It takes seven attempts, on average, to quit smoking. Seven. How many attempts does it take before you officially quit having a weight problem? Or is it a little more complex than that?
I lost 60 pounds a year and a half ago. It was a lot of work but I went into it with an outrageous enthusiasm and I celebrated, week after week, as the pounds slipped away. I followed my husband’s medical weight loss program and was so proud that I was, at the time, his most accomplished patient. I also attended Weight Watchers meetings so that I could have my own sense of accountability, outside of my husband’s accomplishments. I faithfully weighed in each week & I can even remember weeks where I had six pound weight losses that were recorded. I was a ROCK STAR. The compliments came POURING in. People were noticing that I had lost weight and were not only impressed but inspired by what I had done. I was on an emotional and physical high. I was enjoying my new body... I loved looking in my mirror and seeing a younger looking, more angular face. Shopping was JOYFUL as I became able to shop in areas of the store I had been restricted from for so long, because of my size. I was not only exercising, but I was starting to run at the gym and making plans to join some 5k runs. Things were going so well and I had never felt better about myself in my adult life.
... so why did I just quit ...?
I can think of many reasons. Are they legitimate reasons or are they just stupid excuses? Life is always going to throw you curve balls - I suppose it’s up to each person to decide how off track we’re going to get during frustrating times. I just don’t think I was as prepared as I needed to be. When things became frustrating, or difficult, or disappointing, or hard... I turned to the one coping mechanism I was most comfortable with: Food. Being fit and thin are things that are foreign to me- being overweight and eating the wrong things are easy, aren’t they? At the end of the day, when push came to shove, even though my exterior had become smaller and my endurance was better, I was still an overweight person on the inside. And when the person on the inside struggled... I fed her.
So here we are, again. I’ve gained back quite a bit of weight- probably 40 pounds. I’m disappointed with myself and I’m also embarrassed. It’s hard to see people, feeling like they are thinking “wow... she gained it back.” I was even visiting with a patient at the practice who was telling ME about how she had read the “rebuildingamy” blog... and she had no idea she was speaking with the author.
I want to start again. I want to go back, mentally, to where I was eighteen months ago - - but how do I recapture that passion? I can remember being on the elliptical machine at the gym and being aware of how uncomfortable I was but also knowing it was going to get better. Now I’m back again, pretty much at square one. The other thing I need to consider is what I’m going to do, this time, to not make the same mistakes I made before. Even though the main stressor I had in my life before is now gone, there will always be something around the corner that can throw me off track. School gets out next week- I worry about changes in routine... Will Lauren be okay with going to the gym? What if we travel this summer? Will I be able to work out? Can I eat correctly? And what can I do to understand the person inside a little better? I need to get my head around the “why” of obesity so that I can have a better understanding of what my needs are and how to handle them.
At this very moment, I’m getting ready to start. This second, I’m contemplating and preparing. There is a person I am and there is a person I want to be. I’m thankful for who I am- I’m thankful for my life, my children, my husband (who thinks I’m HOT, no matter what size I am!)... but there’s a better life to live. I recently came across a box of photos that have been taken over the 13 years of our marriage. As I looked at each photo, I could see the pain in my face as the pictures were taken. I was uncomfortable with my body 13 years ago, 10 years ago, 8 years ago... a week ago. I don’t want to continue on this path but it’s up to me to make the necessary changes. Got to get my head around it..... again............