It has been two years and two days since I let a surgeon remove nearly 75% of my stomach in a quest for good health. I still remain adamant that it was among the best decisions I’ve ever made. My quality of life has improved exponentially since that day, but I have to share a secret (that is really no secret to anyone who has seen me lately)… I’ve fallen off the wagon. My weight loss stalled at the one year mark and over the winter it started going in the opposite direction. Since leaving my j-o-b, the structure of a routine and the safety of a rather defined (albeit kinda miserable) future, I’ve gained 22 pounds.
It takes a lot of effort to gain 22 pounds when your tummy is this tiny. A LOT. Let’s just say, I’ve been pretty damned determined to eat ALL THE FEELINGS for some time now.
Never let it be said that I am not an overachiever.
First the jeans I bought in the “regular size store” started to get tight, then too tight. Then I discovered I could no longer pet my hip bones at the end of Savasana (don’t judge, we all have our “things”). Two weeks ago I found myself out of breath after climbing the tall staircase to visit Jillian, therapist to the stars. The final straw came when I attempted Eye of the Needle in yoga last week and my little t-rex arms couldn’t make the connection all the way around my thighs and stomach (the two places that hold the majority of this newly-discovered 22 pounds).
I realized I’ve been carrying a heaviness with me for months in addition to the weight - a resignation that I’m never going to be healthy, that I will always be f-a-t, that it was only a large, cruel joke that I ever allowed myself to feel good about my body for a fleeting moment. The old tape in my head has started to loop again… I can’t do this, I don’t deserve this, I should be ashamed. I will always be the shy, fat, little girl that protected her gentle, raw soul with layers of fat.
I am ready to hit pause on that tape and rewrite it again. Rewrite it 100 times over if I have to.
New tape... the TRUTH. I like eating well. I like being active. I like the way my skin glows when I take care of myself. I like using my body for good and not as a weapon against myself. I like not worrying about whether or not Diabetes will return or I will die from a heart attack at a too young age because I’ve clogged my arteries with coney dogs (yummmmmm… delicious, delicious coney dogs).
I like not hating myself. More than delicious, delicious coney dogs even. (American, not Lafayette, for the record.)
I recently heard someone describe FAIL as First Attempt In Learning. I failed and am now ready to S.A.I.L. (See what I did there? Clever, no?). The first step in reclaiming my health is to hold myself accountable which, for me, has always meant publicly spewing my shit all over the interwebz.
I’ve spent a lot of time coaching clients recently on choosing the next ONE step they can take to move closer to their ideal state. Change is too overwhelming when we try to do ALL the things. I want to do ALL the things - walking, running, drinking water, vitamins, meal planning, strength training - NOW.
I should listen to me - I’m a good coach.
Eventually I will do ALL the things again, but for now I’ve decided to do two things (overachiever says what?) - track my food and do one thing every day that makes me feel good about my body. I choose to be non-prescriptive about my daily “one thing” because I love the excitement and freedom of waking up to a choose your own adventure every. single. damn. day. and because I am the boss of me (it is written so on the walls of the SheHive) and I make my own rules.
So, this morning I stepped on the scale (which decidedly did NOT make me feel good - but I needed the data), re-downloaded the MyFitnessPal app and drew a line in the sand. That side - eating my feelings and shame | this side - my authentic self... a healthy, vibrant, badass rockstar.
Connect with me on MyFitnessPal: my user name is ursulaadams