What if I Gain it All Back?

1075733_10100397218966953_471783710_nI haven’t forgotten this blog, and I haven’t really been too busy to write an entry (though, I have been busy). I haven’t written in months because I have felt less than inspirational; actually, I’ve been downright discouraged.

My wedding is in less than 2 months, and I have gained 5 pounds. Some of you will say “5 pounds is nothing!” and others might feel that 5 pounds is significant. I feel both ways, really. On one hand, 5 pounds when you’ve lost 70 seems small. There was a time when I could lose 5 pounds in a week if I just followed Weight Watchers 100%.

On the other hand, 5 pounds takes forever for me to lose these days…even when I do follow Weight Watchers completely.

5 pounds.

That’s how this all began in the first place.

That’s how gaining weight always begins: 1 pound at a time. It creeps up on you; you can ignore it and lie to yourself for only so long before 5 pounds becomes 20…and those 20 start inviting friends.

Last night, I tossed and turned in bed, disappointed in myself for once again failing to stay on track and worrying about the one fear that, I believe, plagues pretty much everyone who has ever lost weight:

What if I gain it all back?

What will people think of me? What will I think of me?

What hope will there be fore me then?

I’ve been on Weight Watchers for 3 years, and I weigh as much today as I did in August 2012. I’ve basically maintained for an entire year now (that in and of itself is an accomplishment, but it’s not satisfying to me right now).

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3 years of commitment is a lot for me.

I lasted 1 month on a no-sugar diet…

1 week on SlimFast…

24 hours on Atkins…

That I’ve managed to at least mostly follow Weight Watchers for 3 whole years is an astounding thing to me. And yet all I can think about right now is…

What if I gain it all back?

Oh sure, I’ve said it here before:

If you’ve ever lost weight and gained it all back PLUS some, you have not failed!

And gosh that’s a whole lot easier to say to YOU than it is to say to myself right now. Especially with an upcoming big event where I must wear a dress that fit me in October 2012.

What if I gain it all back?

Will I be an ugly bride?

Will I gain even more?

Will I ever be able to lose it again?

Will I have to start all over? CAN I start all over?

Will it mean that I failed? That this blog – all the things I’ve written here – that all of the thoughts that I’ve shared with friends and family about this journey – are meaningless?

Who wants to read or hear inspirational weight loss thoughts from someone who has gained it all back??

But, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past 3 years it’s that fear of gaining it all back is the worst motivation.

I didn’t start down this path out of fear, and I know that fear is not going to get me through to the end. Fear inspires quick and temporary results that do more damage than good; losing weight out of fear is not an act of motivation…it is an avoidance tactic.

Fear keeps me from looking inside to find whatever it is that is holding me back. Fear keeps my motivation external when the only thing that could possibly get me through this journey is inside of me.

What if I gain it all back?

If I gain it all back, I will still not be exactly where I was before. There is no returning to before. Something far more permanent than my weight has changed in me: I have changed.

If I gain it all back, I will start all over again …this time with the knowledge that I am fully capable of losing the weight because I have been there.

If I gain it all back, I will be human and fallible and imperfect. And anyone who thinks that that makes my thoughts and feelings unimportant is not worth keeping in my life.

If I gain it all back, I will still be loved. I will still be beautiful. I will still marry the man of my dreams surrounded by my amazing family and friends.

But, I have not gained it all back, and I hope that I never will. So, 5 pounds… it all began and begins with you. I am not afraid of you; I will not be afraid of you. You can take nothing from me; you are a part of me. For now.

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15 thoughts on “What if I Gain it All Back?

  1. Lisa, I’ve gained around 5lbs over the last few months and I feel all of these feelings.

    Suzie recommended this body image workbook to me, and something that jumped out at me was from the very first chapter: People who have lost a significant (avg 50lbs) amount of weight have notable boosts in their self esteem and self image, but those same improvements erode dramatically after gaining just 5lbs back.

    I’m not 100% sure what I take away from that just yet, but I am there.

  2. Hi there, just found your blog on the bee!! You are so awesome. 🙂 I really love your outlook! And don’t worry, I have no doubt that you will banish those 5 lbs in no time. 🙂

  3. You are a blessing. I’m so afraid of living life and use weight and what others think of me and my looks to avoid living it. On the flip side I’m so afraid of what I look like and what others think of me that I don’t want to participate in living. I’m 43 and am sick of this being who I am but I’m not sure I’m sick of it enough. I just sit and cry and function enough to get thru my day.
    Thank you for sharing. It helps me know it can all change even if it is a never ending process.

  4. “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away”. Gods blessings as you find peace within yourself! You will be an absolutely gorgeous bride( or have been)!!! We all struggle before, during & after weight loss. This ol’ grammma is down 80lbs. with 16 to go!

  5. Hi there. So it seems I’ve found your blog at a particularly relevant time in my life, even if you do not write regularly (as you can see, my blog has been dormant for about a year…for the same reasons you seem to write about). I’m getting married in a year and a half, and while rationally this seems like plenty of time to drop the 50 pounds I’ve gained back (that’s about half of what I originally lost) since being with my SO, it’s actually terrifying because, you know, life gets in the way of your plan. And weight it so hard for me to lose in the first place. And…and…you know? I’m also terrified of being the fat/ugly bride. But for whatever reason, this terror is paralyzing me, not motivating me. And I’m glad it seems like someone else “gets” it.

  6. I just want to say I find your blog very encouraging as well as your rawness and honesty. A few years ago I lost 60 pounds and I felt great. Looked great. All that jazz. Well I gained it all back. I still look great (I choose to love my body no matter what – even when its hard) – but I don’t feel great. I want to lose weight not for the sake of losing weight, but for the sake of health. I have a disorder (arthritis of the spine basically) that makes extra weight on my body very hard.

    In any case – – thank you for this and your encouragement. Also thank you for showing that it’s not all about just “losing weight” – – there is so much more to health and life than “just losing weight” – – and more to those of us who “need to” or who do. It is not the epitome of our lives, only an aspect.

  7. I happened to come across your blog today and your posts are amazing. Everything you have written connects with me. You’re honesty in your posts is such a great reminder of how important it is to focus on the inside not just our outside appearance. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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