No Excuses

Torture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything.
— Gregg Easterbrook

If you read me mostly through an aggregator, you probably missed the recent addition of that tab up top labeled “No Excuses.”  Go click on it.  I’ll wait.

So that’s that.  I don’t like putting that number out there for everyone to see, but I don’t know what else to do.  No matter how many weeks in a row I trudge into my WW meeting dreading the scale, and no matter how many times after seeing the number go up and up and up I swear to myself this is it, it never really is.  And I can’t figure out, really, what’s so hard about this.  I did it before, I know what to do, but for some reason, my resolve weakens after a day or two – sometimes I get as far as a week, have a good result on the scale, and then get lazy again.

Here’s the bigger confession: my last weigh in before David and I were together, I weighed 164 pounds.  That’s 74 pounds lost from my starting weight.  Now, after 19 months together, I’ve gained 43 pounds back.  I’m terribly ashamed of that.  I swore when I got below 200 about 8 months after starting WW (this May will be 4 years on program – well, 4 years that I’ve paid for WW every month and attended meetings every week, whether or not I was actually “on” the program) that I would never see the other side of it again.  And yet, as the number started creeping ever closer to that threshold, I never really got it together.  My motivation just wasn’t there.

I’ve said this before, but I want to reiterate it, because it’s very important to me: David is not to blame for my weight gain.  It’s no coincidence, I don’t think, that I’ve gained all this weight only since we’ve been together, but it is not his fault.  I am responsible for what goes in my mouth and for how much exercise I get.  He is never anything but supportive; the failings are mine alone.

Enough is enough.  I’ve cried over the number on the scale too many times, and I never used to, even when I’d gained at weigh-in.  I was always able to remind myself that it’s just a number on a scale, it’s not a measure of my worth as a person.  But as the number got higher, right or wrong, it ate away at my self-confidence.  Now, I feel exactly the way I felt in May 2006 before I walked in the door of my first WW meeting: I feel like I don’t fit.  I don’t fit in my clothes, I don’t fit in my skin – literally and metaphorically – I don’t fit in the world.  I feel like my weight is the first thing people see when they look at me; it’s certainly the first thing I see when I look at myself.

I read an article in the New York Times, probably almost two years ago, about the Fat Acceptance movement.  As a result, I started to read a lot of blogs in that vein.  The gist of the movement is that fat is no more than a label, it is not a terrible thing to be, and people should stop dieting and putting themselves down for how much they weigh and we should all learn to love and accept our bodies as they are.  The thinking goes that not all people are meant to be thin, and when you continually diet and punish yourself for not conforming to some societal ideal of what your body should look like, you create a huge source of angst in your life.  (These are the sites I read most often, in case you want to check it out: Big Fat Deal, Fatshionista, Shapely Prose, and The F-Word)

I get all that – in theory.  And so, I don’t like what it maybe says about me – and society – that I’m not happy with myself like this, but I’m just not, and I don’t feel like I can change that.  I was much more confident, and much happier with myself at 164 (which was still about 20 pounds from where I wanted to be, ideally, and I was headed in that direction) than I am now, and I’m not going to make apologies for that.   I’m very much uncomfortable in my own skin as a heavy person in a way I never was as a thinner person, and I don’t think I should live my life that way.

So here we are.  I feel pretty defeated about this.  Sometimes, I sit in my meeting and remember how long it took me to lose those 74 pounds and I could kick myself for letting it get this bad, and I look at the road ahead to try to get back where I was, and it seems nearly impossible, given what has proven to be my current state of motivation.  Like I said in the beginning, I don’t know what else to do, so I’ve posted my weight over there on the No Excuses tab, and I intend to update it every week after my weigh in (usually on Tuesday evenings).  Somehow, I’ve got to get back in control.  It’s all a circle – when I’m in control, I make better food choices, which makes me want to exercise to get the most out of the good choices, which makes me want to make good food choices so I don’t undo all the exercise, and when both things are going well, I feel a thousand times better about myself, which makes me want to keep doing the right things to keep feeling good.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get out of the twos, let alone to get back to 164 or to reach my ultimate goal.  But I can tell you this, which is the reason I’ve never skipped a WW meeting in the entire time I’ve been on the program, even when I wasn’t actually following the program: The only way I won’t get what I want is if I stop trying to get it.

P.S.  This is not the post I promised on my food issues – I’m working on that one, still.

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4 thoughts on “No Excuses

  1. You know that I am feeling your motivational slump, too. I play all sorts of mind-games with myself. One of them is to try to never really look at the number on the scale. Of course, I look at it, then I put it into my tracker, but after that, I’m done with it. I, honestly, cannot tell you what the number is, right now. I’ll be able to tell you on Monday when I weigh in.

    Along those same lines, I try to never look at my ending number. This is a new one for me. Instead, I’m trying to look at interim numbers. I focus on the next milestone to hit.

  2. Yeah, that’s my plan, too, Lydia. In fact, just a couple weeks ago I asked my leader if I could get 5-pound stars for my milestones (35, 40, etc) even though I hit them once already the first time around. She said yes – her philosophy is that it’s all the same accomplishment, whether it’s the first time or the tenth. For some reason, those silly stickers tend to motivate me, so I’m focusing on getting to 203.8 to get my star for 35 pounds. Then I’ll worry about the next five. At least, that’s my plan.

  3. I sometimes think I’m addicted to food. I think about it all the time. And getting off the sofa to exercise? Terribly difficult now that I’m heavier. So I get your pain. I came north to house sit for 3 weeks, brought a bunch of exercise tapes with me. 1.5 weeks into the stay and I haven’t done any. Though I have tried to eat better. Haven’t lost a pound though.

    It’s just so hard!!!! And I HATE counting food and points. But that’s the only thing that’s ever worked for me. The only way I stay honest. But even then I get lazy fast.

    Why are we so successful at other things in life and struggle so much with this?

  4. Sometimes it’s like we are twins. Pretty much everything you wrote applies to me too. I wish I had words of wisdom but all I got is empathy. I feel ya, know what it’s like and where you are coming from.

    The one wwer tool I hate is when leaders tell you to picture yourself thin. I can’t do it. I have never been thin, at least since 3rd grade. 3rd grade is when I can first remember being the big girl. It’s hard to imagine the outcome when you have nothing to compare it to.

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