Today, as I was thinking about WHY exactly I am struggling again, I realized - plain and simple - that I am choosing to struggle. I have a choice in this - of course I do - and right now I am choosing to make bad decisions - and I am choosing failure.
So, WHY - WHY am I making bad decisions just 4 weeks into my latest "push" toward the 400 lbs. milestone?
I SWEAR I have some sub-conscious fear of getting below 400 lbs. What that fear is, I don't know. But consistently, when I get within 5 lbs. of 400: a short 1 - 2 weeks before I bid adieu to that number, I choke. Like sputtering, gasping for life CHOKE!
And interestingly, this isn't the first time I have gone through this...
When I was 30 I joined Jenny Craig. I had just given birth to my second daughter a few months earlier. I gained quite a bit of weight with her - I was weighing in at 350 lbs (what I wouldn't give right now to see that number) - and I was determined to get it off.
I joined Jenny Craig with my husband, and off we went. We did fantastic. We were PEELING the weight off. We started the program in August and by November we had both lost around 45 lbs. I was at 304 lbs. I remember that vividly - people, you should see pictures of me from that time - seriously, I looked fantastic. ANYWAY - I digress - I was MOMENTS from breaking the 300 lbs. mark, which of course was a BIG deal for me. I was SO looking forward to it.
Well, that Thanksgiving we went away for the holiday to spend it with family. And seriously, can you imagine a holiday /slash/ vacation that wouldn't be filled with food, food and more food. Chris and I decided that we were going to roll with it - I mean, look how far we had come, certainly we wouldn't be knocked off our diet by a few days of debauchery...OH HOW WRONG WE WERE...never did we imagine we would encounter our arch nemesis of food...
Pumpkin pie is apparently a MAJOR weakness of ours, and we consumed it that Thanksgiving like no other. We were gluttons, eating pie at all hours of the day - pie for breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, 2nd dinner, etc - you get the point - we ate A LOT of pumpkin pie. Add to that Thanksgiving dinner, leftovers, etc...well, it was a grim picture.
When we got home and stepped on the scale we were both up 10 lbs....and we were discouraged...but, it was the holiday season and neither of us wanted to try tackling the problem until the holidays were over (seriously, there is ALWAYS a convenient excuse to wait). Well, when the holidays were over and I reported back to Jenny Craig, I was at 317 lbs. I had been within 5 lbs. of breaking the 300 lbs. mark, and I crumbled.
Flash forward a few years - and one hundred lbs. later, and here I am, within moments of breaking a major milestone number, and I crumble EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I get close to it.
Saturday was my weigh in - and I knew it was going to be bad. I mean, I had abandoned the whole program and was just eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however I wanted - and I knew it was going to show. And show it did...to the tune of 11 lbs. I weighed in at:
An 11 lbs. gain in one freaking week
I was disturbed. Disturbed for so many reasons:
1) I couldn't believe how quickly I can pack on the pounds - seriously, why can't I take it off as easily as I pack it on??
2) I couldn't understand how just 1 week before I had stepped on the scale and saw my goal within reach and then choked. CHOKED.
3) After weighing in, I thought the following:
"I am never going to let myself lose this weight. I am going to get in my own way every single time I get close".
And THAT discouraged me more than anything has, ever, on my weight loss journey.So, what is the deal?? Am I afraid of success on the weight loss front? Do I really, somehow believe that I can go off track and pull myself back on, even though I have countless examples of how difficult and self destructive that is for me?? Why do I keep doing this to myself?
As usual, I have no answer.
And on Saturday after weigh in, I didn't either. BUT, I thought - DAMMIT, I can do something about this...so I changed my clothes, dragged my family to the rec center and I worked out. I walked a 5K on the treadmill - and it felt GOOD. When I finished I thought:
"WHY AM I NOT CHOOSING THIS?? WHY? I feel great, I feel powerful, I feel FANTASTIC". WHY, CONNIE, WHY?!!!
I don't know. I just don't know.
Poor nutrition, failing to exercise - these things make me feel TERRIBLE. So, why do I choose them?
Clearly, I need to figure that out. I really do. I feel like the answer to this question is a key that I need to unlock this door and step through to the other side.
So, in the meantime, while I am searching for this answer, what do I do? Do I toss everything aside and wait until I know what the issue is? Well, that answer doesn't feel right, now does it?! I mean, I may not know why I continue to choose failure on this journey, but I CERTAINLY know that going backwards isn't the answer. SO, what to do???
I decided to follow the advice of Holly from 300 lbs. Down and FAKE IT 'TIL I MAKE IT.
FAKE IT 'TIL I MAKE IT!!!!
Sometime we just have to fake it. We have to pretend that the thing we don't want to do or don't feel like doing is ACTUALLY the thing we want to do most! And then, THEN, we have to do it, regardless of whether we want to or not. We have to force ourselves to do it!
I can give in to my current lack of desire to choose the right path. I can lose ground, gain weight and put myself back to square one...OR I can FORCE myself to move forward - even though NOTHING in me feels like doing it.
And so I choose to FORCE myself forward. I choose to fake it for the time being - and pray for all I'm worth that the desire and the motivation to meet this challenge squarely will return.
I really hope that my desire returns - my motivation - the pure knowledge that I am MEANT to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge head on. I have faith it will - but I have to face that it may be unpleasant until then.
I also hope I can figure out why I can't seem to let myself be successful on this journey. Again, I think the answer to that is crucial if I want to see long term success.
But, for now - FOR NOW, I'm faking it. Heaven help me, I'm faking it!