Standing at the Foot of Another Mountain

Today it’s all about the details to make my next step happen. I’ve attended the mandatory orientation, tomorrow I’ll get an EKG and blood draws. Monday I’ll meet with a doctor for a thorough health evaluation to determine if I can actually join the program.

Yes, I’m joining a program. A medical weight loss program.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I need to be successful, and despite my long and arduous journey so far, the thing that enabled me to be successful for real the first time, 10 years ago, continues to be the thing that I need to be successful. Full stop.

I thought that maybe because I managed to cruise-control my maintaining for so long (I got about 9 years there) I would eventually be able to manage my own weight, without an external program or structure. I thought that eventually it would become habit and I wouldn’t need any special accountability but it turns out, when people say it’s a lifelong commitment, a lifestyle change, that’s for real. Completely, cross my heart and hope to die, REAL.

For me that means that I need guard rails, I need external accountability, and I need structure, probably for the rest of my life. I’ve tried doing it on my own and that just leads to constant starting and stopping of a diet program. I mean, reading back through my posts here over the last couple of years, every few weeks I was “recommitting” to my program, and every few weeks I had fallen off the path again. I could get 3-5 days of good, solid habits but then…off the path. Without the accountability of getting on a scale in front of a stranger, I couldn’t make myself stay on program. I couldn’t deny myself the things I wanted when I wanted them. With a husband who had no particular stake in helping me stay on course, there was no way I could succeed.

So the result of my months of pondering into what it’s really going to take this time is that it’s going to take, this time, what it took last time. I need to join a program, pay the fees, go every week and get the support I need. I need a program to tell me EXACTLY WHAT I CAN EAT, no exceptions and no straying. I need my husband to do the same, and he is enthusiastically on board, as he has the same amount to lose as I do (although I know he’ll get there faster, men and their fast metabolisms…).

I still have doubts, occasionally, that I’ve broken my metabolism with my 10 year diet odyssey, but the only way to find out is to sign up and commit to finding out. And, I try to remind myself that the first time I signed up for a program like this, over 10 years ago, I didn’t believe it would work either because I’d tried almost EVERY weight loss plan on the market already and failed at them.

In my corner, I have the knowledge that this program is EXACTLY the kind of program on which I have proven myself to be very successful in the past. Just a couple more weeks until I begin.

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It’s time.

So, uh, hi. Been a while.

Last year I went through a pretty devastating depression, and┬ámy diet and exercise program never recovered. I actually made a conscious choice to focus on my mental health and sort of let go on the maintaining side over the last year or so. I knew it meant that at some future point I would need to do some hard work to reclaim the ground I’d lost but it was a worthwhile trade.

That’s the dirty dark side of maintaining, as I’m sure everybody reading here knows. It takes a lot of mental effort and energy. It takes a lot of physical effort and energy. And sometimes you have a crisis where survival means letting one thing go so you can focus on not fucking killing yourself, or becoming homeless, or what have you. So I made a choice that I knew would have consequences and now here I am, ready to face those consequences. Looking forward to facing them, actually. I need a win and this is an area where I think I can find one.

So tonight I take my first step to see if I can get some help. To get back to where I was when I started this blog, I need to lose 20 pounds. To get back to my happy weight, I need to lose 40. To get back to a “normal” BMI I’d need to lose 50.

I don’t know if I can do it. There’s no certainty in anything in life, though. I don’t know that I’m through my depression, I sort of think that maybe doubting myself, feeling lethargic, feeling unhappy about my job, feeling old and worn out and useless….maybe it’s just my new normal. I’m worried and apprehensive because I’d been getting steadily diminishing returns with my weight loss efforts prior to this last year. But then, I hadn’t firmly asked for help in the way I’m about to. I honestly don’t know if I can do what I need and want to do, because I’ve gotten so far outside of the mindset that I can barely even recognize myself in the old blog posts here that I just scrolled through. You could say I’ve hit bottom and now it’s time for me to rise again. I have a small hope that getting my weight management systems back on line might help in a lot of different areas of my life. I need a win. And I need some help.