You get up.
You make the choice.
This is it.
This is gonna be the year you’ll (insert just about any damn thing you can think of here) and you’re gonna hit it hard. Harder than you’ve ever done before. Holy crap, look at you. Something is different this time. You can actually imagine yourself being “successful” at your endeavor and before you know it…
YOU DID IT!
At the end of 2009 I didn’t really make a New Year’s resolution. I sat around the cubicle with some co-workers on a cold winter’s night and declared I was going to take the stairs instead of the elevator. I spent a few hours before that fateful declaration looking up calories for certain foods and felt that small seed planted.
I was going to lose weight.
I didn’t know how much (though I knew I was morbidly obese), I didn’t really know how I was going to do it (arbitrarily deciding counting calories was the way to go) and I didn’t really tell anyone (cause if you don’t share the secret, people can’t laugh and point when you fail again
and again and again).
Funny story is, I didn’t fail.
In fact, I’ve managed to do something only about 5-10% of the “weight loss” population has been able to do: Keep it off. My four year “healthiversary”, came and went without any bells or whistles. December 29th of 2009 I decided to change my life. December 29th of 2013 I was blogging about cleaning up on aisle 5 (or “hey Tara, get your shit together will ya!”). Life today is much different than that of 270 pound Tara but in a way it’s still very much the same…
I thought this blog post would be one of those “this is how you get started in weight loss” kind of blogs. Thousands upon thousands of people are googling like mad crazy “HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT” and for a brief moment I wanted my blog to be at the top. If I can do it, so can you and here’s how…
Except my focus isn’t about losing weight anymore. I mean I want everyone to know they can do it (psssst, you can do it) and here’s how (let’s talk). In hindsight the losing of the weight is the easy part. You have a goal in mind and you get after it with a vengeance. Kind of like when you go food shopping. You know what you want and what aisle it’s in. You go in, grab it and get out. Weight loss in general is the same thing. You know what you want. You know what needs to be done. You go in. You grab it. You get out.
Out of weight loss.
And either a) gain that shit back or b) enter a life long maintenance journey.
or a combination of the two.
Instead of going into the grocery store and knowing what you want, you wander aimlessly. Maybe grabbing shit you don’t normally eat. Maybe fighting that inner demon that says “Come on now. You’ve lost the weight. It’s okay to eat overly processed piece of bakery cake and while you’re at it why not just dig deeper into that bag of doritos and take another chug off that diet coke“
You don’t really know what you want because you’re in maintenance and no one really talks about that. We only focus on the losing of the weight. Not the
for fuck’s sake this shit was easy to lose but hard keeping it off. I won’t lie: those food demons are very loud and very clear in their intentions to keep me wandering aimlessly in that proverbial grocery store. Holiday eating (and lack of physical movement) are a constant reminder as my pants are a little tighter and the scale is a little higher. I wander aimlessly because I didn’t have any goals to get after once Half Ironman was checked off my bucket list and I let those “little voices” speak with a little more volume.
On the 29th of December 2009, that one little choice of taking the stairs changed my life. It wasn’t a resolution. Just a decision. I did the same thing on the 29th of December 2013. I decided to return to CrossFit after a long hiatus. It’s not a resolution to move more and get back down to 160 (from my current 170) but rather a decision. Taking the stairs was a small step in the right direction to bigger things. Stairs turned to walking. Walking turned to running….
CrossFit is my small step that leads to bigger things.
Movement is everything to me. And if I’m not finding the love of movement in running right now then I better get off my ass and find something that reminds me that I love to move, that I love to share my story and I love for people to know that if I can, so they can as well.
This post isn’t for those of us wanting to lose weight. This is for us that have lost it and find ourselves in the category of A (gaining that shit back), B (entering the life long journey of maintenence) or (raising my own hand here) a combination of the two. Maybe you’re wandering aimlessly in the next aisle over from me. Maybe we’ve made that proverbial eye contact of “what now” interaction. Maybe your food choices/lack of movement isn’t because you think you can’t but rather because you did and those voices are telling you it’s alright to eat whatever because look at you, the weight loss success story. Go right ahead and shove that cake in your piehole, you deserve it!…
You deserve to know this is a tough place to be.
You deserve to acknowledge that life after weight loss can be more difficult than the shedding of the weight. That the feeling of “what now” and “do I have to do this for a lifetime” is very real. That once the excitement of (commence the throwing of confetti) LOOK AT ME, I DID IT, is over it can be a very lonely place. We ban together when we want to see the scale move in a downward direction. We support each other in our food choices. We’re vocal in our frustrations and triumphs. We’re the first to high five and the last to let go of those much needed virtual hugs. When we hit the goal, we scatter. “Oh look you did it and I’m still fighting so let me find someone else that is also feeling the same way“. You become yesterday’s news…then you become last week’s news.
Then you stop being the news.
Listen very carefully: You’re news to me.
Weight loss is important to me. But you. You are most important. Your triumphs (and frustrations) are my life line. You’re wandering aimlessly in the next aisle. Maybe you’re in the soda aisle. Maybe I’m in the chip aisle. Maybe when we accidentally bump into each other cause we’ve stopped focusing on the movement of life we can leave our carts behind and go for a walk…
Because we all know what those small movements in the right direction can lead too.