Tonight's Inspiration Meeting about Re-Commitment is especially close to my heart today. Tomorrow, Jaime and I join (Rachael on Phase 1 to finish our weight loss journeys -- together! This comes for me after almost a year and a half of successfully maintaining a weight I was proud of, but not ultimately satisfied with.
You see, after I hit my goal back in 2013, I regained almost 30 lbs of the 125 I'd lost. I was really hard on myself at the time, but looking back I see with compassion why I slid so far sideways. Almost simultaneously with hitting my goal, the following things unfolded:
- Underwent a VERY major surgery (lower body lift and breast lift to remove loose skin). Recovery kept me in significant physical pain for 2 months, and less intense but consistent pain for over 5 months.
- Began an amicable but very sad divorce from my husband of 20 years, This took about 9 months, a lot of counseling, and a lot of grieving.
- Listed and sold our home of almost 10 years, and downsized into a condo. It happened to be the same one Rob and I had lived in 20 years ago when we got married. This felt like living in some surreal time warp.
- Gutted and remodeled said condo, with all the hassles, displacement and stress that went with it.
- Began the adjustment to being single and living alone for the first time in over 20 years.
- Dating for the first time in over 20 years... :-0
- Realized from first-hand experience that the then current Ideal Protein recommendation for maintenance didn't work (i.e. just keep your carbs and fat separated... eat like a King for breakfast, a Prince for lunch and a Pauper for dinner...)
- Realized that I was turning to food for comfort, emotional soothing and stress relief in ways I knew were compulsive.
I don't share the above list as a means of making excuses. I consciously chose every one of the circumstances, as well as their timing, of my own accord. Overhwhelming myself is a bad habit I've struggled with a lot in my life, and it has consequences. Plus, I was living in the "glowy" state of DENIAL that comes after a long, successful weight-loss stint... thinking I was now "fixed" and a bit invincible.
Obviously, I was not fixed. After a "grace period" of about 2 months, I began to gain weight as a result of comfort / compulsive / stress eating. I coped using carbs, and for awhile it looked like I was getting away with it. For a little while... Many of fellow maintainers know exactly what I mean. ;) I burned through my grace period and watched with growing fear as the scale finally began to creep up. 3 lbs. 5 lbs. 10 lbs... By then my insulin levels had soared back up, bringing with them the expected carb cravings, body aches and pains, weight gain and feelings of failure and helplessness I'd dealt with all my life.
This was all of my own making. There is no one to blame but myself. And still...
Today, I feel mostly gratitude that it all happened. If I hadn't gotten to see my eating disorder so clearly, I may not have sought help as soon as I did. If I hadn't had to arrest my weight gain by scrambling to find a maintenance plan that worked, I might not have developed our now thriving Maintainer Community and the successful guidelines we now share with our Ideal Northwest clients. If I hadn't faced these difficulties myself, I might not have as much empathy and hope to share with others who struggle with the adjustment from Phase 1 to Phase 4. I see everything has come full circle, and I'm grateful now for the pain I went through.
Here & Now
Today I have totally different circumstances.
- A stable, happy, thriving life as a single woman in her 40s.
- A clear understanding of what REALLY works to maintain weight loss. Proof that it works - with my own 1+ years of maintenance - which I found in time to arrest my initial re-gain.
- An amazing community for recovery from eating disorders (OAHOP.org)
- Better coping skills for stress and pain.
- Incredibly supportive people who are behind me on either Phase 1 or Maintenance.
- Accountability. This can be difficult to come by as a coach and leader. I have my community and staff to help keep me focused on my goal.
With all of my new insights, understandings, tools, support and resources, I feel READY to re-commit. And I feel really excited to talk with you all tonight about what some of the best authors, scientists and psychologists recommend to fuel a succcessful re-commitment. We have some concrete tools and tips to share. Please join us if you can.
So many hugs to all!