On June 2, Stephen and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. I spent some time that week looking at pictures from our wedding and honeymoon and was reminded anew of how different I looked back then. One picture in particular stood out to me.
I filled up so much of the frame, looked so bloated. Happy, yes, but so very overweight. And while I told myself 2 weeks ago that at least I wasn’t 261 pounds anymore, that thought didn’t console me much because I have seen my weight creep up and know that as much as I tell myself I will never be 261 pounds again, it could happen if I’m not careful.
Gluttony has been my besetting sin, the sin I cannot seem to escape, for all of my life. Food is my drug, the way I self-medicate. Before I’ve finished one meal I’m thinking about what I’ll eat for the next. If I have a bad day, I want to eat. If I’m happy and feel like celebrating something, I want to eat. If I’m stressed, I want to eat. Eating is my response to virtually every emotion I feel. I hardly even know how to separate food from my feelings.
Thus, it’s no surprise that I find myself in the 200s again, wondering how I got here. And it’s not like this is new; I’ve hovered around 200 pounds since last year. I saw the 190s on the scale here and there, especially earlier this year when I was dealing with a mild UC flare (thanks, UC!), but for the most part my weight has consistently been between 200-203. I haven’t liked it there, but I’ve been struggling with so many other aspects of my health (like the aforementioned UC and hip pain that has become chronic in nature) that thinking about weight loss completely overwhelmed me. And to be honest, I didn’t want to give up anything else. I’ve been through a lot these past 2.5 years; don’t I deserve dessert? I had to stop running; can’t I enjoy a nice, fatty dinner? I know that kind of thinking is absurd, but welcome to my world!
Last Wednesday, I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app on my phone and started tracking my calories again. There are a lot of different paths I could take to lose weight, probably one for every pound currently on my body. I chose this one because it’s worked for me in the past and because it’s structured but also gives me a measure of freedom in that I can eat what I want as long as I stay within my calorie range. I’m tracking everything I eat, measuring, and eating appropriate portion sizes. If there’s room in my calorie “budget” at the end of the day, I can choose to have a sweet treat or I can eat something healthier, like an apple or protein shake. It’s not a perfect arrangement, but it’s better than what I was doing, which was eating with little thought given to my choices as long as it tasted good.
In just a few short hours, I’m going to wake up and get on the scale. I don’t know if I’ll see a loss or not. Last Wednesday I saw a number that truly saddened me: 206.4. I hadn’t seen a number that high since early 2009, so I hope that at least the number will be lower than that. But even if it’s not, I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to track my food, try to make good choices, and plead with the Lord to give me self-control at each meal, each day.