"I eat because I am sad or bored..."

These were the words that came out of my 9 year-old's mouth a few weeks ago as I told him that a bowl filled to the brim with Special K is not OK! In that moment, my heart broke for him. The fact that he can equate his eating out of filling an emotional need at such a young age is great, but it doesn't make helping him find a better way to deal with those emotions any easier. I remember feeling that same way for so long, but I never put words to it. I just fed the empty feeling inside. The food never filled the empty spot, though. It just hid me behind a mound of fat that made me invisible to the world. It was my protection of sorts.

Over the last week, I have finally reached a huge milestone. I have lost 100 pounds since I was at my heaviest weight. Here I am at one of my friend Amy's wedding at my heaviest:

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Seeing that picture of me makes me want to cry. My eyes fill with tears because on the outside I felt beautiful and had a wonderful time that night. On the inside, I was dying little by little. That picture was taken in November 2007. In 2008, I gained and lost the same 12 pounds I don't know how many times. My grandpa died in January of that year and that was the beginning of the stirring inside of me. Just after my 14 year wedding anniversary, I started to ask myself what I was doing in this marriage and in my life. I was back in a haze of "doing" and not in the phase of living. It took until April 2009 before I got serious about my weight loss, though. Down that 12 lbs from my heaviest at this point, I had just come back from a family vacation where I loved the time and the place, but not me or my life. So, on April 20th, I started to change my life one pound at a time. One change at a time.

In May, I told my husband I wanted a divorce. In July, when our two youngest came back from their trip to their dad's parents for 3 weeks, we told them we were getting divorced. I had moved in with my mom while the little ones were gone (6 and 8 at the time) and home for a few days as we told them and helped them through this change. They spent the rest of that week with their dad. On August 1st, I moved into my new place:
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It has been very freeing to take my life back and begin a new journey with my eyes wide open. To know that I don't have to accept less than I deserve. To choose to live each day PRESENT. That has been the best gift I have given to myself--living in the moment and not borrowing trouble from what may be ahead. To not focus on what I have not and instead to focus on all the blessings in my right now. I love the way I feel. I love to be happy. I love to exercise and feel energized. I love fresh fruit and veggies. I love not feeling bloated or full or stuffed to the point I could vomit. I love not having to fill an empty spot with things that never make the void go away. Today and every day going forward, I choose to make the most of and the best of this life I have been given. I have found my happiness locked deep inside of me and released it from the inside out. Now, it's time to share the love and happiness with others. Join me?

This is me on 11/12/10:
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