Dr. Oz's orders, "It’s not about the number on the scale; it’s about our waist size." When I think back, I remember when I initially determined my goal weight, I felt as if I created a magical number where the world would be a wonderful place once reached. I initially set my goal of 150 pounds because anything less truly seemed insurmountable to me. In order for me to just reach that number, it meant 220 pounds to lose and the sheer thought of that made me sweaty. In the back of my head, though, 135 sounded like a much better number, even having a ring to it; it was a number I would much prefer to weigh. When I did hit my goal weight, I thought, "Now, let’s ice the cake." Meaning, that I’d just keep on going down on the scale until I hit what I deemed to be my utopia!
Unfortunately, the problem was that I was unable to make my body release any more weight. I had begun running 6 miles a day, 7 days a week (as well as caloric restriction.) Truly, a new obsession was forming. I would get on the scale daily to see if the numbers were dropping, and if they didn’t, my spirits would sink ever so slightly. I began to wonder if I needed to run longer, faster, longer or harder. Should I eat EVEN less?
Something was not right with that picture. Was the “new life” I was meant to lead destined to be strapped to a treadmill? The sheer thought of that existence seemed nearly as miserable as weighing 400 pounds again. I remember sitting down with my mom and my sister and crying, feeling like I was not up for the task of my new-found weight. I felt like I didn‘t have the strength to “keep up“ this existence. I was growing weary mentally and physically. I remember that they both chimed in together and said, "Maybe YOUR body doesn’t want to weigh 135." But, how could that be? I WANTED my body to weigh such a number and my will wanted it to as well. It took a couple of weeks for me to realize that running for an hour, 7 days a week, was not healthy for me. For example, my knees were beginning to hurt in a different way. This time, though, from overtraining. I conceded and put on 10 pounds.
I soon realized, that my body's healthy range is 145-150 and I am confident that my success and health is not dependent on a number. This journey is about balance and finding such harmony in eating, living, thinking and exercise. That is why “diets” that I had tried in the past, claiming to eliminate any major food group just didn’t ring true within my heart and didn’t seem to be sound to me. So, my journey ended in finding balance in the maintenance of my weight. Incidentally, I was treading on thin water, having one food addiction turning into another form of addiction or obsession. I found that my food addictions had shackled me for nearly my whole life and I was not about to be put back into a cage again. Therefore, the freedom of living in balance and victory keeps me positive. My friends, I no longer have to obsess about a number on a scale, for that is not where my happiness lies. I do not need to fit into a particular pair of jeans to find contentment. My journey has been a bit of a pilgrim’s progress to speak. Now, as Dr. Oz states so often, our success lies in a waist size and renewed health. I too can say waist size is the only number I care about as well. This number means that I’m healthy. It tells me that I have lowered my risk for disease and death.
In fact, I can even tell you that I have not even gotten on the scale for years until I stepped on to reveal to America such a number. This freedom from the entrapment that can so quickly entangle us is gone for me. I urge you again…be careful to NOT let one addiction evolve into another. Throw away your scales! Rather, keep handy a tape measure for your waist. Focus on your health and wellness, whether losing or maintaining weight. Remember, balance! I want you all to live in the safety zone. You can overcome your addictions regarding food. Do not live in fear; live in freedom!