Not long ago, I stepped on the scale and saw something that I thought I’d never see again. It was a number. A very meaningful number. It once was a source of pride and now… now it is a dagger in the gut.
You see, five and a half years ago, I stepped on a different scale and saw that same number. 11 months later, I had lost 55lbs.
Never again, I had thought.
But that would not be the case.
I could give you a long explanation, but it comes down to grief, stress, anxiety, and anger. Even more simply, negative emotions.
That’s what I do, and that’s what I think most of us do. I eat for my emotions. It’s like I’m pregnant and I’m eating for two.
“I’ll take a number 9 and add a milkshake for my stress baby please.”
The only problem is, I’m not going to lose the weight at 9 months. It just hangs out and makes itself at home.
Food has this alluring quality of being something completely in my control and also able to make me feel good. When I feel like terrible things are happening and there is nothing I can do about it, I buy a candy bar. I know it’s bad for me, but I don’t care. Actually, I do care, that’s why I eat it. I’m saying that I get to choose to do this and no one can stop me. The rebellion feels good, the chocolate feels good, and I feel good. At least for the moment.
So here’s the question: how do you lose the weight that you gained from negative emotions when the weight itself is the source of a negative emotion (shame)?
That is where I am right now. I know the answer to the question. It’s pretty obvious. Remove the negative emotion: forgive myself.
Forgiveness means having the freedom to move on.
It hasn’t always been so obvious to me. I’ve been talking about losing weight for months but never seem to commit. I was afraid. Afraid that I’ll fall off the wagon again.
It has taken a long time for me to understand that the past can never change. I will always have done what I did. What can change is how I allow it to affect me. Focusing on the negative has only caused me to be stuck in the same place. I’ve chosen to instead turn it into a positive and try to learn from it.
My main weight loss goal for the present is to focus on ways of dealing with negative emotions other than overeating.
Keep an eye out for future posts where I review the self help books I’ve selected to help me with this goal.