I am a sham, a disappointment. I am ashamed to write this post … but then I realized I need to keep it real.
Last October, I wrote this post, celebrating my 5 years Weight Watchers Lifetime Anniversary. Then, in January, I went on the news to talk about my weight loss. Talk about being out there for all the world to see.
Well, guess what? I’m not thin anymore.
Losing a Part of Myself…and Losing Control
In January, I got really sick. It was a problem I had in the past, but this time I was worse than ever. I was extremely anemic, easily exhausted, and I felt terrible.
In February, I had a hysterectomy. I went into the surgery with only the expectation that I would feel much better that I had in a really long time. What I was not prepared for was the emotions that came during my recovery, and the way that I would choose to heal myself, both physically and emotionally.
Physically, I felt GREAT. I no longer struggled with anxiety, I was no longer anemic, and the pesky reflux I had been dealing with since being pregnant was also no longer an issue. Immediately following my surgery, I was advised against any heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. My overall health drastically improved.
I was doing great emotionally. I knew that the health issues that I had dealt with for over 15 years were finally no longer an issue and that I immediately felt relief. However, even though I knew I was “one and done” with regards to having kids, a small part of me mourned for my former ability as a woman. It is a hard emotion to describe, but there was a sadness that lingered knowing that that I would never again experience those moments like the first ultrasound, hearing the heartbeat, or feeling those first baby kicks. These emotions had me turning to food for comfort, something I have been known to do in the past. After a month and the approval to get back to exercise, I thought it would be easy to get back to maintaining my weight loss.
Ha! Was I ever wrong.
Despite following Weight Watchers, I could not stop eating. At first, I tried to blame anesthesia. Then, I blamed my hormones. I would eat really well all day, and then by 3:00, I was ravenously hungry for sweets, pretzels, or even nuts. I would try so hard to eat healthy snacks, but temptation and emotions would get the best of me.
I was elated that I was on the path to getting well, and when it came to everything BUT my weight, I was doing so well. What was not awesome was the bad choice I made to celebrate with food. Foods that I had not eaten in years somehow found their way into my lifestyle again, and while I knew I should not have opened the “Pandora’s Box” of bad-for-you foods, I did it anyway, and with no discipline. I was out of control.
Fourth months post-surgery, I had already gained 18 pounds, and I called my doctor. We had a good chat; I had blood-work done. My hormones looked great, and they were not to blame. It appeared as though that because I felt so much better, I was almost making up for lost time with all of the things I had skipped out on when I was unwell. Combined with eating to soothe my emotions, I was well on my way to being unhealthy again, this time due to weight, something that was all my own fault.
It was a vicious circle, one I have been all too familiar with. I would eat well early in the day, but then make poor choices later on. I’d overindulge, say “I’ll start over tomorrow,” and then somehow magically forget and make poor choices again. I started doing the Couch to 5K plan, but getting the motivation to do it is tough enough when I’m already sluggish from making bad food choices and being a full time working mom. It was (and still is) hard to carve out that time to work out.
One night, I stepped on the scale and started to cry. I was back at the exact weight that I had started at when I went on Weight Watchers over 6 years ago, and here I was, back at square one. I had to buy all new (bigger) clothes, and I was starting to not like the way I looked. What had I done to myself?
Accepting that I am a work in progress
I made the first step and called a registered dietitian in November. After meeting with her and getting a really good look at what I was eating and understanding the science of it all, I realized where I was going wrong. Her suggestions and positive encouragement have helped me stay motivated to get well and to get on track. Since November, I have managed to lose some weight while also learning how to feed my body in a realistic but healthy way.
I’m only human, and I have to remind myself to take it one day at a time. I lost the weight once, I certainly can do it again. I have to just keep repeating this mantra to myself:
I’ve started gaining weight back too now that Bennett is weaning. It’s hard to focus on yourself sometimes when you have little ones. I’m just trying to cut back on how much I’m eating since I’ve gotten so use to eating a ton for breastfeeding. I also need to get moving. How brave of you to put it all out there!
Thank you for sharing your story! I had my son 4 months ago and have finally found something that is working to help fight the cravings and lose the rest of my baby weight. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be! Thanks for being open about it!