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Not this again

Thursday, May 11, 2017

This morning was my second time back at the gym. I pushed it a lot harder than yesterday but still have so far to get my conditioning back to where it was last year. I was getting so frustrated, remembering all the pounds I'd lost and gained back. Dieting used to be a very different experience. I remember many a day crying over my food. I was used to eating a lot of processed foods, Southern style comfort foods, and canned goods meals. I didn't know how to cook a fresh healthy meal! In order to keep my calories on track I felt like I was starving, and I wasn't looking at my macros at all. I remember standing in a checkout stand and seeing a magazine that claimed you could walk your way to 100 pounds of weight loss. So I bought it and read the success stories. One person talked about spark people and how much it helped them. So I got online and changed everything I knew about eating. It was such an amazing tool! I remember the day I wrote a blog called "goodbye" where I said farewell forever to the first eleven pounds I'd lost. It was my most successful diet ever and I couldn't imagine ever letting that weight come back. Yet I ended up losing nearly 30 pounds before gaining it back. I lost and gained small amounts several times. Then last year I lost 31 pounds before gaining 33 pounds. It's been so frustrating, but every time I get on track things are easier. All that knowledge is in place, and I know what to do to be successful. As I stood there elliptical-ing this morning I had a realization... I may be working still to lose that last 100 pounds, but I'm not working to lose that same first eleven pounds. I'm not losing that same thirty pounds. I sweated, tracked calories, and dedicated myself to losing that thirty pounds. Then I gained back an entirely new set of thirty pounds. The scale may show the same number, but my body shows a different story. My shape is different. My fat to muscle ratio is different. I did say goodbye to those pounds forever, but I replaced then with something much worse. Pounds I chose to put on. Unlike the rest of the weight I knew what I was doing. I chose to eat the wrong foods. I chose to ignore the exercise. I made multiple choices that led to me putting that weight on. That may sound like negative self speak but it's not. Every attempt gave me a better understanding of the science of food, of the way my body works. Every attempt is easier. It's still hard--stinking hard! I still have to make the conscious choice to do what needs to be done hundreds of times a day, but this time feels different. Gone is the desperation. Gone is the self-loathing. Gone is the race to finish that seems to define success or failure. This is my first diet since I was 13 that didn't start and quickly turn to bulimia. Not once have I even considered making myself puke. For me that is huge. It's learning to conquer the eating disorders that have ruled my life and destroyed my body. It's understanding that if I ever reach my goal weight I will never be able to say "I lost 130 pounds in (fill in the blank with a time frame)." If I get to that goal weight I'll be able to say that it took a lifetime of learning, a lifetime of struggle--but every failure and every success eventually lined up so that I could make my way down that path. It feels incredible to realize I'm not "doing this again." This is a brand new journey, with a brand new me, losing a unique set of pounds in order to make the most of my life as it is now. And succeed I will. Because whether I get to that normal BMI, or I remain the weight I am and just get stronger, I have to believe that I will continue to learn, continue to love myself more, and continue to improve the way I treat my body.
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