My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the psychological factor

01/01/05 I set out to lose 50 pounds that year. By early December, I had succeeded. I changed my eating habits right away. I started exercising about halfway through the year. I joined Weight Watchers in September. I was hot and heavy, hard core, full steam ahead, no looking back…

In 2006 I continued to lose weight all the way through the end of April, eventually losing a total of 73 pounds.

And then.
It started going the other direction. I gained back 71 pounds.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week… not to be able to make excuses or place blame. But to truly understand the psychology behind my weight… what makes me successful in weight loss and what trips me up.

I won’t recap the whole Darby Drama… but certainly, what appeared for about a minute and a half to be “happily ever after” became a living nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I lost control over everything in my life. I couldn’t wear what I wanted, work where I wanted, live where I wanted, use the internet or the phone like I wanted. I couldn’t have pets or friends or live near family. My life was shredded down to where it resembled nothing of my former life – and not in a good way. Food was the only old friend I could hang onto. And I clung for dear life. I couldn’t eat in front of him – he would literally take food off of my plate – even in public – so I would make sure I satisfied all of my cravings when he wasn’t around – when I could.

It’s been nearly 21 months since we packed up my things and headed to the hills. I’ve spent 21 months finding my wings again. I’ve spent 21 months coping with post-traumatic stress symptoms, battling to get my health and sanity back, fighting to remember who I am. Up until this week I refused to have all of my dishes clean at one time. I made sure there were always SOME dirty dishes in the sink… simply because I could if I wanted to. And to some degree… I’ve given in to whatever cravings I’ve had and eaten what I wanted because I COULD.

There will always be scars from that time of my life. What I have to do is remember the things that worked for me on the way down the scale… and the things that tripped me up on the way back up.

The good… I was focused, determined, stubborn, relentless. I was patient but insistent. I was educated, prepared, accountable. I measured and weighed and celebrated and adjusted when things weren’t working. I learned to love to sweat. I restructured my life to include good nutrition and fitness. I walked on lunch. I walked at Cody’s ball games and practices. I purposed to do it. It was as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth.

The bad… I was discouraged, downtrodden, abused to the point where I felt worthless and impotent. (impotent is not equal to important). I was no longer doing healthy things for a healthy reason, I was doing them out of fear of rejection. I wanted to test the boundaries… would he love me ten pounds heavier? How about twenty? I wanted to rebel against his tyranny and food was my weapon of choice. He could keep me off the internet but he couldn’t keep me from eating.

And … there were a lot of nasty medications that I had to take to survive mentally for a time there, they all added weight. There were a lot of meds that I had to take to recover physically… they all added weight. I got lazy. I lost focus. I quit caring. I put myself into a place where I was safe from being loved and therefore potentially disappointed again. I insulated myself with fat.

Losing weight takes a lot of courage. It’s a lot of work. Yet, I can also tell you that it takes a lot of courage to live single. It takes a lot of work to live life in a fat suit. On one hand it’s discouraging to have to make the same journey again… but it’s great to have the knowledge, wisdom and experience that I gained. And the really cool thing is that I KNOW I CAN!

Happy Days ahead, people!