I see you everywhere. You think you have to settle for the shape you are in. That you have now “lost” the mobility or strength that would allow you to really work out hard. You went over 200 lbs, maybe you went over 300 lbs. Maybe more. Now you feel like the slightest activity makes you winded and formal exercise is no longer in your wheelhouse. Another week passes, another month passes. You give up on one “small” thing after another. You don’t like to make eye contact, but I see you in there and I want to help.
If someone had been able to tell me 14 years ago that this much time would pass before I would ever see the 100’s again on the scale, I wonder if I would have done anything different. I don’t know the exact day I went back up over 200 lbs, after having dropped rapidly in 2001 from 190 to 145. I can say with certainty it was between November 4th, 2003, when I logged a weight of 198, and January 9th, 2004, when I logged a depressing 203 lbs.
Looking back at this particular spreadsheet is a study in increasing desperation. I logged my weight exactly twice in 2004. The aforementioned 203 and 11 months later I was 218. 6 months later, in May of 2005, I logged 254. Twice more in 2006, with about 10 more lbs added on. There’s 7 logged weights in 2007, which must mean I was trying at different times to effect change. The year starts out around 265, reports a low of 257 and ends at 281. Between 2008 and summer of 2011, it climbed to 309. In 10 years, I gained 160 lbs.
That’s only 1/3 of a lb every week. That’s it.At any point, if I’d known what I do now, I could have reigned that in. If only I’d had the wisdom to put myself in reverse, and lose just 1/3 of a lb each week. Instead, multiple times a year, I’d declare myself “on a diet” and drop my calories to sub 1000. I’d lose 5 or 10, stall, get upset and stop that plan- sure, or so sure, I was going to “do better” next time.
In 2011, I was at its worst. the weight and my obsessive behavior. In July I decided that I was going to juice fast until November. I did. Lost 84 lbs. Gained it all back in 8 months. For a few years, the juice fast was my go-to. I never saw the same level of “success”, which I equated with a number on the scale, Enter Dr. Oz and the wake up call regarding what my binge dieting was doing to my heart. I’m proud to say that after the show, and after some heart-to-hearts with the show assigned psychologist, Dr. Brenda Wade, I have never been tempted to “binge diet” again.
I call it “binge dieting”. A binge is excessive and compulsive. Cutting my calories to starvation levels (I’m now losing weight on 2000 calories a day) was excessive. Drinking only juice for 126 days was excessive. The cabbage soup diet, the raw food diet (healthy, but not the way I was using it), slim fast, The 4 Day Wonder Diet. YOu name it, I’ve probably done it and lost weight on it. The diet-of-the month consumed me until I “failed”. Now I know that considering myself a failure for not creating lasting change on plans like that is as ridiculous calling myself a failure for jumping off an ocean liner in the middle of the pacific and not being able to swim to shore somewhere. I as drowning in misinformation.
It took some time for my mind and body to recover from 25 years of food abuse. I had a lot of stumbles in 2014 and 2015. This last year, all the pieces finally made sense. I want that for you. I want it for you without the slow learning curve I had to navigate. I want you to know you are beautiful TODAY. You can start today, this minute, to feel better. Every single day you can feel a little better. Soon that despair and frustration will be replaced by joy and accomplishment. The fear of failure will be gone because what you want to eat and do will change. It’s not easy, but it is very simple. And on the hardest days, in the hardest moments, it’s still not as hard as living obese.