I've been totally strict with myself and my eating this week. I've been petrified that I would gain 1.6 pounds this week, which would take me over my 136 pound "top end". Terrified that I would gain just enough weight to guarantee that I'd have to start maintenance over again... that it would take me 14 weeks to get to lifetime. Or 21. Or another year.
I get so afraid, sometimes, of screwing things up at the worst possible moment. It would be ok (all right, so it's me and it wouldn't be ok to botch things totally in the very beginning, but at least it would be understandable...) to get it out of the way early...
But no, my tendency is to make a hash of things right at the very end. Usually in full view of everyone and everything under the sun.
Of course, I know it's not really like that. In real life, when you bump into a waiter at the country club who's carrying pasta and he spills marinara sauce all down your white jeans, all the rich people in the club don't actually all whirl on their heels to point and laugh at you.1 In real life, most people pretend you don't exist when something completely embarrassing happens to you. (Well, unless they've got a cellphone camera with them, in which case you might end up with your picture on YouTube or People of Walmart)
And 95% of your friends won't continually nag you about your failures either, no matter what they might be thinking. And since you've got no idea what they're thinking (No, you can't interpret their looks, or silences, or read between the lines in an email. I swear to you... you wouldn't worry so much about what other people thought of you if you knew how infrequently they actually do.) you should just take them at their word. The other 4% will be charmingly funny about your failures, and will be a great source of comfort if you let them, by placing your mistakes in a light in which they actually make sense. (Foul ups are FUNNY... if you let them be. And once they're funny, they can be forgotten...)2 1% of the people you know will viciously remind you of your mistakes, be complete pains in the ass about it, act like they never make mistakes themselves and you should prove to them that they do by promptly shoving them the hell out of your life.
I'm working really hard on believing this.
Failure is how we learn. It doesn't mean we're substandard. Or stupid.
Last night, I made Lifetime with Weight Watchers. Since January 2007, I have lost 87 pounds. (Gone from 219 to 132) I have dropped 10 pants sizes. (size 24 to 4) I have increased my stamina. (From getting tired walking around the block to being tired walking 24 miles). 21 months.
It's taken me 21 months to lose the weight. (yes, it still annoys me that my husband managed to lose an additional 3 pounds - he's at -90 - in about half the time...)
It's been a long time coming. I've learned a lot. I'm feeling pretty confident and comfortable with my lifestyle choices.
Last night, I got a tiny little plastic key to go with my keychain. 3
Gaining lifetime isn't the end. Far from it. Gaining lifetime is just one step - admittedly, a pretty BIG step - on this journey.
But I've got the key to the gate; and now I can move on. I've been in the city of Weight Loss for so long; now I can open the gate and see what else is out there.
1 - Karate Kid reference. I used to adore this movie. I probably still do, except I don't always like to admit it. Maybe I should go watch it again, just for giggles.
2 - Go ahead... try to think back on the last time you had a really good laugh about something someone said. Can you remember why you were laughing? What exactly you were talking about? Unless it was yesterday, probably not... you just remember having a good time with so-and-so. We're genetically wired to remember failures and bad experiences because those are where we learn.
3 I wonder, sometimes, what it says that while the "weight block" keychains are metal - for the 25 pounds, 50 pounds, and 75 pounds markers - the lifetime key is plastic....