Down in the dumps of dieting

Published on Saturday, 24 August 2013 23:22 - Written by By Vanessa Pearson

On my desk, inches from my hand as I type this, I have a shiny glass reminder that I’m a Fit City Inspiration.

Normally, that’s great.

I was excited and awed to be recognized by the Fit City Coalition in May at the Lighten Up East Texas event.

In a year and a half, I’d lost the equivalent of a whole, albeit small, person. At one point, I hit 170 pounds, a 118-pound loss.

Right now, that award is nearly mocking me.

I am in a funk. I feel like no one’s inspiration.

And when someone heaps the praise on and asks for my advice on getting started, I offer it because the beginning of the journey is something I know, it’s something that I was wildly successful at.

It’s this place now, where I only need to lose 50 pounds at most — the downhill slope, so to speak — that I’m failing miserably at.

When I tried to slip into my size 12 blue skinny pants last week, I couldn’t get them over my hips.

It’s been more than a year since I experienced that feeling of complete and utter disgust when something didn’t fit, even though I’d worn it last month.

Somewhere inside, I knew it was bound to happen.

I’ve been participating in the unmitigated consumption of carbohydrates — particularly ice cream — reveled in a weekend of all-you-can-eat buffets and scarfed down the cheeseburgers of my youth when I flew home to see my mother.

I’m tired of being on a diet. I’m tired of tracking everything I put in my mouth and worrying about calories in and calories burned. How many grams of protein did I eat? How many hours ago was my snack? How many calories do I have left today? Did I prep enough meals for the week?

I’m tired of thinking about food.

I know, I’m supposed to tell you it’s a lifestyle change. And it is.

But the act of seriously trying to lose weight requires commitment, some amount of deprivation and a good deal of calorie restriction on my part if I don’t want this weight loss to take forever.

Even though I feel like it is taking forever.

All those bad eating habits I thought I’d conquered?

Merely waiting in the wings for me to pull up to the drive-thru window.

It doesn’t help that I have been lazy with working out.

Sure, when I went to Grapevine for a writing conference, I got up at 6 a.m. and ran around the lake at outside the hotel. I ran 20 miles the week I went home to see my mother, including the Glow Run 5K decked out in glow sticks along the Arkansas River. And I’ve logged about 80 miles walking and running in two months.

But I haven’t been running or at the gym enough to counteract the gallons of ice cream I’ve been eating in bed.

I could blame a little bit of my downswing to nursing an old injury. The wrist I had surgery on in 2004 for a repetitive motion injury I earned making doughnuts in college has spent much of the summer causing no shortage of pain. So I pulled back on my weight training, not wanting to aggravate it more with circuit training and pushups.

And the showpiece for all my inactive hours eating junk is the 9.2 pounds I put on since June 24.

On Monday, I weighed in at 181.8 pounds. My body fat percentage went up 1.2 percentage points.

I’m so disgusted with myself.

I worked hard to lose the weight, and the last thing I want to do is backslide. Especially now that I barely go a week without a friend messaging me on Facebook for advice about getting started or running into someone who tells me how great I look.

I don’t feel great, with my jeans back to fitting perfectly instead of bagging a bit on my thighs.

And I’m the one who needs advice on getting restarted and staying the course.

Every day for the past two weeks, I’ve told myself, “This is the day of recommitment.”

But it hasn’t been.

So I tell myself, “It’s OK. After all, tomorrow is another day.”

When the Tyler Paper launched the Fit City Challenge, I approached one of my editors about me getting started on this path of health and tracking it in the paper.

He cautioned me.

“What if you fail? What if it’s harder for you because it’s so public, that people are looking to you?” He told me to think hard before exposing something like this so publicly.

Back then, I brushed him off. (It would be another year or so before I really made an effort to lose weight.) I thought he was being overly worried.

But I’ve come to think perhaps he had a point.

It’s not that I don’t want to share my journey with the public — I wouldn’t be writing this if that were true.

However, I think I feel even worse about those 9.2 pounds because people have held me up as a beacon of success and worse than if no one looked to me for advice and support.

These extra pounds weigh on me more now than they ever did when I weighed almost 290.

But today is a good day to start again.