Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Anyone who knows me will tell you I can find a song title for almost any situation. Take the title above, a Tom Petty song that fits me pretty well.

I HATE to wait. I am one of those born into the "instant gratification" generation. I fume at lines in grocery stores, backed up traffic and slow internet connections.

My biggest challenges in life have been the times I've been forced to wait for extended periods of time. When I adopted my daughter, I started the process in August 1998. The next nine months I paced and stressed and did everything I could to withstand the wait.

Those faced with a massive weight loss also deal with the fact that it's going to take a long time to achieve our goals. The perfect blog to witness this is dietgirl; talk about patience and perseverance! When you've got 50, 100, 200 pounds to lose, it just ain't gonna' happen in a few months. It takes a year, maybe more, to add up all those 1 and 2-pound losses into a substantial amount.

It's hard. When you see year one, year two, year three go by, and you still haven't reached your "goal" weight, it can be frustrating. I was sure 2006 was going to be the year that I knocked it all off and would usher in 2007 a lean machine. Instead, in 2006 I got stuck in a quagmire; I've languished in a 20-pound range that goes up and down depending on how well I'm sticking to my healthy eating and exercise.

As I approach that low end again, I'm full of hope that I can free myself of this spot I'm stuck in and push forward. I'm still optimistic I can once again recreate that prayed for "roll" that propels me into a long-term weight loss mode. I've felt stuck at a few different weights along this journey; I can still vividly remember just wishing I could get below 300 pounds. Now that magic number is 100 pounds less. I have a lot of experience under this belt (along with the loose skin), but it doesn't seem to make it any easier when the tray of cookies gets passed to me.

I've had moments when I let myself feel utterly overwhelmed about the amount of weight I needed to lose and the amount of work and time it would take. I would feel so anxious and helpless in those moments. It's always worked best to make the goals small; the weekly weigh-in, the monthly total, celebrating each 10-pound loss instead of waiting for the big finale.

But the truth of the matter is, even if I reach a goal weight, my journey isn't over. I'll just exit off the Weight Loss Express and merge onto the Maintenance Highway. The road won't look very different; I'll still have to watch what I eat and keep up a good level of physical activity. So there's really no end to this path I've chosen. There may be some different speed limits in certain areas, but some general rules of the road will apply everywhere I go.

I relate this waiting theme to weight loss, even though the big issue I'm fretting over right now is waiting for the bank to call me back. I realize bankers and lawyers are busy people and have lots of clients, but why do they take so long to get back to you? It's excruciating!

1 comment:

Lori said...

You and I would have a blast with the song titles...

I've been charting my weight loss and it's comes off, then slows down and goes off again and in a month, I'll be down 3 pounds or less. A lot of this is me not working it.

You're really written spot on what it's like, from the beginning and feeling overwhelmed at the idea of getting below 300, the small losses (which do add up but gosh, it's hard to see in some ways) and we have to remember maintenance at goal. (I've never gotten there but I know goal exists, beyond the blue horizon.)

I've had about 2 weeks of good losses (with only one week in between of a small gain). I should be highly motivated to do the right things. But I'm letting outside events hijack me a bit. You're reminded me that all things that I do will help me lose inches and maybe lose weight. So I'm going to the gym.

Thanks for a good post. I know I'm rambling but I'm still really sleep deprived. That pool ought to wake me up good and proper tonight.

PS I love the idea of your house. I believe you'll really be all jazzed up with the new space and fun decorating.