It feels so bizarre to have mid-70s temps, be able to have all the windows open, and to go on a two-hour walk in shorts DURING THE MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY!!!! There are so many ways that I could view this weekend and I’ve probably viewed it from each of the different angles as the weekend progressed. As I have shared before, it is one’s mindset that creates the most significant impact upon how that individual proceeds into their future.
I weighed myself Friday morning to find that I am 5.8 pounds away from reaching a HUGE goal: 100 pounds lost. As you can imagine, I’m overwhelmingly excited about being so close to this number. As a result of my excitement, I vowed that I would not have any meals without tracking calories and that I would not sway from my healthy choices at all until I reached my 100th pound. However, I failed miserably. No… I failed in the biggest way that I have ever failed since I started this life change.
I, like everyone, have a very busy life. It seems if it is not one thing, it’s the other. My wife and I regularly have dinner with a friend on Friday nights and it is typically a meal that calories are not tracked. Saturday, I attended our team’s Young Living event: White Out! where we learned about the toxins that exist in cleaning, beauty, and other household products and the alternatives that are available for those that aren’t into DIY projects. Afterward, our direct team went out for dinner. To finish the night, I went out and played pool with a friend. As the weather has warmed up and I’m getting out into the world more and more, it becomes increasingly difficult to live in the healthy food choices bubble that I have created in the past several months.
Despite setting out on this journey of free will, there has also been an enormous amount of pressure that I put on myself. Pressure to resist temptation nearly every second of every day. Temptation has been everywhere and it changes its mask every time I see it: smoking, unhealthy food choices, staying in bed, skipping exercise, etc. To be honest, the positive affirmation from others has been like a drug. I love it and I regularly get it. Everyone… EVERYONE… is fantastic at telling me how awesome I am doing and it makes me feel so good inside. That positive affirmation has pushed me to continue with behaviors so that I could keep getting it, but I failed… epically!
About a month ago and a half ago, we added walking to our weight loss journey. I found this change hard, but the mounting pressure from outside sources forced me out of my bed and onto the road. No regrets, but it gave me another avenue to temptation and pressure. It also put me into an active neighborhood during the time that people are waking up and having their morning smoke.
I caved and bought a pack of cigarettes about two weeks later. Being the true logicist that I am, I rationalized that I could employ a “cheat meal” with smoking as a way of managing the constant pressure. So, I created a rule that I could have four hits off a cigarette once a week. That shortly grew into 2-3 times per week, but I haven’t increased it further nor was it fully utilized each week.
On top of my smoking failure, I caved all weekend. The bridges came tumbling down very quickly when I broke my vow to myself and ate a full dinner at Rib Crib without tracking calories. The devastation only continued as I had a couple adult beverages at dinner Saturday night. I didn’t make terrible food choices, but I did call a friend and entice him to come play pool which resulted in several more adult beverages. By the time the night ended, we were still at the bar at closing time and I’ll admit that I am glad I was not driving.
When I woke up this morning, the guilt was enormous. Thanks to my habit of only drinking water, I had no hangover. However, I had thrown everything away and had crashed on all of my goals and my weight loss vows. As I contemplated the need to get out of bed, I had a quick confessional conversation with a good friend, mentor, and inspiration, but even in that conversation, I didn’t reveal the entire truth. Rather than judge or condemn, she met me with love as she reminded me that God renews us each morning and that I am best suited to live in that knowledge and get back on the wagon and keep going.
However, as I sit here tonight, I feel like anything BUT a failure. I feel like a champion and I feel like I had an EPIC weekend! I don’t feel like I deserved it, or earned it, or that I gave into peer pressure, or I even failed at all! I feel like I made choices that I haven’t made in a long time and it resulted in me having an amazing weekend and my weight loss isn’t going to notice more than a slight bump in the road. That being said, I do know that smoking is a terrible choice and that I have to address this situation head on before I logic my way back into a habit, but I have honestly lost all the guilt over my food and alcohol choices this weekend.
This blog has been about saving my life and living my life to the fullest. When I started, I was losing mobility and quickly headed to a constant relationship with my bed due to having incredible difficulty with movement. I had difficulty putting on my shoes, problems with regular back pain, and even difficulty taking care of myself in the shower, on the toilet, etc. Thanks to my progress, these issues are only distant memories. Yet, while I have LOVED getting out and getting into parks and taking morning walks, I LOVE doing other things, as well. Things that I always intended on doing after my weight loss was done. Maybe the answer here is balance rather than rejection. Perhaps, I have to establish healthy boundaries and the ability to make good choices for my weight RIGHT NOW rather than living in a strict bubble that makes me feel like I’m constantly being crushed by some unseen force.
So, maybe I’m not a fraud. Maybe I’m just a human that enjoys the additional aspects of his life that have come with losing weight. However, I may also be a human that enjoys a night on the town filled with choices that I don’t regularly make anymore. To me, it seems like a very dangerous place to walk. Maybe that is why so many fail at losing weight. Maybe it is safer and more effective to live one way or the other. I don’t have any answers, but I want to be me and I want to be free to make choices for myself without experiencing pressure that I am letting myself or anyone else down.
For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…
- September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
- Today: 355.8 pounds
- Total loss 94.2 pounds (35.2% of my total excess body weight)
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