You know, every time I think "I've got this!", it sort of falls apart and I have to work to get it back.
It's been like that from the start. No matter what plan I have been on or what I have been doing to get the weight off (because it has changed several times over the years), I go along doing fantastic for awhile and then 'something' happens and I struggle. Maybe the 'something' is a special occasion where rich foods are served. Maybe it is a medical crisis or emotional stress. Maybe it is just me wanting some chips and giving in. Whatever that 'something' is, when I step outside my weight-loss box, it affects the way I think and feel about myself, my body, my journey.
But things have changed over the years, too. I used to calorie count, back in the day. And on days I went way over my calories for whatever reason, I often felt a range of very strong emotions: fear (of never getting back in control), shame (for not being able to "control myself"), anxiety (about gaining back all the weight), and anger (because it "shouldn't be this hard"). I used to place a value on myself that was directly related to how closely I adhered to whatever ideal plan I had in mind for myself. If I varied from that ideal by eating a cookie or putting butter on my vegetables or not taking a walk that day, I was a failure. I felt horrible. And it often took me FOREVER to get back into weight-loss mode. And a dieting cycle was my life.
I have learned that I am far from perfect and that this whole journey is not even really about "staying on plan" or "going off plan" or whether I lift weights on any given day or not, even though I still speak in those terms. I have learned that my life is changed because my *mind* is changed, my *behavior* is changed, and as a result yes, my weight is changed. This is life. The goal of my life is not to be a perfect dieter. It is not to "get over" whatever issues may have led to my obesity in the first place. It is not even to be a shining example of how to eat and how to lose weight, although a lot of people seem to think that is my role. The goal of my life is to live; it is to experience joy and family and friends and health. Yes, health, which allows me to have the richer, fuller life I desire. I cannot even describe for you the difference, for me, that losing 100 pounds has made in the richness of my life. So the weight loss IS tied to my life goals... but it is not THE GOAL.
What has changed the most for me is that my life is rich and amazing whether I am "on plan" or "off plan" or something in between. My "dieting" success no longer dictates the amount of joy I feel in my life. That's not to say I ignore my eating and activity; I need to maintain my loss and continue on (and lose another 30 pounds or so) in order to have the health I desire. And I feel loads better when I am not eating sugar or junky foods. I am just saying, it is pretty amazing to me that I am truly enjoying my life right now, even though I am currently having a bit of an argument with my inner brat about food. My eating since the trip this week has not been that great, so I am working to remedy that right now. But THAT is not my life. Not anymore. My eating *enables* me to have the life I want, so it is absolutely important, but *eating,* whether on-plan or off-plan, is no longer the focus and highlight (or lowlight) of my existence. I count that a big success.
The weekend is here, and for me, that means dog sports! We are off to do some dock diving and tracking and will get some obedience practice in as well. Besides that, my house is in dire need of a cleaning and my daughter wants me to help her build a fairy house today. I hope your weekend is as blessed!
Monday Babble and Dhammapada
6 hours ago