I feel trapped. Stuck in this body. I hate it, and yet I am too lazy and apathetic to change it. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I am getting fatter every day, and yet what do I do about it? Nothing, except continue doing the same thing I’ve been doing: eating too much and exercising too little. I look at myself in the mirror or look at the number on the scale, and still sometimes I can’t believe that person is really me. Have I really let myself gain this much weight? How did I let this happen?
I remember the beginning of the weight gain, last summer. I remember thinking, “Well, it’s only 5 pounds, and I knew I wasn’t going to stay at 167 anyway. No big deal. If I just stay at this weight, I’ll be fine.” Then 5 pounds became 10 pounds became 15 pounds. After I routinely started seeing 180+ on the scale, I started thinking, “Okay, I have to do something. I’m getting into the danger zone. But I can still fix this. As long as I don’t get above 190, I’ll be fine.” So I’d make a few changes, half-heartedly track my food for a few days, then not see any results (!) and go back to what I’d been doing—eating too much and exercising too little.
Then one day, I saw it on the scale. 192 pounds. Just to be sure, I weighed myself again, but there it was, no mistaking it. Those 5 pounds from last summer morphed into 25 pounds, and then 30 pounds. Earlier this week, I weighed 196 pounds. The last time I weighed that much was after I had Charlotte. I thought I would never see those numbers again, and yet there they are. Here I am.
In a way, I feel as though I’m observing this happening to someone else, not me. Surely this is not MY body that is reverting back to its old ways, not my weight creeping back up. Even though I never reached my goal weight of 160 pounds (except for when I was in the middle of an ulcerative colitis flare), I always thought I’d be one of the success stories, one of the people who lost the weight and kept it off. After all, it took me 2.5 years to lose 90 pounds, so it wasn’t like I did it overnight. I did it gradually, allowing enough time for habits to develop and stick around. But I never really found my dieting groove again after I had Charlotte. I managed to lose the weight again and got back down to 167, but it was a hard-fought battle, and I was never fully committed. Other things had taken the place of weight loss, and I was happy to let them. I was sick of thinking about numbers—whether it was the number of calories in my breakfast, the number of calories I burned on my run, or the number on the scale. I was sick of them all. When I literally got sick and was only able to focus on things like sleeping and dragging myself to the bathroom, I finally just let it all go. I couldn’t think about my weight because I was just trying to think about feeling well again.
When I finally did feel well again, you’d think I would have taken my new-found health and run with it, literally and figuratively. Instead, I wallowed. I tended to my wounds—the emotional and spiritual wounds left after being sick for months on end. I stopped trying, and so the weight came back.
Now here I am, heavier than I’ve been in years, more defeated than I’ve felt in a long time. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know if I’ll lose the weight. I want to, but what does that mean? I’ve wanted it all my life. What I have do now is take the desire and turn it into action. No more pity parties. No more wallowing. No more excuses, only results. One day at a time, one choice at a time. I owe it to myself to live a healthy life. This body is all I have. I don’t get another one this side of heaven, so it’s time I stop treating it like a garbage can and fill it with good things.
It’s time to wake up. It’s time to change.