Jo Cordi Sica
"The key to everything is patience.
You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."
— Arnold H. Glasgow
I was strolling through the mall and spotted my favorite store from years gone by; 5-7-9 Shop.
Not having been in the store in years, I decided to pop in and have a look around. I spotted the
cutest outfit that reminded me of a favorite I had back in my teens; aqua pants with a macramé
belt and a white button down linen halter shirt. I snatched it off the rack and held it up;
trying to imagine what it would be like wearing something like that again. Moving over to a mirror,
I held it in front of me to see what it would look like. Surprisingly, it looked as though it would
fit. Knowing it wouldn’t, but unable to resist the urge, I dashed back to the dressing room to
try it on. I was shocked! It fit! Could this really be me in a size 9?
I rushed out of the
dressing room to the 3-way mirror; surely, there must be a mistake! Slowly turning around in
front of the mirror, I admired how perfectly it fit. This outfit not only fit, but it looked
fabulous. I glanced down at the price tag knowing that no matter what it said, I simply HAD
to buy it.
Just then, my husband called to me from outside the dressing room. What was he
doing there? He wasn’t at the mall with me. I heard him call again: “Jo, it’s 5:30, you need
to wake up!” Oh no, it was all a dream! If there had been even the remote possibility that I
could have found that dream again, I would have promptly called in sick and stayed in bed forever.
Heck, I’d make a hibernating bear look like an insomniac to be a size 9 again!
Dragging myself out of bed to face the closet, I pondered whether I will ever reach my goal of
getting into those size 9s. When I began my low carb journey in January, 2003, I thought that
by May I would be at goal. Now here it is July and I still have another 20 pounds to go. Why
is this taking so long? Why can’t someone invent that pill that I can take at bedtime and wake
up skinny? I was considering all of this as I hunted in the closet for something to wear.
Mindlessly, I grabbed a pair of slacks and a shirt and put them on. As I checked my appearance
in the mirror, it occurred to me that I was wearing a size 12. Okay, so it isn’t my goal size,
but it certainly beats wrestling me into a pair of too tight size 18s, which I once had to do.
I knew it was time to give myself a reality check and adjust my attitude.
I started by thinking about how I got fat in the first place. From the time I was a child I
had issues with food. I’m not going to blame my mother, but I do know that she played a part
in shaping my perspective. She always encouraged me to “have some more.” Then, she would
tell me I needed to be more like my thin cousin. I started on a rollercoaster ride of binging
on sugary junk food then starving myself to make up for it.
When I got pregnant with my daughter,
I gave myself permission to eat everything I wanted. After all, I WAS eating for two. Late in my
pregnancy, my doctor looked at my weight gain of 57 pounds and said “You can stop now!” After
giving birth, I managed to shed about 30 of those pounds. I went from a size 9 pre-pregnancy to
a size 14 post-delivery. I felt fat for a while and then managed to convince myself that 14 was
an average size and I didn’t look bad. While it is true that many women look good at that size,
I am not one of them. I was fooling myself.
After my second child, I was in a size 16 and used
the same rationalization to defend my size to myself. Four years and several tragedies later, I
was having a hard time getting into a pair of size 18s, and bending over to tie my shoes was
difficult. What is the lesson? It took me 8 years to gain all that weight. Expecting to
lose 8 years worth of fat in 4 months wasn’t realistic. I accepted that it came on slow and
it was going to come off the same way. I felt better knowing that however slow it came off,
it was still coming off much faster than it went on.
This realization made me start focusing on how much progress I have made. I feel better than
I ever remember feeling, both mentally and physically. I no longer feel guilty about every
bite of food I put into my mouth. I enjoy rich delicious food and feel good about eating it.
I no longer worry about what other people are thinking when they see me eating. I know that I
am getting sound nutrition to keep my body healthy. I don’t suffer from carb highs and
crashes. The constant hunger is gone and I don’t have the urge to binge. And best of all,
I am wearing a size 12. I may not be at goal yet, but I no longer feel like a fat person.
For the first time in a long time, I am comfortable getting undressed in front of my husband.
I actually feel like I look good. That seems like phenomenal progress in five months.
Finally, I thought about when I can reasonably expect to reach my goal. I have lost 25 pounds
in 5 months. At an average of 5 pounds per month, it will take me another 4 months to reach
my goal. That means that instead of my original plan of May, I could expect to get there in
October. Knowing that the last 10 pounds come off more slowly, I figure December might be
So for now, I am setting my sights on buying a fabulous holiday outfit in
a size 9. I will start 2004 as “the NEW me.” Amazingly, I feel fine with that. The months
are going to roll by anyway, and each month I will be a little smaller than the last month
and that sure beats being a little bigger. Before I know it, I’ll be shopping at 5-7-9 Shop
in real life. As the saying goes, “the best things in life are worth waiting for.” Yes,
patience is a valuable lesson indeed!
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