make someone get it. Hell, I am clueless to why I got it! How am I supposed to help anyone else?
All I could tell her is that I'm there for her and can and will offer any support that she needs. I felt that my words rang hollow.
This journey is so hard. But the good news is - if you're anything like me - once you make all the sacrifices and go through the struggles - it doesn't have to be hard forever.
At least, that's my experience. I still struggle at times to make good choices. BUT, I am gaining confidence and learning that I can resume a close to normal life. Last night I had a Boston Cream "walking sundae" that I bought from Price Chopper. It was fricking delish! And I didn't give hardly a thought to the calories even though there had to be a ton. I ate it and enjoyed it and didn't feel a bit guilty. I can do that now.
Because today, I ran 13 miles. And as I type this, there is a wonderfully healthy and yummy turkey chili simmering on the stove that will be our dinner. For me, this is working. I hope - with all my heart - that this can find a way to - gulp - be like me - even though it's still hard for me to believe that anyone wants that!!