In 2001, I weighed 350 pounds and found myself starting over — again. It took me two years to reach my goal. During that time there were many exciting moments, but there were also moments of frustration and, yes, humor too. I thought I’d share one with you today …
It was late winter, about a year after starting my new diet. I had lost more than 100 pounds, but still had 100 to go. I was feeling energetic, alive and full of hope for a healthier future. Then, the unexpected happened. I found a lump. I knew I should tell Mark, see a doctor, something, but I didn’t. I waited, checking it frequently, hoping and praying it would go away. It didn’t. As a matter of fact, it seemed to grow larger daily. I could put off telling him no longer. It seemed particularly cruel now — just as I was losing so much weight. I so wanted to see this thing through to the end, but now …
I lay in bed on my back watching him get ready for work, “Mark,” I began. He turned around quickly at the tone of my voice. I hurried on, trying to keep it light. “I have a lump. It’s right here on my side. It was so small just a few months ago, but it’s gotten larger so quickly. I know I should have said something sooner.” My voice trailed off.
“Let me see.” He came over and I guided his hand to the area. He felt it carefully. His tenderness brought tears to my eyes. A puzzled expression crossed his face. Then a smile. Even a chuckle. “How long have you waited to tell me this?” He queried. “Several weeks,” I answered. “What …” He stood up smiling. “I think, Mrs. Bensen, you’ll find a lump on the other side as well. It’s your hip bone, Kim. You just haven’t felt it in so long, you’ve forgotten what it feels like.”
It took a minute for it to sink in. I furiously felt both sides and the realization that he was right washed over me. I was fine! That awful heaviness I had carried for so long was immediately lifted. I don’t know if I laughed or cried more that morning, but I remember thinking this would be a great story if I ever found the courage to tell it!
This is an excerpt from my book, Finally Thin (Random House 2009). Sometimes I reflect on how long the road seemed back then. The effort was so great. The daily results felt so small. There were many days that I just want to throw it all in and cry. And then in the middle of it all, God would send moments like these — moments of lightness and levity — times of triumph, just when I needed it most.
If you’re in a long stretch of frustration, look for those lighter moments. Take a deep breath and keep on going. Don’t give up. Remember … the only way you won’t lose weight is if you stop trying.
Kim Bensen, author of Finally Thin, was a lifetime yo-yo dieter who lost 200-plus pounds and has kept it off for more than 10 years. She owns the Kim Bensen Weight Loss Center and just opened Kim’s Light Café on Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton. For more information, tips and recipes, go to kimbensen.com.