I’m in a private group on Facebook called TeamCommit. It’s a support group, of sorts, for those of us who have committed to changing our lives. We post pictures of the scale when we’re on it, the food that we’re eating, and sweaty selfies after workouts. All so that we have a group of people who are cheering us on and helping us keep going.
The group leader – the awesome Will Bochkay – asked us to share our why this month. Why are we doing this? Why do we want to change?
This is what I wrote.
Here’s my “why”:
I began struggling with serious depression when I was 18, during my freshman year of college. That’s also the year my weight began to skyrocket. I’ve never been thin, but I was never “fat” (regardless of what I thought when I was 16!). At 18, I began to feel worthless. Sometimes I wasn’t sure what the point of living was, though I would never take my own life.
At my heaviest, I was 250 pounds. At my unhappiest, I was 250 pounds.
I wanted to change, but it was always because I was convinced that if I were thinner… if I were prettier… if I were better… then I wouldn’t be worthless anymore. People would like me. I would find a place in the world. With that kind of motivation, I never succeeded. Food was my companion. My comfort. It was always there when I needed it. It never rejected me, or made me feel as if I didn’t matter. Food became my world. There were times I would literally cry because my family didn’t want to go out to eat when we got together. Food was *that* important to me.
Last year was one of the hardest years of my life. I was over 30, had just gone through a really terrible break up, and I honestly thought I’d never be happy again. I didn’t want to kill myself, but I wanted to die. I simply didn’t want to be on earth anymore. Luckily, it turned out that *some* of the mood swings and depression were fueled by Topamax, a medication I was taking as a migraine preventative. Once I weaned myself off of it, I began to feel more like myself again. And suddenly, it was as if a switch flipped in my brain.
I knew that I wanted to be happy. I also knew that I wanted to be happy *for me* and not because I hoped making myself subjectively better would improve my social life. This shift in thinking has made all of the difference.
I began this new journey on January 6, 2014, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve lost 16 pounds and 27 inches (though I’m down 33 from my heaviest). I get excited about going to the gym, especially when I break personal records in lifting. I *never* thought I would become a lifter!
I still have bad days. I still fail sometimes. But I have come such a long way – and I couldn’t do it without supporters like all of you in this group.
I will be happy.
I will be healthy.
I will be a better me.
All because I finally want this for myself.