One day I woke up ready to stop being fat. It was one of those instant knowings, received whole. I would eat three reasonably-sized meals a day of whatever I wanted. Other than that, I would eat nothing but fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. I would switch from fancy coffee drinks to green tea. Simple.
After I had lost 30 pounds I caught a glimpse of someone in a mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I had to double-take to see who that person was. Oh. Hmmm. It was a very uncomfortable feeling, to not know what I looked like. I decided to press pause. I knew that maintaining a steady weight was probably going to be more difficult than losing weight anyway, so I decided to recalibrate and focus on staying where I was, trying not to lose more.
It was 2005 and I was ready to change my life. Dr. Zbylot’s directive to “find contentment” still echoed in my mind, but I didn’t really know what that meant or how to do it. Since adolescence I had struggled with who I was, what to do, how to find meaning in my life. At last I felt ready to commit. Herbalism had pulled me for so long, but I felt I would be a fraud. How could someone as fat and unhealthy as I was, with such uncontrollable urges, a smoker!, how could I possibly be taken seriously in the healing arts? But I wrote my list of why it made sense, weighed the pros and cons, and applied to herb school.
Purpose found, I let go of the rest of that protective layer I had built up. By the time I finished herb school I was within my healthy weight range for the first time since puberty. Eczema was only a minor irritation in my life, no longer a crippling disability. Another layer shed.