When the face in the mirror is a stranger

Monday morning. I've been thinking about this post every day since Thursday but just haven't been able to sit down and write it until now. It's not that I didn't have the time to write - although it's been a busy few days - it's that I've been giving this a lot of thought.

It started when I was washing my hands in TCB's bathroom. I looked up at the mirror, at my face, and realized that I didn't really recognize myself. Bloated, aging, blemished...where were my eyes, my cheekbones, my strong jaw? "This is not me," I mumbled to myself, "it's just not."

Then there was TCB's neighbor, Joe, who's lost 50 pounds so far and talked about how easy it had become, how much more he enjoyed his life. I kept thinking, "Yes, that's just like me. I feel that way, too." Until, of course, I remembered that I hadn't felt that way since March.

Why? Why, why, why??? That's the $1,000,000 question, isn't it?

It seems to me that the beginning of an answer can only come once the enormity of the problem is known, so I stepped on the scale this morning and I've updated My Progress page to show the results. Ouch! I've regained just about every ounce I'd worked so hard to lose and the saddest thing of all is that I was actually relieved to see that it wasn't even worse than that. We shall see where I go from here but at least I know where I am.

Note to anyone visiting here for the first time via the article in January's issue of Fitness magazine: If you came here looking for the girl who'd lost 50 pounds at one point last year, well, you've found her. This site, however, has changed from one of easy success and excited updates on better health, to the place I come to struggle through what happens when "happily ever after" becomes elusive. If you're most interested in tales of weight loss/fitness success, I heartily recommend Trish, Hilly, Shannin, and Argy. If you want to learn more about overcoming binge eating disorder, I'm going to boldly suggest that you might want to visit here again.


Anonymous said…
You are a success story. You know what? You lost it, gained it - and you will lose it again - because you want to. You won't let yourself make the mistake twice. Just keep going.

5 years ago - I lost 90pds only to gain it back. Well 5 years later, Im down 110.

Im also discovering that I have binge eating disorder. Knowledge is key.

Good Luck!
Anonymous said…
So what's the plan, stan?
Diamond said…
At one point I lost 125 pounds, kept it off for about 9 years, and then over the past 7 years have gained it all back and then some. So, here I go again, starting over.

Soooo, what's your plan hon?

Shall we try both try again and again and again if we have too? I think maybe!!!!!
Anonymous said…
Hey woman...remember that bell I spoke about? I think I just heard it. I think you are ready to start anew. Yay you!
Anonymous said…
Your honesty is your best point Denise - well done.
Alda said…
Keep pushing forward! We're all rooting for you...
Shannin said…
I know it has to be disheartening to see the scale back up to where it was, and where you hoped never to go again. You've taken a powerful first step, knowing your starting point. You are no longer running from your present. It's going to be hard, but you are going to succeed - I know you will! And we will be here for you.
La said…
It's amazing how things can get away from us when we're not paying attention. But the good news is that you are now starting to pay attention! You can do anything you set your mind to. And we'll all be here to support you (and kick you in the butt if we think you need it).
Looking forward to reading about your success from here on out.

You've identified the problem. Now get the help you need to solve it!
Argy said…
You forget that this is my 3rd serious attempt. I had lost 40 kilos when I was 19 years old (which I managed to gain in a couple of years) then gained them back, then lost them again, then gained 60 kilos, 42 of which I have managed to loose again.

But you know, the success story is not mine really. A success story is anyone who struggles and manages to get through the day. And the next. And then fall. And here is the real success honey. It takes no small effort to gather all the disapointment, the guilt, the sadness, the horrible feeling of defeat, and get up, undust yourself, and hit on the road again.
Denise, your honesty is one of the most inspiring things I have found in my quest for a better body. I will never stop saying this!!!!
deborah said…
I can really, really (really) relate -- I'm going through a similar thing myself. I am bigger than I have ever been as an adult (I had a very "ugly" adolescence) and I've pretty much completely given up on working out. I don't think I've gone this long without having some kind of fitness regimen in well over 20 yrs. I hate myself right now. But I KNOW the root of this is all pyschological/emotional. I know it. I just have never dealt with all my issues (and frankly don't even know where or how to start). Well, there is some laziness there too, but mostly it's the psychological/emotional thing. Anyway, please know that you are not alone.
LSL said…
I really, really appreciate your honesty. I have had so many "look in the mirror and don't recognize who it is" experiences since gaining weight in the last five years. Please keep going and keep being honest. We believe in you!
Beth said…
Just cruising through and was attracted to the style of your blog. When I started reading it, I realized the site was more than just a pretty face. It has depth and honesty.

It's not just about winning or, in this case, losing. It's about the journey.

We are all weary travellers and I think sharing your journey on this blog is very generous and very encouraging to all the rest of us struggling with our own demons.

Great site :)

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