If you have never felt like a complete and utter failure, you have never tried to lose weight before.
I read this quote (or one very similar to it) on a discussion board when I was a member of Weight Watchers many moons ago, and it really resonated with me. I’m a private eater. I used to be able to and STILL can consume massive amounts of food without making myself sick. However, I know that eating that much isn’t socially acceptable so I do it in the privacy of my apartment or car where no one can see it…..
Yah right! Everyone could see every single McNugget and Milky Way and slice of pizza when I tipped the scales at 274. It didn’t matter that no one was there to watch me eat a whole bag of Doritos or not. The calories counted regardless of whether I stuffed my face in private or not.
So I decided to do something about it, but I didn’t want to tell anyone at first. If people saw me entering my calories on MFP, that was one thing, but I wasn’t going to put it on Facebook. I wasn’t going to announce it to the world that I was trying to lose weight because let’s be honest here…. I didn’t actually think I was going to succeed.
I worked at it, and after 5 months I was down a respectable 25 pounds. The people that loved me and knew me best knew, but it wasn’t astronomically noticeable. I was still large and obviously had more weight to lose.
I stepped it up and saw awesome results. I lost another 50 pounds in the following 5 months. I can still remember the morning that I snapped this picture:
I know it seems weird to be excited about weighing that much considering I’m only 5’6″. However, I honestly could never remember weighing under 200 pounds since before high school. According to a memory book that my mom kept for me, I weight 186 at the beginning of my 8th grade year. Obviously my weight has been a lifelong issue.
This was the moment that I was willing to go “public.” Obviously I was doing something right, and I had a handle on what I needed to do. Now I wanted to talk about my efforts and lap up the praise and compliments that I was getting. It didn’t seem so scary, and I didn’t think it would jinx my efforts.
I maintained my weight in what my body felt was its comfort zone for over 7 months. My ultimate goal had always been 180. I reached it due to a lot of stress and a nasty stomach flu right before Christmas 2013. Then I gained back to my fluctuating zone (184-194) soon after.
I’ve continued to gain and lose and gain and lose and gain and lose in this zone for what feels like FOREVER!!! However, I know that I haven’t been as diligent as I should be. I haven’t been following a strict diet and exercising like I should.
I let life intervene…. I don’t want to focus on eating right and exercising. All of a sudden it feels like a burden and SUPER hard work. I want to sit and mope around and eat like I used to. I don’t want to be in public any more (mental rant!!!).
Then I got on the scale Monday (4/21/14) morning, and this is what I saw:
I haven’t had a 2 as the first number since May 2013. Happy Monday morning to me! I kicked my scale, and then I mentally kicked myself and took this picture. There is no one but myself to blame. No one force fed me my favorite junk food. No one prevented me from working out. I did it to myself.
I’ve gained 15 pounds from the bottom of my comfort zone. I decided to be brutally honest with myself so I took measurements for the first time in months. OH GOOD LORD!!! I’m up a lot of inches (yes, I take a lot of measurements, but STILL!!!). I still fit into all of my newer smaller sized clothes, but I can feel a difference.
My family and friends ask about my workouts…. I hedge my answers. I’m not as active as I used to be on my online support groups…. It’s hard to participate and encourage others when I feel like a failure and like I’m letting people down.
Thank goodness for those online groups though because in one of our daily challenges we were asked to post one of our favorite quotes. I came across this one as I was scrolling through my pictures, and it was a proverbial positive slap in the face.
The people asking me about my workouts aren’t doing it because they know I’ve been struggling and want to rub it in. They are doing it because they genuinely care about me and my progress, and they want to cheer me on. I’m the one mentally punishing myself for not being perfect.
Did I have an epiphany? Sort of. Did it make going home and eating right simple? Heck no! Did it make me want to go workout like a beast? No, but it did give me the motivation to just do it even though I didn’t want to.
This is where I’m at. I’ve made my efforts public by writing my blog and joining online support groups. I’ve opened myself up to people asking me questions. I can’t resent their intrusion because I don’t want to admit that I’m failing. When I’m completely honest with myself, I need it. I need to be reminded why I’m doing what I do.
My mother is the only person I know brutally honest enough to admit to me if she thinks I’m gaining weight. Don’t get me wrong. She does it in the most positive way imaginable. She’s struggled with her weight in the past and has lost and gained and lost and gained. She doesn’t want me to have to start over from scratch once again. She is cheering me on even when she is saying things I don’t want to hear. I need her to do this for me! I may not seem grateful, but I really am.
I want to be healthier. I want to keep fitting into my new cute clothes. I don’t want to have to start over. So I’ll stay public. I’ll admit that I’m struggling. But as long as I admit it and keep posting, it gives me the motivation to keep from quitting. I’m taking positive steps to not only get back to my comfort range but to hopefully also surpass it and reach my new ultimate goal!