Even though I am on vacation, I still wanted to attend my weekly meeting (well, at least get weighed in). So, yesterday I headed to the Weight Watchers by my sister’s house, paid my weekly fee and stood on their scale. This was an incredibly validating experience. Not so much because I lost weight, but because the woman taking my money and weighing me was so impressed that I was coming in, on my vacation, and I’d lost weight.
This week was a little more difficult. I flew down to Arizona last weekend, back to Utah for two days and back to Arizona again, which is where I am now. When I was down here over the weekend, it was a little tough to make good food choices because things were just a little hectic and I didn’t plan what I was going to eat in the mornings, like I had been. I am also an extremely emotional eater, so, with everything that was going on, I made some poor food choices.
Once I got down here for the second time, I was able to go to the grocery store and pick up some food for me so that I would have some healthy snack choices. One of the hardest things with being at my sister’s is that I am here most of the day, and while I absolutely love it, it is a lot harder to not over do it when you have a stocked kitchen at your disposal all day long.
I am starting to discover what works for me. When I started Weight Watchers two weeks ago, I was a little concerned because I felt like I was thinking about food, what I was going to eat, what I couldn’t eat, etc., all the time. What I have realized is a) as an emotional eater who has always struggled with her weight, this is no different than the rest of my life, I have always thought about food, I’m just a little more aware of it right now and b) if I spend some time planning my food for the day in the morning, I spend a lot less time thinking about it throughout the day and I am a lot less likely to emotionally eat.
Now, it has only been two weeks and I have a long way to go, but I am starting to realize that this is probably a lifestyle change for me. This isn’t something that I will do, get to my goal weight and be done…assuming I keep going and don’t just quit (which I’ve done in the past). I finished a fabulous book this week, Running with Angels. It is the story of a woman who overcame obesity and tragedy through running. She also went to Weight Watchers, which I didn’t know when I started the book, as part of her plan to lose weight. The whole book was fantastic, but what I really loved was the part the author’s husband put in at the end. He told Pam, the author, that he knew people would want to know her secret or the key to losing weight. Pam’s response was that there was no secret. It was a daily awareness and constant struggle. Even after losing 100 lbs., she still struggled.
While that might sound depressing to some of you, reading that kind of liberated me in a way. I have lost significant amounts of weight at two or three times in my life, and have sworn every time that I would not “let myself” be that fat ever again. But then it happens. I lose the weight, stop paying attention to it, all hell breaks loose and I find myself overweight and miserable all over again.
I used to get so frustrated and hate (yes, I know it’s a strong word, but that’s how I felt) people who were naturally thin. It didn’t matter that I could run circles around some of these people. All that mattered to me was what people saw on the outside. I was fat and therefore, as I assumed people judged me, lazy, and these other people were thin, and therefore fit. The difference now (at least I hope) is that I have finally stopped hating those naturally thin people. Genetics did not favor me, and then you add to it the fact that I deal with things through food, and, well, I’m pretty much screwed. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that I have come to terms with this. I realize that I have two options: be bitter and angry about the injustice of my life while drowning in a pool of self-pity…and chocolate (so dramatic), or do what I need to do to deal with it, while enjoying a body that is much more energetic and able to do all of the things I love doing.
And, while thinking about that, it isn’t all thorns. While it may be that I emotionally eat, I also love being active and part of what gets me through those emotional moments when I just really want to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (have you tried Fossil Fuel? it’s amazing!) is the desire to run this damned marathon in October. I also dream of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands and, having hiked and dived while thicker and thinner…thinner is much, much easier and more enjoyable.
Sorry to kind of go off today, but the thing is, I have made all of these amazing discoveries and I am loving it! For whatever reason, this time just feels different. I have opened up (obviously, considering I’m posting about it online and this isn’t some anonymous blog) about what a struggle this is for me and I have shared what I am doing with people around me. In so doing, I feel like I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I will struggle with this the rest of my life and it’s okay. I’m going to be just fine. And I’m going to be able to do it.
Okay, so now to the good part. Even with the craziness of my week, and not eating all of the vegetables I should have, I lost 2.4 lbs! Yay for me!
P.S. Thanks for the encouraging comments and words of solicited advice. It is all so helpful!