Wednesday, July 11, 2012
One year ago today I weighed 266 pounds. I was desperate. I had joined NS in August 2010 because I had tried everything else and had failed to lose any significant weight. At 250+, you have significant weight to lose. I've weighed as much as 310 twice in my life and had gotten down to 250 or so on Weight Watchers, but never any lower. I joined Nutrisystem because I had never tried it. I lost 30 pounds from August 2010 to sometime in March when I gave up. I quit Nutrisystem. The food was good, it wasn't that, I had not really truly committed to a healthy lifestyle. Oh, I talked a good game, but at night I'd eat extra desserts, or drink my favorite wine, enough so that I'd want a snack or two....or three before bed. My husband once told me as I was eating my third or fourth snack after wine, "At Least you're still eating the food." I told him, "It's not magic food!" I KNEW it wasn't about the food. It was about what I was thinking and feeling and how I was choosing to react to those thoughts and feelings.
By July 10, 2011 I had regained 18 of the 30 pounds I lost and was feeling very low. My size 18-20 pants were getting tight and I had given away the bigger ones when I lost weight. That evening hubby and I were having some wine and talking. I was leafing through a magazine and saw an ad for Medifast. I told him maybe I'd try that. I didn't care how I got the weight off anymore and I'd worry about keeping it off later. I started texting a friend who I knew was doing Medifast. At some point he brought up Mutrisystem. He reminded me that I liked the food and had said the plan was easy to follow. That was true. I really didn't have to think much about it, just checked off the boxes in the planner. Then he told me how sad it made him to see me give up on myself. Those words cut through my inner BS.
I decided to start Nutrisystem again the next day since I still had food. This time I would actually follow the program 100%. I realized that wine was standing in my way so I decided to give it up, at least until I got to goal. The date was July 11, 2011. I weighed 266 pounds.
I followed the plan 100% through my daughter's birthday, my birthday, our wedding anniversary, my husband's birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day was, surprisingly, the most difficult holiday. About that time I started feeling resentful, even though it was around then that I got under 200 pounds for the first time since 5th or 6th grade. After being 100% since July I started having some slips in March or April. I was losing my identity as "the fat girl" and if I wasn't the fat girl who was I?
I worked through those feelings. I realized I'm still me, just different in some ways but not in all ways. I'm still kind, funny, a good friend, a great listener, etc. I also am now someone who enjoys, for the most part, exercise. I did not regain any weight during this time.
By the end of the school year, a difficult time for teachers, I was back to NS but having a hard time regaining the 100% streaks that had been easy for me before. I kept doing the best I could, moving forward when I'd choose to have something not on plan and not berating myself for weakness and failure. I wasn't weak and I hadn't failed if I chose to eat something off plan. My food choices do not determine my worth as a person. They determine my overall health and my weight, but NOT my worth. I never got that before. That's the key. That's the magic.
On June 1 I weighed 190.9. Today I weigh 179.4. I am currently on a 20+ day streak of 100% plan adherence. I have not had any alcohol since July 10, 2011. I don't know when it will be worth it for me to have a glass of wine. It may never be. I made it through every holiday without it, so why bother? I tend towards all or nothing thinking so one glass leaves me wanting more, like one cookie leaves me wanting more. Better for me to abstain from some things.
The last year has not been easy. At times it has been extremely difficult. The results of the last year have been so worth it I can't even find the words to express it. I am now wearing size 10 or 12 pants and a medium shirt. I wear a size 11 shoe instead of a 12. I am confident that I have learned a method to maintain the weight once I reach my goal. I'm confident that I will reach my goal.
If anyone has read this far and is thinking they can't ever lose weight and learn how to keep it off I want to tell you that you can. If I can, you can. I'm no stronger than anyone else. I just made a decision to commit and I took it one day, one moment, one bite at a time. When I made a choice to eat outside my plan, I moved forward. I learned new scripts to play in my head to help nurture myself instead of tearing myself down. It's not at all easy. But it so very worth it!