I'm tough. When I write, watch a movie, read a book or play a video game, in my mind I'm always the hard-shelled, hard-hitting heroine with a sassy wit, tempered with a heart soft as an angel's wing.
The problem is that I'm actually the reverse of that, soft and weak on the outside and in no way fit enough to do the things I love but worst of all my heart has become hardened against anyone that might or might not judge me for my obesity.
When I started this journey, I wasn't even sure if it was possible for me to lose weight. For some reason it was stuck in my head that no matter how little I ate or how often I exercised, I would always weigh 230 lbs.
Fast forward a few years and slowly but surely I've proven to myself that I am able to lose weight. It's been three steps forwards and two steps back, but even at that rate I'm seeing some progress. I'm under 200 lbs now, but again I've hit a plateau.
It's almost as if that part of me that couldn't believe that I could ever lose weight is still lurking there in the background, waiting patiently for the inevitable moment of weakness or distraction to seize upon my insecurities and push me back, time and time again, hoping to put me off balance, swipe my feet from under me, use my own weight to prostrate myself and triumphantly drawing first blood with the twitch of the thin pointed blade against my throat, just hard enough so that I know this is not only a duel of honor but life and death itself.
Too often, my insecurities and overwhelming feelings of inadequacy win out over my new found optimism and hard-won self-confidence. I can't even count the number of times, I've picked myself up out of the dust, sore all over, disgusted with my weakness, blind with unshed tears and biting my lip to keep it from quivering with fear and frustration, but get up I did.
It occurs to me that this is not just a battle, this is a war! But battle by battle, I'm gaining ground. Every time I don't give in, I win. Every time I make a good decision, I win again. I can feel my muscles becoming battle hardened, my wit sharpening gaining the measure of my opponent, my confidence growing with every lunge, parry and riposte. This is a fight to the death against an opponent that knows me so intimately that I can’t feint. There will be no trickery involved here. This duel to the death will be hard won with no little amount of blood, sweat and tears. There is no way around it. I throw down the gauntlet. I step to the line to face my nemesis, my own worst enemy, my former self.
“Je suis prest.” (I am ready.)
“Tulach ard!” (War cry – The High Hill)