For the past five weeks, I have paid $5 to charity every Friday after having to report a weight gain on stickK.com, the website I signed up with in hopes that having to pay if I didn’t lose weight might motivate me to stay on track. Funny thing is, I’ve gone more off track since then than I have all year.
I think part of it has to with getting comfortable. I lost some of the fear of reporting to my readers that I’d not succeeded. In fact, I stopped reporting at all!! I was also getting comfortable with my weight and not feeling as much inward pressure to lose more because I no longer repulsed myself, even if I was still technically overweight. The other part was fear. Fear of succeeding and actually meeting my weight loss goal.
Ever since I signed up with sticK.com, agreeing to lose 1 pound a week until I hit my goal weight in June, this strange fear has been nagging at me. I just could not, and to some degree still can’t, figure out why this scares me. In the past, fear that others would not love me any more, or in fact start to dislike me if I was at my ideal weight, has kept me from losing the amount of weight I need to. It is irrational, but that fear exists even now, although to a lesser degree. It is not insurmountable as I know there are very few who would react this way, and even so, I think my health is more important than people who like me only as long as I don’t succeed.
The other fear is one I’ve always worried about but never fully recognized as a potential source of self-sabotage until now. I often think about what my “food life” will be like once I achieve my ideal weight, i.e. the weight that I’m healthiest and feel best at. I love to eat (this might be a problem in and of itself, lol!) and I seriously can almost not bear to think that in order to attain the weight I’d like to achieve (130 pounds), I’d have to exist on 1,200 calories a day for the rest of my life. I know Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillian, does it, but her recipes are filled with so much of what I deem non-food (Fiber 1 cereal, fat-free everything, tofu shirataki noodles, etc.) that it slightly repulses me. A co-worker that had to lose weight after having heart surgery got down to her ideal weight and I want to cry thinking that I’ll have to eat like her to stay thin. She eats half a sandwich and a handful of grapes at lunch. When she talks about eating a “huge” meal, it’s a baked potato topped with vegetables. Diet food. :( Part of the reason I think I self-sabotage each time I get close to my ideal weight (4 times in the last ten years) is that I’d almost rather be fat than have to eat like these people for the rest of my life.
But really, if eating 1,200 calories a day for the rest of my life (which might not even be necessary) means I’ll live a longer, healthier, & happier life, I have to admit that it would be worth it. I have been eating 3,000 calories a day for almost a month and I can tell you, the way I feel is no way to live. I can’t enjoy things fully because the food I’m eating makes me feel too full and practically sick because it’s fattening and has little nutrition. I’ve regained 15 pounds that I worked long and hard to lose and that is discouraging.
I also realize there is no point in worrying about what life will be like after achieving my goal when I’ve never gotten to the point where I’m living it. I have no idea how much I’ll be eating when I’m at 130 pounds because I haven’t seen that weight in ten years. And perhaps when I’m at my goal weight and do discover I have to keep my calories that low, it might not be as hard as my dramatic mind keeps imagining.
I think I’ve made a mistake by thinking too far into the future, at least in this particular area. I need to take one step at a time and deal with whatever I find at each step as I come to it, because I don’t want to let fear rule my actions and keep me repeating this self-sabotaging behavior of regaining weight after I’ve worked hard to lose it. Looking forward to five pounds lost at a time seems more approachable so I’m going to try to focus on that goal instead.
Perhaps I will discover that I feel healthiest and happiest at a weight higher or lower than 130 lbs. Perhaps I will find that I can maintain my weight while eating 2,000 calories a day (my dream, lol) as long as I get a good workout in on most days. Or perhaps I will find that I have to stick to 1,200 a day, but can do it without feeling deprived, and my little sandwich and handful of grapes makes me happy. Who knows what will happen until it happens? But I will never know if I don’t first make it happen.
So I’ve decided to join Weight Watchers again for the third time. I’ve had good results in the past and feel I need something right now to help get myself back into the weight-loss mode. I really hate to fork over $40 a month since I’m such a tight wad, but I’m paying half that right now through stickK.com just because I’m gaining weight. I’d much rather pay to lose than pay to gain. :)
Have you ever been afraid to succeed?