I had gone from a weight of 68kg to over a 100kg and was now down to 65kgs. I had finally shed my fat suit once and for all. For a long time, being engaged and fearful of being a fat bride was my motivation. My second wave of motivation came from my friends and family noticing the difference and the compliments that followed. Finally the pure stress of having to move, start a new job and adjust to a new lifestyle got me to my goal weight. Our “new circle” was beginning to notice that I had dropped some weight too, and I felt more confident that ever.
After a couple of months the compliments however started to dwindle. I began to feel a loss for motivation. Not that I suddenly didn’t look good anymore, it was more that people were used to seeing me getting thinner and it had become old news. On a subconscious level I wasn’t happy I was no longer the topic of conversation (quiet embarrassed and ashamed to admit that fact). I had obviously gotten a natural high from all the attention I had attracted and now that was gone. I even thought it wasn’t really worth it if no one was noticing. The mission I had originally started out on had been reduced to pure vanity.
So there I was, once again feeling sorry for myself, which is a very dangerous place to be for an emotional eater. A relapse seemed inevitable and that’s exactly what happened; that and all those garage pies and ciders started catching up. Of course, in my mind I was eating relatively well and only over-indulging on weekends or when it couldn’t be helped. I was living in Johannesburg and this is how it’s done here, I had no choice in the matter. This is what most of us convince ourselves, forgetting we are addicts and should always be listening out for those warning bells. I quickly developed a nasty habit of sneaking in whatever I could whenever I could – if no one saw it happen, it never did right? Thankfully I snapped out of that before I was back to square one.
It’s important to realize no one is perfect and in all likely-hood you will slip up every now and then. I have done it myself on several occasions, most recently, I put on and excess of 8kg’s over 2010, due to three overseas vacations and a case of self complacency. You don’t need be too hard on yourself when that happens either. I believe emotions play a huge role in weight loss and gain. Some of us eat when we are happy, some when sad and others do it on both occasions. That’s not to say you have a free pass every social gathering you attend. The trick is to strike a balance between what you can and can’t avoid. Ask yourself, if it really is worth it.
My entire weight gain/ loss journey has been long and hard, but most definitely rewarding. I have dealt with, and am still dealing with low self esteem but each passing day I’m learning to cope with it. I’m happy to be alive and know there are people in the world with much bigger problems. I am grateful for so many other things in my life. When I’m having an emotionally low day, I give myself a little pep talk and remind myself just how far I’ve come – if things were easy we’re all be thin and beautiful. It may be ease for some people, but I’m not one of those people. For me, it will always be a “work in progress”. I take baby steps, set practical goals, and don’t beat myself up about it when I fall down. I’m a recovering food addict who bares scars, but now I’m in control. No one is perfect; our flaws and experiences make us who we are, but I choose to bounce back and take control. I have first hand experience knowing how difficult it is to break bad/old habits, but I can assure you it can be done. It’s just a matter choosing not to pollute your body. Life is all about change and there is no time like the present to embrace it.