Friday, March 7, 2014

What do I believe?

Glenda’s talk struck home with me more than I thought it would.  Several things stood out to me.

1)   She can find many excuses as to why she’s not losing or why she’s gaining.
2)   She’d never made a commitment to the program.
3)   She wasn’t living up to her potential.

I can so relate so I’ll share a bit of my story too.

When I walked into THW years ago (no really, like many moons ago!), I wasn’t committed to the program either.  In fact, I came there strictly to help Letha with some marketing stuff, get a paycheck and go about my business.  But there were other plans in store for me.  After our first meeting, Letha graciously suggested we exchange services.  I walked out of her office, went to Muchas Gracious and ordered a burrito so I could think it over because food always helped me think.  :D  I was in my car at the drive thru thinking of how silly it was that I’d even been considering doing this program.  The word “failure” kept racing through my mind.  After downing my bean and cheese calorie extravaganza, I made a decision to just test it out.  Just dip my toe in for a week or two and see how it went. The program wasn’t going to work and I wasn’t going to succeed so why not just see what it was all about.  Right?

I called Letha and said that we could work out a trade but I was so scared I didn’t even think I could muster the energy to go the first weigh in.  I’d tried programs before and failed.  I’d been “working” on weight loss since I was a kid and had never been able to figure it out.  I remember calling Weight Watchers at 13 to see if I could join the program and sobbed when they told me I was too young.  A year before I met Letha, I’d paid thousands to LA Weight Loss and had only mustered a 20lb loss.  With my history, I knew was going to fail. 

At THW, I stepped on the scale for the first time but refused to know my weight.  I stepped on backwards so I wouldn’t have to face the number.  I was shaking.  Even though the “f” word (I mean failure of course) was coursing through me every minute of the first week, I succeeded that week in being 100% on plan and was rewarded with a 10lb loss.  From there on out, I lost quickly.  When I hit 60lbs lost, I finally turned around and faced my number and was shocked to see 247 staring back at me.  For all the hard work I’d been doing to lose 60lbs, I was still so far from my 159 lb goal.  I remember feeling like I was taking on the impossible.  I continued forward though and by working hard and being 100% on program, I got down to 189. 

Hitting 100lbs lost was a huge accomplishment.  Getting below 200 was another huge accomplishment.  I celebrated but never thought I deserved it because in the back of my mind I kept hearing “you won’t keep it off”, “you’re not a successful person so you will fail eventually”, “you’ve worked hard and deserve a treat”, and more negative stuff which resulted in my stopping to lose and starting to gain. 

I’ve been in yo-yo land ever since.  Up a little down a little.  Up a lot.  Down a lot.  But I’ve yet to hit my original 159 goal let alone hit my lowest of 189. 

I say all of that to say that I too have not been committed to this process.  When Glenda said that last night I just about fell outta my chair.  Did those sitting around me see the light bulb?  I swear it was there.  Like uber bright!  Holy cow.  I had been going through the motions and yet not committing just like she had been.  I’d still been just dipping my toe in the water.  I get it.  I totally get it.

I could make excuses for my yo-yo-ing – and I’ve done my share of that for sure!  I’ve said it’s because I was breaking up with an icky boy friend.  Or that I was celebrating finding the love of my life.  Or isn’t getting married reason to celebrate? Dealing with mean people was a reason to eat pizza, I thought.  Certainly the miscarriage was reason to fall off the wagon.  Not to mention adjusting to married life and being a stepmom, worrying about finances, work, and well everything other thing that happens EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Whew.   I was celebrating the good with food and mourning the bad also with food. 

Well, there you have it.  Hello weight!  The root of this is that I have ever truly identified what I want long term and then made strides to get it done.  I have skinny friends that live life just like me and they don’t get fat when hard times come.  They don’t get fat when good times come.  They are different because they have a reason to be that way.  I have never truly believed I could get what I wanted and therefore haven’t made it a priority.

Walking into THW at 307 pounds, I had no vision.  I just wanted to lose (if I could).  I’ve slowly developed a vision but it’s a short term one.  I’m thinking of summer.  Shouldn’t I be thinking of the rest of my life?

So Glenda’s comments about seeking my potential hit home.  I must figure out what my potential is and in so doing, change my thinking to see me through the task of making it happen.

What are my beliefs?  Obviously my belief that I’ll fail has come true because I’ve made it happen.  How do I go about changing that thought process, belief, and action?  I don’t know for 100% certainty yet but I think it’s a process and I’m not willing to give up on it no matter how much I lose/gain in the process.  One day, I will figure it out.  Until then, I keep listening, learning, and engaging with people I meet at THW because I learn something about others and myself every single time I get back up and keep moving forward.  Each opportunity to learn gets me that much closer to the answer.

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