After 40 years of yo-yo dieting, on October 8, 2012, I reached my “program-approved” goal weight. I’d only reached that weight twice before: on the way up, and for my wedding. I had high hopes of staying in that vicinity, but I did question whether or not I had actually broken that blinkin’ yo-yo. Would I ricochet up yet again? Would something happen to send me off on a binge? Would it be possible to maintain? I was rapidly approaching 50. I still struggled with thoughts like I deserved a treat (meaning something edible) and “I don’t care, I just want it!”
October 8, 2016: Maintenance accomplished. I actually weigh a little less, and as normal fluctuations go, I haven’t been over my limit — even after the five-week-food-orgy we call Thanksgiving to New Year in the States.
What changed? Perhaps I’m more disciplined than I once was, but that shifts and changes at times, doesn’t it? And it gets old. I know my metabolism didn’t suddenly get better. I took no “dietary supplements” to speed the process. I did change what and how much I ate, but I’d done that many times over the 40 years.
Likely multiple things came together. I faced my emotional baggage, unpacked and repacked it to suit my current journey. Face Your Stuff, Don’t Stuff Your Face is not just a tag line for me. I learned how to get what I needed emotionally, so I didn’t have to stuff down my feelings and follow it with a food chaser. When we’re not eating for comfort, it saves a whole lot of calories.
I found other ways to meet my need for comfort. Shocker — food isn’t the only comfort! Took me too long to learn that.
Perhaps most significant was accepting myself with all my flaws and strengths both physically and emotionally. I know my body only requires a certain amount of food per day. In the past, I felt cheated, and the resentment that followed usually sent me to wanting more food. If I buried it under food, then I’d feel better, I thought. Except I didn’t. The consequences made me feel worse. My body is designed to run on a specific amount of fuel. It’s unique to me. Railing against it gave me 40 years of discomfort. Accepting it has freed me. It’s not good or bad, it just is what my body requires. I’m not cheated any more than someone who can eat anything and everything is overly blessed.
It takes a little time to get there, I know. Did me. Yet like accepting our height or age, we can get there. It takes clarity of what we most want. If that happens to be freedom to eat with abandon, then we get the attendant consequences — and that’s fine. If that is a trimmer body, then we have to make some adjustments. Like moving from one house to another, we change our patterns, and we don’t return to the old house daily. We move into the new one, drive to and from it, decorate it, live in that house. We voluntarily adhere to the parameters of the trimmer body through changes in nutrition and exercise. We choose it.
If you need a little help finding your best fuel mix or disarming those triggers that drive you to eat for comfort, don’t hesitate to contact me. We can figure it out.