I thought I had it all figured out.
After years – a lifetime, really – of discontentment with my weight, I thought I’d finally found the secret to satisfaction. It’s not something I’d recommend, necessarily, but it worked, at least for a little while.
During the four years I was a good 50 pounds overweight, I thought I’d give anything just to get back to a weight I used to consider “heavy” – a weight that sat right at the very highest end of my “healthy” weight range. And then I got there. And for a while, I felt fabulous. I went shopping and fit into size 8 jeans and could have died from sheer joy. I liked looking at pictures of myself and how I looked in the mirror. I knew I had another 10 pounds to go – but 10 pounds! Only 10 pounds! To be just 10 pounds overweight was heaven, it was normal, it was good.
That lasted about a month.
I reached that point right at the start of the holiday season, and like many people, I kind of relaxed my eating during that time. I didn’t even gain weight, but have been sitting at the same place for about two months now. You know, the same place where I was thin and fabulous? Only now, I’m discontent again. Now I look in the mirror and I see pudge that needs to be budged. I see a pooch above the waist of my jeans. I see a body that cannot be seen in a bathing suit. I see a number on the scale that I’d have killed for a year ago, that I’d have bet I’d never see again – and it makes me unhappy.
Worst, I’m starting to doubt that I can meet my goal. I had a certain place I wanted to be by my 40th birthday, and now I don’t know if I can get there. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a set goal in mind before – I was just eating, tracking, doing my thing, and the weight could come off when it came off, it didn’t really matter because anything was better than where I’d been. When you start to put pressure on yourself and have these very concrete goals, it’s easier to get frustrated when you don’t meet those goals – and that frustration manifests itself back into discontent and bad thinking.
I need to get my head back into the “good” place. I need to be realize that if I go on my 40th birthday shopping spree at the very weight I am now, that’s OK. But I also need to realize that’s still two months away, and, without putting pressure on myself or setting hard goals, if I keep eating right and working out, I’ll probably weigh less then than I do now. No “I must see this number or I’ve failed.” That’s the mindset I’ve had my whole life, it’s not healthy, it’s got to stop. But honestly, changing that mindset is going to be harder than losing the weight.