How to Fail Spectacularly

Well, I need to own it. I did it. I failed spectacularly!

“How?” you ask.

I made the fundamental mistake similar to a bride and groom planning for the wedding day, but not for the marriage. In my case, I planned for the day I won my weight loss challenge and didn’t plan for what it would mean for me to maintain it. Unfortunately, in the last 16 months, I have gained a significant portion of my lost weight back (almost 50 lbs) and I am not happy about it.  I have been watching it happen, letting it happen…and what I have done about it? Nothing.

Yet.

With all of the support I received from everyone, I needed to acknowledge my failure in planning.  I recognize I oversimplified in my own mind the difficulties and continuous diligence required to keep the weight off. After my reveal to my family and friends, I was amazed at how easily I let myself slip into some of the bad eating habits I had worked so hard to eliminate. And even worse, after being in the best shape of my life with the ability to run several miles a day without batting an eye, I stopped running. Not just a little bit, but completely.

The best way to describe it is to say I poured out a wheelbarrow of peanuts and I invited my elephant back in the room without even batting an eye. Who does that? Who throws away a year’s worth of really hard work?  (See my post The Elephant in the Room for the explantion of the reference.)

I have been asking myself why I have let all of this happen. I have a number of excuses I have given myself including things like changes with my job, the negative comments I received from people about “being too skinny”, and even how my husband loves me whatever shape I am in. Some people would say they are valid.  I can’t let msyelf off the hook that easily. I believe it all comes down to a fundamental belief — “How much do I value myself?” Some days, like so many people I know, it obviously isn’t very much.

But as much as I apparently like my pet elephant after letting her back into the room so willingly, enough is enough. I have signed up for my weight loss challenge again through Healthy Wage to lose the weight I have put back on. With new plans to lose the weight and having to maintain it for several months before the payday, I am approaching it differently. I am revisiting my previously posted tips (My Weight Loss By The Numbers and 20 Tips for Tackling Your Own Challenge) as reminders of what I have done in the past that made me successful and adding in plans for what I need to do once I reach my weight loss. It isn’t immediately celebrating with a large pizza, ice cream and alcohol!

Interestingly enough, I’m not telling anyone when my finish line day is.  This is for me. Because I matter. Being healthy matters and having the energy I once had, matters to me. Learning from my past mistakes, I am going to envision a new life going forward. Most importantly, for no one other than myself, I AM GOING TO SUCCEED.

~Steph

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