In case you haven’t noticed, I have been quiet lately. My inspirational quotes have been sprinkled only sparingly, and there is a ton of extra room on my camera roll where my gym selfies would have been.
A month ago, however, that was different. I was on top of the world. I had just finished second place in the Edge weight loss challenge. I lost 28 pounds in 8 weeks. I was two pounds away from being back to my lowest adult weight. I was 1.5 pounds away from losing 50 pounds in 2017 alone. I was in amazing shape. My endurance was high. I was feeling strong. And I could taste the finish line of my first major goal.
Before the sweet taste of victory, I decided to indulge in a few savory things, like cheese , which I had gone without for months. I was going to “treat myself” for my hard work. After my epic cheat meal, I had stomach pain for two days. I thought I was just being punished for eating French fries. When I complained, everyone told me it would go away. “Your body just isn’t used to eating that way.” When it didn’t go away I found myself in the ER, and hours later being prepped for emergency gall bladder surgery.
That “cheat meal” would later be described by my doctor as binge eating. The need for my surgery would later be attributed to “rapid weight loss”. And just like that, the finish line went from a few yards, to miles away.
Before my surgery, I was feeling more confident than I had in a long time. Maybe ever. I was comfortable in my summer clothes. I wasn’t worried about how I’d look in a bathing suit. Flash forward to after surgery. When I first saw my inflated belly, I cried for an hour. Even if it was temporary, and no matter how many people told me the swelling would go down, I was devastated. My self confidence was shattered again.
My first reaction was anger. I felt like I was punished for losing weight. Rapid weight loss? I didn’t starve myself. I didn’t take crazy supplements. I did what everyone told me to do: eat healthy and workout. Yes, I may have passed on the rolls for my burger at a few picnics, but nothing near drastic.
After the anger passed was sadness. I threw myself a month long pity party. I felt like it was unfair. That I didn’t deserve this set back and obstacle. That I couldn’t catch a break. I was flooded by negativity. I felt like no matter how hard I tried I’d never reach my goal because of all these obstacles. I felt like I’d just keep gaining and losing these same pounds and never truly change. That I’d never reach that line I was so close to.
Once I started to feel better and the pain diminished, I had the desire to get back on track. But not the motivation. I continued to be inactive and I continued to eat mindlessly. I felt depressed and didn’t know how to get back into the mindset I was in pre- surgery.
Then last Friday I had a follow-up with the surgeon. When I had to get on the scale, I almost cried. It was then the lightbulb started to go on. This time my diagnosis was “Everything is fine”. The only thing wrong with me was that I didn’t have a gall bladder. I realized only thing that was holding me back from my goals now was me.
She told me to “take the weekend” and return back to my workout routine on Monday. I internally laughed at the cliché of starting on a Monday, but that is exactly what I did. Yesterday I did some healthy food shopping. I set my alarm and even though I didn’t want to get up and may have snoozed for two hours longer than I wanted to, I still got up. And it felt great. I mean that figuratively. Literally, it was awful. I felt out of shape and like a new born baby cow trying to learn to walk. But I am so glad I made the effort.
The point is to all this is, life happens. You cannot always prevent obstacles and set backs. Somethings in life you just can’t control. You can only control how you react to them. Looking back I could have reacted differently. I could have kept my diet more in tune and tried to do more exercise. But you can’t change the past, or predict the future. The only thing you can do is make the present your best.
It is easy to do things when you are motivated. But I learned cannot stick to this journey on motivation alone. Motivation tricks you. Motivation comes and goes. What keeps you successful is consistency. And when you fall off the wagon there is no easy way to get back on.
You just have to do it. Even if its uncomfortable, even if you don’t feel like it. The best thing you can do is just start by doing something. And you have to remember. Setbacks are opportunities for even bigger comebacks. Set backs make you tougher. Set backs make you appreciate struggles and hard work. Set backs make you strong.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to tell me to get to the gym, and follow me on foreverlastingymclass on Instagram!