What's Different This Time
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Every Tuesday I weigh in at a Weight Watcher's meeting. I like to go there because they have a pretty rigorously calibrated scale and someone else is actually reading it. I like the corroboration of a second person and the unfamiliar scale I get each week. Also, the commitment to the program, which involves a bit of a financial risk, helps. And this time around, at this stage in my life, I will take all the help I can get.
I reached goal in March of 2013 and I have been within 2 lbs of that weight every month since then. That's 8 sweet months plus a few weeks living at a healthy weight. I'm trying to remember when the last time I reached and stayed at a goal weight and I really think it was in 1992. I was a chunky teen, a slender 20-year old, I started my 30's fit and fabulous but as I neared my 40's the weight began to pile on. Sometime in my early 40's I hit 200 and a bmi of 32+ or official obesity. The year I turned 50 I lost nearly 40 lbs in about 8 months and for one brief shining moment hit a goal weight and then bounced along a few lbs over it for about a year and a half, when I begin to pile it back on again.
This time around it was much harder, took much longer and somehow felt different. Last time it was like a race. Like a competition. Like something I won through hard work. Last time I used a lot more 'fat free' versions of things everyone else was eating, like fat free hot dogs. Last time I had to do it alone, because Himself was resisting all the way. So I was cooking 2 different dinners for the two people who live in this house. But most of all, last time, in spite of all the hard work I did, I felt like it was just luck. I was lucky last time and hit a goal.
Of course, luck is ephemeral. It's here today but gone tomorrow. Luck, my friends, meant that I was never going to stay at goal last time - and I never did. It was a one off moment in time.
This time is really different. This time I have incorporated everything that puts me at goal into my daily life. This time I own it. This time I have a lot more tools in my kit. There's the husband who (one heart attack later) is willing to eat more healthily. There are the face-to-face friends at my WW meeting. There are the Spark Friends who are still interested in weight management even though we're at goal - I mean - who else is even INTERESTED in talking about this stuff but a fellow traveler.
But there is something even deeper that has changed this time around. It's an acceptance - an owning of responsibility - it's the giving up on luck that is different this time around. This time, if I am going to stay at goal I am going to have to make that choice every single day. And when I don't, I have to acknowledge it. Yep, it's the acknowledgement of me and the things I do that is different. It's not trying to pretend something didn't happen when it did - wasn't eaten when it was. It's not lying about portion size and bites, licks and tastes. It's the owning of the Cheetos and ice cream this time. owning it, naming it, writing it down and weighing it afterwards that is so different.
Notice - I didn't say I don't eat the Cheetos and ice cream. It's just that I don't deny them. I own it all. It's mine. I ate it. I say it out loud. I don't get so busy I forget. Heck, I never really did forget anyway - I just held my hands over my ears and sang LA LA LA LA LA LA to drown out the truth. And the sooner I admit them - admit the truth of me as a woman who also does eat Cheetos in the car - the sooner I can find out the impact they have on me.
Twice this fall I've been in serious foodie situations when I ate without thinking, mindlessly, all the nutrition-less stuff a person can binge on. The very next week I went back to that WW meeting and weighed in. It wasn't an official weigh in. It didn't "count". I didn't have to pay for the meeting. The weigh in was so that I would know where I was - and how far I had to go before the next official weigh in. Instead if pretending the bad weekend hadn't happened, I acknowledged it and then started working on erasing the damage right then and there. This time I'm stopping my bad eating tricks before they became an avalanche.
So Yes. I've been 8 months at goal. Not every single moment in those 8 months - but at least once each month I've been there - and it feel so good. What's different this time is - it feels like I was at goal, not like I got lucky and bumped into goal. It feels like it's mine and it's something I can have for the rest of my life - and boy, that doesn't feel good. It feels GREAT!
Wishing that same great feeling for each and every one of you.