Last weekend, hubby, son & I watched a couple of those ESPN "30 for 30" shows, you know it's football withdrawal time! But don't worry--NASCAR starts next month--can't wait (could you hear the sarcasm?) Oh I like football pretty well, but NASCAR, well it's just cars going round and round--and to me it gets really boring, really fast.
But back to the '30 for 30' specials, one we watched was about Todd Marinovich, a football phenom back in the late 80's and 90's. His father basically made Todd's training his life's work, and groomed him to be a super-athlete/football player from the day he was born. The boy never ate candy or a Big Mac and worked out and trained constantly. Of course when he got to college, he started exploring all he had been forbidden and that led to his downfall: drugs, drugs, and more drugs! And even though he still wanted to play football, the drugs led to the end of a very promising career, eventual homelessness, and jail time. But at the end of the show, it looked like he hopefully had gotten a new start in life at around age 40.
Todd talked at the end, about what led him to ask for help, what caused him to realize he had to stop his drug use and change his life. He said he was tired of the "looks he got from people, the raised eyebrows, the disgust he felt in their opinions towards him, the humiliation he felt at what he had done to himself." Sound familiar? It did to me. I was so tired of the constant humiliation, everywhere I went I was confronted with situations that were more difficult because of my weight--especially at the doctor's office, but virtually everywhere in the world--it was hard to function normally in a world that is made for normal-sized people when you are morbidly obese.
And THEN....I think I finally realized...that I am an addict too. I am no different than any addict who struggles to avoid whatever has become their addiction. Food is tougher than most addictions, however, in that we will always have to eat. We can't just give it up entirely, like smoking, alcohol, or drugs. We can eliminate certain foods from our diets--sugar, fats, bread, but for me, it's always been best if I allow myself a little of these kinds of foods, or the cravings will get the best of me--leading to a binge.
So, as food addicts, we have to walk a fine line. And I think each one of us has to find that line for themselves, what works for you might not work for someone else. That is why I hesitate to give advice to others.
I'm hoping this realization and acceptance will help me with my day-to-day struggle as I maintain my weight loss. I keep hoping maintainance, will at some point, get easier. Now I don't think it ever will. I am an addict. For life. Those cookies and chips that I love, will always have my number. Someone wrote in their very honest blog a while back that they had made batches of cookies at Christmas. They planned it all out, buying the ingredients, mixing up the cookies, baking the cookies, NOT eating the cookies. And she did fine for a long time, then her well-laid plans collapsed. She gained 30 pounds in a few days of eating a cookie here and there and everywhere. She is working now to get it back off, after taking a cruise where she did well until the last two days. So doing well for a while is no guarantee that you will do well all the time. I make my own plan every Christmas, for the last four years---no holiday baking allowed in my house! This works pretty well for me.
One of the most important things I'm trying to embrace is that one slip shouldn't ruin an entire day. You can start over at any time of the day! And one bad DAY shouldn't mean one bad WEEK! I used to think one slip and it was all over--all the weight would be back in as instant. I don't think that anymore. I know I'm not perfect and I will slip. I also know that one slip makes it easier to excuse yourself another slip and another and another. So I'm really working on re-adjusting my thinking and it's not easy.
This probably isn't what you expected to read from a woman who has maintained a 178-lb. loss for 21 months. I guess I always loved fairy tales, where the princess and her prince lived happily ever after--no problems again EVER! But that's not real life is it? Real life is hard but also so marvelous! I have done a lot of thinking about what makes life so good and I'm not really sure I've been able to come up with many answers, but I DO know most of us, at the end of our lives, would just like a little more time. That, to me, says, life is pretty darned good. And it is SO MUCH BETTER when you are not weighed down with a lot of excess weight. I can't emphasize that part enough---SO MUCH BETTER!!!! It is better physically and emotionally. And that is what makes the struggle and the effort worth every single moment and every single deprivation and every single step I take down the road to KEEP IT OFF!!!
I've been finally trying to put some pictures on a beautiful scrapbook-type calendar that my lovely niece made for me. She makes me one every year for my birthday, each month is beautifully decorated, and she leaves spaces for me to fill in with my own pictures. As you have probably noticed, I LOVE pictures and take so many, mostly of my grandkids. But in going through last year's pictures, trying to pick a few to put on my calendar, at the end of the file I came to a bunch of "before" pictures.
I need to look at these more often when I'm looking in the pantry for a snack!
Cause I feel and look a lot better today!