Friday, December 10, 2010
My third year was a really tough one. I had no idea when I ended my second year that I would be facing a tougher time than I had during that one, which seemed really challenging. I stopped exercising regularly and just could not get myself going again. I had so many false starts. Each time I failed to truly get back on track, I felt worse for it. I was gaining weight and my clothes felt tighter, and I couldn't understand why I wouldn't just do what I knew would make that all go away. I'm sure I ate more, but really food wasn't the issue; it was my lack of activity that did me in. I kept wondering how I could let myself go backwards so far. By the end of winter, I was up 5 pounds and by the end of spring 10. I was so close to stepping back up to 170, and I was terrified. It's not the number but the fact that I was sliding backwards so suddenly and easily.
All I can say is that I was mentally in a bad place, which is why I started sliding backwards, and then, the sliding backwards caused me to feel even worse. How do you get out of that place? It's something I see people ask all the time. We're desperate to make changes, and yet, we can't seem to do what needs to be done. It's like all those times any overweight person has heard someone say that all people need to do is exercise more and not eat as much. "Oh!" we answer sarcastically, "If only we knew that was the answer." Yes, of course, IT IS as easy as that and yet, it isn't.
I wish I could tell you I read something or heard something that changed the tide, and I was swept along to the promised land. The truth is I just kept fighting, even if I was fighting myself from eating one thing or taking one small walk. I took those baby steps that everyone talks about, and sometimes they were so baby as to be infinitesimal. I kept coming onto SparkPeople even if I had nothing good to share, kept praising my friends who were doing what I wished I was and commiserating with those who were in the same boat as I. In short, I did what I have always done: Be here and make my health a priority. If I couldn't do it in body, I did it in spirit. I knew my healthy me was begging me to let her come back out again.
When summer started, I was doing a once a week hike, if that, but it got the ball rolling, and by September DH and I had pledged to 5 days a week hiking, no matter what. Having him in my corner AND doing it with me made such a huge difference. I wish I could say the pounds and inches fell off, but actually they didn't. I didn't see any change in the first month, and really the changes were so slow. I didn't let it get me down. I just kept doing what I knew was positive and aimed for keeping that my focus.
At the end of the third year, I was down 35 pounds from when I started SparkPeople, not the almost 41 I had been at the end of year 2. But I'm smarter, and I'm stronger for having gone through it. I know this isn't an easy road, and I won't be able to wish things were different and have it be so. I just know that I will never be the person I was for most of my life. Healthy Carolyn is here to stay if only for the fact that I won't give in. I may take steps backward, but I can't ever forget the strength I have in me to reach my goals, and that will always take me forward again. I've learned that on SparkPeople, and that's a lesson I keep with me.