**Today’s post is a little self-indulgent (aka long-winded), but really, most of my posts are. If you just want to know the weight results, go ahead and skip to the second to last paragraph. If you feel like knowing more about me than you ever cared to know (I’m kidding…kind of) then feel free to read the rest.
So, this week was not great. I mean, really not great. I tracked my points, even though it was not great, which is how I knew I would be lucky to have not gained weight. No, scratch that, that I would be lucky to have not gained a lot of weight. Between my trip to Las Vegas (and seriously, I still think the cheesecake was worth it), dinner with friends and the 4th of July, it was bound to happen…and it did. I gained weight. Not much, but some. And yes, I’ll tell you how much, but first I want to tell you why I feel okay about it. Not just okay, but I think I needed this to happen on some deep level.
My whole life, I have been all or nothing. In fact, I call it my “all or nothing disease”. “If I eat one cookie, I might as well eat all twenty of them”. “If I start walking when I should be running, there’s no point in running again.” “If I’m not going to get an A in the class, why bother? I mean, if it’s not an A, it might as well be an F.” And so has been my struggle with my weight.
I have lost weight at different times in my life, but it has never (sad but true) been in a healthy way. I made an attempt once, at Weight Watchers, but it didn’t give me the instant results I was used to, so it ended. I have struggled with eating disorders at various times, and guess what, they are effective and they are fast. I have been a slave to fad diets. They have all worked…except that, with my “all or nothing” mentality, nothing lasted…well, that and the fact that starvation and obsessive exercise tend to make me absolutely miserable. I would do really well with my unhealthy means, but then there would be a glitch, a hump, a hurdle. I would gain a pound or two and it was over. If I wasn’t going to be successful the way I thought I should be, then why bother.
Which brings us to the present. I have been eating disorder free for about six years and over those six years, I put on about 35 lbs from my post-mission thinness (the last eating disorder period). During those six years, I lost some weight with Atkins and it was great. It happened really fast. I felt good (although I’m sure my cholesterol was through the roof). And then Christmas happened, and once I fell off the wagon, there was no getting back on and the weight returned as quickly as it left. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that I have never fallen into alcohol or drug abuse. I’m sure I would be a mess.
For the second time in my life (as I said, I attempted WW’s once before), I am trying to lose weight in a healthy way and that is a big deal. The bigger deal is that I have been working really hard over the last year to overcome this all or nothingness. Part of my desire to run a marathon was the knowledge that I would have to be able to know my body and be moderate in order to be successful. All or nothing will get you injured when running that kind of distance.
While I have been doing really well with the weight loss, I think I was still in a bit of an “all or nothing” mode. I mean, I lost weight every week and I was on a “perfection high”. But life happens and paradigm shifts do not come easily for me. This last week, there were several moments when I thought, “Screw it. I don’t care.” But then I thought about the weight I have already lost and how good I have felt lately, both physically and emotionally, and I felt better. There’s still a part of me that doesn’t totally believe I can do it, but I want to, which is why I believe tonight needed to happen.
Up until this last year, my life has been pass/fail, all or nothing. And if I didn’t think I could do something, well, then I just didn’t try. So tonight’s weigh-in represents my moderation. I gained .8 lbs and of course I’m disappointed, but I know what I did to gain that and, do you know what? I still like myself. The self-loathing that used to accompany my perceived failure isn’t there. It’s a setback, not the end of the world. And I’m sure I will have other weeks where I gain weight…but I feel good. I don’t feel like I’ve failed. I feel like I’m human. This is not an all or nothing experience…this a road that will continue for a long time, and there will be bumps and turns and I hope that, no matter how big the bumps are, I will just keep trekking along.
So, even though I gained a little, I have still lost 12.2 lbs in five weeks and that is something to feel good about. It’s a healthy pace for lasting results. So, I’m back on track. I hit a bump, but I’m still on the road and, even with the little bit of disappointment, I’m quite proud of myself!