When I got my learner’s permit at fifteen, I had to step on a scale in front of a stranger and let her take down my weight as 190 lbs. That number stayed on my license through college, despite my having gained over sixty pounds. When I became a Georgia resident in 2011, I finally told them to change it to 210 lbs. Neither number was anywhere near accurate. Even when I was on Weight Watchers in 2008, I gave up before breaking 210. I let myself be defeated. I couldn’t see my final goal in sight, and so when I tried to focus on the long-term, I couldn’t see myself making it.
On this journey, I’ve started thinking in increments of ten. I could lose ten more pounds, right? And that’s what I focused on. At ten pounds goals, I rewarded myself. After the first ten pounds, I bought a pair of size 16 jeans. After the next ten pounds, I got my first ever massage. On May 3, 2012, I broke my 2008 barrier of 210 lbs., and I finally bought my ticket to New York…
…and on June 5, I broke 200 lbs.
I had hovered for two weeks around 203 lbs., and that morning I weighed in on the Wii at 200.6. I was exasperated, so I rode over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and bought a real digital scale. I came home, shaking and angry, stripped naked, and weighed myself. 199.8. I bawled like a baby. When I called my mama, she couldn’t tell if I was happy or sad, I was crying so hard.
I did it. I lost another ten pounds, and with it, I put a nail in a mentality I’ve held for too long, one of I can’t and I’ll never make it. Now that little barrier, once so intimidating, has become an enormous monument for me. It makes my goal achievable. All I have to do is lose ten measly pounds.
Forty pounds down is only two pounds away. Soon, fifty will be only ten more. I can do ten, again, and that’s how I’ve got to keep thinking about it. I told myself that I wanted to be 190 lbs. when I went on vacation. I told myself that my reward for that ten pounds would be seeing my brothers, who haven’t seen me at that size since they were twelve and seventeen.
I saw them this weekend weighing 195 lbs. It was an amazing feeling. Soon, that fifteen year old’s weight will be a memory. Here’s to another ten!