"What finally flipped the switch for you?"
I cannot tell you how many times I've been asked this question in the last few years. In person, by doctors, friends and acquaintances, via email by readers of this blog. And to this day, I still don't have a good answer. I mean, in May of 2008 I was definitely ready to give dieting one last try. But I'd been ready many, many times before. So why did it take? What was different?
And I know that some of you want to strangle me for saying that.
I hear you. I know the desperation. I know that you see my before and after pictures, and want that for yourself. I did, too. I wanted a cure. I wanted what those newly thin people had. I wanted to BE one of them. I wanted to be rid of not only the weight, but the entanglement that comes from food. And yet, there were so many times when I started out a diet, only to throw in the towel, so to speak...the old "I blew it, what's the use, I'll start again on Monday, it's taking too long, there's a big celebration coming up, I'll start over after that..."
I know the desperation. I know the failure. I know the completely crap feeling of starting the day on plan, only to let myself be derailed by lunchtime. I am quite familiar with all of the bad aspects of dieting.
Luckily, I'm also familiar with the good parts of dieting. The successful day. The surprise realization that an item of clothing is too big, even fresh out of the dryer. The time when, out of the blue, someone says "you've lost weight" - and the time when you glance at a reflection in a store window and are startled to realize the stranger staring back is you. The time when you go shopping for new clothes and fit into everything you try on. I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
I guess the only thing I can come up with is that when I started dieting, the scale started to move downward - granted, it was a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what I needed to lose, but it was enough to give me hope that if I kept on doing the next right thing - eating on plan, drinking tons of water, exercising even when I didn't really feel like it - if I kept on doing all of that, I would, eventually, become one of those people. And to this day, I hang onto that idea. So even when I have a day of excess (hey, Saturday was the Day of Debauchery and Gluttony), it's easy enough to set that day aside and move forward into my normal way of living. Because I still want it.