Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Struggling through the Season

After losing 100 lbs, you'd think that I was on cruise mode. You’d think that I was locked in and safe.


Yes, I have eaten “clean” (not off my diet) for 232 consecutive days. That’s right – 232 days. Only twice have I gone over my calories. Once on my son’s graduation, and once on my birthday. Even then, I still ate the foods that work for my eating lifestyle, just in a little larger proportions.

People who have talked to me about my weight loss tell me that they couldn’t do it, and how proud they are of me for being so strong.

Truth is, I thought by now it would be a little easier. But it’s not...

Making changes in your life is never easy. It affects those around you in ways that is easy to overlook. My wife, who loves to cook, has had to endure 232 days of not cooking the kinds of foods that she loves. I think she feels like she is being forced into a ketogenic diet by default, and I know she is struggling with that, even though she tries not to show it.

And the holidays don’t make it any easier. Thanksgiving was especially tough. Being surrounded by family who were eating foods I love, while I ate turkey, ham and stir fried broccoli, was hard.

Now, moving into the Christmas season, I’m faced with even more temptation and pressures.

How do my choices affect those around me…should I have one meal that is not the best for my weight loss…what do we do with all the food that kind people invariably bring as gifts?

One meal would not change anything. Realistically, I could fast the whole day and eat one meal of anything and it wouldn’t significantly change my life.

But I must confess that I am incredibly reluctant to do so…because I am afraid. I am afraid that if I break one time, it will be easier for the next time. And the next, and the next and the next.

I think I’m getting some kind of an idea of how an alcoholic feels. One coke would be too many, and two would never be enough.

I’m trying right now to get to 230 lbs by new years day. That would be 100 lbs lost in 8 months, and 110 lbs overall.

It still feel weird to think of how much I have lost. How much I have changed physically.

And how much I am trying to change mentally.

Truth is, I’m still that 340 lb guy, desperately trying to lose weight, afraid that one wrong move will screw it all up. I’m still ashamed of how I look. I get that it’s better than it was, but it’s still not good enough, and I tremble to think that it may never be.

I have so many goals left to reach – so much of a life to change. Losing weight is only a step on the journey. An important step, a critical step, but it’s not the destination, it’s just a toll booth on the highway.

So I struggle…every day.

I struggle to fight against the negative self talk and the fears that drove me to use food as my drug.

I struggle against the angry teenager who still haunts my soul with his feelings of never being good enough, never fitting in, never feeling whole.

I struggle with the burdens I place on those around me as I try to become the person I feel I owe them.

Mostly, I just fight, because it’s all I can do right now.

I fight for my self esteem, for my hopes for the future and for my dream that I can feel like a “whole, complete and accepted person”. I fight to achieve the life I owe my family. I fight to find a pathway into the future that is better than the past.

But honestly, I think I fight most of all for peace. Peace in my soul, for I have known so little of it lately.

Tony Robbins once said that fat people were just people who were wearing their pain on the outside.

What I’ve found is that as the weight comes off, you have to deal with the pain and struggles that you were suppressing.

And that’s not easy.

But I struggle, and I fight and for today, that has to be enough, because it's honestly all I have.

To those of you who have supported me on this journey, I thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you.

While I have to fight this myself, it’s easier with good people in my corner.

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