Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wanting It

I've heard people say, if you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. If not, you'll make excuses. I've seen "weight loss success" stories where the person says something along the lines of, "I just decided I wanted it more than anything else." And it used to make me mad... as if they were saying that *I* just didn't *want* to lose weight "bad enough." How would they know what the longing of my heart was? Did they know I'd lie in bed and sob because I was so tired of being unable to walk to the park with my child... so ashamed of my out-of-control behavior... so disgusted with my size extra, extra, extra-large clothes that had holes worn in the thighs and barely fit me? Oh, I wanted it. I wanted it pretty bad. Something else was holding me back.

You could label that "something else" as a lot of different things:

Fear: I was afraid I might lose weight and still be unhappy. I was afraid if I lost the weight, someone might be able to harm me. I've written about this fear before. While it's still there in the background, I've pretty much countered the fears, dealt with them, and feel confident that they will no longer hinder me from reaching my goals (as long as I pay attention and *notice* when fear begins to distract me. I can talk myself through it now and be okay).

Laziness: I don't consider myself a lazy person. I've pushed through a lot of difficult circumstances to achieve great things. Yet sometimes I just didn't *feel* like getting on that darned bike and riding, or talking a mile walk, or strength training. So I didn't. I sat on the computer or watched TV instead. I am sorta stewing in this right now. Although I am *busy* with all the business that having 5 kids entails, I have not been doing anything terribly strenuous nor effective as exercise lately.

Binge Eating Disorder: It's pretty obvious I have this issue. During the first year of weight loss blogging, I worked almost exclusively on my physical habits. I changed *what* I ate, the amounts I ate, and what I was doing. And then after I lost 64 pounds, the bottom dropped out on me and my brain rebelled. The eating disorder tried to take back over. The entire last year has been a *mental* struggle, working on the inner goings-on of the eating disordered mind. I've spent a year now addressing the emotional and mental issues behind the eating, and my behavior in this regard has improved dramatically.

So, now what? Do I still want it? I have a lot of weight left to lose. What am I going to do *this* year?

Yeah, I want it. I am tired of fighting the same 20 pounds for an entire year while I worked through the emotional stuff. I am ready to move my focus back to the physical. Ready to get back into the habit of regular, meaningful exercise. Kick laziness to the curb. Get below 200 pounds this year. That's what I want, and I want it *really* bad.

When I was seven years old, the eye doctor told my mother I needed glasses. I remember how excited I was, picking out the perfect 80's brown plastic frames and wearing them to school proudly. I was shot down rather quickly with taunts of "four eyes" and mocking on the playground. I found out that wearing glasses is NOT fun when it rains and they get all streaked up, or when it is cold out and you walk inside and your lenses fog up and you run into a wall and everyone laughs at you. I hated how they got this salty fog of sweat on the inner corners after I rode my bike, and I hated the red spots they left on my nose and ears on a hot day. As the years wore on, I got different frames... bigger, geekier plastic ones, thick-lensed wire-framed ones. But I always *hated* wearing glasses.

When I was fourteen, my parents finally consented to me getting contact lenses. My life would be changed! I would be able to walk in the rain and the cold and the heat like normal people again! I wouldn't be so dorky and geeky anymore! I couldn't WAIT!

I came home with my contacts, which had been placed in my eyes by the eye doctor. He'd showed me how to get them out and back in, and said I should remove them after 2 hours and gradually work up to wearing them all day. Two hours later, I was in the bathroom at home trying desperately to get them out of my eyes. Let me tell you, if you've never touched your eyeball before, and have a thin sheet of plastic stuck to your iris, it is HELL... HELL I tell you... to get used to putting your fingers in your eye, pinching the plastic *just right* and getting it off your eye. I kept instinctively jerking back when I'd touch my eyeball. I started feeling sick when I'd try and grab the contact lens. For over an hour I was in the bathroom, trying to get those things out of my eyes. At one point I was so dizzy and nauseous from the eyeball-touching that I had to go lie down on the couch so I wouldn't puke or pass out.

At this point, my parents said, "Maybe we should take you back to the doctor to get them out." But I kept on trying, and eventually I got them out with no harm to my eyeballs. I was so nauseated from the ordeal that I couldn't eat.

Getting them back into my eyes the next day was not much better. If you're not used to inserting things onto your eyeball, it ain't easy. Again I kept instinctively jerking away. My eyes kept blinking shut to protect themselves. It sucked. And two hours later, I was once again going through an hour of nausea-inducing eye-prying, sticking my fingers in my eyes to get the contacts out alternated with lying on the couch in tears.

Now my parents said, "I don't think it's worth it. Why don't you just go back to glasses?" But to me, it WAS worth it. I believed that all of my social woes would be solved by those contacts. All the cool girls had contacts. I had been a geeky girl since I was 7, and I was *determined* to change myself into the pretty, sleek, NON-geeky girl of my dreams.

I did it. I stuck with it. Over time, it got easier. And soon, it became effortless to pop those lenses in and out... even when I grew my nails long to have prettier hands. A year later, I grew out my hair and went from frumpy, mousy, unkempt short stylelessness to long, flowing, wavy femininity. About the same time, my boobs grew, I got some curves and some height, and I went from a dumpy wardrobe of Kliban tee shirts and corduroy pants to pretty sweaters, form fitting jeans, and flowing trendy skirts. I became confident and no longer sat hiding in the corner under my brown plastic glasses. My life *did* change... and it all began with those contacts.

I wanted it bad enough to go through the extreme discomfort that went with getting used to the change.

Do I want the new, lighter healthy body badly enough to get on that bike everyday, lift weights regularly, and MOVE through the discomfort?

It would've been *so easy* to give up and go back to glasses. Just as easy as sitting on the couch watching TV.

Wanting it is NOT enough. We have to WORK for it. Persevere. Get it done.

That's my goal for this, my third year of weight loss blogging. I will keep working at it until I get it done. One bike ride at a time.


Tammy said...

Good for you Lyn...I love the attitude and the perseverance. I know exactly how bad you want it. I'm with you all the way girl! :)

Leslie said...

Excellent post. I identify with so much of your struggle, and definitely with having Binge Eating Disorder. I don't want to have it, wish I didn't, hate it, still try to navigate my way through "normal eating" (I'll just have one cookie)...but the results mostly tend to be the same. That doesn't mean I don't occasionally choose to have cookies or something, but that I have them with the knowledge that I may find myself at the other end of a binge as the result. Not always, but often.

So far I just can't embrace programs that totally forbid all sugar, white flour...whatever. My biggest goal, and prayer, is to make peace with food and eating, including accepting responsibility for the consequences that my choices yield. And I pray for willingness to stay the course, get right back on the treadmill, and not abandon or berate myself when I have setbacks.

You are such an inspiration and help to so many. Good things are in store in the coming year...I feel it!

Shelley said...

Go Lyn!!! I'm rooting for ya!

P.S. I still can't stand wearing contacts - never got used to putting them in and taking them out.

bbubblyb said...

I'm rooting for you too. You can do this Lyn. I know for me it's about changing that inner voice in my head that wants to doubt I can do this.

We have to realize we are worthy of being healthy people. We are good and strong and we can do anything we put our minds to. Believe in yourself Lyn! You can do it, have faith in you.

As for contacts, I still struggle with them. Just like you, when I was 13 or so I tried them, ended up messing up my eyes and gave them up except on special occasions till just last year. Don't think I will ever really like them though lol.

As for losing weight fixing thing wrong with our lives. I think the process of losing weight does help us fix some things but I think it's more because we are changing along the way. Will it make everything perfect, nope. Will it give me a toilet and shower, oops thats my story not yours, sorry lol.

Anyway, I know you can do this and I'm glad you're sharing your thoughts with us, we all do struggle too, it's good knowing we aren't alone. *hugs*

Hope said...

Weight loss is hard, annoying, painful and full of struggle. But the end result is worth *every* passed up cookie or intense workout that made you sore for the next three days.

It's really is just like getting contacts, it get easier, the further along you get. Your new habits get to be second nature, you see yourself getting stronger and start looking better. It's not like you never struggle and it's not like you are never unhappy. But for the most part, (at least for me) I've gained a ton of confidence in myself, I look better and I feel better. Like I said, it's not like I'm always happy, but I think the new-found confidence helps me get over being unhappy so much quicker.

Best of luck,


Anonymous said...

They say the difference between a dream and a goal is a plan and a timeline. I think that's the "thing" people talk about when they say they just decided they wanted it bad enough. Of course we all *want* to lose weight. We might ACHE with the wanting. But do we want it badly enough to work hard, sometimes deny ourselves, delay gratification, learn new habits, plan out our food, give up our time, etc...THAT'S the question.

So, there's wanting...and there's WANTING.

Great post, Lyn. I'm rooting for you!

Jodie said...

Very inspiring post...I understand that fear...Fear that life won't change if you lose the weight. Fear that you'll really find out how shallow people really are. Fear that people will still look at you as the "former fat woman". Your comparison to contact lenses is so true. We all want it but what are we willing to do to get it?

Lyn said...


I *loved* your comment!! So true. Thanks!

Irene said...

Wonderful post...very wll written Lyn...You have become my new "favorite" if we could give Kudos you would have a Sh*t load!!! Understand EXACTLY what you mean!! Wanting it is there everyone wants it!! To be able to do the things they always wanted to do the confidence it brings the joy to have nothin hold you back from playing with your kids or doing the things others take for granted..Everyone WANTS it but its more then that its the DRIVE to go get it!!! I have struggeled my whole adult life never dipping below 200 and if I did barely get there it was short lived so I understand the mental struggels it is!! You will get you said one bike ride at a time:-)
My best

Lisa said...

Hello Lyn, My goodness. I was compelled to write after I read this post. I have been 'lurking' for a while and always enjoyed your posts. I was brought to tears reading today. We are similar in so many ways. I am 39, started my journey at 278 lbs. in Feb. 2009. I have just reached the 64 lbs. lost mark. So weird that you wrote about this today. (I don't have any kids, though) I know I've been successful so far, and I am making sure to dig deep and deal with the emotional issues. Your thought about losing the weight and still being unhappy hit me like a ton of bricks. Wow. Sorry if this is rambling. I thank you for all that you do and your honesty every day. It is very admirable and inspiring. Many blessings!

Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

You have a great attitude! I got contacts when I was 15, and your experience mirrors mine. It was worth it!

And so was all the effort I put forth to lose my weight. Keep up the good work, one day at a time!

screwdestiny said...

The reason most people don't achieve what they want, is because they pick what they want in the moment over what they want most.

I had a super hard time when I first got contacts, too. It didn't take me an hour, but yeah, it had me thinking, Is this ever going to get easier? Luckily it did.

antgirl said...

There's a lot that goes on between *wanting* and achieving. There is so much work - emotional, physical, mental - there is way more to it than food and exercise. Fitting all those pieces together can be baffling ... in a way that works for you. It takes time. For me it did.

I think we all keep searching for what works and struggle until we figure that out. You'll do it. :)

Lori Ann said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I found you via Lori Ann's blog...I am so glad I did!! This post really spoke to me...I think I may have lived your life!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it was New Me: Fresh Starts blog I found you through...I was looking at Lori Ann, and somehow...being the ditz I can be...didn't leave bread crumbs and forgot how I ended up here!!!

MB said...

Another great post. I wrote something similar this morning asking "How Bad Do You Want It?" As usual, you pulled the thoughts right out of my head and wrote them much more eloquently than I did but my feelings are the same. Like you, I will keep working at it until I get it done.

Rebecca said...

There is a sign where I work out.

"Success: Don't just wish for it, WORK for it."

That has kept me on the treadmill many times.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, this is such a moving story. You hit the nail on the head though. Wanting it is not enough. You gotta want it more than you want to avoid the pain of getting it.

Lisa said...

Amen sister!

Carrie said...

that was an amazing post. I think your story really hit home for me. I too felt the exact same way about having contacts. You are very inspirational!

Anonymous said...

i look forward to reading your post everyd day Lyn - miss you when you're gone - your blog hits home with so many of us. we are all struggling with this demond - you are not alone. pray for strength - it works!! xo Patty

Twix said...

Cheers!!! :D

Jen said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I have just started reading, and I see myself in a lot of what you say! Really--thank you! Jen

Anonymous said...

Best wishes in your continued journey Lyn--thanks for keeping it real on here.

I don't pretend to know much about Binge Eating disorder, are there other people who read you that could give specifics of how they achieved some sort of control over it and have been successful at keeping the weight off. Just a thought--it might be helpful.
Keep on keepin' on!

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Lyn. Been following your blog for a few weeks now and completely identifying with your struggle. I too have been battling the same 20lbs for the last year and am no further ahead in how I'm going to get a grip on it. Every so often I manage to get back on track for a few weeks or even for 3 months earlier this year but then it all falls apart again. Some kind of stress, illness or just exhaustion comes into my life and I'm right back to bingeing hell yet again. It's important to realise that this is an addiction just like alcoholism or gambling etc. Binge eating creates opioid like substances in the brain so every time you feel bad (or just tired, or had enough of whatever stressor it is) your head thinks that binge eating is the way to make you feel better. (See link on my blog for article on this research). So now I understand the biology and chemistry of why I do this - but still don't know how to stop it. So much for science!
We are back to one day at a time, or one bike ride at a time, just as with all addictions.
PS You inspired me to start my own blog!

Human in Progress said...

Hi Lyn,

Long time reader dropping by to say that this is exactly what I needed to read today. As I struggle to get my own weight loss efforts rolling, I'm realizing I don't have the proper balance between analysis and action in my life. I spend more time reading, writing, and thinking about weight loss than I do exercising and preparing good food. Thanks for the much-needed kick in the a** today!


JEM said...

Some great thoughts. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

Mary said...


Just had to add my voice to the chorus cheering you on. I know you can do this!

Anonymous said...

"If you want it bad enough, it will happen."
I want a million dollars pretty badly. Still hasn't happened.

Lyn said...


Work harder! :oP