There are many victories that I got to savor as I lost weight and my body shrank in size. Victories such as fitting into the backseat of a car, flying comfortably in a center seat of an airplane, or shopping at a regular store and not the Big & Tall. Most who have faced the battle of being a large person in a normal sized world (and possibly some who have not) will understand these events and the joy of the experience.
There are other small and important victories I experienced along the journey that are known by only me. My favorite of these events occurred about a year into my weight loss. I was rummaging through a storage bin where, as I was gaining weight, I had placed clothes that no longer fit. Most people who have battled weight gain have a similar bin of clothes that they save because, “I’ll lose this weight and wear them again.”
Blessed to have been successful in my gastric bypass weight loss journey, I actually did have the opportunity to wear these clothes again as I began to reduce in size. My pants shrank from size 54 to 34, while my shirt size shrank from a 5x to a large, or even a medium. A medium! I opened the clothes storage bins and began what my friend Jo called “shopping in my closet.”
My greatest joy came when I found an old tee-shirt at the bottom of the bin. I remembered how much I loved wearing it with a pair of jeans and tennis shoes on a Saturday afternoon, back before I’d really gained weight. I slipped my left and right arms into the tee-shirt and through the arm holes and raised them above my head into a V to draw the shirt down. It’s what happened in the next five to ten seconds that was so special.
The tee-shirt, pulled by gravity, simply fluttered as it descended over my head, down my chest, and it continued to descend past my stomach until totally unfurled. It hadn’t been held up by a distended stomach, requiring that I pull and stretch it across a wide expanse of belly in order to get it down. No, it fluttered. It descended on its own, capturing a pocket of air between itself and my body which caused it to flap and flutter as it fell into place. It felt like success. It was a reward. I felt it deeply and savored the moment.
When you lose 200 pounds, you’ll experience many victorious moments. These moments can bring great joy and happiness, fulfillment and reward. Some victories will be big and public, while some may be small and known by only you. The experience of having my tee-shirt flutter down my body, unencumbered by a distended stomach or rolls of fat as it fell to its full length, was my favorite private victory that, until now, was known by only me.
What are some of your favorite moments of victory?