I realized today that it took me 14 months to lose 70 pounds and then around 5 months to put half of it back on. Sure, I can list a variety of excuses for my lack of eating focus, stresses like moving into a new house and starting a new job, or even fun stuff like a 2-week vacation to Orlando where buffets rule and convenience eating is king. Honestly though, not much of that matters.
What does matter is that I feel terrible every day and find myself putting up with it. When I originally lost my weight, I drew a line in the sand and gave away all my 3XL shirts and pants, stating that I would never go back to that size. While I haven’t gotten to point where I need to start buying a bigger wardrobe, I have found that my selection of 2XL shirts is slowly diminishing as I grow bigger. I’m down to just a few that fit comfortably and I wonder if maybe they were mistagged at the factory. Either way, everything I wear right now is tight and uncomfortable, so something must happen.
I’ve never been much for “New Year’s Resolutions”, simply because starting something in January makes you feel like a Lemming that’s joining the crowd and running until you eventually go over the cliff and back to the way you were. I often let things die down a bit and start my goals in February, after the crowds thin out at the gym because folks can’t maintain their momentum. This often puts me in a good position as Spring starts in March and the weather changing gives me further encouragement. Whether I like it or not, I can’t wait another day for the sake of my health and well-being.
I think the biggest issue with losing a lot weight and then putting some of it back on is that you become keenly aware of who you haven’t seen in a while. When you’re losing weight, it’s always great to run into that friend you haven’t seen in months because they are often blown away by the change and can’t help but to comment on your progress. This action pumps you up and keeps you going. When it’s the other way around, you find yourself dreading the contact with others that haven’t seen you since your fall from grace. Even if they likely can’t remember how thin you were, you still are keenly aware of it and can’t help but have it pester you while you interact with them.
The second issue of the weight yo-yo must be the memory of how good you felt then, and how different that is now. Let’s be honest here, it’s likely twice as bad for me because I had the nerve to write a book about my experience, recording everything I felt as things got better and better. It’s tough for me to even go back and read it at this point because the words sting and I feel even worse about my lack of ability to maintain the things I spoke about. The big thing is understanding that I’m aware of the difference and I want to get back to where I was.
So, what’s the point of writing this all down for you once again? It’s likely one of the more embarrassing topics in my life right now and it’s even difficult to talk with my wife about it, let alone a group of strangers. I’m doing this because I feel like there’s more to food as it relates to my life than I previously understood and I need to be honest about that fact. I know I need to begin my journey back to where I was with my weight just six months ago, but for the effort to be effective, I need to do a better job this time at figuring out why food can impact my life just as much as alcohol does with an alcoholic or drugs with a drug abuser. My goal is to analyze the addiction of food in my case so I can help myself and help others.
Putting my soul out there isn’t the easiest thing to do, but I know that my first time around, things I wrote helped others in their lives, so maybe this will too. Often, we feel like we’re alone in our troubles and despair, thinking that everyone else has such a perfect life and doesn’t experience these things. Let me be the first to say that my life and health aren’t perfect, so you’re not alone if that’s the case for you. I’m willing to put myself out there for you to realize that there’s someone else experiencing similar issues to what you might be.
Here’s to 2018! Let’s all get back on track.