Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back on the horse once more

Yesterday I got on the scale and realized that at this moment I weigh the same as I did when I was 9 months pregnant. Eek!

I didn't used to be this fat. In fact, about 18 months ago I was in pretty decent shape for my stage in life. When I look at pictures from then it makes me feel pretty darn bad about where I am now. What makes it even worse is I know that I did it to myself.

For most of my life I never had to think much about weight. I was never super-skinny, but I wasn't ever fat, either. It was only in the last five years, around the time I turned 40, that I realized the battle of the bulge had finally found me. I joined Weight Watchers Online and within a few months I had painlessly pared my weight back down to where I wanted to be. 

So what happened? How did I suddenly go from fit and trim to ballooning up to my heaviest adult weight ever? These are the questions I needed to ask myself if I was going to get serious about taking the weight off again.

Logistics had a lot to do with it. The demands on my schedule kept increasing, which slowly sucked up the time I had previously set aside for grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals. Working so much also meant I was more tired, and less inclined to climb on that elliptical machine when I finally got home at night.

But if I'm going to be honest with myself (and I must be if I hope to change this situation) the real problem for me was emotional eating. When I got out of work at 10:00 pm and I hit that drive through, instead of ordering a grilled chicken sandwich with apple slices and a diet soda, I came rolling in with the burger, the fries and the sugary soda. It was wrong and I knew it, but eating junk became an emotional reward for sucking up all the stress.

If I'm going to be even more honest with myself I have to acknowledge that the pounds that I put on weren't just an unwanted side effect of self-medicating with food, they were a deliberate defense mechanism. Well, maybe semi-deliberate, but still a defense mechanism. I was insulating myself against everyone and everything that I felt had let me down in life, including myself.

So now that I've faced the scale and my demons both, it is time to get back on the diet and exercise horse once again. I've re-upped my Weight Watchers membership. I've stocked my pantry with the right kinds of foods. I've dusted off my heart-rate-monitor and my elliptical machine.

I'm ready to do this.

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