Every Single Day.
Some days every hour, every minute, every second.
It's a struggle to stay on track. It's a struggle not to eat those chips. It's a struggle not to take a bite of that cake. It's a struggle to exercise. It's a struggle to stay motivated. It's a struggle to believe I can do this.
Don't get me wrong. I'm doing it. Some days are a breeze and I'm on top of the world and I know I can do this and I can't wait to see the scale. Others I feel like this is quicksand. I'm trying to wade through, but I'm just not moving.
Yesterday not less than 5 people asked how much weight I'd lost and how I'd done it. They told me how great I look and that they didn't recognize me at first.
I gave the answer I always give. "I'm eating right, counting my calories, and exercising."
The thin ones smile and say, "Oh that's so great. You look wonderful."
The not thin ones say, "Oh....wow....wish I could do that."
Without fail this is how people react. And I always feel good that they noticed my weight loss, but then I get mad. You CAN do it. You think this is easy? You think I just did it, like snapped my fingers and the weight was gone. You think I just got LUCKY? You weren't around for the day after day. The days when I wanted nothing more than to bury my head in that chocolate cake. Drive through whatever fast food restaurant is nearest and order the first 3 comb meals.
YOU CAN DO IT.
If you want to.
Stop wishing, part of me yells. STOP hoping. Stop DREAMING of a time when you'll be thin or when you were thin. If you want to be healthy and lose weight, then do it.
It's a struggle. It's a battle. It's not easy. But then, what worth having is easy?
It's hard to make myself go to the gym. It's hard to find time in my overly scheduled and busy life to exercise. Would I rather watch TV and rest? YES. Sometimes anyway. But, will doing that get me to my goals? Of course not. Is it hard to push through a work out when you're tired and muscles hurt and you feel like you can't go on? YES! Is it hard to have trouble sleeping because my arms and chest hurt so bad I can't roll over? YES! Is it a struggle to then get up the next day and stretch and work out? YES!
Is it all worth it?
Of course it is. I can do things now I never dreamed I could before. I can run. Actually run, albeit slowly and not far, but still I can RUN. I can bike for an hour. I can do the elliptical for an HOUR. (I WOWed a patient with that info yesterday, btw. A thin one who was telling me they just can't find time to exercise. BS!) I can jump. I mean really jump in the air. I can SKIP again with my kids. I can run after the ball when we play catch instead of watching them run after it and waiting for them to retrieve it. I can break a board with my FOOT. I can defend myself if someone attacked me. I can do push ups. REAL ones. Lots of them. I can do sit ups. I did them yesterday, 30 of them while holding a 20lb medicine ball.
I can buy clothes in a regular store. I don't care if I EVER darken the door of Lane Bryant again. I am in a size 14. A size which a year ago was a dream from my freshman year of college. I can even wear a size 12 in a few things. A TWELVE. Never have I done that.
Am I done?
Not even close. I have a long way to my goal. 60 pounds or so. My body is changing. I don't like the hanging skin on my arms. It's like I got more muscle and lost weight and they look worse-wigglier (is that a word?). And it's a struggle not to get discouraged. Will I ever be happy with how I look? I don't know. I have to focus on how I feel, not the numbers on the scale. But, even that is a struggle.
It's a struggle when I step on the scale, like today, and it's up 4 pounds. WTF? How does that happen? I ate some extra food yesterday. Food not on the plan. Before you freak out.......I ate an orange and a few cherries. That's all. How in the WORLD can I be up 4 pounds? I worked out hard yesterday. Really hard. Lifted a lot of weight. I'm assuming that's it. Maybe I didn't hydrate after enough?
It's a struggle not to freak out. It's a struggle not to go off the deep end and just say, "screw this." It's a struggle not to fall into old habits and give up. It's a struggle not to listen to those negative voices.
It's a struggle I say, but not impossible.
I know that now. It's hard, but not impossible. There is a price to pay. Not much different than the price I paid to be fat. It's not like being obese is free of struggle. I paid the price of not being able to move, not having cute clothes to wear, not being able to play with my kids. Those are the price I paid for doing what I wanted to do and eating what I wanted to eat. Now, I pay a different price. I eat less. Sometimes I'm hungry. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes I'm sore. Sometimes I have to make a choice between a candy bar and an apple.
So now I'll welcome the struggle. Welcome the pain, welcome the ups and the downs. I know I may be struggling, but this struggle is the best I've ever felt in my life. The best thing I've ever decided to do.
Truth be known if this is the only struggle I have to deal with in my life, I'm pretty damned lucky.