"If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done."
I want to do something that I have never done. I have never lost more than 25 lbs at once. I want to understand why I keep ending up in the same loop of gain and loss, no matter how well I think I am doing. Understanding that weight is just a symptom and not a root cause, I have started to reflect on what exactly it is that keeps weight on me.
I am a natural caretaker. I have been since I was a child. I am the oldest of four children. My chore as a kid was to prepare dinner for my siblings when my mom was at work. I always ate a little while I was cooking. When I served my siblings, I turned my attention to other things like homework. I would overeat once I realized I was still hungry.
Struggling with food insecurity as both a child and an adult broke the way I thought about food. Wasting food is a cardinal sin in my mind. I don’t put that trope on my children because I am aware enough to realize how harmful it was to me as a child. I hate leaving food on the plate. Why? What if that is the last meal I will have today? What if something happens to my income and I have nothing to eat? Once you know how it feels to be hungry, you never want to experience that again.
My anxiety disorder keeps me from dieting correctly. When I am doing well on a diet (yes, diet and not lifestyle change, because clearly, I have not changed my lifestyle just yet), I get anxious about food. Anything from planning the meals to making time for the meals makes me nervous. When I get too wound up, or I can’t make a decision, I skip eating OR I completely fall off the wagon and end up feeling miserable about it. I also have no idea what I am doing in the gym. I was diagnosed with ADHD, so going to the gym and staying on a machine for any considerable time feels like an impossible task.
I don’t dislike the way I look. I am blessed to be in the body I am in. I love my body. My weight loss is not necessarily cosmetic because I am okay with me. That being said, it has always been hard for me to tell when I am gaining weight. When you don’t know when you are gaining and you finally see it, it hits you hard. That is where I am currently.
I don’t know or understand how losing weight and keeping it off for the long run is sustainable. This weighs heavy on me. Would I be miserable if I get the weight off and can’t keep it off? How does health and wellness look in the maintenance phase? I have no idea because I have never gotten there.
This is where my reflections have gotten me. I am talking through these thoughts with my therapist and myself. Before I ramp up, I want to understand how to be successful in it this time. Stay tuned.
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Waist Away Playlist