This letter is hard to write.
We have to take a break.
It’s not you; it’s me.
But when I’m with you, I do and believe things about myself that just aren’t good for me.
I logically know that my weight will fluctuate from day to day, but I emotionally can’t always handle that.
Oh, we’ve had our good times. I’ll never forget how happy I was the day you told me, one day after vacation, that I had lost nine pounds from the day before.
I have always appreciated the fact that, the morning after I’ve eaten at a Chinese buffet, you don’t insult me. But then, the next day… kid gloves are off, and sometimes, you show a six pound gain. I didn’t eat 21,000 calories at the buffet! How dare you even imply such a thing?! And seriously? Why are you waiting two whole days?!
Sorry, this wasn’t supposed to be an angry letter. Just a straight-forward one.
I blame myself. I never should have gotten into the habit of weighing daily, but when the numbers are going down, it’s such a great feeling! “I lost 2.2 pounds since yesterday!” But then, the next day, I’ve gained 2.4.
I can no longer allow my self-worth to be dictated by numbers. And for that reason, we have to take a break.
Oh, I’m still going to weigh in at Weight Watchers, once a week. I hope that I’ll eventually lose emotions around those numbers, too. I need to view it as just a tool, and if it goes up, well… so what? I need to measure my weight loss and health in things like pant sizes, how much weight I can bench press, and how I feel. Not some cold, uncaring number.
So you aren’t going to see me for a while. It’ll be the best for both of us. Maybe someday we can get back together, but don’t hold your breath.
P.S. – Since you hurt me all the time, I’m going to be malicious and petty and hurt you. I’m having an affair with your cousin, the kitchen scale. She weighs my food, and she’s awesome and way better than you.
Okay, let’s do this fast.
You weigh every day. There’s nothing wrong with that, if you can keep the number from getting in your head.
You lost 0.4 pounds over the weekend. You’ve stagnated for two mornings. And this morning, your weight was up 0.6 pounds.
Did you do anything wrong yesterday?
Would you be doing something wrong if you decide to go ahead and take a “diet break” and just restart Friday.
Yes! That would be a terrible, terrible decision.
You can undo a week of dieting with one meal. Unfortunately, losing weight requires a ridiculous amount of diligence. Don’t let it beat you down. Just know that it does require continual hard work, and it always will. No use sugar coating it.
You say you are in this for the long haul, so there it is. Laid out on the table.
You may do everything right and still gain weight some weeks. It’s not the end of the world if you do.
It might be the end of your world if you stay obese. Keep plugging along, no matter how slow it goes. If you gain for three weeks in a row while doing everything right, then we’ll re-examine.
For now, just stay the course.
Things are fine.
Chill the heck out. You got this.
The pounds are slowly coming off. That’s awesome. Keep it up. But there’s something else I want to talk to you about today.
On these electronic pages, you’ve shared many, many times your desire to be a runner.
You’ve tried it, many times, but frankly, at your current weight, it hurts your joints. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.
I can already hear what you are thinking.
“I hate that my cardio endurance is strong enough that I can run, but my joints won’t let me.”
“I hate that I have the desire to run, but the last time I tried, I literally ended up at the doctor’s office, getting a prescription for severe inflammation in my feet.”
“And to be honest… I hate that I am jealous getting to read others’ blogs as they progress from weight loser to runner.”
I want you to stop living in the realm of “I want to but…”
Screw that. There are things that you CAN do now.
You can’t run. Big freaking deal.
You can walk. Your legs are strong. Your joints may not be able to take 370 pounds of running, but they can sure take walking.
I know how much time you spend at the Bowling Green Road Runners website, looking at their calendar of upcoming races and fantasizing about joining their ranks.
So stop fantasizing and do it. There are going to be a lot of 5Ks this year that are also open to walkers.
Sign up, give your money to a worthwhile cause, walk the 3.1 miles, collect your t-shirt, and every step, every ounce lost, will put you closer to joining the ranks of runners you so desperately want to join.
You can do this. You will do this. You owe it to yourself.
Let’s talk for a minute, okay?
2012 has the potential to be the best year of your life. We need to make sure that happens.
I’ve basically been the equivalent of your grown-up imaginary friend since you first learned about the muse from literature in 6th grade. For whatever reason, you’ve always visualized me as a small blue dragon named Mason rather than the gorgeous women that most muses throughout literature have been, but whatever. That’s neither here nor there.
So, do you kind of feel like you are going through the motions?
A little bit? Yeah, I thought so.
How long have you been in the 370s? Several months. Longer than you can really remember for sure, right?
You are less than thirty pounds from your highest. At one point, you were almost 150 pound from your highest.
I’m not saying this to beat you up.
I’m saying this to remind you that you’ve already done it once, and you can do it again.
Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it is going to take a while.
But so freaking what? What else are you going to do? If you don’t lose this weight in 2012, you’ll start 2013 the same way, still overweight.
2013 is coming whether you lose weight or not.
And if you want to stay obese, that is totally fine. It won’t make you a bad person at all.
Would you rather have a year of eating too much food, spending literally hundreds (maybe thousands) on fast food that will cause an endorphin release that only lasts until the guilt kicks in, and sitting around on the couch watching tv, finishing up 2012 in the 370s? Or 390s? Or the 430s?
Or would you rather have a year of working out daily, eating clean, tasty food, indulging OCCASIONALLY, and finishing up 2012 weighing significantly less?
It doesn’t even freaking matter what significantly less IS! It can be twelve pounds. It can be one hundred and twenty pounds. Whatever. Be healthy.
So, that’s your choice.
Either is fine. Just own it.
Are you really going to choose to be healthy, or are you just saying that because you find it shameful to select the obese option?
Here’s the thing, dude. I know you. Extremely well. (Remember the whole imaginary friend part? Yeah, I KNOW YOU.)
And because I know you, I know that you will say what is the socially, therapeutically correct answer to avoid the confrontation right now.
Actions speak louder than words.
I believe you can do it. Heck, I know you can do it.
I’m just not 100% sure you will do it. Being honest. It’s called tough love.
Right now, I’m going to take you at your word. You believe you can do this. You believe you want to do this.
Don’t worry about setbacks. They happen to everyone. If they happen, just keep going. And keep going immediately. Going to sleep is not a magical reset button. If you mess up at six p.m., then from 6:01 ‘til you go to sleep is still the potential to be awesome.
I’m going to keep checking in on you.
We’ll tackle this beast. 2012 is our year.
I’m not wishing you luck. You don’t need luck.
You got this.