I’m starting to get those compliments. If you’ve ever lost weight you know the ones. They are the sweet compliments noticing your smaller size or “how good you are looking.” I’m happy to be getting them, don’t get me wrong, but they always leave a bitter aftertaste both because I think I looked good before and this weight loss process isn’t new to me.
I’ve lost weight before and I know how I look with 30 extra pounds and without it. And because I’ve lost this weight before I’ve been thinking a lot about the times I’ve lost it. I realized that I have a pattern of weight loss and gain that is quite simple. I move out of my house and I lose weight. It doesn’t matter if I live on my own, with roommates, in a foreign country… I lose weight. And then if I move back home again I regain part of that weight.
I lost about 60 pounds when I went to college. Then I went home for the summer and regained about 20 pounds. I went to a different school the next year and lost that. Then I went home and regained. Repeate. Study abroad I lost 20 pounds. Came home and regained it plus a few. Move out and I lose weight. Move back home and I regain the weight and struggle to take it off.
Seems pretty obvious what the problem is, doesn’t it? In the home where my family lives, I developed a lot of bad habits to cope with the verbal abuse I endured there. I ate based purely off of emotions, with a wide variety of reasons causing me to eat or even binge on food. After 8 years living in that house with all the bad memories, bad habits, and depression I finally moved out to go to college and discovered I could be different. I could have different habits. And in the last few years I’ve developed a lot of healthy, positive habits. But those things were always overshadowed by the bad habits that still stuck around and reared their head when I went home to my family’s house for summers/holidays/theyearaftercollege.
Every time I went back home the bad stuff seemed to win out. I’d always end up on the verge of depression, eating when my brother yelled at me, trying to keep up the good habits I had when I lived on my own but always failing to make any sort of difference on the way things at home went. I sort of always thought that I needed to stay away just so I wouldn’t get caught in that process every time but it didn’t cement in my mind until this last month or so.
One thing that helped make this fact clear was a discussion I had with Connie during our second week here at Green Mountain. I was telling her a little bit about living at home and how things had happened. She listened and understood that I had developed habits, or addictions, in that house that I couldn’t shake. She compared it to the difficulty drug addicts have when they have to go back to that same environment after they’ve been away for treatment. Just being in that same environment triggers things that are hard to control. For me, being at home triggers all the bad habits I had that led me to obesity. For me, I have to stay away from that environment no matter what. (Sorry Mom, I will still come home for holidays!)
The simple act of getting out of that environment breaks so many bad habits for me. So now that I’m gone I’m once again losing weight. The compliments are pouring in once again. I’m enjoying hearing them, but each time I do I realize that I can never go home again. I can never allow myself to go back to that place that triggers those addictive and miserable behaviors. I have to be an adult, be my own person, and stand up for myself to do what is best for me. That makes me a little sad when I think about it, but I’m worth it.
1.5 miles walked
30 minutes yoga
30 minutes upper body weights on my own