This is going to be an incredibly difficult post for me to write & publish, but I have to do it. I want to do it. Because I promised myself long ago that I would always be real about my process – and if I don’t talk about it, then what the hell good is this blog anyway?
I’ve gained weight. Quite a bit.
If I don’t talk about the negative as well as the positive – and if I don’t keep pushing through it – there would be nothing to differentiate me from the hundreds of other bloggers who’ve come and gone before me, their blogs now forgotten. I’ve followed dozens and dozens of them – yet I can check them on my Feedly list right now and I know what I would see: dead, dark blogs. Blogs that were once active and full of motivation, now “dark”. No posts since 2012…or even longer. These countless bloggers stopped posting when they hit bumps in the road, perhaps because they thought no one was reading – or perhaps because they were afraid of who would say what if they admitted failure.
Well, I may be afraid in some ways – but I’ve got more courage than sense in others. Whenever I think of not posting, it’s not the readers I might lose because I fell flat on my ass that makes me persist. It’s the idea that there’s one person out there who needs to hear what I’m saying as much as I need to say what I’m saying. It’s that person, perhaps with their hand deep into a box of Little Debbies, who needs to know that they’re not alone in this – and that there are people with the same demons who are fighting the same fight…and that they’re not alone. That’s the person who sends me back to my laptop. Every time.
This is also going to be an incredibly long post. Sorry. I simply can’t break this down into digestible chunks. You may want to pace yourself. I hope you read the whole thing. It’s not my intention to overwhelm you with a giant blog post, but…I have to say it all.
I’m here to tell you that I’ve failed. I’ve fallen right on my ass…all over the internet, in front of a gazillion people and the NSA and everything. I am embarrassed and ashamed, afraid and dumbfounded at my inability to save myself from something that makes me feel like the dumbest person on the planet. Yet every time I get ready to mentally flog myself for being a moron, a tiny bit of inner strength comes over me and reminds me that there are much more horrible things in this world than the fact that I didn’t get it perfect this time. The Kardashians are reproducing, for fuck’s sake. Anything I do can’t possibly cause as much damage to the world. This realization is usually all it takes for me to remember to focus on the solution and stop beating myself up.
Looking back, of course, it’s perfectly clear to me where I went wrong. I stopped logging my food, convinced that I could depend upon my auto-pilot. Without logging, I lost sight of the little things that quickly add up to bigger things. I stopped weighing myself, trying instead to focus on the positive steps of making exercise a habit.
The simple truth is that, while others may be successful at living a healthy lifestyle without logging their food, I need it. Always. And, while others can’t step on the scale every day, I have to. My food log and my scale are the tools I use to successfully navigate these waters. I am not the kind of person who can be without them. I need them daily.
Without my tools, it’s far too easy for me to get distracted by daily life. I’ve become mired down with a million details. Things to do. Places to be. People to see. I’ve gone from being a fairly organized person to being a scatterbrained twit surrounded by a bunch of half-done tasks with no idea what to do next. Completely overwhelmed. I feel like the dumbest person on the planet for letting this happen. I fell back into the land of quick fixes and lazy thinking. And six months into 2013, I still haven’t made exercise a habit.
My monumental failure: I’ve gained back all but one pound of the weight I lost.
Living in a world of elastic waist pants makes it very hard to judge whether the weight is creeping back on – especially when most of your clothes are a 30/32. It takes a lot to move from the low end of the 30 to the high end of the 32.
43 pounds, to be exact.
It would have been easy to spot had I not stopped getting on the scale every day, but I got the brilliant idea in my head that I should take a break from the scale in order to train my focus on exercise. Dumb. Really dumb. I understand what I thought I was doing, but I was failing to accept one undeniable truth: I fucking HATE exercise. I hate it. I could quit everything else in life in order to focus on exercise but I would still be focused on something I hate doing – and all that brings is negativity. I should have kept logging, kept weighing, and kept trying at the exercise.
I have one pair of jeans that fits (or used to). They’re a size 30. I don’t wear them a lot. Imagine my surprise when I went to put them on a couple of weeks ago and they weren’t even close to zipping or buttoning. I actually thought I’d mistakenly grabbed at the wrong pair of jeans. I had to look at the tag to see the size. Imagine my horror as reality sank in. I hadn’t been getting on the scale. I hadn’t been logging my food. Oh wow…HMH and I have been ordering pizza more often, haven’t we? Shit. How long had it been since I could wear these jeans? I had no idea.
It took weeks before I had the balls to get on the scale and face the music – and in that time, I still wasn’t eating as healthy as before and I certainly wasn’t working out consistently.
So here I am…facing the music and feeling like the biggest failure in the world. And the funny thing is that I didn’t feel this way at all when I gained back the 75 pounds I lost back in the 90’s. I’ve been having quite the internal dialogue about this since I got on the scale. It hasn’t been pretty. It’s been a weird combination of beating myself up and coming up with a plan to fix this – lately, more of the latter.
What am I going to do about this? Pick myself up, dust myself off, and get moving. Although the thought did occur to me briefly, I am not pursuing weight loss surgery.
As of this morning, I’m back to logging my food. Logging is my safety net and I’m never living without it again. No more pizza, no more convenience foods. There’s a half gallon of ice cream in my freezer right now that’s going down the drain tonight. I don’t need the temptation…I have shit to do.
Mr. Scale is back in my life. I appreciate him for the information he gives me. I don’t get pissed when he tells me I weigh one or two pounds more than I did yesterday. I’m a woman. For some reason, weight fluctuation is all part of the majesty of owning a uterus…or having owned one in the past, whatever your situation may be. I don’t care about two or even three pounds. I care about five. I need to know where I stand.
The 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are just packing up and leaving, so I’m not headed to the gym today – but I am tomorrow. From now on, there will be no more trying to embrace the positive kittens-and-rainbows “exercise is good for me” mindset. I hate exercise. It’s painful and horrible and I hate it – and it’s dishonest for me to try and get all warm and fuzzy about it. From now on, I am going to the gym regularly – which will require me to force myself. Tough shit. I’m giving myself permission to hate it. I’m going to bitch and moan and scream bloody murder if that’s what I feel like doing, but I’m going to the gym whether I like it or not. Like a good parent with a stubborn child, I’m going to get this medicine down my throat one way or the other.
It nearly broke my heart to pull 43 marbles out of the “Pounds Lost” jar today, but I did it. They’re not my victories to claim anymore. They’re back in the “Pounds to Go” jar where they belong. For now. It hurt to do, but I know with a certainty I’ve never had before that they’ll be back in the “Pounds Lost” jar soon.
I lost my way. I’m not proud of it. Hopefully you’ll forgive me. I sure do feel stupid because of it, but I’m not going to let myself wallow in self-pity and self-hatred over this. This has happened. I caused it. I’ve picked myself up, brushed myself off, and put my feet back on the road. I’m really not proud of where I’m standing right now.
I’m just not going to be one of those bloggers who fades into the background to lick her wounds. Y’all know me. I have no compunction about licking myself in front of you. This blog is about embracing change and finding what works. This is all part of that process for me.
I reset the weight loss ticker on the top right of this page. Makes me sad just looking at it. So here I go. One marble in the jar…