This past Sunday morning I was wishing I had time to post because I was thinking along these lines and I desperately didn’t want to forget my thoughts. So, now I’ll try and get those thoughts out in a somewhat orderly fashion. It goes something like this…
When your weight loss journey gets rough please take a minute to read this letter and be reminded of why you are working on becoming healthier and more fit.
The past month has been very stressful and it ended with you finally deciding to not worry about food or exercise until after your return home and your mother-in-law leaving. You also decided that you would really get with the program during the summer, so you were going to use these last few days, maybe a week, to just enjoy yourself.
During these days, when you just didn’t care anymore, you allowed yourself to eat whatever you wanted, how ever much you wanted and whenever you wanted. The results were very interesting to say the least. The flow of emotions went something like this:
- At first it felt like freedom to be able to eat whatever and however much you wanted, whenever you felt like it.
- You enjoyed sipping a high-calorie iced coffee drinks whenever you wanted.
- Being able to savor tasty, fattening foods and sweets was such a wonderful feeling.
- There was only guilt if you ate pure junk for a meal (the Saturday cake for breakfast), but if you ate “real” food you didn’t feel as guilty.
- However, soon you did begin to feel new things…like never feeling hungry, except maybe at breakfast if you waited a little later to eat.
- You were not simply “satisfied” all day, but usually pretty full. The next meal came because it was time to eat, not because you were hungry.
- Your clothes began feeling tight and you realized that it had been over a month since you had regular, fairly intense workouts. So, you realized you were probably beginning to “spread” or lose muscle tone.
- The peace you felt when eating pretty much what you wanted and maintaining at 199/200 lbs started to slip away as you saw the scale creep up.
- You noticed that your own mother was watching her portions while you were visiting, but you still felt the need to go into “vacation” mode and eat more than normal.
- You couldn’t totally get away from some new habits, like eating smaller portions; or if you did, you ate all the while noticing that you didn’t truly want the food. It was almost as if you forced yourself to overeat simply because you had given yourself permission to do so.
- Upon your return home you were embarrassed for your mother-in-law to see you, though you were at least 10 pounds lighter and a size smaller than the last time you saw her.
- Though your little shopping trip with her had you trying on extra large sizes in the regular department, versus the old 2X’s you used to wear, you really felt fat and out of shape.
- Suddenly you noticed this last Friday and Saturday that you had no energy and no desire to do anything productive.
- Yes, you might’ve still weighed 200+ pounds this past winter and spring, but you had begun feeling fit and “light” from the exercise and better eating habits you were adopting; but those feelings were now gone and were being replaced by the old feelings of laziness and self-hatred as you indulged yourself.
- You realized that while the first bites of “whatever-whenever-however much” were fun and enjoyable they weren’t really worth all the negative feelings that would follow.
- You also found yourself beginning to turn down foods (even though your mind kept telling you that you should take advantage of these last few “free” days) because they just weren’t sounding so good anymore.
- You decided that exercise is definitely a must in your life and that you miss it when you don’t make time/have time for it. You realized it doesn’t have to be on someone’s else time table. Just getting it in each day is good enough, and it’s only you who can decide when the best time for that is according to your own schedule.
- You decided that no matter what the cost you were going to get your eating habits back in order and work hard to meet your weight loss goal, because you never felt better in your life than the past two to five months wherein you were eating healthier and getting solid, regular exercise in each week.
- You finally realize that being free to eat whatever/whenever/however much did not give you any freedom at all. It only left you aching for a desire for control back in your life, and a reason to hold your head up high. It really wasn’t worth it.
And that’s what I want to remind you of…it’s not worth it, Leah.
You know already know this, because every time you overindulge you feel terrible. Yet until now, you’ve never admitted to yourself that the overindulgence really, truly isn’t worth the regret, heartburn or negative feelings that follow. Or you never truly felt like it wasn’t worth it until you completely slipped back into your old habits and saw the pain and discomfort they brought.
As you sit here writing you finally get that, just like in every other area of life, the real freedom comes with a little discipline and some well placed boundaries.
Yes, there will be times you’ll allow yourself a treat and enjoy it immensely. There will also still be those times of the month (ahem) that you’ll crave chocolate and the best thing will be to have a small portion. But next time you want to snack on something and you hear yourself saying, “You’re full, Leah.” or ” Do you really want that?”, stop and remember that you’ll feel much better about yourself both emotionally and physically if you practice a little discipline and stay focused on your health goals.
And in case you forget why you’re taking time to care for your health, well, just take a look at that list above. Remind yourself once again that you never, ever want to go back to the old, sad Leah who had no control in her life.
With sincerest love and
Ever hopefully yours,
Me..or I should say … you. 🙂