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Monday, July 16, 2012

what if it does take a village to lose weight?

this is me after losing 90 pounds

Last year I did what I never thought I could do. I lost a little weight. 100 pounds. I did it through this program: a diet of no wheat, dairy, sugar, coffee or alcohol. I went to Weight Watchers every week where they cheered for me at every 5-pound increment. In about 5 months I had lost the weight. I went from literally zero exercise to running 5 miles a day. Then one day in February after the baby loss I thought "OK, you've worked REALLY hard and it's been a difficult month. It's just a little coconut creamer in your coffee. You deserve it." That started the slip. I had coconut creamer (the fake stuff) then a little low-fat muffin which became a cheese danish and before you knew it, I was happily eating tuna casserole. I stopped running and I slid backwards. All because of a little creamer. It starts small. Just like that.

Writing this post is difficult. Perhaps the most difficult one I've written so far on The Happygirl. It feels embarrassing to talk about this but maybe that is part of the whole Happygirl Experiment, to be honest about the good stuff and the stuff that is a challenge to share, to put a thought down in black and white. I know that when I hit POST that what I say will be out there online forever. That is a scary thing.  As I sit at my desk, I type a sentence then hit delete. It's as if I type it then it somehow makes it more official. I'm afraid of what people will think. There is a great line from one of my favorite films "St. Elmo's Fire" where Demi Moore's character says something to the effect "I'm afraid you won't think I'm so fabulous anymore" (when she breaks down and tries to off herself by sitting in a cold room.) I'm afraid that when I hit send you won't believe in The Happygirl. I hope, however, that when you finish reading this that maybe, just maybe, you'll believe in The Happygirl still.

at 80 pounds lost, running at Greenlake

When I look back at my success last year, one of the BIGGEST things that encouraged me to lose weight last year was social media, Facebook especially since I hadn't embraced Twitter yet.  Each week after Weight Watchers, I posted the loss. I didn't say anything more than "-34" or "week 9 = -43." With each person liking the post or leaving a comment I felt stronger. I felt embraced. When I was feeling weak, when I didn't want to go for a walk, especially at the beginning I would read the comments my friends and family left. Maybe it is egotistical but those likes and comments helped propel me to pull on my running shoes and go for that walk no matter how much it hurt or how bad it was raining (it is Seattle, after all.) When L. was traveling and I was alone for a week at a time I wanted to badly buy the stuff I liked and have a happy time sitting at the kitchen table indulging in my favorite things, the things that made me unhealthy in the first place. Then, honest to God, I would open my laptop, read the encouragement from friends or think about the Weight Watchers meeting and the cheering I would get for each mini goal I reached. Yes, I did have some weeks were I plateaued and even gained weight but I didn't slip up. I am a very black and white person. I'm either all in or not. I am impossibly hard on myself and I knew if I slipped that I wasn't going to be able to stop which is why I stayed on my program. Then  one day I slipped and it took a long time to recover.

Until now.

I've been open about our baby losses and that is an extraordinarily difficult for me to talk about. It's blindingly hard to see my friend's baby announcements and ultrasounds. However, I know that if I want to hold our baby one someday  then I need to get myself back on track and I was wondering, just possibly, if you would be there for me again. See, I know that with your encouragement, I can do this. When I'm not strong, you're there. And when I am strong, I am able to be there for others who needed encouragement. Maybe even you.

So, here's the thing. Here is what I promise you: Once a week on this blog, on Facebook and Twitter I will post the loss or even the gain. I will be transparent. Even if you don't comment or like a post I know that I made this pact to you. I'm putting it out there. There it is. I can't get it back and I'm kinda glad about that.

at 100 pounds lost
Week 1: -11.8.

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