My name is Anne, but you can call me Happy Fun Pants.
I'm 34 and I live in beautiful Denver, Colorado. I'm quirky, quick-witted, can't sleep after watching a scary movie, and a loyal friend. I also tend to steal the covers at night. During Sundays in the fall, you can usually find me on the couch cheering for my favorite NFC football teams (the Broncos, the Bills, and whichever team is playing the Cowboys).
In July of 2008, I decided that I couldn't take living my life any more...at least not the way I was living my life. I was depressed, at my wits end in regards to my relationship with food, and 280 pounds.
On that Monday, I knew I needed help to lose the weight and stop emotionally eating. I decided to go to either Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous. Weight Watchers had a Monday meeting after work and OA's meeting was Tuesday. THAT is the real reason I chose Weight Watchers.
Somewhere between 45 and 55 pounds lost, I stalled out. I was in a familiar pattern of feeling okay about myself, wanting to please others by being thinner, and still not "doing the work" to lose the weight. I started to again ask myself what was wrong with ME that I couldn't lose the weight. Was I intrinsically flawed? Was this how my life was going to look forever? Constantly avoiding my reflection in the mirror because I was ashamed of how I looked?
But then, I started to question the process itself. I realized that I didn't want my life to be about points. I didn't want to judge my worth on another 10% goal or a sticker, about grams of fiber, or whether I ate "good" and "bad" foods. And slowly the realization hit me that there had to be a better way - one where my relationship with food was healthy; one where I didn't loathe myself but I could still be healthier - mind, body, and spirit.
I discovered Intuitive/Mindful Eating earlier this year - and my life hasn't been the same since. At first the concept was scary and kooky - I mean, wasn't eating intuitively what got me to 280 pounds in the first place? But as I discovered more about the mindset, I realized that intuitive eating is just a way to be curious about your own self. It's a way to look, objectively, at what you're doing and (at the risk of sounding like Dr. Phil) ask yourself how what you're doing is working for you.
Since practicing mindful eating, I've started to lose weight again. I've begun to actually realize that food is just food...and then it's poop. If it's anything more, I'm probably feeding my emotions. It takes real courage to not binge when life gets tough...and oh, how it gets tough. But at the other end of every challenge, I feel stronger, more sure of myself. I'm proud of who I am, regardless of what number the scale says.
The coolest thing is that my weight gets less as I start to love myself more. Who knew that Oprah had it right all this time?
I've run in many races and am currently training for my first 10K. I've still got weight to lose, but each week, it's feeling like less and less of a challenge.
I'm not sure what the world has in store for me, but I'm just now realizing that since planning things out in advance rarely works, I'll just enjoy the ride.