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Confession...

Posted on by Kate Ball

I'm over a not-so-brief "fat girl" phase. 

Before...

...and after!

AKA: I used to be obese;

I used to weigh over 200 lbs. in the last five years; I've lost over 70 and kept it off. 

Good for me, right? Good for everyone around me, actually. Since then, I've found it easier to live a happy, positive, productive life. 

Sometimes, obviously, I still think about it. What it was like to be that person. That fat girl.

As that fat girl, I was definitely in denial. "I need to lose a few" was my mind set when it should have been "I need to completely change my life". I never considered myself to be "out of shape" or "obese." 

I had always been "chubby" border-lining "the fat kid." My friends, even as children, always reassured me that it was "just a phase" or I simply would "grow out of it." I didn't. In fact, I grew into it. I'd put on excessive weight since I'd moved to Arizona - and my sister & our long-time-friend had noticed it when they flew in from New York (to Arizona) to go on a hiking excursion in Sedona. 

As we hiked, they would wait for me to catch up, encourage me to press on - and it felt great to be in their positive presence. I was finding things out about myself that I never knew before. 

Sedona is supposed to be "magical" in the sense that it has "vortexes of energy" beneath its red rock & dessert tundra. I'm still too skeptical to believe in anything beyond what I can see... and yet - no vacation, no moment in my time has been more life altering or significant that those two days in that landscape.

Our last afternoon together, the three of us went to a Whole Foods-esque grocery. One of the girls suggested quinoa-something-or-other and I actually enjoyed eating it. They had, what I believe, was a delicate intervention with me and my weight. "Have you ever tried yoga?" one of them inquired. "No, I've heard of it - but I don't really know what it is..."

A week later I found myself in an yoga class right around the corner from where I lived. I had no idea what to expect. My body was tight and uncoordinated. I felt uncomfortable sitting cross-legged and my feet quickly fell asleep. In forward fold, I couldn't touch much past my knees, let alone my toes, and I felt extremely aware of all of this as I stole glances around the room of women (some heavy, but no one like me) flowed through their poses.

For some reason, despite my awkwardness, I found it in myself to try again. The yoga studio around the corner wasn't doing so well, despite their wonderful teachers and seriously cheap classes. So for my second attempt: I was alone in a class with two other men, and a male instructor. A dynamic that I haven't experienced since.

The instructor taught a Hatha flow: something I had never done before. The two men practicing were coordinated, strong, built, flexible. I, on the other hand, couldn't hold myself in a high plank, flow through chataranga, or step my foot between my hands into a runner's lunge. I couldn't do much of anything but I certainly tried.

In fact, I pushed myself close to the brink of collapsing. The next day, I paid for it.

My muscles were SO sore from being so engaged for the first time in... ever...  that I literally could not sit up. I literally had to roll out of bed. I equate the measurement of soreness to the day after my first day of snowboarding. Falling time after time after time again & pulling myself up and out of it over and over. Pure muscle pain.

I was hooked. Practicing yoga led me to join a gym, joining a gym led me to buying books about wellness and nutrition, and learning how to eat for my nutrition led me to lose 70+ lb.. Throughout the process, I derived and overwhelming-sensations-of-success winning tiny battles: Touching my toes. Running a mile straight. Every pound lost.

My body visually looks great, sure - but I feel better! I have more energy than I ever did at 19 (which is when this transformation occurred) - it was worth every second of pain of self discovery. 

I know I'm supposed to be a musician, a singer, an artist. But what I really am is multi-dimensional. I want to share more than just my experiences with music: I want to share my being. And hopefully, I'll inspire others to do the same