I Am Not That Person Any More

I share this for all my fellow dieters, overeaters and friends in the hopes that it serves you as much as it is serving me.

I lost 70lbs from Feb 2017 – Oct 2017 following the IPA Alternatives plan. I stayed at that weight, by cheating just enough, until April 2018. In April 2018, I decided that I was ready to make a change, any change, to get things going again.

I changed all right! I went right back to the old ways, overeating, emotional eating and living for the next meal. Over the next 8 months, I let go. I let go of caring what I looked like, caring about what I was eating, caring what others thought, and actually, caring in general. I told myself that I was having a great time. It turns out, I was miserable.

I began to dive into the miserable and ended up in a deep depression. I put on the 70lbs again in a very short period of time. Putting the weight back on made the depression worse. I, once again, was having trouble moving around the way I wanted to, short of breath from the smallest exertion and I had to buy much bigger clothing. My friends and family noticed the changes and were gracious enough to love me through it, but I could see the question in their eyes, “what happened to you?” I felt like a failure.

In December of 2018, I decided I was done. I was done feeling this way, moving this way, being this way. I was done making excuses and talking myself into and out of depression. I was done being that person. The person that turned to food instead of feeling, the person that found reasons not to change, the person that gave in to momentary joys in taste and missed out on the joys of a much bigger life. I am not that person anymore.

I started the plan again on December 22, 2018. My wife was shocked that I wanted to start right before the Holidays but I knew I had important internal work to do and the first hurdle to tackle, for me, was celebrating food. I wanted that Christmas to be about more than just the food. I wanted it to be a celebration of new life.

I began celebrating this new life slowly, deliberately and with great purpose. I took time to choose what I would buy, prepare and eat. I grumbled through the prep days and sighed through the cravings. I faced my fear of hunger head on and found triggers from my past that needed attention, nurturing and love. I began to look forward to the higher carb protein bar in the evening as my reward, my treat, my prize for getting through another day in this new life, as this new person and I’d think to myself, “good job!” as I unwrapped this nightly gift.

It is now March 2019 and I have lost 28lbs of not just weight but of the old me. I am relearning the habits from my previous success and continue facing new challenges.

I still grumble through some of the food prep but it is getting easier because I plan the grocery shopping and majority of the prep work for the week, to happen on one specific day.

I am now more comfortable with my hunger when meal time or snack time is approaching. Because of my childhood abuse, it used to be a moment of panic. Because of the emotional work I have done through those traumas, it now is a signal that my body is ready for more fuel and I can smile when I feel it.

I am still glad to see and meet up with friends or family over a meal but instead of the panic of looking over a menu of what I can’t have, I ask if we can go somewhere that offers what I can have or plan what I will do before we go. Especially with my kids, who prefer fast food, I will fix a dish to take with me. I’ve never had a restaurant balk at the meal I brought if the table I’m at is ordering food. I even take with me a small container of my dressing and a drink enhancer if I want something other than water. My kids love to tease me but they are watching and learning. I never insist that they join me but I do offer it. The last meal we cooked together, my 16 year old son (Mr. Mac-n-Cheese, chicken nuggets and fries) asked for grilled chicken and asparagus! I am no longer stressing over what they can have versus what I am ‘forced’ to eat to lose this weight. I delight in the conversation, laughter and company. The food is actually the last thing on my mind. 🙂 Except for pizza. Pizza was always my biggest downfall. My kids know that I will not go with them to a pizza place because it is too much to handle now. It is still a challenge for me but one I am facing.

Cravings are still hard at times. I still crave pizza. I still crave ice cream. I still crave food when I am really upset or happy but I am not that person any more.

That’s my new mantra: I am not that person any more.

Anytime I feel like giving in to a craving, eating when I’m emotional, tired, rushed or just plain sick of the prep, I repeat, “I am not that person, ANY. MORE.”

This time I’m getting off the roller coaster. I’m going to make it to the finish line I’ve set for myself and I’m not going back. How do I know?

Because, I am not that person ANY MORE!

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