Between my 2016 physical to my 2017 physical, I gained 22 pounds. I am not proud of this, believe me. It would be admirable had I been trying to do it, as if it were some sort of competition with myself to see how much weight I could gain in a year. But it wasn’t. It was just me not caring. In my defense, and I know this is a weak defense that would be thrown out in any court, I had a good reason to rescind caring for a year. Most of this weight was gained between April and October 2017 after my mom’s death, but I can honestly say I began my frenzied eating as she lay in a hospital bed and I slowly began to accept (or maybe I wouldn’t accept) that she was not going to get better. But this is what I do; it’s what I have always done. I don’t, can’t, and won’t deal with my feelings so I eat.
Around Halloween, I am finally fed up enough with myself to do something. I decide Medifast is the answer. I had lost more than 50 pounds on the plan about three years ago and it was easy for me. I would eat six Medifast meals—bars, shakes, or a large array of other foods—and one meal of lean protein and greens a day. I could do this again. I open up one of the bars–my favorite one–and bite into it. The taste is so bad, so completely unpalatable and inedible, that I am practically gagging as I spit it out. I try one of the shakes. Better but still not great, although I can live with the taste. For three days I consume this shake in a number of ways–straight made with water, blended with ice to make a smoothie, blended to less ice to create soft ice cream. For 72 hours I have these shakes and little else. I lose no weight. None. I revert to eating as I had before again, only now I’m sad and frustrated at my lack of success with the plan I thought would get me back on track. I gain more weight.
In January I finally make the only decision I seem to have left. I go back to Weight Watchers. I am attending the same meeting with the same leader who saw me have great success on the program, so I enter the meeting room with my tail between my legs. This leader had seen me lose 125 pounds 10 years ago. In the interim I had gained weight, lost it with another program, and gained again. What would she think of me? Would I be shunned like a dishonorable Amish girl or would I be welcomed back into the fray? I get weighed in at the desk and am totally disgusted with the number I see. How did I let this happen AGAIN? I sit down and hide both my face and my name tag during the meeting. When the leader finally notices me, she gives me the biggest welcome I could ask for. I finally relax.
Since beginning Weight Watchers again I have lost 26 pounds. I am happy with this. I feel that my derailed eating train is at last back on the tracks and moving forward. I want to get to the weight at which I feel comfortable. I want this to be the last time I have to get myself back on the right track. I want to stop eating my feelings, but 55 years of munching on feelings instead of apples will indeed be a difficult habit to break. It’s time, though. After all, apples are a hell of a lot more filling than feelings. So ever onward to another day on the right track that will hopefully lead me to a better weight, one that I can at last maintain instead of chewing on sadness.