Last week I found a “Weight-Loss Reflections” journal I wrote in 2008. I took “Before” photos that would now feel like “Progress” photos. I was 227 pounds when I started that time. This time I started 50 pounds heavier.
11 years ago I wrote, “It’s going to take A LOT of work and time to undo a lot of what I’ve done to my body. This initial motivation is going to fade, I’m going to get frustrated with the lack of obvious results, and I’m going to want to quit. I feel as though I’m finally being realistic about that. That doesn’t mean I expect to fail. My past habits will not be repeated if I acknowledge them, prepare for them, and battle through.”
Oy. It hit me really hard listening to my own optimism that in time proved to be insufficient. What struck me more was how I could have written so much of that journal again today. Have I learned nothing? Have I not grown at all? Is this weight loss attempt also futile?
Oh Sisyphus, I know that feel brah.
I let myself feel sad and broken for a few days after reading it. I’m still sad, but also a bit more determined to do better. I have to be honest with myself about it. I have already come to terms with the fact that weight is my battle in this life, so I haven’t really learned anything new. It was a bit of a smack in the face nonetheless.
So how is this go-round any different? Besides of course, being older and fatter. And does it even need to be different for it to work this time?
Well I’m finally going to therapy to address my broken brain. That’s something. I also have a much better support system now. My husband is damn near perfect, but don’t tell him I said that. Plus, I’m taking everything much slower now and have accepted the fact that this will be a long journey. I also appreciate my current body and its capabilities more now, even though it’s older and creakier.
So who knows? Maybe I will be reading this again someday wishing my starting weight could be 278 pounds. If that’s the case, here’s my message to me: “Hey you, glad you found your way back to a healthier mindset, despite what you’ve been through. I’m doing my best to help you out, but we are both aware of this cycle, and how flawed I am. Try to be kind to yourself and do something today to feel more in control. You can think about your issues for ages without gaining insight. Action matters more. Love to you.”