November was so insane that I forgot to weigh in on it until six days into December. Oops! And what a wacky month it was. First I discovered the common cold was the secret to losing those last two hundred pounds. Then I discovered the stress of which I cannot speak was a good way to gain back five. Then there was Thanksgiving. The net result? In November I lost and then regained about ten pounds. I’ve never ridden a roller coaster like that without wearing a seatbelt.
During the time I was excreting half my bodily fluids out my nose, I went four days without exercising, the longest period of non-activity I’ve experienced since the days when I had to rock back and forth to heave myself off the couch. When I was stressed, I ate about three pints of ice cream, the most dairy I’ve eaten in a week since I was breastfeeding. I didn’t eat much for Thanksgiving dinner, but made up for it during dessert by devouring several helpings of Dirt Cake, a delicious trifle with alternating layers of crumbled Oreos and cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar.
That’s not an apology. That’s life. I was fully aware of what I was doing and I’d probably do it again, though I may limit it to two pints of ice cream the next time. I don’t really care because through it all I stayed below or only slightly above 180 pounds. That’s the weight where I string up the yellow police tape that says “Danger! Danger! Do not cross!”
My biggest obstacle to getting to goal is that some days I don’t care about it that much. As long as I am under 180, I’m satisfied with my size. That is the magic weight where I no longer shop in the plus-size department and I can buy bras in brick and mortar stores instead of on the Internet. As long as I’m also exercising and eating well 90% of the time, I feel healthy and energized and life is good.
Some days I care a lot about getting to goal. I’d like to have a buffer of twenty pounds between my maximum weight limit and my current weight. I set a goal and I’d like to experience the pride of achieving it. I know knocking off another ten or twenty pounds would allow me to run faster and beat my personal record for the 5K and run a faster half-marathon.
Some days I see Dirt Cake and I don’t care how fast I can run.
I know some of you will suggest that I just let it go and name 180 as my maintenance weight and be done with it. I understand that point of view and maybe a year from now I’ll agree with you. But for now I’m going to keep working towards 160. I like having that goal. I like working towards it. If I were to reset my goal at 180, I might suddenly think 190 was okay and then 200 and then even my “fat” pants wouldn’t fit. Maybe it’s better to keep striving towards that asymptote line even it’s unreachable? Maybe it’s nice to have a dream?
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of life. For most of my existence, the first wish I would have asked of a genie in a lamp was to please, please, please make me thin. I got my wish. Now I have to figure out what to do with those other two wishes in my queue. My weight used to define me, but it’s become so much less important in my life that it’s time to issue a revised version of the dictionary. I’ll always have to watch my weight. I’ll always have to kick myself in the ass when I start skipping weight sessions like I have this month. The struggle will always be there. But it’s silent work that only the Internet and I know about.
So, I’m not giving up. I’m not pitching out my goal. But I’m admitting it’s not as important as it was when I started this trip. I’ve seen so much beautiful scenery on the way that I don’t quite remember where I thought I was headed when I started walking on that treadmill in the green exercise room of our old house three years ago. I doubt it really matters anymore. There are so many crossroads ahead, detours to take, and scenic routes to explore. As long as I’m happy, healthy and traveling with friends and family, I’ll go where life takes me. Some day it might even take me to my planned destination.