Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Celebrating Progress

I've drafted three posts now and haven't published a single one.  I'm so tired of complaining about my life and my progress.  I'm actually tired of hearing myself complain.  Every time I've tried to justify not writing I read my words and hear a whine in my voice that I don't like.  This is taking too long.  I'm working so hard.  I messed up my diet.  I'm tired.  I'm tired.  I'm tired.

As of this month I've lost 21 pounds.  I've been ruminating over the number for days, actually weeks, now.  I think about it all the time.  At no point since I started this weight loss iteration have I obsessed over a number like I have this one.  I've lost more than this in the past.  Forty pounds lost was the climax of my weight watchers experience.  Twenty of that never came back as anything more than temporary baby weight.

Having reached 21 pounds lost, I'm now at my lowest weight in my adult life, 219.  I don't remember the moment when I crossed into the 220s for the first time, but I know it was before I graduated from undergrad.  Reaching 219 is a huge accomplishment.  One to be celebrated!  Every step forward from here is a step into unknown territory.  I'm no longer reversing the ups and downs of failed diets.  I'm breaking new ground with every forward step.

Thinking back I didn't diet in college.  My weight management plan was to buy another Diet Coke with a side of cigarettes; a substitution habit which began in high school.  Food was impulsive and secondary.  I don't remember thinking more about it than where the free food locations were (Engineering Building Atrium), how much a box of Rice Roni cost (89 cents) or if the 7 Eleven nachos were fresh (No, always No).  Looking back, my many attempts to quit smoking definitely contributed to my weight gain.  I don't remember ever losing weight when I would give into the cravings; smoking would just stop the upward trend.  That habit steadily declined until late 2007 when I decided I wanted kids.  Finally I quit for the last time.

Now I find myself at my lowest weight.  I'm no longer a smoker.  Diet Coke still happens, but on the order of maybe 32 ounces a month (I easily consumed 64 ounces a day).  I've learned buckets about food and portions and exercise and nutrition.  I'm working out harder and longer than ever before.  I can feel myself getting stronger.  And none of the changes I've made to my life are dangerous, unhealthy or unsustainable.

Wow.  I have so much to celebrate.

Why do I hesitate?  Fear that I can't do it without those habits.  Nostalgia for all the plates of nachos consumed without a care.  Doubt that the weight won't come back two fold.  Fatigue from pushing myself to change while maintaining a life I love.  Remorse over not taking care of myself sooner.  Worry that it is too little too late.  How can I celebrate when I still have so far to go?  I'm a fat person celebrating being less fat.  It's obscene.

And I'm being harsh.  I know that.  I recognize it.  I'm not being nice or kind or forgiving towards myself.  That is one of the things my husband called me out on months ago.  This process is all about learning how to take care of me.  What habits will serve me well.  What does my body need to thrive.  How can I feed my soul without food.  As I try, learn and incorporate new things, even discarding previous staples, I'll feel better and the weight will come off.

Celebrating would feel good.  I should try it sometime.


  1. Weight loss, the final frontier...well, maybe not. But it is a step into the unknown, and EVERY step into the unknown is scary. But you are an amazing, brave woman, and YOU CAN DO THIS.

    Yay for the loss! Have you gone to the grocery store and picked up your weight loss in sugar bags yet? I used to do that.

    Ooo! Also, are you starting to take body measurements? Not for sharing with us--I don't care what your bicep measures. But with all of your exercise, I'm curious to know if you're still seeing inches, or parts of inches, disappear. Those are also numbers worth celebrating. :-)

    Speaking of, what will you do to celebrate? Pedicure? New dress? A massage?

    1. Thanks for your awesome support! I haven't taken body measurements yet, but I wish I had. I'll have to look around and see if I have any old measurements for knitting patterns. I know I've taken them in the past.

      As you've read, I did get a pedicure and loved it. I'm thinking the time has also come for a massage. Two months post PT and I'm starting to feel some things tightening up.