Scale, Panic, Self-Control, Perseverance. In That Order

I got on the scale tonight.

Why, oh why do I do this?

And yep. I’m up a pound.

I probably wouldn't, if I looked like this.

I probably wouldn’t, if I looked even remotely like this.

I went through about a thousand emotions after discovering that gain. It happened in only three days, and although that’s not unusual (in fact, following a binge, I typically gain approximately three pounds…just what my body does), for some reason, I was under the illusion that “following my body’s cues” would magically make me begin to lose weight. Immediately.

Not over time, like all the “stop dieting” books and blogs state. Not after a period of being overenthusiastic about being able to eat whatever I want, like all the books and blogs state. Not after a good length of weeks or even months of learning do discern when I really am hungry and really am full, like all the books and blogs state.

No, I was still hoping for magic. Why? Well, possibly because I’m a special little snowflake. (No, really. I am.) Or maybe, just maybe because every other eating plan – or way of eating – has promised me magical results. Hmm.

Whatever the reason, I panicked. Immediately. And the mental screaming began. GET BACK ON A DIET. NOW. This was quickly followed by my Taubes-drilled belief that perhaps I’m just inflamed by wheat, and I bought a $20 sack of gluten-free flour online. (Yes. I did. It’s going to deliver by Halloween.) Then more panic, thinking, “But if I restrict, even in that way…at least in the beginning…well, I’m technically dieting again and…and…and…BUT I’M UP A POUND, I’M UP A GODDAMNED POUND! DO SOMETHING. HURRY. HURRY HURRY!”

A couple of hours later, I started Googling “I quit dieting” and read people’s stories. And slowly, I came to a realization: it’s not time to panic. It’s ONE pound, one freakin’ pound. I have been feeling happy. I have been feeling satisfied. Most amazing of all, I have been feeling hopeful. For the first time in years, literally. Why give up now? Why not keep reaching inside, trying to feel actual hunger, trying to feel actual satiation? How in heck did I believe that following 35 years of dieting, I’d get it all within three freakin’ days?

Duh.

That’s where the self-control came in. I pulled my panicked thoughts to a screeching halt and just sat there with myself and took stock. I feel reasonably well. I feel quite relaxed, for the first time in years and years. I mean I actually had a relaxed day today (despite working and taking care of the kids). I can’t remember my last completely mentally relaxed day. I really can’t. Was it 20 years ago? More? I don’t know. What I do know is that by God, I had one today. And isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that worth one pound and a learning curve?

So, last: perseverance. I am not ready to give this all up after three days and a couple of overeats while I feel out my hunger cues. I’m just not. Diets don’t work. That’s a given. In fact, it’s scientifically backed. 95% of people who lose weight via dieting will gain it all back within five years. They don’t work. Period.

So I’m going to hang in there with this. I just dug out my old copy of Intuitive Eating. Sheryl Canter isn’t speaking to me all that well, but that’s not to say intuitive eating itself is a bust. I am going to keep reading. I am going to keep delving. And I am going to keep on keeping on…loving myself, not punishing it with yet a new diet.

Here’s to happiness. Come on, raise a glass with me. And don’t you dare toast with anything sugar-free.

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