Being Too Hard on Yourself – Diet Day 44

It’s funny, this week’s weigh-in was a lot more traumatic than any of the other weeks. I think I was lulled into believing that weight loss would come about no matter what and that additional hard work would result in additional pounds being shed. My mood went from my normal happy and relaxed state to one much more sullen and introspective.

I found myself questioning whether or not this was even worth it. What was the point of continuing to work hard if the results continued to fall short of the goal? For the first time since I started this diet I began to question my sanity for even trying.

It was during one of my self-pity moments that I decided that what I needed was another walk; by myself. I needed time to consider the events of the past week and assess what I was even doing. I set out on my walk not really even thinking about where I was going. In a sense I guess I was running away. Each step took me farther away from the diet food; farther away from that evil scale; farther away from possibly admitting defeat.

I just needed time to collect my thoughts. Did I really need to keep torturing myself? The doctor had said he wanted me to lose 20 pounds. To date I had lost 23 pounds and in just six short weeks. By all intents I was successful. Why should I keep going?

I had nearly talked myself into throwing in the towel. What was I thinking wanting to lose 35 pounds? Why put myself through all of this? I could simply step away and as far as the outside world was concerned I had been successful.

When my health coach Amy had reached out to me she was actually excited at my two pound loss this week. Clearly she did not understand the work I had gone to or the lack of results I had gotten. Several times during our conversation she said, “don’t get hung up on the numbers”. How could she say that? The numbers were the only things to get hung up on.

I had undertaken this diet with the belief that I was in control and by limiting my calorie intake and maximizing my calorie exertion I could force the numbers to where I wanted them to be. Last week proved just the opposite. It was not just a matter of willing the weight off. The weight would come off when it was ready not when I was. It was frustrating to think that I was not in control; not even of my own body.

The longer I walked the harder I was on myself. I didn’t start this diet to feel this frustrated. I was sacrificing and doing everything I could yet the results just weren’t there. Somewhere along the way a light bulb went on.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened just that it did. I was reminded of a line from the song Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow. In it she sang, “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you got.” I began to realize that this diet was not just about losing weight. It was about coming to terms with life and being grateful for everything you have.

I began looking around at other people as I walked. There was a lady in a walker who could barely move but she was trying. When I walked by her she looked up and smiled. Despite her struggles she seemed happy.

A little further there as a father running along side his daughter who was struggling to learn balance on her bicycle. He was cheering her on and despite an occasional falter the little girl wore a happy smile on her face.

I was suddenly embarrassed about how mad I was with myself. I had lost 23 pounds! I now weighed less than I have this entire century. My blood pressure has reduced from hypertension to normal and I am no longer on medication! I have more energy and I’m walking and being more physically active. For the first time in 20 years I am considering getting a bicycle and riding something I used to love to do.

Maybe I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to this week but hopefully I lost something much more important, an attitude of having to be in control. Things may not be perfect and I can be my own worst enemy and that’s something I do have in my power to change.

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