When I was 250+ pounds, I’d sometimes daydream about being smaller. And the one thing that I knew, the one nugget of truth that I held on to, was that if I was EVER blessed with losing the weight, I would NEVER put it back on. I used to speak of it reverently, like a prayer: “God if you blessed me to be smaller right now, I would not let the weight cometh upon my flesh again…” it was a promise I silently recited to myself. Silently because I thought there was no way I’d ever lose 20lbs, let alone a hundred. So I never put a lot of thought into having to keep that promise.
And then I lost weight. A significant amount of it. Even with a few stalls, week after week, I consistently went down on the scale. At the conclusion of a year and a half, for all intents and purposes, I had reached my goal. And then that silent prayer I’d prayed was a real thing. I had told, NAY PROMISED myself (and low key God now that I think of it), that if I EVER got down to a small size, I’d NEVER gain the weight back. It was indeed, time to pay the piper.
I remember when I was still going through the process of losing, and struggling with the work I had to put in daily, talking with another client of my health coach. She had come out on the other side of the weight loss battle, taught and toned, I told her I couldn’t wait to get to her level; the point at which this whole weight loss thing was easy. And I’ll never forget what she said; that it was exponentially harder once you’ve lost weight and reached your goal; that she struggled more with keeping it off, than losing it. I didn’t believe her. How could it be? By then you’d be use to the grueling workouts and clean eating, the routines and rituals of it all. There was just no way that it could be harder to stay on the mountain top, than to reach it.
And then there I was, atop Mount PoundsLost-a-manjaro… all ready for my summer vacation with a suitcase that consisted almost entirely of two piece bathing suits and trail mix. I came back from my two week jaunt a little fluffier but it was all good. I knew how to lose 10lbs quick. And I did. And then I put it back on. And lost it again… and regained it again. Lost 5lbs here, and gained 6lbs there… Okay… a bit undisciplined but nothing to worry about… Until this pattern lasted well past the summer and into the fall. Then it was November, and I started thinking of Thanksgiving. And through the sheer process of thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, I gained 7 solid pounds. And then I ate cakes and pies. And the pounds crept up and didn’t drop…even with all that gym going, they didn’t drop. My gym efforts weren’t as intense as they had been when I was working to drop the pounds. And then it was Christmas. And I had office holiday parties to attend. And early work dismissals that led to carefree lunches. And Christmas day where I ate my weight in chocolate chip cookies. And now I’m here, 2016, and 30lbs heavier than my lowest weight. New Year, new me indeed.
I broke my promise to myself because I made it under false pretenses. I thought that the fun things about weight loss would be enough to blind me from the grueling work of it all. Buying clothes out of the STRAIGHT SIZE section, not being the biggest girl at any gathering of people, enjoying my reflection in the mirror, enjoying looks from eyes that would have looked over the heavier me… it seemed enough. A big ole ego boost should be all I need to wake up at zero dark thirty in the morning for fasted cardio. But it wasn’t. And it never will be. Being healthy is work. You have to come to grips with that. It’s like a second job that pays you in very small increments at very odd clips. And what with all the temptation in this world and all the crap-tasticness that life throws at you, it’s easy to falter; to make excuses, to fall short. It’s harder to keep pushing when the reasons to push have already been met. I haven’t quite figured out that part of my journey yet. And now I have this whole new project of losing the weight that I gained. I’d be lying if I said I was optimistic about it all every day. I’m not. I’m human. I’ve fallen short of the weight loss glory. But what do we do when we fall off the horse? We get back on it. Even though today I’d rather lay here and take a nap. I’ve got to get back on that freaking horse. I want to STAY a success story, not just have BEEN one. And as someone smarter than me once said, “Success isn’t owned. It’s leased. And rent is due every day.”