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I’m celebrating my “trimaversary” this week – 9 years consistently at my goal weight.
After 40 years of the Diet Yo-Yo , I didn’t believe it was possible to lose the weight and keep it off. The yo-yo was “normal” for most of my life.
When I was 10, I looked around. All the cute little blonde and brunette girls were tiny compared to me. I desperately wanted to “fit in” like every other kid (and most adults). I felt awful. I thought if I could just look like the popular, skinny girls, everything would better.
Desperate, I asked my mother for help. The problem was: She struggled with her weight as had her mother and grandmother – down through the lineage.
Blind leading blind comes to mind.
So began years of losing a few pounds, sometimes 10, 20. Then something threw us off course – an event, frustration, family visits, or busyness after school and activities when we’d pick up take-out.
When a diet ended, so did any restraint. Whatever we lost returned, bringing lots of little friends along.
As an adult: fits and starts of diets – every new year’s resolution, many Mondays to restart, the perpetual Diet Yo-Yo.
New Year, 2012, I was looking down the calendar to my 50th birthday with all the changes women face, and I thought, “Okay, this is it. It’s your last chance to be anything resembling thin. It’s now or you’re doomed.”
I started out on my new diet, did okay for a week or so, but then I’d mess up. Not willing to give up yet, I rededicated myself in mid-January. And on the first of February. Then in March.
In April, I was standing in my closet scanning the divisions – so many nice clothes separated into:
my “skinny” clothes didn’t get much wear,
“watch yourself now” clothes so close at times
And the well-worn “fat clothes.”
I pulled out a pair of trousers, mmm– a bit too tight.
Right, I thought, maybe a skirt. Even with shapewear, I could only barely button the waist.
Let’s do this roomy pair of trousers. They weren’t.
Even my freshly laundered sweats felt a little tight. SWEATS
I sank to the floor in tears. “I’m such an idiot – I can’t do anything right. I can’t even follow a diet I’m so useless.” I beat myself up A LOT. Not that it helped. I felt awful.
I washed my face and counted the time already gone in what was meant to be “My Year.”
As I reapplied my mascara, I remember feeling: I’m a counselor. I teach others to cope and change habits and beliefs that don’t work for them. Yet I cannot find a way to comfort myself with anything more significant than a Twinkie?
It seemed so ridiculous.
I went back into my closet and chose the largest size I had. A safety pin helped. It wasn’t comfortable. It was penance for all the lip service I’d given, a constant reminder that something HAD to change.
The problem is that we think the diet is the solution. How many have you tried so far?
It’s not the diet. The truth is we use food for comfort, stress relief, and support. The real solution is unwinding what drives us to food and getting free.
I couldn’t untangle that alone. I needed a coach to help me work through beliefs, habits, self-esteem, wounds.
It took time, but it was such a relief — like moving the boulder of all my failings off my chest. I did the deep inner work that set me free and moving toward my goal.
On October 8, 2012, I reached my goal weight, and nine years later, I’m still there and feeling really good about who I’ve grown to be. Food is wonderful – and it no longer controls me.
How about you?
Are you ready to make a change?
Ready to get free of what drives you to food for comfort and stress relief? Imagine what it would be like to be FREE.
If this resonates with you and you are ready for a REAL change, I would love to talk with you. Sometimes, one good conversation can make all the difference.