Fast forward to much, MUCH later in my adult life. I grew up to be neither a tap dancer nor an astronaut, much to my chagrin. Instead, I found myself on a completely different career path…and in a very sedentary role. Now add the fact that I also grew up coping with life as an emotional eater. I didn’t need to feel hungry in order to eat. Just being happy, sad, glad, mad, or any combination was enough to get me grabbing for the chips. I was nearly 400 pounds before I was 40 years old.
It was needlework that saved me. After more than 20 years of fad diets, consulting with dieticians who didn’t understand emotional eating, and other healthcare professionals who just didn’t get it, I decided to make different decisions. One of those decisions was to pick up needle and thread every time I was tempted to pick up a bag of chips. Or microwave popcorn. Or cookies.
Even the smallest change can be stressful (which makes me want to do what..? EAT!). I took things in stages. Quit diet soda? Start a Lizzie Kate quickie. No more fast food? Grab the project I’ve been stitching for the State Fair competition. I’ve spent the past four years quitting a lot of bad habits by picking up an old favorite: cross stitch.
So far, I’ve lost 119 pounds, dropped 8 sizes in clothes, and am slowly covering my walls with beautiful needlework. I still have quite a way to go on this road, but it feels great to be where I am.
I’m still known to eat ice cream once in a while, but I eat a small bowl…not a pint. I don’t use the drive-thru at Sonic as a substitute for cooking anymore. If I’m really having a bad day, I retreat to my sitting room at the back of the house and curl up in my stitchy chair with one of my latest projects.
It’s been an incredibly cathartic process, building a support system for myself from an old hobby…and now the EGA is part of that support system. The fun and fellowship I’ve experienced since I joined a few months back has been wonderful. Who needs diets? Not this stitcher. I look forward to every Night Group meeting far more than I ever looked forward to that pint of Blue Bell at the end of a stressful day. Change, like needlework, is a beautiful thing.