You know that feeling when you’ve accomplished something so huge that you can finally relax? Yeah, that’s how I ended up thirty pounds overweight. I told myself for years that I could drink a second soda or eat a little treat because I had worked hard and accomplished X, Y, and Z. And this week as I hit the thirty pound weight loss mark, my brain decided to fool me once again. I had made it! I weighed what I weighed in high school. I was fit and trim. I could relax. I ate the occasional piece of Halloween candy, always in a time of emotional stress. We went out to eat and instead of ordering something sensible, I chowed down on cheese enchiladas and salty chips, all while sucking down soda. I went for a walk, but not every day, and because I’m still coughing every morning from being sick last month, I allowed myself to take the short path rather than pushing my body to get back in the game. And then I gained three pounds.
Last summer I talked to my somehow-amazingly-thin cousin about how it is that we go from healthy people to people carrying unhealthy extra weight, not working our bodies the way they need to be worked to stay fit. We talked about the Number We Shall Never Cross. I think that most people – certainly most women – have this number in their heads. The problem is that over time, many of us move this number. I had one number in my head in college, another number in my head after my wedding, and still another number after the birth of my children. Somehow in the last couple of years, that number became something absurd so that by the time I approached it, I was on the road to living a horribly unhealthy and absolutely shortened life. As I lost weight with the help of Mamavation, I moved that number down with me in increments of ten. My new Number I Shall Never Cross is thirty pounds smaller than my old one.
This week I got lazy and emotional and stressed and I walked right back up to that number. But this time I saw it. I acknowledged. I said, okay, here I am. Now what? And the now what is that rather than feel comfortable with that number, I’m going to get back in the game and make better choices today, better choices again tomorrow, and creep slowly away from that number.
There is no going back. Not this time.