This is a difficult post to write, but write it I must. It’s a matter of honesty and integrity. It’s a matter of openness and transparency; a coming out of hiding. Over the last few months my weight loss journey has been challenged … or stalled … or stopped. Well, actually, it hasn’t been a weight LOSS journey at all. It’s been a weight GAIN journey. After several months of the weight coming off relatively easily, in the Spring after my hysterectomy I hit a plateau. I struggled, week after week, faithfully tracking my food intake, walking every day, but not seeing the scale budge very much. I finally hit my 90-pound goal in May, but in the few weeks following that, my weight yo-yoed, gaining 2 pounds, losing a pound, gaining a pound and so forth. Frustrated, I decided to take a break. I told myself and everyone around me that this was just a break. I was feeling good and rewarding myself for my hard work by taking some well-deserved time off from the discipline of tracking. I was giving my body a rest; time to adjust to all the changes it had endured in the last year. I creatively crafted and spun that story in a variety of ways, but to be blunt, I simply gave up. I didn’t realize it at the time … or perhaps I just didn’t want to ADMIT it at the time, but I gave up. And it’s had disastrous results. I could lie to myself and the people around me for a time, but the popping buttons on my pants and shirts would eventually spill their guts, quite literally.
Over the summer I knew that I was gaining weight. I was eating poorly. The stress surrounding the closing of one of the churches I serve gave me permission to eat all manner of things that I wouldn’t have dared eat in the preceding months. I told myself that I would get back on track this Fall. Since yesterday was the first full day of Autumn, I knew it was time. Yesterday was also my birthday and I realized that if I want to celebrate many more of these, I simply HAD to get back on track. So this morning I stood on the scale. The moment of truth. The day of reckoning. Name it whatever idiom or cliché you choose. It was time to face reality. I stared at the number for quite some time and then I walked away, attempting to block it from my mind. I did a variety of other tasks, and vacillated between berating myself and trying to spin another story. I even considered trying to determine a more acceptable number to enter on my weight tracker. And then I cried. I cried over the weight I’d gained and I cried over the fact that I am still healthier than when I started this journey. I cried for the ways in which I felt like a failure and a disappointment to the people who have supported me and I cried for the internal critic whose wounds are exposed through harsh language. I cried for the ways I extend love and mercy to others, yet have difficulty accepting it myself and I cried at the realization that even in the midst of this struggle, God is at work within me, still calling me into being and transforming me into my full created potential.
Then I took a deep breath and plunged forward, entering into my weight tracker that number on the scale. It was 21 pounds higher than my last entry in June and 29 pounds higher than that beautiful May day when I celebrated 90. And so I begin again, grateful for second chances, claiming my new favorite number – 61.
Until next time, peace …