Hello Slender Seekers! It’s me, your How Do You Celebrate Success contest winner. And I have a confession to make: I’ve been struggling. Like… a lot.
If you’ve lost a large amount of weight, you already know a fact that surprises people who haven’t: It’s much harder to keep weight off than to lose it in the first place. The hardest part about losing it is just getting started. Then it’s one good decision after another, until you’ve made enough good decisions to make a real difference, and the momentum keeps you going.
But besides diet and exercise, there’s the matter of our stupid brains. The ones that say “you’ve had a hard day, just go home and relax.” Or “you had a really sad day, just this once you can have some ice cream.” And then the next day they say, “you already blew it yesterday, so have some pizza today, then you’ll work out harder tomorrow.” And the next day, “you feel crappy from that junk food yesterday, take it easy on your run.” Or even “you ran 5 miles, you can eat whatever you want today.” Anyone who runs knows…it burns fewer calories than it feels like it should! Five miles, 500 calories… 2 cookies and you’re back to where you started.
I had an extremely difficult summer. Work got incredibly intense to say the least. A friend passed away. Some stressful financial issues cropped up. I got sick. My ankles have given me problems with my running. And I began to eat. It started out as a treat here and there, and before I knew it, Labor Day was here, and I was 25 pounds heavier. And then the guilt attacked me. “I won a contest for WEIGHT LOSS and I spent the summer gaining weight.” I’ve kept up with my exercise, but I haven’t been able to increase my per-mile time, because I’m carrying around extra weight. I’ve made it so much harder on myself than it had to be. But I know if I didn’t have the half marathon coming up, I probably would have scrapped the exercise as well. So thank goodness for the contest, for Pandora, and all of you supporting me, because without that, I might be in a really ugly place.
So anyway, I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty and so ashamed. But then I thought about it… and none of us would be here reading this blog if weight loss came easy to us. I’m guessing all of you truly understand what it’s like to backslide, or struggle every single day to keep making those good choices. The true test is how we rebound from times like these. NOT giving up, no matter how much damage we’ve done. And admitting our mistakes, being accountable and then attacking it all over again. Health and wellness isn’t something we just accomplish and then never think about again. It’s a lifelong process – a mental one just as much, if not more than, a physical one. I need to do some serious work on my brain, along with my butt and gut!
I’ve spent the last month dwelling on the weight I have gained. But it’s time for me to focus on the positive: I’m still down 65 pounds from where I began, I’m still about to run a HALF MARATHON, and I am going to take these 25 pounds, show them the exit, and then work on losing 25 more. I will be working on it for the rest of my life. We all will be. But with the support of friends like Pandora, awesome sponsors who keep me healthy with vitamins and good nutrition, and my family and running buddies, I’m going to overcome this. It has been a tough summer, but I vow to finish this half marathon, and finish 2014 back at my lowest weight. I need all of your support, and I am here to cheer for all of you too. We are truly all in this together, and we always will be.