From the Publisher - August 2016
“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald —
I have been toiling over this article all month, putting it off. Not because I didn’t know what to write or I didn’t have the time, but because I knew it was going to be a “come to Jesus” article, where I get real with myself. I knew I would be admitting things I’m not proud of. I knew it would mean staring down my actions and laying down the law.
I have gained 28 pounds. You may think that’s shallow and not a problem, but what you may not know is, three years ago, I worked very hard to lose 67 pounds. I promised myself I would never let it get out of control again. I gave away all my “fat” clothes. You can only imagine how bad I felt as I watched it creep back up, spin out of control, knowing I was doing it and I didn’t stop…couldn’t stop.
I knew why I was doing it. I was feeding my emotions. This has been a tough—no actually horrid—year for me emotionally. So what did I do about? I ate…and ate and ate. And, then I hated myself and felt even worse than what—or who—was driving the emotional stress backhoe and covering me up with loads of belittling and negative feelings.
I was at a low point. I had not felt sadness, loneliness and emptiness like this since my father passed away in 2008. The good news is I am ready…again. My plan is to give myself some kudos and go back to the basics. So here it is:
First, Kudos and Pats on the Back:
> Elizabeth, you did a great job not gaining ALL the weight back!
> Elizabeth, you didn’t allow the other parts of your life to crumble, too!
> Elizabeth, you had moments of clarity when you reigned it in.
> Elizabeth, you didn’t allow the back slide to infiltrate you permanently—it only lasted five months. It could have gone on for years.
> Not so bad, huh? I bet there are things you can give yourself kudos for, too, no matter your struggle!
Now, Back to Basics:
When I decided to lose weight in 2012, I began with the basics: I ate less, I moved more and I drank a lot of water. What that equated to, was a slow and steady journey, very similar to the tortoise in Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Warren Buffet has said that is the best book for learning financial success. I think it’s equally as great for most things in life, especially losing weight.
Eating less: For me, a fairly regimented, low-carb eating plan works best. I have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, which means most carbs aren’t good for me, especially the sweet kind, which are the ones I love the most. But here’s the deal: It works!
Move more: I’ll never forget the first day I got up to walk the beach at sunrise. It took all I had to get out of bed that early. I didn’t want to, but I made myself. It was pretty darn good—good enough that I did it again on day two. Pretty soon, I didn’t want to miss it. The sunrises were different every day, almost like opening a gift and getting a surprise. I began to meet people on the beach and know their dogs and it became a ritual—one I loved. From there, winter came and I cut down on my beach walks and moved into the gym, where I started spin class, tabata training, cardio machines, Pilates and free weights. I became a powerhouse. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “I will never stop doing this!” I did—stop, that is. I don’t know why, but I now regret it.
I practically have to begin again, but I have been bike riding lately, and still love the feeling of taxing my body and sweating. I didn’t always love it! I was an exercise hater, failure and dropout. I finally started doing exercises I enjoy, which is what I’m going to do again!
Drink Water: This one is easy because water is my favorite drink. Basically, other than water, I drink wine and beer—no juices, no sodas, no diet lemonades or teas, and rarely any coffee. Drinking water is important. Water helps fat leave your body, and anything that ushers fat out of my body is OK by me.
I have mastered these three things in the past and gotten through the stinking thinking that my body won’t lose weight. I thought I had it conquered. What I didn’t master was avoiding food as a numbing agent for emotional distress. So, on to that lesson...
While I could tuck my tail (although it is bigger now and not quite as tuckable), I refuse. Like Lisette Cifaldi (see page 35) said, “Your body isn’t who you are, it’s where you live.” That is one of the most freeing things I’ve heard lately because I had bought into the delusion that I was only as good as my body looked.
I’m back and I’m spilling my guts because I’m making myself accountable, and maybe you feel the same way. I don’t want to have uncontrollable blood sugar counts, I don’t want to feel heavy because it makes life feel heavy and I don’t want to keep wearing yoga pants—my fabulous shoes just don’t go. I am no longer allowing feelings and emotions to throw me into the mac and cheese pool. I’m done. DONE! And, now there’s no turning back. I owe it to myself to stick to my word. So do you. Let’s roll…and I don’t mean jellyroll.