As I mentioned in my previous two posts, I’ve been struggling (as usual) with yo-yo’ing between 234 pounds and 250 pounds. The good news is that while I continue to live within this 15 pound Yo Yo roller coaster….it never goes beyond that. Thank goodness for that much!!
Yes this yo yo cycle has lasted for close to a year but at least it has boundaries. And I know that there is no mystery to this problem. I don’t have some undiagnosed thyroid problem causing me to not lose weight. No one is sneaking into my house at night and injecting me with liquid Twinkies. I haven’t been taken hostage by a chef who insists I eat constantly. The reality is this—I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it in the past. But for whatever reason I haven’t been able to get over the mental hurdles holding me back. Because that’s what it is. In fact, I’d venture to say that so much of weight loss really is mental more than anything else. Let’s face it. If we did what works….it would work! It’s sticking to it that is tough because our brain, heart, and emotions get involved.
I bounce up to 250 pounds and as soon as I see that number I freak out. I kick into high gear and get back to 234. Yet as soon as I’m back in the 230’s I start to relax. A mental block goes up. Apathy. Not caring. Lack of motivation. Slowly I creep back up until you guessed it. I see that magic number of 250. NO!!! I won’t go over that halfway mark I say. And back again I go. This happens over and over again. A relentless never-ending cycle.
What is about 250? Why is that the number that makes me stop gaining? I don’t know. But I’ve had this same experience before. I can remember the years before I ever even got to 200. Back then 200 was the “magic” number I freaked out over.
As long I as never make it to 200.…I’d think
And THAT fear kept it at bay for quite awhile. Years in fact. Until it didn’t. And then it happened. One day I got over 200 and when it happened I just let it. Before I knew it there was 210….220…..and up I crept. I accepted I was now in the 200’s. That’s just the way it was.
As long as I don’t hit 300…then I’ll be ok
And that’s how it went for years. Holding 300 off like an intruder who kept peering through my door. I’d peer back out at it from the peephole and see it staring back. Hanging around at front. Just waiting for the moment when it could rush the door and finally get in. And eventually it did….
I almost don’t remember when 300 broke through. But it did. And 400 came faster than all the others. By then I felt outnumbered. 200,300, and 400 had me outnumbered. What could I do but just give up?
I believe what everyone has told me. Maintaining a weight and keeping regain at bay IS a big deal. The fact that all I’ve done is gain and lose 10-15 pounds repeatedly but nothing more IS an accomplishment. The fact that I’ve still kept off a large amount of weight and haven’t gained it all back is still a major feat. But I’d be fooling myself if I let that be the only thing I acknowledged. Because I’ve played this game before. Over and over throughout my life. Holding back numbers. Feeling somewhat satisfied with the idea that at least I haven’t gone over THIS or THAT number.
And the frightening realization for me is that while….YES…I’ve done this successfully for an entire year….that alone is not (in my world) proof that I will continue to do so. Just because for the past year I’ve managed to gain and lose ONLY 10-15 pounds is no guarantee that in the future it will not end up being 20, 30 or 50 pounds. For me this is something I’ve done before. I maintained myself in the 200’s for years. In the 300’s for years. And in the 400’s for years. I have gotten better I believe at not gaining weight AS QUICKLY. I used to gain it by 25 and 50 pounds almost overnight. Now I’ve at least slowed down to 10 and 15 pounds. But still the slow creep keeps going on. I have to find a balance between being proud of myself for having maintained the same weight for so long AND also being very keenly aware that there is a number right on the other side of the door just waiting to creep in if I let my guard down for too long.
I did something this week. I bought a new scale. My old one had seen better days and it wasn’t accurate. I knew that. I’ve known it for months. It keeps giving me numbers that are off by 10 pounds. But always in my favor. I liked hoping that the scale was right. What can I say? I knew it wasn’t but I preferred to pretend somewhere deep inside that I wasn’t aware it was inaccurate. But this week I bought a new scale and now I know. I’m 245 today. Not 234. Not 250. But 245. Definitely not a number I’d like but there it is. And I hope the fact that I’m willing to see that is progress.
There were years I would have felt that weighing 245 pounds was a dream come true. Like winning the lottery. And I have to acknowledge that it still really is. Weighing 245 pounds truly is to me a blessing. It’s not 417 pounds. And I have to remember that. But I want to keep losing. And more than anything I just don’t want to go back to the prison in which I used to live. Where I weighed so much that I could barely walk. Where I could barely even play with my own children.
So I will find a way to both see the positive in this number while still remembering that there is an intruder on the other side of that door which I must fend off. An intruder that knows me all too well. One that won’t stop coming for me. And one I must never forget waits for the day when I decide to let the guard down one too many times. When I become so tired of holding it at bay that I give up and give in.
That’s what I can’t let happen. That’s what I must always fight.
Obesity is a teacher. Both the bad one and the good one. But one thing I must admit. It never stops teaching me.
So it’s my job to never stop learning.