At 300 pounds I didn’t really fit into social situations very well. I spilled over chairs. Got stuck in restaurant booths, and sat on the sidelines of life. As active members of our church John and I were involved in an adult class. Most of the other couples in our class had small children and we would often get together and celebrate holidays and events.
Getting left behind at one of those events made me so sad that I had to go to the car and have a little cry.
The season was fall. It was Florida so I can’t really say that the leaves were turning on the trees, but at least it wasn’t 90 degrees right then. The class decided that it would be a lot of fun to go to a church member’s farm and have a cookout and a hayride. My fat person antenne immediately went up. Hayride. I didn’t do hayrides. It wasn’t that I was allergic to the hay, or afraid I’d fall out. No, I knew I wouldn’t be able to haul my 300 pound self up into the wagon. No stinkin’ way.
So I tried everything I could to get out of going. I made up scary scenarios. I tried convincing John to go out of town. I said I didn’t have the right clothes (this was true.) But no go. The girls were thrilled to go on a hayride and cook hotdogs over the fire and mom was going with them.
So off we went. It was just as I expected. Unfcomfortable standing around trying to look like I wasn’t about ready to crush the hay bale I was sitting on. Laughing as yet another marshmallow fell into the fire, saying, “Well, I probably didn’t need that smore anyway.” But the worst part came when everyone piled into the wagon and left me standing there holding up the fence post. I volunteered to stay behind and clean up a bit because I really “didn’t like the smell of hay.”
John and my friends looked at me when I uttered those words. They must have known the truth but thankfully no one said anything. The wagon left me behind and I had to flee to the car to have a little cry. Once I fixed my make-up and got back to the cookout site I ate three bars of chocolate that someone had left sitting on a bale of hay. I was so sad.
Fast forward 3 years. Same scenario with one big difference. I had gone from 300 pounds to about 180 pounds. I had lost a whole person and couldn’t wait for the fall hayride and cookout. This time there was no stopping me. I was going to go on that hayride.
The wagon pulled up and I hopped up the high step with ease. I held onto the girls and our whole family enjoyed riding around the man’s farm. I felt like a new person. I had cute clothes on. I felt svelte. I felt energetic. I felt alive.
It may sound like a trite experience to those of you who haven’t experienced extreme obesity, but believe me it wasn’t. Even though that hayride was a long time ago, it was one of those non-scale victories I’ll never, ever forget.
Have you had a good non-scale victory lately? Sometimes those non-scale victories are sweeter than the scale variety. They last longer and are indelibly seared on our memories. Diane