Friday, March 26, 2010

Why am I going to keep it off this time when I've gained it back before?

If there's one post lately that's had a huge impact on the weight loss blogosphere, it's this one over at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit. He puts out a call to answer the whys and wherefores of our weight loss. I'm a bit late answering, but this is a post I've been working on for a while and had to get the wording right.

He writes:

The posts that I find the most interesting, the ones that I seem to get the most out of are the ones where the writer explores the why's of this whole deal: why did I get the way I was? why did I make the change? why is this time going to be different?

He goes on to list a bunch of why questions, most of which are good to think about if you're on this weight loss journey.

In my opinion, the only danger in answering "why" is when you let it become an excuse. I'm going to approach the question today that I think matters the most to me:

Why are you going to keep it off this time when you’ve gained it back before?

I've lost all my weight 2 times before, and gained it back. I've proven that I can lose it. I have yet to prove that I can keep it all off. Yet I am confident that I will. Why is that?

As a teenager and young adult, I was bulimic. For 10 years of my life, I regularly binged on huge amounts of food and purged afterwards. I'm not going to get into the details, but the moment that is important is the moment that I decided to get better.

I hit the biggest downward spiral of my life and I realized that I could no longer live like that. I would no longer live like that. That is the one point in my life where I truly considered death as an option, as an out. Then somewhere, in the midst of my self loathing I had a realization.

I wanted to live.

The fact that I could no longer live with bulimia didn't change. For the longest time, I thought that my only choices were to continue on, the way I was, or die. But, for the first time, I saw a third choice. I could get better and I could live.

That was the day that I put the monster, that had controlled my life for so long, into a cage. I sought out therapy and I got help. I am of the belief that certain addictions and mental illnesses are never truly cured. I will always have to be aware of that monster lurking within me, but for the last 10 years, I've put increasingly strong locks on that cage and buried it behind walls of concrete. It no longer has any hold on me.

This time, when I made the decision to lose weight, I had the same level of clarity as the day I decided that I was going to beat bulimia. Death was never on the table this time, but my quality of life was. I was no longer interested in being plagued by the limitations that my body was imposing on me because of my own choices. I wanted to not only live, but live well.

So, this time, when I lose the weight, I will keep it off. Because I am never going give up. I am never going to give in. I may hit bumps along the road, but every bump is something that I can learn from. Every difficulty will make me stronger.


  1. Wow, our stories are very similar in terms of bulimia and the losing and gaining back pattern.

    I like the idea of identifying why it's different this time. I've questioned it, but I don't think I have fully answered it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad to follow your journey.

    Are you talking about Swiss Chalet with the fries deal? My husband is so excited -they are his fav and of course he is thin! GRRR!

  2. Until a person's motivation for losing is their quality of life, I'm not sure that their efforts will ever be permanent. Too often you see people only motivated by what they see on the scale or the flatness of their abs.