Somedays I feel like I’ll always live between two worlds with people. There are the people who knew me when I was heavy (or most of my life) and those that know me now. Those that knew me all those years are stunned to see me now and sometimes it takes them a moment to even recognize me.
One funny story about this when my friends Mom started going back to church. She was on the cusp of turning 95 and after years of not leaving her house her new caregiver started bringing her back to church. When I saw her I hugged her and told her how happy I was to see her. For my friends, her returning to church was an answered prayer. We were so happy. Every week I’d see her and hug her and tell her how great it was to see her.
A few weeks later it was time for her 95 birthday party. I show up with my husband and give her a kiss and we take our seats at the table. She leans over to her caregiver and whispers, “Why is that lady from church at my party?” He tells her that it’s me. She says. “No, Nate, Regina is a much bigger girl.”
I knew that I looked different but in that moment I saw just how much.
My brother owns a gym and he has done some incredible transformations with people. He really shows them how to release their inner warrior. Despite his many attempts to help me I was never ready to help myself. I always looked to him for motivation and I still don’t think he understands just how important he’s been to my transformation. He’s quite an inspiration.
This Christmas he threw his annual party for his members and he asked me how much weight I’d lost. I said 22olbs. The look on his face dropped and he seemed stunned for a second and he looked across the room and said, “You lost the DJ!”
Throughout losing weight I would think of things I lost like 50b bag of potatoes, 10 cans of Crisco. I liked a good visual reference. I never stopped and thought I’d lost a person. A grown person. A grown man person.
I looked over at that DJ and pictured putting him on my back and walking up the stairs, trying to get dressed, and getting out of a chair. Imagine that. That was my life. Struggling for air, trying not to sweat, with every bone in my body aching… with seemingly no way to stop it. By the time I called about weight loss surgery I was really resigned to the fact that this was going to be my life for the rest of my life.
People often ask me about loose skin, not eating sweets, and the many other things I’ve done to get where I am. Sometimes they seem surprised like not eating cookies for the rest of your life may be fatal when in reality the way I WAS eating cookies really was a death sentence! I tell you what, I’ll take every ounce of loose skin, every salad, everything you may seem I’m deprived of every single day to not have to pick up that DJ and carry him on my back. Some days are harder than others but none have been as hard as that!