Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Anniversary

September 28, 1993: the worst day of my life.

Every facet of my being sobbed; my 11 year marriage was decaying, the muscles of my back never ceased their relentless spasm, and as I stood on the bathroom scale, “250 pounds” insulted me in unforgiving window.

I felt ancient. I guess it was therefore appropriate that we were “celebrating” my 39th birthday on that grey day.

Once the guests departed, I placed my birthday cake into its bright pink bakery box, closed the lid, and gingerly positioned it in the kitchen garbage atop wads of discarded wrapping paper. During the dark, lonely, places of the wee morning hours, I returned, kneeled, and – scooping with my hands - wolfed down the worn cake.

Obese since childhood, I was the fat kid last chosen, scoffed, insulted, accosted. “Husky” pants and XXL shirts were my trademarks. Self-loathing was nothing unusual. Nevertheless - that dark moment, on my knees, eating from the garbage - I plummeted to depths I had never known.

When one tires of walking into walls, it is time to open a door, no matter how painful the expected journey. So frightened, frustrated, and resentful - I reluc-tantly returned to my meetings after a decade-long absence. Promising myself I'd reach optimum weight by age 40, changing my life in 365 days seemed too swift. Weirdly, that same period seemed to stretch out unendingly into forever.

Night, day, hour, minute, I attempted to stay true to my vision. Emotions were analyzed, habits were changed, and patterns shattered. At times, 10 minutes of restraint felt like decades - culminating September 27, 1994 - 364 days from placing foot upon this path as the scale reflected a loss of 70 pounds: Goal Weight! A bright red LED flashing "179" was the only outward indicator of this momentous occasion. However, in my heart choirs of angels sang.

Weight loss does not make us better people; I am simply a thinner version of Me. Yet the process of change serves as an awakening of what can be accom-plished with devotion, direction, and dedication. What powerful beings we mortals can be! Today - 12 years later - I am more proud of that accomplishment born of pain than any other decision I have made.

September 28, 1993: one of the best days of my life.

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