Getting left behind

You may or may not know that after many, many years of dieting and trying to lose weight, I took a break. It’s been almost 2 years since I declared that I will never do another diet again and I’ve stuck to it. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to maintain my weight – I’ve stayed within the same 4 pounds (+/- )the whole time. During these last 2ish years, I’ve been doing a lot of mental and emotional work and I have come a long way, baby. I’m sure I’ll always need to have access to some kind of counseling and I am totally fine with that, but I have put little to no effort into losing weight – I needed that mental break.

In the last couple of weeks, it has come to my attention that some people who have previously lived a sedentary life (much like myself) are now working on getting fit and losing weight. These are people that I am close to – some are family, some are neighbors, some are acquaintances – but they are people that I know personally and they are crushing it. Some are simply walking everyday, some are doing vigorous workouts at the gym. They are working out regularly, eating nutritious foods, and subsequently losing weight. Some are losing a little bit of weight and some are losing a lot of weight.

But what they are all doing is leaving me in the dust.

Don’t be jealous of my artistic skill. Some of us are just born gifted. 

When I realized how many people I personally knew who are actually making the effort to change their health, the first thought I had was “I don’t want to be left behind!”

It’s so different watching the progress of people I actually know versus watching the progress of a random stranger on Instagram. It also made me realize that as long as those people were overweight and sedentary, I felt like it was okay for me to be that way as well. Maybe not okay, but I felt like at least I wasn’t the only one. Now however, I feel like saying “Oh, wait. We’re doing this now? We’re getting healthy…is this a thing now? Oh, okay, hold on, just let me get my walking shoes on…” It’s like now that my friends and family are into it, it feels okay for me to be into it too.

And maybe that’s why it’s been so hard for me to do it in the past? I didn’t want to be the odd man out, the one who was going against the grain and doing things differently. Actually I don’t think that’s it…I think I just wanted my own personal tribe to do it with me. I wanted a real-life group that I could belong to. And now I see this group forming before my eyes and suddenly I realize that I want to join in on the fun. 

I don’t know exactly yet what this is going to look like for me – I still refuse to do a “diet” but I’m sure there is a way I can improve my health without it feeling like deprivation and torture. I know I need to start small, but I know myself well enough that I can’t start too small because I’ll get bored, but I can’t go gangbusters either because I will wear myself out and quit. I just need to find that middle path, that sweet spot that challenges me but is also sustainable.

What I also need is accountability. I may start posting here, but posting more Instagram-style and less wordy-y. More frequent, but shorter posts. Or heck, I may start a new Instagram account and post there…not sure yet, I’ll figure it out soon though. Any suggestions?

Okay, so. I’m doing this! I think. No, I am totally doing this. Now is the time. This is happening.







10 thoughts on “Getting left behind

  1. Please post here so I can read. Don’t care how short.

    Fix one thing a week and just keep going is something Grumpy Chair did long ago and it always seemed smart. Just pick the next smartest thing or the thing that is bugging you.

    Very interesting that this is happening with people in your real life. And dominos effect too. Did it start with one specific person? And why? Child getting married, pictures in their future? Did someone get a diabetes or other diagnosis?

    I think pretty much every single one of us needs a long term/life long therapist. Totally agree.

  2. Diets don’t work. Depriving yourself, and labeling foods or yourself bad, do not work in the long run. Exercise and eating healthy does! Eating healthy does not = diet or exclusion of yummy things. Good luck!

    (From “normal” weight former bulimic)

  3. Who cares how the motivation comes, just that at some point it DOES come…sounds like yours has arrived, so jump on it! Even if you don’t want to diet, just hanging out with those who are actively working toward a healthier lifestyle has got to help. And wouldn’t it be nice to have some walking buddies, or someone to workout with? Join them!

  4. You can do it! Join the fun. Taking care of yourself does not mean diet. And you can change your mind as often as you would like.

  5. MFP and a weekly weigh in with picture. That’s what I’ve done since October… except for this week b/c I’m going away… I’ve lost 13 pounds, which is not “killing it”, but it’s better than the alternative, so I’m going with it. I’ve got a race at the end of May and I’m easing back into more activity… I think that has to do with transitioning out of hibernation.

  6. Focus on getting healthy and not on the weight. There are other ways to gauge progress than the scale. I lost 40 pounds three years ago. Then my thyroid quit working at the same time I hit menopause and a good portion of that came back on. (I confess that I used to roll my eyes at people who blamed their thyroid or menopause for weight gain but I can now attest to the fact that the struggle is real.) Although I haven’t given up my hope of losing weight, I now focus on my blood pressure, blood sugar, thyroid levels, etc. and if I just feel good. The scale doesn’t tell you how good you feel. My daughter weighs 115 pounds and, due to chronic illness, rarely feels good. I’ve got a good 80 pounds on her and feel pretty good most of the time. I actually like exercising now that I treat it as something I do to make myself feel better rather than punishment because I was too friendly with Ben & Jerry.

  7. You know, it doesn’t matter where the inspiration / motivation comes from as long as it’s there. Finding the inspiration to make changes is probably more than half the battle. Sticking with it is the other half. You are a strong woman and I am confident you can do this! Whoo hoo!

  8. Do whatever makes you happy. I admire your honesty. i know it is easy for me to say but you are so much more than your number on a scale. You go girl!

  9. Very cool that you have family and friends who are trying to live a healthier life. I agree–it is easier when you get together to not be the odd man out. Keeping health as the goal is the best.

  10. It is definitely easier to make healthy choices when you have a good support system! At the beginning of the year, a friend of mine on Facebook added me to her Accountability Challenge Group. Every day my feed is filled with the sweaty selfies of the women in the group after they’ve finished their workouts. It’s a huge motivator for me to keep going! (It doesn’t hurt that my husband joins me for my 5am sweat sessions on weekdays either). Having a workout tribe is definitely a great way to stay motivated! I’m with you on food, I gave up diets last year and I refuse to ever go on one again. I just try to make healthy choices for myself most of the time and enjoy treats when they’re something I really want.

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