Actually, I’m lying. I know exactly how it got out of control.
It was two and a half years ago I had a bright idea that I didn’t need my anti-anxiety medication, despite the fact I was finally stabilized on a cocktail of 3 medications after fighting different side effects from different drugs for 15 years. I thought I could just take a few vitamins, maybe do some acupuncture, and then I’d not only need less sleep and be less hungry, but I’d finally not need to take meds for the first time since I was 14.
As I worked with a naturopathic doctor to wean myself off my medication, I started to gain weight – a lot of it. I didn’t see it right away, though I could feel it in my jeans that were too tight and my dresses that no longer fit. In a rare photo of myself from the summer of 2011 I realized just how much weight I had gained, yet I was in denial.
Maybe it was a bad angle. Maybe it was just that shirt.
After my short stint in Vegas, I realized I needed back on my medication — but the damage had been done. I started living in sweatpants and baggy sweaters. I didn’t own a scale, but I knew I was nowhere near the weight I claimed on my driver’s license.
Then, in April 2012 after I financially recovered from the disaster that was Las Vegas, I moved back into my own apartment in Seattle. I pulled out a scale I’d had in storage and with one deep breath stepped on it.
The number fluctuated and finally stabilized. 171.
In that moment I was not shocked. I didn’t cry. I knew my weight was out of control. I had stepped on the scale, though, not out of despair, but as a literal first step of recognizing the problem. Because I needed to know just how bad this situation was to do something about it.
the thing was, I wanted to do something about it – and I wanted to start that day. It was either going to be that day or never, and I was going to regret never taking control of my health.
One of the best pieces of motivational advice I’ve ever read goes something like “Tomorrow you’ll wish you started today.”
So I started that day – not the next. I went to Best Buy and bought a FitBit, then went home and ordered a WiThings scale. There was no dieting; just myself vs. my iPhone, counting calories. I may have been a little hungry at the beginning; I may have cheated a few times. Surprisingly, the weight poured off and I lost nearly 35 pounds by the end of 2011.
By April 2012, I was down to 129.
I write this now not as a weight loss success story, but as a reminder (mostly for myself) that if you want to start anything, start today. As I approach 2014, I’m starting to think about my goals, which include speaking and writing more. I’m lucky to be surrounded by some pretty inspiring people who push me hard, but I’ve also found I’m a great procrastinator. One of the most common things successful people do is get things done today. (And we all know how much I’m driven by success.)
So note to self: Get it done. Start it today. Tomorrow, you’ll be sorry you didn’t.