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What Quitting Looks Like Now

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I gotta be honest with you - I thought 50 pounds would never come. And when I really step back and look at it, it didn't take that long at all. But when we're caught up in the day to day grind of not seeing the numbers we want on the scale, when we feel battle-worn and bruised, the idea of "quitting" can seem an easy leap to make. Screw this. I'm tired. I don't want to do this anymore.

But what exactly is "this"?

Eating good food. Exercising more (which I am learning to really enjoy). Feeling better about myself inside and out. Looking better in a mirror. Shedding pound after pound of emotional weight along side the physical pounds lost.

And what is "quitting"?

Eating fast food today - all day. And then maybe tomorrow. And then maybe the next day too. Sitting on my butt in front of the television. Binging. Feeling like I'm going to burst the seat out of my pants. Wheezing for breath. Having trouble sleeping because my fat is suffocating me. Feeling regret, and hatred, and depression with each and every pound I gain. Being in denial over how big I really am.

Why on earth would I want to quit? I don't care if it takes me a month to lose the next 2 pounds, "THIS" is still better than "QUITTING". Hands down.

I've talked a little in the past about physical vs. emotional thresholds. I believe that the body has a series of these that are just as hard to cross going up as they are going down. I remember when I was still gaining weight, I hung out at 280 pounds and then 290 pounds for a really long time before I crossed over the threshold and continued to gain. But once I crossed over, the road between 281 and 290 was a short one at we're talking a week. And it's been the same thing for me on the way down. I get really close to a big number and then it's like time freezes and I hang out there for a few weeks before something clicks and the scale drops me a big number. Then I lose like gangbusters for a couple of weeks and it's the same thing over again. I know now that I'm going to have to do this probably every 10 pounds. But I'm ok with that. I'm not going to be a person that can lose 10 pounds in a month, ever. But since my physical weight loss is coinciding so much with my emotional weight loss, I don't think I'm a person that could handle losing 10 pounds of "brain fat" a month. It takes time to adjust while you're going down and this is just another reason that slower is better. I need those 3 weeks to get hung up on a number on the scale because it usually also means that I'm fighting through something mentally that I also have to break through to move on.

While I was looking at 47.6 pounds lost for the past 3 weeks, I was contemplating quitting. I told myself a lot of things over those 3 weeks. Maybe this was my limit. Maybe I was meant to be a fat person for the rest of my life. Maybe I couldn't really do this. I even started having dreams that I was going to die, because it was easier for me to think about dying an early death than to ever be thin. That's some serious business right there. But that's how far off "thin" feels to me. I have been living in a fat body for my whole, entire life. The idea that someday (and someday soon) I might not have to anymore is terrifying. So much so that it's easier to think that I'm going to die before that ever happens.

I was also thinking about eating. A lot. I was thinking about how much I missed fast food. And fries. I blogged about my weekend of more wine than water. And I ate the fries. I let that happen and then got right back on track. I've been drinking at least TEN glasses of water every day this week. And I'm not craving fries anymore. And that's what life looks like right now. I didn't quit. I actually didn't even really "cave". I just did something that anyone (even a thin person) would do in that situation. I allowed myself what I needed and then I moved on. There was no falling off the wagon. No big, dramatic "IT'S OVER" moment. It was a plate of french fries, and a bottle of wine and now I'm down 50 pounds.

I'm not saying that eating a plate of french fries and drinking a bottle of wine helped me lose those last 2.4 pounds. Probably just the opposite. But getting over that mental hurdle maybe did. Who knows how it happens. The body works in mysterious ways, and mine especially I have come to understand will do what it wants to do when it wants to do it. But I am growing patience by the day, and I'm doing everything right. This will happen for me. And there is no longer such a thing as "quitting". It doesn't exist in my vocabulary. Because quitting doesn't look the same anymore. It's not bright and shiny. It's not the thing I can't have. It's the thing I've had for all too long, and I'm DONE with it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Another great blog! I am going to make sure I read your inspiration everyday, even if it is re-reading some of the ones you have here. I am determined to loss!!!!!! I joined spark people over a year ago and gave up on it. I look back at the year and thought about how much I would have lost already, how healthy I would be, how fit! But I can't dweal on what could've been I have to do the NOW!!! I am in my 4th week and feeling GREAT!!! I know it will take time to loss and I am willing to take the time. I didn't put it all on in a month or two, so I know it won't come off in that short of time. Thank you!
    2780 days ago
    Im adding you. You rock!
    2780 days ago
    You are looking great. Its these great inspirations that keep us all going. And we all feel that way once in awhile. More times then i care to count. But i keep telling myself it will pay off soon...I have no patience, so after 3 weeks of consistanly walkng, incorporating fruits and veggies, h2o and giving up the "bad" stuff, my brain says"i should be skinny", but i'm not. But i like to walk now and i love veggies, so i know this is great progress. That mind of matter, is hard. Hang in there as there isn't a better plan thus far.
    2781 days ago
  • WYND10
    This is a great blog. Very well written (as usual), and really got into my head. So much so I've been thinking about it since you posted it. I still don't know how to formulate exactly how it made me feel, except that it did make me feel and think. Thank you Jenn.

    And just know I think you're amazing :).
    2784 days ago
  • MMS354
    Yes! Fantastic blog! And good for you for figuring out a tough lesson and passing it on to us. Thank you.:)
    2786 days ago
    you know, you're TOTALLY right about that 2-3 weeks hangup before the pound or two actually shed...its like our body's way of telling us "wait for it...wait for've *almost* earned it..............." so we have to fight harder for it. and its weird, because we have these amazing brains that tell us to breathe, and walk, and talk, and run and all the functions that we either do or don't have control over, and weight is one of those things...we want to lose it, we work our bodies SO HARD to lose it...but it sticks and it seems its the one thing about us that we have NO control over...we had control of it getting into our bodies though, so maybe the waiting game is the penance? either way, i'm glad you didn't've been such an inspiration to me...made me feel like i was worth the extra time and effort that no one else was going to give me to make this happen. thanks again jenn, for an amazing blog!
    2786 days ago
    I totally agree, and feel the same way. Quitting is not an option at this point! Keep up the awesome work! emoticon
    2787 days ago
    Perfectly stated!
    2788 days ago
    Wow! What a fantastic blog!
    2788 days ago
    Well said--my feelings exactly. When I think about 'quitting,' I realize I don't ever want to go back to that old lifestyle that got me where I was at the start of this journey. Yes, I will occasionally have fries and wine and fast food, but I don't LIKE how that stuff makes me feel when I eat it much of it or eat it very often. It's a whole new lifestyle and, more importantly, a whole new mindset. Way to go--and congratulations on crossing that 50 pounds lost barrier! There are certain milestones that seem to take FOREVER to get to and pass, but it's worth the effort because WE are worth the effort!
    2788 days ago
    Great blog! As usual, very thought-provoking.

    And what I needed to hear. I've been stuck in a plateau for a long time, and/or losing and gaining the same 2 pounds every week or so. Yet quitting isn't an option for me, either. This feels too good. It feels right, as hard as it sometimes is. So yeah, perseverance is the name of the game. Both of us will lose the weight!

    emoticon emoticon
    2789 days ago
  • MAIA2011
    Eating fast food today - all day. And then maybe tomorrow. And then maybe the next day too. Sitting on my butt in front of the television. Binging. Feeling like I'm going to burst the seat out of my pants. Wheezing for breath. Having trouble sleeping because my fat is suffocating me. Feeling regret, and hatred, and depression with each and every pound I gain. Being in denial over how big I really am.


    I've almost quit (and actually quit) so many times this year and I have the weight gain to prove it. However, I am getting it and blogs like this really help. So, thank you!

    2789 days ago
    We are in very similar places right now. I have to say that this idea of "quitting is not an option, there's nothing to quit. This is my life!" was HUGE! I have never reached this point before and that's why I know it's different. I told my husband, "I'm going to be the best looking, fittest, healthiest 350-pound woman you've ever seen then!". Suddenly I had grabbed my power back from the scale and I'll be damned if it didn't decide to start moving again! Yay for breaking through the mental battles and realizing that our "old" lives no longer hold the appeal they once did! There should be a Spark award for this moment.
    2789 days ago
    Wow, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have actually been feeling that way(wanting to "quit")the past few weeks due to a little injury that has stopped my half marathon training. I wanted to give completely up, but I'm pulling out of it now.
    Everything you said is true, and I like how you put it into words. I needed to hear this, so I thank you for writing this blog.

    2789 days ago
    wow thanks for that inspiration i know the feeling of wanting to give in but i recently started up again with fitness classes and i like theme ven though during them im aching

    my major issue has been snacking but im learning to control that and feeling better about it yesterday i only had 1 extra snack and that was a yogurt keep up the good work and good luck
    2789 days ago
    I am so proud of you. You are so right, quitting is not an option, but yes, tempting at times. I hear you about stalling, then losing, stalling, then losing. I am exactly the same way. Same when I was gaining the weight. Oh, how I remember 280 and 290...I stayed there forever until I crossed over, too. You are an inspirational, strong, amazing woman and I have no doubt you will get to to your goal, and how awesome that you are not looking at the clock impatiently wanting those lbs. to come off NOW. You are so right that it's an emotional journey, and I loved your reference to "brain fat". You are awesome. That's it. emoticon
    2789 days ago
  • ROZELL99
    I can certainly relate to this. There have been several times over the course of this year that called for a relaxed view of the stringent codes I have come to live by regarding diet and exercise. Occasionally it is a business dinner. Sometimes it is a social occasion such as an anniversary. Sometimes it just has to be done for no reason. The next day I get up, do my exercise and get back in the groove. There might have been a few too many of those recently since I have been the same weight for two weeks now.

    Good blog, congratulations on your progress and good luck in the future.
    2789 days ago
  • SMITTY35
    What an inspiring blog to read - I'm down 30 with lots to go and stuck - haven't quite quit and gone back to my old ways, but not being good and making the changes stick as well as I thought I had. This is a great reminder to me that I am better than that, but that we are human. And that it was hard, and worth fighting to keep. I can't picture being thin either, I think that's the mental hang up right now keeping me from getting back to it. Thank you for the inspiration!
    2789 days ago
    Whatever you do...... don't stop exercising!
    2789 days ago
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