I admit it. I lied. I did it with a straight face.
I lied because the truth was too painful to speak.
Eventually, that lie became the truth.
I was getting my license renewed back home in Louisiana while I was home from college. I thought I would be in and out with no problem. I rattled off all the basic information the DMV agent asked of me.
Date of birth? Christmas Eve.
Height? Five feet, two inches.
Weight? Ummm. Hmmm. Let me see. 176? Yea. 176.
We both knew I was lying. I was well over 200 pounds at the time. Saying it out loud somehow made it more of a reality. So I lied. I picked a weight I thought I would actually be proud to see on the scale. As she typed it in, I promised to eventually make it a reality, not just because I would weigh less, but because I would be healthier.
The years passed by, and my weight only went up. The down a little. Then up some more. That’s because my motivation to lose weight was too superficial in my early 20s. Once I decided to focus on doing it for my health following that high blood pressure diagnosis in 2012, my life changed. Eventually, I lost enough weight to get off of high blood pressure medication. Then, I entered “onederland,” or 199. Getting down to 190 felt awesome. Dropping to 180 was great. And then one morning, the scale read 176. I stepped off. Stepped back on. It didn’t change. I wasn’t dreaming. It was real.
My joy in that moment wasn’t necessarily rooted in the number, but what it represented. It meant a kept a promise to myself, and there’s a great deal of peace that comes with keeping your word. I’m reminded that we can speak out victories into existence, even if it begins as a lie at the DMV.
(Originally published July 25, 2014)