Dealing with your "Before" when you hit your "After"

Butterflies and unicorns and rainbows


Exactly how I envisioned life after hitting my "goal weight"!!

But that wasn't reality.

Shocking I know. ;)

I've written on my blog (Weight Off My Shoulders) how the day after hitting goal the inner demons I fought for so long were still there. Except now they weren't buried under all the weight. They were right in front of me, raw and ready to be dealt with.

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For years, I told myself: "If you just lost 50 lbs you would be so happy and life would be okay." And I remember having that EXACT same discussion with my aunt when I was 12. I remember riding in her car after we left the mall and saying to her: "I need to lose 50 lbs." Okay so apparently the number 50 was relevant or I just pulled it out of my ass - I'm not sure which.

But over and over I said once I lost the weight I would like myself. I would be happy. I would be able to release the thoughts of hurting myself and the depression would go away.

In 2006, I hit the bottom of dealing with two eating disorders and cutting. I had found a way to "control" my weight and my emotions. I got to my lowest weight in the beginning of 2007 (at the time around 180) and thought everything was okay!



But after an intervention of sorts with friends, I stopped the cutting and tried to take a handle on the eating disorders, which led me to regain almost all the weight I had lost.

Reenter depression.

So I joined Weight Watchers in November 2009 and was ready to lose the weight in a healthy way.


And damn those WW people for not only helping me get a handle on the healthy eating aspect of weight loss, but for showing me that it is more of a mental game than anything. You have the change your thinking in order to make the weight stay off.

Sneaky WW very sneaky.

So through the journey, the confidence rose, the happiness level with myself increased, but at the core of it all I still OWNED negative self talk.

I will say that thankfully the suicidal thoughts deteriorated over the course of time. THAT in itself is a huge F-in win!! I had those thoughts since high school.

But as I hit goal on January 2012 and Lifetime in February 2012. The little voice in my head was still there. You aren't worthy of this new life - this new you. You still suck.


So it was at that point. As I become the "after" that it was time to dig through all the emotional gunk to truly find out how I let myself get to that miserable 230 lb person.

And that is the journey I am on now. There is no quick fix to find out what was at the core of the pain, but as long as I keep searching I will find answers.

For many of us, the true work of reaching goal is when the mental game catches up with the physical.

That is why I put more stock into the non-scale victories than the number on the scale itself. Because when I read 15X on the scale, I am thrilled, but now I know I didn't solve all my life's problems by losing XX lbs. I will solve life problems by looking inward and truly facing what is going on.

Depression ... cutting ... self-loathing. None of that is fun, but I need to face it if I want to beat it.

Many people can go to therapy and work through these issues with a third party. It isn't for me. I tried it and hated it. But for some reason sharing those same inner demons on this blog, I find that release. I find that the weight gets lifted off my shoulders.

So I continue to journey.

I continue to tackle with my "before" as I live in my "after"!



... are okay! This simple three word sentence has taken me YEARS to understand and accept.

Well, I'm still working on accepting it, but getting closer and closer.

For years, I put on the smile and kept the way I really felt buried deep deep down. And in case it wasn't far enough, I piled food on top to make sure it was good and packed down. And to make sure the food was covered, I loaded up on layers and layers of fat to really make sure no one knew what was really going on on the inside.

There were times in high school where all I thought about was ending it all. I would look out on to the backyard or lay in bed and wonder if people would even miss me or show up to the funeral. But, I never wanted to burden anyone else with my thoughts or problems so I just let them sit in my brain and fester those negative thoughts. Which I think has to my ongoing journey of trying to nix the negative in my head.

For years I would tell myself that if I only lost weight all my problems would disappear. I can vividly see me - maybe in 8th or 9th grade - sitting in the car with my aunt telling her: "If I just got rid of like 50 lbs, everything would be better."

Well, news flash: losing weight does NOT make the problems/emotions/negative thoughts magically disappear. 


But, what losing weight has taught me is that it is okay to have feelings. It is okay to share the feelings. It is okay to release the feelings.

So now, when I am sad or mad or happy or frustrated or depressed I no longer feel like I have to bury those emotions under a plastered on fake smile.

I am allowed to be sad even when I feel it isn't justified. Does that make sense?

I know there are so many things I should be grateful for in my life and I don't want to seem unappreciative, but now I know it is okay to be sad even when I don't think I should be allowed to.

I AM allowed to feel any emotion at anytime. 

Through this blog, this tiny little space on the internet, I have given myself the freedom to release all of the emotional weight that bore down on my shoulders for years ... hence the title Weight Off My Shoulders. ;)

I have shared more on this blog than I ever thought I would. I thought I would bring those dark demons - eating disorder, cutting, etc - to my grave. But, once I wrote the inner thoughts down and hit publish (many times nervously) I felt a wave of relief come over me. I didn't have to bear these demons alone.

And you know what happened? I found others who were going through similar situations. I found confidants that I would never have otherwise. I found an outlet.

Now, I'm not saying everyone has to go around starting blogs - if that's not your thing - but I want to let you know that it is OKAY!

You are allowed to feel however you want.

If you feel more comfortable confiding in friends, do it.

If you want to see a therapist, do it.

If you like to use social media, do it.

But, just let it out.

Don't let the negative thoughts and feelings bury themselves into your brain and foster a harmful environment. I know from personal experience that it takes a looooong time to turn it around.

Just know ... you are NOT alone!

I am still a work in progress, but I know that I will not go back to the miserable/lonely person I was before.