Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

The first time I read that, I thought to myself, "BULLS**T".  After all, I'm a pretty skilled cook, and can create orgasmic gourmet meals on the fly out of little more than a couple of random items lurking in the back of the cupboard. Having never given in to the typical recreational addictions people pursue, I had landed on food as my unhealthy obsession... and it was all about FLAVOR, baby. Many, many times my mouth would keep craving long after my belly protested, which eventually landed me in the morbidly obese hot seat.

Of course, at the time I was 225 pounds of post-baby, marital depression hotness, and as such resistant to anything that threatened the sanctity of the only reliable and faithful lover I had ever known... FOOD.

It was a difficult decision to walk away from that relationship.  I chose to leave on many occasions, and would get thirty, forty, and even fifty pounds away before food would slowly lure me back in and seduce me with fried bits of heaven and chocolatey goodness. It seemed it would never end, this on again, off again love affair.

Even the threat of a shortened life span, difficulty breathing, total lack of energy and desire for all things helpful were not enough to conquer this dysfunctional marriage I had entered into with food.  No matter what I just couldn't get the motivation to get out - and stay out.  My viscious lover was always waiting, always beckoning, holding me hostage one little pound at a time. Comforting me through illness, death, bankruptcy, divorce, and a thousand other losses... celebrating with me each tiny but rare victory that came peppered throughout. On again. Off again. I love you. I hate you. GO AWAY. COME HERE. It was a terrible obsession.

And then it happened...

I'd like to say it was some profound epiphany, that I had a spiritual awakening that inspired the apocolyptic battle that resulted in FINALLY breaking the bond and navigating my escape. Lord knows I had tried that approach many times with mild success on occasion. Nope. Nothing that cool.

It was a guy.

A very sweet, very funny, very entertaining, very hot .... guy.

And I wanted his attention.... BAD.

Unfortunately many of you will read that and be disappointed. You wanted to hear "I chose to be healthy!" or "I did it for me!". But I venture to guess most of you are going to relate, whether you want to admit it or not. As women, we just can't get THAT motivated for our own good. We HAVE to have outside stimulation. You see, it never dawned on me that I already HAD his attention - that he had already seen me as I was - through the barrier of the weight. No, this was no Shallow Hal... this was a real man. And I didn't get it. In my mind I imagined that I was suddenly having to compete with every 98 pound Russian Super Model on the planet... and I was NOT going to be bested by some skinny minnie. My competitive triggers were tripped, I had work to do. LOTS of work to do.

Long story short, that got me motivated to return to the battlefield and conquer this bitch once and for all. I put in the hours, adjusted my nutrition, found activities I could get happy about doing daily that would count as exercise. I set a goal, and a date, and went to work making it happen. I had my eye on THE PRIZE (and what tasty prize indeed!) and I was gonna have it no matter what it took. One day at a time I suited up and showed up, determination in hand, and eventually I hit it. The original goal. The body that could get the attention I imagined I was earning.

This is where the knight on the white horse rides in, right?  Not exactly.

Truthfully, "The Guy" is certainly an ever present intoxicating addition to my life. An appendage really, a piece of me that I cannot fathom being without. Did I "get" this guy you ask? Get to "snag" my crush? "Land" my man? Not quite like I intended to. Maybe in a much more fulfilling way than I had ever imagined. Instead, I got an amazing best friend on a deeper level than I have ever known, really. So I'm figuring out how to deal with being horribly in love with my "friend"... okay, I'm HIS friend... he's MY universe.... sigh.....

Oh don't worry ladies, I'm not giving up on happily ever after just yet. Good things come to those who wait.

The point is I also got something else along the way - I rediscovered ME. And now when I look in the mirror I recognize that girl! And I see her and I want to protect her accomplishments and show her off to the world. I am so proud of what she's done that I have found ridiculous amounts of discipline and self control to keep the evil Ex (unhealthy foods) away. And if not this Guy, eventually, someday, there will be another, and in the mean time the benefits keep rolling in....

The "Skinny Jeans" that I can button without sucking my belly in - and are in fact now too big.
The size "8" dress I put on yesterday that fit like a very flattering glove.
The super cute stilletto heels I can now wear without worrying about balance.
The energy I have. The way my body feels sexy to even me. The compliments I get from loved ones who haven't seen me in forever. The daughter that wants to borrow MY clothes for a change. The young guys who suddenly want to help me pump my gas, or open doors for me, or flirt with me at the check out stand. (They don't have to know my heart is already completely on hold and won't be swayed.) The spa technician that literally thought I was lying to her when I told her my age and how many kids I had given birth to as she worked on my slim naked body. The random strangers who suddenly want to strike up a conversation with me. THE WAY IT FEELS TO STEP ON THE SCALE AND WALK AWAY GRINNING!!!!! Yep all of this and more... feels GOOD. And you see, nothing I ever put in my mouth EVER tasted as good as all that.

So you see Virginia, NOTHING tastes as good as skinny FEELS.

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