Putting Failure into Perspective

Friday, August 12, 2011

The other day, I was at Costco checking out. The cashier took a double take when she looked at my membership photo.

"Wow," she said, "You've lost weight!"

The response began to formulate in my head. "Well, actually I've lost weight and now I've gained weight back. I was 248 when that picture was taken, my highest weight ever, but I got down to 190. Then I injured my ACL and stopped tracking food on Sparkpeople and eventually over the past year I've gained back 25 pounds. I feel fat and disgusting and like a failure. Even though I'm exercising like crazy and I've completely healed from my ACL surgery and now I'm jogging and spinning and mountain biking and hiking, I'm still not losing weight and I'm feeling panicky and desperate and I wish I'd had the self control to keep up with the SP tracker, and even though you're complementing me I don't feel like I've lost weight at all."

Of course, I didn't say any of that, as she handed back the card to me after showing it to the box boy (man) who said, "Wow, good job!".

I saw this grainy black and white picture of myself looking unhappy, a little like an obese convict.

And I said, "Thanks!"

And I walked out of Costco, tearing up a little at how hard on myself I am, realizing that no matter how much of a failure I currently feel like, I am still 33 pounds lighter than I was.

Yes, I have lost weight.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I know how you feel! I lost 60 pounds and gained about 25 back and felt like a failure too. I swore I'd never leave ONEderland again and I stepped out of it and boy did it hurt and I felt like I failed. But you know what we didn't gain it all back and we can lose it and keep it off. I know you feel like a failure, but chalk it up to a learning experience and get back to it. This was definitely a nudge in the right direction!
    2471 days ago
    Closer to 200 than 250 is a huge difference. Give yourself the credit you deserve and keep the scale moving in the right direction!
    2477 days ago
    I am no longer going to count the ups and downs as failure. It is my life, a work in progress. If you look at other things in your life I bet you have made mistakes and learned from it. Our weight journey is no different. Even those without weight problems talk about gaining 5-10 pounds or more during holiday periods, winter, vacations, etc. You have lost weight and you have learned what to do in order to get healthy. I read your post and envy that you can do all the physical exercise because I probably won't ever be able to do that again. You can meet your goals. You can do what you set your mind to. Don't look back -- you are living forward. And what a nice compliment from the Costco lady who maybe thinks she has to lose some weight :)
    2477 days ago
  • UTMIZ_2000
    This was probably all you needed to help you get back on track. So nice to get some kudos in unexpected places.
    2477 days ago
    This was a very nice sign telling you to go on and stay focused!
    You are on your way!
    2477 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.