About 20 years ago during one of my many "I'm really gonna do it this time" weight loss attempts, I attended a faith-based weight loss program. I tried, I really did. But I ended up leaving in failure after repeating the whole program three times. I was devastated. I'm a Christian, and now I even failed at this one! I had what I felt were great reasons for leaving the program...but now I see them for what they were: excuses. I had only lost about 25 lb on the program, then did my typical yo-yo afterwards, and regained it all back with extra.
But one experience has forever stuck with me from that program. It happened at one of the very first meetings. We went around the room introducing ourselves...once again, I was the biggest one in the room.
Finally it came the turn of a lady that was probably 150 pounds smaller than I was (I was about 460 lbs at that time). She was very teary, and started telling how she would watch tv shows with "these huge people" on them. And crying, she looked at ME, and said she was so scared that someday she would look like me. She didn't have a clue how deeply that cut!
Others in the room squirmed and looked embarrassed and sympathetic, which made it all the more awful for me. I just wanted to crawl under a rock somewhere and die. I sat there and did what I had trained myself to do when hurt because of my appearance: I tried to keep a stony face, with no reaction, and not let on how painful it was. But this time, in this place, it caught me off guard. I had thought I was in a "safe" place. And try as I might, the tears rolled down my face, even as I sat frozen faced.
The meeting progressed, and I sat silent. Finally, at the very end, I knew I could not let this go unaddressed. I asked to speak, and then explained to her that I never thought that I would ever become "one of them" either. I looked her right in the eyes and said:
"THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOU AND ME
IS TIME... unless you change."
I was thinking about this incident because there are a bazillion weight loss blogs out there. And at first I was only gravitating towards ones that were written by someone in my weight range. Then I remembered my own words, that the only difference between the "smaller" ones and me is time, unless they change. No one plans to become "one of them"...and even when you become "one of them", on the inside you are screaming "I am not a freak!"
So now I follow blogs of people with whom I connect...with their heart...their experiences...their dreams...their accomplishment in this journey. People I can learn from, be inspired by, or just feel a kinship with.
NONE of us are "one of them"... we are real people, with hopes and dreams, with a desire to love and be loved...to have a life we feel good about.
And that is why I will succeed this time, because I choose to change, to drop the excuses, to get honest and make progress at staying consistent. The finish line may still be a long way off for me still...but I am making progress.
There is no such thing as a "perfect" journey...but there is progress. Now, I remind myself: PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION
And in the progress department, my weekly Monday weigh-in was 369...so I met my goal to lose 3 lbs this week. :-)
From Dr Phil's book: "Ultimately, only you--and you alone--are responsible for getting your weight under control."