The number one question I always get when I tell people about my weight loss is, "How'd you do it?" People seem to be looking for the magic, but there's nothing new or special about how I did it. It's this simple equation:
But there's more...if you don't change the mental picture, you are doomed to repeat the process. That's where I am now. The losing it is not the hardest part, it's maintaining the same level of effort and investment that it took to get there in order to keep it going. When people say it's a lifestyle change, they mean it. If it's just a temporary fix, it's also a temporary weight loss. I am proof of that. I lost substantial weight in 1991 (~50 lbs), in 2001-2 (~75 lbs), and now this latest loss starting in 2009 up until I gave up in June (~112 lbs) of this year. And these are just the huge transitional periods for me. I have lost weight before and after each child--and gained it again. I have lost weight before being able to join the Navy and twice during my time of service in order to meet additional flight or school standards where weight trumped body fat. My list can go on and on.
I am an emotional eater and I seem to have this mindlessness that goes with it. Then, the cycle starts...I hate myself for having eaten so much, then I eat more because I feel bad about it, then I feel bad and eat even more...you get the picture. But where's the root? What starts me on this cycle and pins me to it over and over again? I need to do the mental and emotional work to figure that out so I can stop this cycle before I balloon back up to where I was before and beyond. Because that is what happens....the "and beyond". You never just go back to you highest, you end up gaining that weight and then some. And my joints and body cannot handle where I am now which is WAY less than where I was just 18 months ago, but it already more than I was this time last year. As I get older and my muscles are weaker rather than stronger, the impact to my overall skeleton is far worse. I cannot even imagine what the internal impact is to my tissues and organs, cells and arteries...my body is not being treated as the temple of my soul....God's ultimate beloved creation of Himself in me.
I have to do the work. I have to stop feeding my pain. Ignoring what is eating me which causes me to eat my feelings. I know parts and pieces of it, but even those things I like to drown out. I read. I listen to music. I get on the internet and surf and socialize. I do whatever it takes not to sit quietly and face the quiet. In the quiet, the answers will come. In the seeking, I will find. And my fear of those answers hold me prisoner. How much do I really want to be free? How brave am I? Would I rather be fat, miserable, self-loathing, teaching my kids bad habits after they have begun to embrace these new ones, poisoning them with junk food and poor eating habits because I quit on myself? As much as I feel resigned to this life that has me repeating the same patterns of the past based on whatever it is that makes me do what I am doing to myself, I will not be resigned to it. I will not because I am a fighter and not a quitter.