Why I left. Why I'm back.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Why did I ever leave?

During a trip home in May 2009 I stared down at my Aunt's bathroom scale and read the numbers 138. Just three lbs. from my goal weight. I remember baggy jeans falling off me. Tank tops without fear of stomach or arm or back bulge. I remember bright skin and shining eyes. I remember sweating daily. I remember the feeling of an empty stomach. I remember 4 glasses of water before lunch. I remember compliments. I remember the way my husband looked at me. I remember cleaning out my closet and altering those dresses and skirts that I just couldn't part with. I remember energy. I remember feeling hopeful and humbled.

Looking back can come with skewed revisions and a fair share of glossing over, but I recall that the months previous to this were relatively good ones. I had been working hard. It had taken more than a year, but I had lost around 40 lbs. There were lots of stops and starts and long periods without change and there were gains and setbacks along the way, but I was making it - so it seemed then.

Now here I sit in late summer 2010 weighing 165.

Something started happening around this time last summer. I don't know what exactly, but I stopped exercising regularly and I started eating and eating and eating. I remember questioning my progress. I remember feeling not good enough. I remember depression. I remember doubt. I remember feeling tired all the time. I felt myself slipping and I remember thinking that I would catch myself before it got too bad. Sometime last winter I just gave up. I'm not sure how I've made it through the entire summer without making any real effort to get in shape. Denial and hiding can take you too far down the river.

We replaced our bathroom door in the spring and the only full length mirror in the house came down with it. I didn't put it back up. I threw away the scale. I sold my treadmill. I stopped tracking food and exercise (it's been 213 days since I've been on Spark). I stopped exercising. I don't recommend doing any of these things by the way ;)

The weight came back on quickly.

Yesterday I pulled that mirror out. I got another scale. I'm here blogging. It doesn't feel right to say that I'm beginning again. Focusing on the end or relishing a new beginning is probably not such a good strategy for me. It's all somewhere along the continuum. To say that the only good progress is toward the skinny end is to deny what there is to learn from the thick end. But I am sad today. Really sad. I don't want to be like this anymore and I'm not really sure how to truly change. I'm feeling my way around. Like a drunk I'm powerless over food and I eat for all the wrong reasons and I don't know when or how to stop. If I feel so good when I do the right things and so bad when I do the wrong things then why do I have such a drive to do the wrong things? What is it getting me?? It's enough to drive me mad and I'm not sure how deep I want to delve with this. At least half of me is parroting Nike and saying "Just Do It". Just start now and get this effing weight off and who cares why you gained it back... but I don't know. The way I just gave up on myself - it really bothers me. All that work just to let it all go and to have to begin again. If I don't try to understand it I think I'm doomed to keep repeating it. That is if I'm lucky enough to get the weight off again this time.
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  • no profile photo CD1345136
    Oh, can I relate to everything you've written!! There are so many of us EXACTLY like you. I've yo-yo'd for years, and I have so many times lost a good deal of weight, only to backslide, always at the same point. In fact, I just lost 40 lbs. from March-July and am now at the beginning stages that you described regarding slipping...it's a crossroad whereby you can either stop/recommit/get fully engaged again in healthy habits, OR keep spiraling down into the black hole again. I really needed to read this to remind myself of how important it is to take hold of the situation and turn it around before it's gotten out of control.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and feelings. You're back now, and you have the mindset to start exercising again, eating healthy foods and in moderation, and return to those great feelings you had. I think it's impportant to conjur up those feelings NOW and live as if you have already reached your goal weight. Our thoughts can make it easier or harder. I know for myself that when I'm doing well, I am always thinking positive, optimistic thoughts and visualizing me at my goal.

    Best wishes to you for continued success and happiness.
    3904 days ago
    It takes courage to come back to spark and write this blog. I can identify with 99.9% of your post. It sucks. I dont have an answer but take it one day at a time. One meal, one hour at a time. It's hard, but you have done it in the past. Dont let those negative thoughts sidetrack you and make you self doubt yourself bc you know you can do it. emoticon
    3904 days ago
    Glad you're back, and I wish you luck and health. You did it before, you can do it again!
    3904 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5454268
    There are probably thousands of folks here on SP that would identify themselves in your story. Who knows why we yo-yo? We live in a tough time to avoid high calorie food. Our lives are fast paced and complicated.
    The important thing is that you said, "ENOUGH!". You are already taking steps - new mirror, new scales and back on SP.
    When you reach your goal again this time, the experience of your re-gain may help keep you from doing it again. Maintenance is hard...harder than losing the weight. It requires a focus all its' own. And while there are MANY tools to assist you with weight LOSS, there aren't many out there on weight MAINTENANCE. I think that is why SP focuses so much on the "lifestyle" change and not "dieting". A diet has a beginning and an end. Lifestyle changes require just that - a lifetime commitment to being healthy.

    3905 days ago
    I am glad you are here. Your story could be mine and I'm sure a lot of people can relate. I am just starting back to exercise and tracking again. Good luck on your journey to fitness!
    3905 days ago
    It doesn't much matter why or how but it really matters that you are back and ready. You have a memory of what you can accomplish and that is a beacon of hope. What also matters is that if you give it just a couple of days you will start to feel fantastic. The nice thing about getting out of shape is that the glow comes back easily. I really hope you don't beat yourself up over your slip up. There are lessons in it that will be really valuable to you. Good Luck! You already know you can do it and I bet you will.
    3905 days ago
    I'm glad you're back. I wish I had some words of wisdom as far as the questions you're trying to answer, but I don't. I agree with LITTLE_GIRL....one thing you DO know is that you can do this. And while there might very well be something to learn from analyzing what's happened, all you can do is move forward and try to make each day better. I'm glad you've taken the first steps.

    3905 days ago
    Wow. I have faced the same struggle. All I can say is, you've done it once, so you know it isn't impossible. You can do it again and this time you can make it a permanent change to your life. You are most likely going to struggle once it is time to maintain, but that's when you hold tight to the people on Spark and as you noted - JUST DO IT! Good luck! You can do this! You will be in my thoughts.
    3905 days ago
    I understand how you feel - I have been there twice before in my life, and goodness only knows if I will end up there again. I hope not, but sometimes life puts our best laid, tried and true plans on end. I am glad you are back though. I am glad that you aren't settling for what happened over the past year, that you know you can do better. It makes me feel hopeful for you, and for myself as well.
    Welcome back!!
    3905 days ago
  • DMOORE78
    I can totally relate to your story, and I think it's important you know that what you're going through is quite a common experience. I have only been on SparkPeople for about a month, but my weightloss journey started in November 2008, I have lost as much as 45 pounds before I started putting it back on. I'm still down 29 pounds, but pissed at myself for taking away some of my hard work.

    What's different for me this time is I'm not setting such high expectations and trying to make so many changes at once. I know it's so hard to get yourself back in the "I CAN DO IT" frame of mind and then feeling like no matter what you do it's not enough.

    Know that you are worth the effort this journey takes and you're not alone!
    3905 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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