Thursday, November 14, 2013
I've been thinking about my weight loss journey today. It has been broken up into sections of fat relapses for various reasons, with one major connecting theme.
The first major success was when I studied in Quito, Ecuador, my last semester of college. I stayed with a host family and got very used to increased activity, broth-based soups before meals, and someone else planning all of my meals. Once I saw some weight loss progress without trying, I intentionally looked for opportunities to be active (joined a volleyball class, walked every day after school, etc.) It was so natural at first but by the end of the 5 months, I ruined it by pushing myself too hard. I returned home 2 days before Christmas, where there were plenty of goodies, and I just let loose. Bye bye progress.
The next came five years later when my grandmother died of leukemia. A month later, the vet told me my dog needed to lose weight. I asked him how much and he grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and said, "At least 10 pounds." It was 20 percent of his body weight! Somehow it was ok for me to be obese, but not my dog. I launched a walking program for us and joined Team in Training to simultaneously train for a marathon and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to honor my grandma. It was great motivation. It was also when I joined Sparkpeople, which was so helpful. By the end of this section, I had lost a total of 91 pounds and the dog was in tip-top shape. However, I had been pushing myself too hard for too long. And then my boyfriend broke things off in a very unhealthy / unhelpful way. It was the catalyst to what was already inevitable and I gained back a total of about 40 pounds over three years. Wow.
So here I am again. I began again this summer when my sister asked me to be her maid of honor at her wedding. An honor for sure but I couldn't stomach the thought of those wedding pictures being framed and on the wall forever at that weight. This time, though, I have the support of a healthy relationship that has taught me so much about moderation in all things. Moderation is something I have never been able to attain in any of my weight loss attempts and I fail. I can see (for the first time) that I can cut myself some slack and still be successful! I truly believe (for the first time) that I will have a healthy BMI (in just 16 pounds!) and will be able to maintain it without punishing myself day after day with ever-increasing routines.
I'm so excited to get there but remind myself that it'll happen soon enough. In the meantime, I give myself permission to appreciate where I am at: being at the lowest weight in my adult life, but more importantly, feeling the best ever during a weight loss journey and truly believing this is something I can maintain for a lifetime.