May 21st, 2014 Weigh Day...But First Some Recent History
When I stepped on the scale in January I was hoping the number attached to my obvious weight gain would immediately jolt me into action. The scales showed a 143 pound gain. There I was, 373 pounds, a weight I promised myself I would never see again. I made the same declaration at every major milestone. I remember crossing down into the 400's, 300's, 250--and every time "I'll never see that number again!"
What went wrong? A few things. I didn't give my food addiction the respect it deserved, certainly a form of denial. I honestly believed after maintaining my 275 pound loss for nearly a year and a half, perhaps I could be normal--completely normal with food. I adopted a cockiness about it, like hey, I got this! Then I experienced emotional turbulence and stress, succumbed to a heavy dose of depression brought on by a constant state of exhaustion from severe sleep apnea...and within a short amount of time I was medicating with food, coping with food--surviving with food, again and again, just like the old days.
During this downward spiral, the struggle seemed magnified between good and evil, between what I knew was right and everything else. Not only did I feel bad for how out of control I was--I felt worse because this wasn't supposed to be me.
After that sobering weigh-in, I did jump back on track for a little while. I managed to lose 10 pounds and I celebrated it as proof that I could still lose weight. I started writing more, I jumped back on the weekly conference call with Life Coach Gerri Helms where we discussed all of the issues included in weight loss with a wonderful group of participants. Make no mistake, even in times of my greatest struggle, I could relate and offer sound, quality advice. Talking the talk is one thing. I can sit down one on one with you and we could have the most inspiring-motivational discussion ever, and then as if possessed--I can go about doing the polar opposite for myself.
I had a few good days, then several bad, followed by a couple good--and so on. My writing became sporadic once again and I was clearly struggling. I was fighting. I was hurting. I just wanted to scream out to the heavens, "Why is this so hard this time??? Why???? Am I destined to go all the way back??"
The 143 pound gain and my constant attempts to get back on track seemed to be pushing me even further down. I felt horrible about myself with a long list of reasons why. The struggle continued and clearly I was gaining once again. The worst of it was running out of clothes. I wore the same outfit to work everyday for weeks on end because nothing I had in the closet fit anymore. Sometime in early April, I don't remember the date--I know it was a Saturday, I had a remote broadcast. I couldn't wear stretchy sweat pants to a public appearance, so I squeezed into the largest pair of pants I owned. The size 50's were a far cry from the 36's that felt so loose and wonderful at 230. And they didn't fit. I made them work for this broadcast. I was in pain the entire time. My right leg had recently started swelling again because of the dramatic weight gain and it pressed tightly against the pant leg of these jeans that were suffocating me. I spent the entire broadcast trying to conceal the obvious issue with my leg. I stood in strategic spots where I thought it would be less noticeable. I peeled them off when I got home and discovered I was bleeding from their tightness.
A few days after that painful experience, I walked into the doctors office and faced the scale once again. I just knew I had to have crossed back into the 400's again. I certainly felt like it. Maybe this time would be the dose of reality I needed. The scale shot back 394. I had put on 31 pounds in record time. I didn't tell a soul, I was too ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, sad and desperate. I eventually told my mom and a couple of others, in order to express how bad things had turned. Now what?
I was ready to throw in the towel. Even 394 staring back at me wasn't enough. I still struggled, still felt possessed and driven to self destruction via food. On one of my darkest nights, I emailed Marty Lerner, the director of Milestones In Recovery in Florida. Milestones is an in-patient food addiction treatment center. If you've read my book, you might remember Marty Lerner Ph.D., he wrote a fabulous review in the opening pages. I asked Marty about the costs of a 30 day in-patient stay at his facility in Florida. He was very nice in his reply, although the cost immediately disqualified it as an option.
It was now or never in my mind. I started an intense prayer and meditation campaign. I spent time seeking council from my therapist. I sought advice from Life Coach Gerri Helms. I studied all I could online about recovery for someone like me and I reached some concrete conclusions and solutions. When I started struggling, one of the first things I did was stop writing on a regular schedule. I also stopped logging my food on MyFitnessPal. Getting those things back in order was paramount if I really wanted to recover. And as I did, I discovered an enormous amount of love and support waiting for me--and it was always there--even when I isolated and felt so alone, I wasn't alone.
I have enjoyed almost a month of daily writing on this blog. In committing to this writing schedule, I've kept in touch with my emotions--writing it out each night and learning more each day. Recently, I've experienced some groundbreaking personal epiphanies about my identity and self worth that are poised to have the most wonderful effect on me...they already have, actually. And I've shared it all right here in these pages.
I've maintained my food and exercise log in MyFitnessPal and as an added source of accountability, I started tweeting pictures of every single calorie I consume (And I'm having fun doing it!). I've committed to working out on a consistent schedule too.
This is how I'm recovering. I'm doing what works for me, what I need--the writing, the food pics, the regular contact with close supporters who have been here, like Gerri. I'm making my private spiritual side important too. I've offered support to others as best I can and I will continue to do more. All of this is a direct reflection of my importance level. It's turned all the way up.
Because I'm not giving up, ever.
Today was weigh day. And I will weigh every three weeks. The next weigh day is Wednesday June 11th.
I stepped on the scale today and discovered a 25 pound loss.
25 pounds!!!!!!!!!! From 394 to 369. Hang around a while because we're going to have some fun.
I haven't been this happy about weighing 369 since I first broke 370 during my initial 275 pound loss. And that's an important point. Because not only am I headed in the right direction physically, my perspective is also pointed in the right direction.
Thank you for reading,