Nearly two years and no word from me. What happened? Where do I begin? At the beginning of the end. I was doing great, losing weight, getting fit and sharing my successes with you. In July, I hit a weight loss milestone and felt unstoppable… right up until I stopped. It wasn’t a sudden halt, but rather a gradual slowing to a crawl. I had an off-week and gained a few pounds. I went out to brunch, went out to dinner, worked late and skipped the gym and gained a few more pounds. Brunch and dinner and working late and catching up on “Say Yes to the Dress” became more frequent, meal planning and gym time became less frequent, pounds came and went and came again. In October I found David and quickly fell in love, spending hours each night on the phone to California, dreaming and making plans for our future together. I could cop out and blame those late nights on the phone but they never stopped me from going to the gym in the afternoon. I could point to all sorts of external influences but, ultimately, I have always had distractions in my life, other things I could be doing. I had grown complacent, content to rest on my laurels and my routine was no longer a routine. The weight came back on slowly, creeping up steadily. I moved back to California, had to find a new gym and learn to cook for two instead of one. More convenient excuses – but excuses not reasons because I found a gym and hardly ever go; David’s constant complaint is that I feed him too much, not too little. No, not one damned thing stood in the way of my getting back on track except me and whatever imaginary roadblock I have erected between myself and my goal. And I quit blogging. I had nothing to say. Who would be inspired by this?
I had always been excited to share my wins, my goals and dreams with the world. Success is only half the story, only half the truth and half truths aren’t truths at all. The other half of the truth is failure; the stumbles, wrong turns and utter defeats. I could scarcely admit those to myself let alone divulge them to friends and strangers. I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately and have come to realize just how valuable failure is. I’d been internalizing my failures for months, ashamed and depressed and completely void of motivation. But failure is something we all share, it’s something we have all faced and overcome. I have learned so much more from the failures in my life than the successes. We celebrate each others victories but awkwardly brush off or ignore missteps – but I am blogging today because I want to celebrate my failure. My failure is a blessing. My failure is the launchpad for change, the source of insight. It is a powerful lesson in life and perseverance, in humility and picking oneself up by the bootstraps. So here I am, humbled and white-knuckling my bootstraps, ready to dust up the atmosphere and make lightning strike a third time.
My first step is facing my failures and that meant doing something I had been avoiding for months: getting on the scale. The second step is taking shame out of the equation, exploring my feelings with honesty and introspection and discovering how (and, more importantly, why) I got here. The third step is overhauling everything and beginning again. Instead of jumping on WordPress when the going is good, when I can joyfully share all the happy progress I have made, I am taking you on this journey from the very beginning – the unflattering, difficult-to-admit beginning: 40 pounds regained, buying larger pants, popping Pepcid to combat the return of my reflux; humiliated that I have moved the ring David gave me to my pinky finger for fear that I won’t be able to slide it off my ring finger; frustrated and discouraged and feeling that I have failed everyone who ever said they were inspired by me. While I have been blessed these past two years in so many ways – finding love, moving home to California, getting a great job, spending time with family and friends – I have also spent the better part of them feeling disheartened, apathetic and helpless in terms of my weight and health. So there it is, the ugly truth is out… Jody lost and found and lost and a total mess but a hopeful mess.