The Journey of Life...

"Life is a journey; not a destination” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It's true isn't it?  Every day we undertake the journey.  There is no destination unless you count death, which is the end of life.  Heaven?  Hell?  If you believe, I suppose that could be your destination, but isn't that eternal life (or damnation), which would be different than what we consider "life" on this planet.

But this post isn't about the mysteries of life; it's about one particular road that I am following once again.

Yes, I'm about to talk about weight.  (Deep breath, heavy sigh or perhaps a groan?)  It's a subject that I hate to talk about, but feel like I need to.

So, yes, I am overweight.  I have been for most of my life.  I was the heavy set kid in gym class that got picked last for everything.  (I didn't like gym.)  I tried dieting at various times in my life. I tried to do the Cabbage Soup diet before I got married.  UGH!  I'm sure it works for fast weight loss, but I couldn't make it past a couple of days.   I was heavy when I got married, but I was a beautiful bride (I can't think of a bride that isn't...no matter what shape or size.)

A few years in, when a co-worker and friend was getting married she started Weight Watchers and I decided to give it a try too.  Surprise!  It worked!  Or at least it worked when I worked it.  When I followed the guidelines I did pretty well and I was proud of myself.  But as months passed and the pounds didn't come off as quickly as I'd like (I've found that as you get closer to your "goal" weight, everything slows down so much that a snail's pace looks like it's Ursain Bolt) and eventually I stopped going.

You can guess what eventually happened, right?


Which leads me to 2011.  I was really heavy.  The heaviest I've ever been.  And here is the proof:


That's me reading an original story to my son's kindergarten class in May of 2011.

By October, I'd had enough and became determined.  I joined Weight Watchers again.  With on line resources as well as weekly meetings I SLOWLY started to take off the pounds.  It wasn't a miraculous process or an easy journey.  Well, some days it was easy; some days it was really hard.  It was a JOURNEY.  I had ups and downs.  There were weeks when I gained...and those are the weeks that no one likes because sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to it.  (Although most times it's just because I ate too much or "fudged" how I calculated my daily points.)

I can remember Memorial Day weekend of 2012.  That's right before my birthday and at that point I'd lost 25 pounds or so.  My son and I were visiting my parents at the shore, but the weather wasn't cooperating.  My mom handed me a local department store credit card and told me it was time to buy some new clothes.  

I had no idea what size to buy.  I can remember trying on size 14 (petite) jeans and being amazed that they were too large!  Size 12?  Me?  Impossible!  But it wasn't.  It was the best shopping experience I ever had.  Even finding a size 10 skirt that fit perfectly the following weekend (different store) wasn't quite as fun (but it was joyous).

I stayed with the "traditional" Weight Watchers (going to weekly meetings and weighing in) until I lost my job.  (I was "downsized"...if only sizing down was as "quick.")  But I still continued on line until the financial pinch told me that I needed to save every penny and so I gave it up in spring of 2013.  And I tried to continue on my own...On plan, despite a turbulent 2012 (2 deaths in the family, job loss, Hurricane Sandy) I did well as the below photo taken in September 2013 shows.




I looked good and I was feeling good.

But days, weeks and months passed.  My weight fluctuated, but only by five or so pounds.  I was happy with my weight and its range even if it wasn't the "perfect" goal weight. Maintaining this weight wasn't always easy, but it was easier in late 2013 when I found a part time position (that was supposed to turn into full time) which was grueling.  The owner of the company browbeat all of his employees and I found myself feeling physically sick every morning.  While I AM a stress/emotional eater, I just couldn't eat before work and could not eat much during my lunch break.  I may have looked good, but I wasn't feeling good.

Thankfully that changed when I got a better full time position.  And from May 2014 until now the pounds have been sneaking on.  

Or maybe not sneaking so much.  I remember being 10 pounds heavier than my lowest point in October of 2014.  I could take it off.  If I just lost 5 pounds, I'd be happy.  So I'd lose a pound or two and then it would come back.

I kept going up, but it was okay.  Or so I told myself.  But the size 6 skort (which I'll admit I only wore twice when I was at my leanest) went back to the thrift shop.  (Volunteering in my church's thrift shop was not only a blessing to my psyche when I was out of work, but provided me with low cost clothing as I lost and gained and gained and lost.)  Sizes are not important (and certainly they are not completely accurate as I found during one of my early treks to a department store where I tried on three skirts; the 14 was too big, the 12 too small, but the 10 was just right?), but more and more of my wardrobe was going back to the thrift shop.  The thrill that I had when I tried on my first size 12 was gone.

All through the years, I have been exercising; I'm a devoted walker during the warm months and an "inside" walk aerobic devotee during the colder time of the year.  However, I will admit that I've been slowing down.  Is it age or is it the extra weight that I'm carrying that is the issue?  Instead of an hour, I'm going for an hour and a half to keep my miles where they should be.  

Most importantly, I've noticed this summer that I just don't feel as good as I used to.  I'm bloaty.  I'm feeling uncomfortable in my own skin (not unlike how I felt when I first started this journey).  

All of these things SHOULD have been a sign to me that I needed help; that I needed a community to support me.  But it didn't...the discomfort, the slower speed, the tight clothing; they should have been a sign.

Then I got on the scale this past week.  As much as I say numbers don't matter, the number shocked the SHIT of out me.  And finally I realized that it was time.  

Not time to call myself a failure or beat myself up.  Time to reconnect with the community and with the tools that have worked for me.  I'll admit that it does irk me that I have to PAY money to lose weight; I mean WHY can't I do this on my own? I know the "rules."  But I need something more.  And as the old ad (for L’Oréal products) says:  I'm worth it.

So here I am:  



Not at my best, but not at my worst either.  Smiling, because I'm ready to do what's right.  Not JUST to wear a specific size or for a specific number pop up on my scale. (Although I freely admit they are mitigating factors and as I much as I say they SHOULDN'T matter; let's face it; they DO!)  I want to feel better.  I am a relatively healthy mid-age woman (AARP has trapped me) and I want to stay that way.  I've got a child to raise and parents to look after.   A healthy weight is part of that.  But more so is a healthy outlook and mindset.  

Life is a journey; not a destination.  I'm ready to undertake the healthier, not easier path.

Comments

  1. A little late responding but I'm with ya. It's like I hit 40 and boom I gained 5 lbs on top of the 15 I already wanted to get off. My problem is that I am just a food lover. I hate eating the same thing day after day so dieting is super hard for me. I'll be happy when it cools down a bit and I can get back to walking outside.

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