It took a little more than six months, but I finally reached the halfway point in my journey to lose 100 lbs. This week marks 50 lbs. down and 50 lbs. to go. I had hoped to reach my goal by March of 2018, but realistically, it looks like it will happen around May or June, instead. I'm perfectly okay with that.
If you are just now learning about my journey, you can read SUSAN'S WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY: 15 WEEKS AND GOING STRONG to find out how I got started.
Now that I am six months along, I have to say that the past six weeks have been some of the toughest. It's not that the diet program stopped working for me, it's that my thoughts and emotions began to get in the way. It took me a few weeks to realize that I was unconsciously self-sabotaging my progress. I finally had to sit down with myself to search out the reasons why.
It was during a conversation with my weight loss coach that the "why" revealed itself. As I began to approach the halfway point, I started to feel anxious and stressed. This anxiety caused me to reach for food that had not tempted me all the months before. Though I did not gain any weight, I succeeded in stalling my weight loss for several weeks.
After talking it through, I realized that the extra weight I had been carrying was my protection against the world and allowed me to suppress hurts, wounds and painful emotions. In an emotional sense, I was not yet ready to come out of my shell. I was carrying an enormous amount of self-doubt.
This was such an odd place to find myself. I never thought about the fact that my excess fat had been a security blanket -- and that I had come to depend on it so much that I would seek to sabotage myself. I had to take a hard look as to what it was that was making me so reluctant to let go of old habits.
As I continued to look, I discovered that my anxiety was rooted in a fear of failure. I was afraid to succeed at weight loss because I was afraid that I would fail. As ironic as this sounds, I learned that many people hit this same wall somewhere along their journey. It's called "perfectionism." Somewhere deep inside me was a need to get it right -- to be perfect -- to not fail. So, when I took that first bite of a potato chip -- something that is definitely not on my diet program -- I saw it as a failure. I had messed up. I wasn't perfect. There was no putting the potato chip back in the bag... along with the dozens of others that tasted really good when they were being crunched around in my mouth. The guilt that came later, though, was definitely not worth it. It became an emotional hammer that I used to hit myself over the head. "Failure, failure, failure."
I began to see the thought patterns that had been going through my mind all of these years. If I did not think I could succeed, I would sabotage my own efforts or I would procrastinate. This is one of the reasons I did not face my obesity problem much sooner in life.
The truth is that I will never be perfect, and that is perfectly okay. That's why I decided to write about my recent struggles -- knowing that someone reading this would recognize this about themselves and would be able to relate.
Once I understood what had been taking place, I was able to own it and have begun pushing past. I have done this by talking about my feelings with my coach and by praying in the ways I have been taught that bring about emotional and spiritual healing.
I came to see that God does not require me to be perfect. He wants me and loves me just the way I am. It's His job to do any perfecting that needs to happen in my life, but being "perfected" has nothing to do with being perfect. It happens as a result of abiding in and experiencing God's love -- which is always kind, nurturing and compassionate. His love does not beat me down when I have failed. Instead, it picks me back up again. So, if God is not beating me up, why am I?
Now, I am at the place where I am learning how to relate to myself in a whole new way that goes far beyond losing weight. It is a process of self-rediscovery. I have been obese for most of my adult life, so there is a brand new person emerging who is learning a whole new way of seeing herself -- and loving herself. I am learning to listen to her and hear what is on her heart. I am enjoying the process of becoming reacquainted with a newer and improved version of myself and learning to embrace everything about me -- especially the imperfections. It truly is okay to be "perfectly" me.
Until next time! ~ Susan