I'm Not Alone
First of all, I've been given an incredible amount of support through the comments on my last post, Facebook, email, personal visits and phone calls. Thank you very much. I've been very hard on myself over this situation and I was entertaining irrational fears about the response my post might bring. But like most fears, it was mostly a product of my imagination, influenced by how I feel about me and where I am. I should have known my friends and supporters wouldn't treat me the way I sometimes treat me.
I'm taking small steps each and every day. I haven't had any major struggles with food since hitting the "publish" button Saturday afternoon and that's a powerful thing. I did have a minor episode at the grocery store this afternoon. I was going in to pick up something to cook for dinner. Immediately I started having ridiculous food cravings in the middle of the store. The signals and thoughts were coming and they were distracting me from the task at hand. I still had an empty cart after walking around the store for ten minutes. I couldn't decide what to buy and the errant thoughts were jumping up and down like excited kids spotting an ice cream truck. I know what to do, I followed the advice of a good friend of mine (who has twenty years of maintaining a 100 pound loss) and sent her a text, "Could you remind me how important it is for me to be strong late afternoon, please? Having cravings and ridiculous thoughts...First time since Saturday." I told on it. And then waited for a reply. I stood there with chips on one side and the ice cream freezers on the other, not moving, just staring at my phone. I had no idea that my friend was actually visiting the happiest place on earth at that moment, but yes, even in the middle of Disneyland she took the time to reply with four words: "Be strong for you!" And then, "write about it." I'm not so sure if my strategy was me being strong or not, but I quickly headed for the door...without groceries, leaving my empty cart in the aisle. I decided to have soup for dinner. I even completed two full days of logging my food on My Fitness Pal. I made the right decisions in those moments. And that makes me feel good.
It's very easy to say "I'm letting go of the guilt and shame I feel over this weight gain." But it isn't so easy. I couldn't bring myself to come out and actually say how much I've gained in my last post. Only one person pressed the issue on facebook and my relenting wasn't as much to do with giving in as it was the product of some careful thought and consideration yesterday morning. Why didn't I just admit the number in the first place? I would have been correct in saying that I have every right to share or not share certain things, I mean really, we all must work within the boundaries we're most comfortable. But since when did I start withholding numbers?? That question was precisely the point made by Tammy on Facebook. When I was losing weight, I never kept the numbers secret. Even when I hit a stall along the way, the numbers had always been there since the first 505 pound weigh day. So what kept me from sharing the number on Saturday? Guilt and shame, pure and simple. So I couldn't honestly say "I'm letting go of the guilt and shame..." unless I let go of the number 143. Yes, I gained back 143 pounds.
It's amazing how quickly I felt relief when I shared the number on Facebook Tuesday. I sincerely appreciate the many friends who quickly defended my right to keep that information between my doctor and me, and you were right. But honestly, I needed to let it go. I needed to say it. And I did. And my world didn't fall in on me. In fact, I received a tremendous outpouring of love and relation. I literally wiped tears away as I read a few of the personal stories emailed to me from people who had been here, right here where I am. And the most comforting feeling swept over me. I'm not alone. We're all in this together.
I'm looking forward to weigh day again. I haven't been able to honestly say that for some time. And I look forward to sharing the numbers and the experiences along the way. I'll share the ups and downs, the successes and most importantly, the struggles.
If you shared your story with me recently, please know, you touched me and I sincerely appreciate you.
I recently watched a Ted Talk suggested in a comment on my last post. It was presented by Neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, entitled "Why Dieting Usually Doesn't Work." It explained many fascinating things in twelve minutes. She talks about our body weight "set point." It was especially fascinating to me because somewhere early in this blog, I remember writing about my suspicions of some kind of set point or limit, based on the fact that I had lived completely out of control with food for many years and still, my body stayed within ten pounds of 500. My reaction to this Ted Talk wasn't negative at all. It simply reaffirms that for people like us, maintaining a healthy body weight means maintaining a balanced lifestyle with food and exercise forever, in effect, rebelling against our brain's best efforts to return us to an excessive "set point." Again, the bottom line is something most of us realized a long time ago, only I hadn't heard it explained by a neuroscientist. Thank you New Me for suggesting I watch.
Thank you for reading, Goodnight and...
We're not alone,