As a 17-year-old, I dropped almost 100 pounds, becoming thin for the first time in my life.
By 22, I regained most of it. During that period, I avoided attending meetings, which had worked so well, and therefore suffered the consequences. Funny, isn’t it? You’ll do everything you can — except the one thing that gets you the results you want. Contrary creatures, we humans can be.
Finally returning, I sat in a meeting, embarrassed, ashamed, and sad; a thin, middle age woman addressed the assemblage. “My name’s Betty,” she said, holding up her “before photo,” “I’ve maintained a 100 pound weight loss for ten years.”
“One hundred pounds,” I thought. “I couldn’t even do that for half that time; no way I’ll make it.” It seemed the impossible dream.
This week (Tuesday, 9/27/2011), I am celebrating 17 years at my correct weight, after losing 70 pounds. (I had not regained everything I lost in earlier years; some lessons do stick.)
In these 6,200 plus days since I achieved “goal weight,” I’ve learned much. Space doesn’t allow for everything, yet, there’s room for a few observations; provided in the interest of helping others achieve the success I have been fortunate enough to experience.
- Losing weight is not linear; it’s four pounds down, two pounds up; losing five, gaining three; dropping one and flat lining for a month. It’s up and down with (hopefully) more downs than ups.
- The internal “battle” about food choices does not cease. Speaking for myself, I merely have become more accustomed to the ongoing drone of the voices jostling for position in my head; now choosing to listen to the positive, healthful ones more often than the others. As for attitude: I’ve learned to quiet the inner jerk that wants to berate me for my slip-ups, of which there are still plenty. After all, if shame was motivational, I would never gain a pound.
- Getting to one’s correct weight is not a panacea for all life’s ills. My kids still do things I dislike. My wife and I still sometimes are at loggerheads. And yes, I continue to be frustrated with the world. But since I’m happier, I handle these issues better.
- Dieting “success” makes one no better a person. Weight does not determine moral value, and I am therefore not superior because of what my scale reflects. I am happier — because I beat back a demon that ran my life for too many years, NOT because of what I weigh.
- Lastly and strangely, having a weight problem has emerged as my greatest blessing. I used to curse my life, but if not for the work I had to do to change, I might never have developed my love for life, the great relationships I now share, nor would I have had the honor of writing this column. Sure, these might have developed from a different path. But I didn’t take — or wasn’t given — that option. It doesn’t matter; I cannot change what was not.
The fact is I am where I am, and more importantly, pleased to be here. That’s worth waking up for.Note: If you would like help achieving your weight loss goals, ThisTimeIMeanIt.com – is for you! Sign up for our free ezine by following this link.