Help, I’m gaining weight!
Have you ever worked super hard to lose weight and then see it creep back on, much to your dismay! In this post I’ll share my own story of what went wrong, and how I’m making the weight gain stop
PS: If you’re super busy and don’t want the whole dramatic story (sigh), you can skip down to the 3 tasks I am doing EVERY DAMN DAY now until I get back on track.
Have you ever had an a-ha moment?
When suddenly you paid attention. When something kicked you in the gut and you said “this is not right.” Or “this needs to change”. Or “holy crap, I can’t zip my jeans”?
I am finally gonna lose weight, dammit.
I had a big a-ha moment back in 2008, when I hit rock bottom with my fat ass, err, bottom. I was over 200 pounds, fat, depressed and out of shape.
I say I lost 86 pounds. It was probably more than that.
And I’ve kept it off, more or less, for years.
This is fun! I’ll share what I’ve learned.
Because I was passionate about health and fitness, I started blogging about my journey. I even coached other ladies with fitness and exercise programs. People looked up me as an inspiration. As someone who may not have all the answers, but who had a little bit of success and could definitely give encouragement.
I showed other women it is possible to have a radical life change. And to make it stick.
Just when you think you have all the answers, life punches you in the guts.
But something happened, about a year and a half ago. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. I had (and still have) chronic back pain. Exercise became harder and harder. Hell, everyday life became harder. Walking for more than 45 minutes was tough. Running was impossible.
I still “worked out” 5-6 days a week, but my sessions were easy and didn’t burn many calories. I was depressed. And when I’m depressed I start to eat.
And other life issues started to hit me too. You know, random emotional crap like “I’m getting older,” and “do I really have a purpose” and “why am I still losing socks in the dryer?”
I started gaining weight. At first it wasn’t too bad. My clothes were tighter. But it was OK because I knew what to do. NEXT WEEK I would get my shit together. After all, I have blog readers following me. I have Beachbody customers in my fitness groups. I am leading by example, right?
The size 4’s no longer fit. Then I outgrew the 6’s. Last August I had to buy a dress for a wedding in a size 8. Now before you accuse me of being vain, I am small boned. And, despite working out like a mofo, don’t have much muscle. So the added weight was jiggly flab. It was not vanity weight.
I saw a picture of myself from that wedding and almost cried. My arms looked big. My face was fat. I was smiling in the photo, but I was miserable inside.
Not just because I was heavier, but because I had lost control. Again.
Even though it had been years since “I got my act together,” I never forgot how horrible it felt to feel out of control. I was right back at that point.
Help, I’m gaining weight for real. Time to get my shit together.
So I started over. Bone broth diet? Yes. Sweet potato diet? You bet. Whole 30 again? Si, senora.
I started going down the rabbit hole of quick fixes EVEN THOUGH I KNEW BETTER.
Suddenly an extra 10 pounds became 20, and then 30.
I am writing this at 156 pounds. 120 is my skinny, size 2 happy weight. I look good at 130 in a size 4. I am wearing a pair of size 12 capris as we speak.
I lost control. I knew it, tried to fix it, but still couldn’t get my shit together.
Constantly dealing with my weight is a mind f*ck.
This out-of-control feeling not only crushed my self-esteem AGAIN, but made me want to stop running my Beachbody groups. I didn’t want to blog. Hell, I didn’t want to talk to any one. For the past six months I have been avoiding Facebook, email, people. I have been embarrased and ashamed and full of self doubt and self pity and all kinds of icky emotions.
Worst of all, I had a trip to Las Vegas scheduled to meet a wonderful lady from Australia. We met through my blog and my Beachbody business. She was visiting the US for the first time and I was so excited to be able to meet her in real life. But you know what?
I am so embarrased to write this…. part of me wanted to back out of the trip.
Part of me was so ashamed of backsliding and getting chubby that I wanted to cancel a once-in-a-lifetime trip to meet a friend.
Some people might be horrified to read that. Rightly so. But others, those who also struggle with weight and body image, might nod their heads and say “I understand.”
(PS: I went on the trip, confessed these horrible, self-defeating thoughts to my friend, and had the time of my life. Thank you Paula for being a wonderful friend!)
I share this embarrassing story because maybe you can relate.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because when I wrote my big long, messy weight loss story in the past, it resonated with lots of ladies. Even though sharing was very uncomfortable for me, I know it helped others. Maybe even you.
So if I’m struggling, and if I’m ashamed, and if I’ve backslid, maybe you have at one time or another. Or maybe you will in the future.
And maybe losing weight or maintaining weight loss seems extra hard for you because you have people who look up to you. Or who have supported you while dieting in the past. And you feel guilty for letting them down.
That’s when I realized that I don’t have to be a role model to anyone. I just have to get my shit together for me. For my own self-esteem. For my own health. So I can be a good friend and wife and mom.
I was doing some edits to my blog and re-read my HOW I LOST 86 POUNDS post. This has been my most commented on post (despite the fact that I lost over 100 comments when my website was hacked). It is the post that most people identify with.
I read it again with fresh eyes. As an outsider.
I re-read these words I had written in the past and realized they were true once again:
- It wasn’t just the number on the scale that I despised. I hated my life.
- I was tired of being the fat mom. I wouldn’t take my kids to the pool because I didn’t want to be seen in a swim suit.
- I skipped social events because I didn’t want to be judged about my weight gain.
- I was literally avoiding fun and relationships because I was embarrassed by my weight.
- And the real tragedy? The judgment and hatred and disgust came from within ME.
No one ever said anything to my face. To be honest, while I’m sure friends and family noticed myweight gain but if they are true friends they love me no matter what.
I was the one filling my head with vicious self-talk and negativity. Like in the past, I hated myself and was disgusted with what I saw in the mirror.
I was living like I had never learned these (very painful) lessons.
I learned a ton of things about myself during my weight loss journey. But tragically, I was ignoring those lessons.
I know what to do. I know how to eat. I know how to exercise. I know how to pump my mind full of positive messages. I know how to reach out to a support system if I’m struggling.
Other than the exercise, I wasn’t doing these things.
So had I really, truly learned these lessons when I wasn’t living them???
I did a little introspection. I’ve learned some valuable things from my backsliding. I’m sharing these in the hopes you won’t make the same mistakes.
New Life Lessons:
- I must work on my attitude. Every. Single. Day.
- I must remember my big why. Every. Single. Day.
- I must forgive myself for mistakes.
- I must recognize the lies I tell myself and replace them with the truth.
- I must believe I am worth the effort.
- I must move my body every day. Even if it’s just walking.
- I must never compare my journey to anyone else’s.
- I must not put added guilt or pressure on myself to be a role model. I need to answer to myself alone.
- I must never allow my weight or my looks to interfere with LIVING.
- I must eat to lovingly nourish and support my body.
- I must find joy in the journey, and in life itself. Every. Single. Day.
3 practical steps to take right this minute.
Learning lessons, and remember the steps I took to lose weight are all well and good. But if I don’t take action I will never move forward. I wanted to share the 3 MUST DO EVERY SINGLE DAY steps I am taking now.
One involves fitness, one involves nutrition, and the other involves mindset. These, I believe, are the pillars of success.
1 – I will review my personal weight loss/health goal daily:
I will eat healthy, unprocessed foods to nourish and fuel my body. I will move my body every day to be strong and flexible. I will fill my mind with positive thoughts and lovingly speak the truth to myself. I feel pretty and confident and happy when I am at a healthy weight. I deserve to treat myself well.
and I will spend 10 minutes reading something positive, related to mindset, or fitness or nutrition. (I’m going to start with this book….This Is Your Do-Over: The 7 Secrets to Losing Weight, Living Longer, and Getting a Second Chance at the Life You Want.)
2 – I will take 10,000 steps six days per week. I use my super awesome Fitbit to track. I just got this new Fitbit Alta HR on Amazon .
(Have a Fitbit too? Friend me using this link…. www.fitbit.com/user/36PRNJ or you can search for my email right in your Fitbit app …. firstname.lastname@example.org.)
3 – I will not eat gluten and I will track my food every single day. I use this fitness planner to track my food, exercise and mindset.
Now that I’ve shared my continuing saga of weight loss adventures, I’d love to hear from you. Are you struggling with weight re-gain too? Any tips to share?