Saturday, June 18, 2011

In which there's a silver lining to regaining 100+ lbs

I'm a glass-half-full person, so perhaps this is a post that could only come from me.

Because when you read the title, you're thinking, No (*&#&$^ way there is an upside to that.

And, for the most part, you'd be right.

In many earlier posts I've mentioned that I became a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers in 2003. I joined WW in April 2002, 286 lbs (above left), thoroughly and completely done with being obese. I attacked losing then like I do now - 100% committed in eating and exercise. I reached goal in August 2003 and became a Lifetime member on, of all days, my birthday in September 2003 (above right), having lost 124 lbs.

One of the main reasons I wanted to lose weight was to get pregnant. And, annoyingly, once I was at goal I could not get pregnant. Discouraged after months, I decided to just eat what I wanted, it's not like I was getting pregnant, anyway.

Eighteen months later, 250+ lbs, I got pregnant. Figures, right?

Anyway, that's a post for another day. I can hear you, Get to the silver lining!

First, if you lose 100 lbs, I would recommend you not regain it. If you think it's work losing it once, it's not any easier or more fun doing it the second time.

However, there are two things I was able to rely on this second time around:

1. I knew because I did it once, I could do it again. There was no, Maybe I can't... worry. I knew I could. I knew I would. That's pretty reassuring.

2. This is a biggie. I knew, deep down to my bones, that no matter what I was facing, food is never the answer. After you eat whatever you think will make you feel better, you'll always feel worse. Especially if you're an all-or-nothing person like me.

I've relied on #2 a lot this week. June is a very difficult month as a parent. Activities are ending, school is ending, so there's games, dress rehearsals, recitals, parties, field days, presents to buy, notes to write, forms to fill out for summer activities, I mean, it's never-friggin-ending in June. The things to do, the stuff to remember is ridiculous.

This week was exceptionally busy on that front. Under the weather a bit, my resistance was low. I was mentally wiped out and physically hurting. Then yesterday it got worse.

My son came down with a bug, which meant canceling a long-awaited night out with my husband - and the sitter I worked so hard to book. It also meant my son would miss his last soccer game and the season-ending pizza party he was so looking forward to. And it meant I would have to miss my daughter's dance recital today since it's unfair to leave a potentially-puking kid with a sitter.

The pressures were really high and I was really bummed about how everything quickly went in the crapper, yet I never once thought that raiding a bakery would make me feel better. I honestly knew it wouldn't.

And in the past I've known that, too, but still turned to food to get me through whatever I needed to get through. I remember thinking This will not solve anything and I will feel worse, but screw it. But this go-round, this final time, I believe in that as much as I believe in anything.

Would I trade that assurance for not having regained the weight? In a millisecond. But if regaining it led me to this very important realization, then it wasn't a complete disaster.

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