As I look back on all the times that I have started a diet (too many to count, really), I have to say that there have only been two times that I have had any success. Most of the time that I began a diet it was because there was some person or big event in my life that I just had to look perfect for. Can you say “pressure”? Why on earth did I do that to myself over and over again?
And this started as early as high school. There was one time that I was just madly in love with a guy, and being 15 and in love I did the only thing I could do…I made a pact with God. “Make this guy love me back and I will never eat another piece of junk food again.” Now, remember, I was 15 and IN LOVE. I was DESPERATE! So the diet began, and I was skyrocketing towards skinniness. He and his friends were actually starting to notice me! WOW! This deal I made was actually working. Until…he broke my heart. He may have been noticing me, but he was also noticing another girl too. And she won his heart. What did I win? All the junk food I could eat, and boy did I eat. I had to console myself somehow, right?
Now, you’d think that as I got older I would realize that losing weight for someone else or for a special occasion was not the smartest way to do it, right? WRONG. I did this time and time again, most recently for my brother’s wedding. I had good reason to try to lose half a ton before their big day. He and his wife had asked me to do a reading (yes, in front of the whole church!), and, of course, there were going to be more photos taken than anyone could possibly count. I had to look my best, right? Again, can you say “pressure”? Needless to say, there was too much pressure and not enough motivation, and by the time the wedding rolled around I was just as fat as I was when they got engaged.
I did my best to make myself look “pretty” for all of the wedding events of that weekend, and I had more fun than I had had in a very long time--all the while hating myself for not looking “perfect.” When the pictures started being passed around weeks later, it made me sick to see myself in them. How could I have done that to myself and to them? And when I saw their professional photos, the first thing I thought was I should apologize to them for the way I looked. I felt like I had ruined any pictures that had me in them. I don’t even have to tell you how I made myself feel better about it, do I?
Now, I did mention that I had had a couple of successes in all of my attempts at losing weight. The two times that I remember were when I just decided, okay, it’s time to take care of me, time to be selfish and focus on being good to myself. I got tired of trying to lose weight in order to make other people happy. And you know what? That’s all it takes. I have heard over and over again from the “experts” that you have to want to lose the weight for yourself. And I resisted that over and over again. What did they know? They’re not fat! But you know what? They were right. You have to decide that you love yourself enough to fight for your health.
But the one key thing to losing the weight out of self love is to keep loving yourself. Notice I said I had two successful weight losses when I followed this “self love” philosophy. What happened after I lost the weight each of those times? Something sad or stressful happened in my life to make me forget to love myself, and I turned to food for comfort. DAMN YOU, chips and pizza and Big Macs!! Why do you have to taste so good?!
So now I make this deal with myself, not for a guy (I already have great one) and not for some special event or occasion, but for myself. I promise to always love myself enough to want to be healthy and to take care of me. I know that if I keep reminding myself that I am worth it, I can have success for once and for all. Look out me, here I come!