Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
And here we are at Day 2...again.
Life is honestly full of disappointments. One of my oldest and best Sparkfriends yesterday reminded me to keep my eyes open. As she said, I shouldn't set myself up to fail. She's right, of course. All of the pitfalls must be avoided wherever possible. The only problem is...you can't plan for an accident.
If any person who was ever in a car accident could have had the option to prevent that option with the prior knowledge that it would happen, I'm sure they would have. But I asked myself this morning, if I had known that after all my efforts and trials and those two years of amazing hard work and discipline would land me here, almost disabled, barely able to walk, back to (almost) my highest weight, considering surgery again...would I still have done it?
And this is what it has taken me the last two years to figure out.
For a long time I was mad. I did everything I was supposed to do. I followed all the advice of the people who said they were professionals in this field. When things weren't working, I tried someone else's advice. I didn't turn down help. And, still, I failed. Miserably. If you chart this experience out on a chart, it looks like every yo-yo diet failure you've seen a million times. The thing is, I'm not a medical chart. I'm a full person and that was a full experience.
I used to remark that there was no epiphany moment for me last time. I simply thought, "What if I try this...we'll just see where it takes me..." And, boy, did it take me far! I went from about 420 pounds to 300 right on the nose all by myself. Blood, sweat and tears. I counted my calories. I worked out 6 days a week. I trained for half-marathons. I rightfully labeled myself the "FitFat Girl" because my insides were that of an athlete medically - heart rate, BP, etc. I was fit as a horse...except my frame was already broken.
One of the biggest things I've struggled with this past year has been the question of - Did I cause this? Did I push too hard? Did I make this happen? You may not like my answer, but, no, I don't think I did. There were times I should have done this or that differently. Sure! Who doesn't have those moments? But I sought medical professional advice. I "consulted my doctor" as all good diet plans tell you to do. I took their advice too. One thing that's great about my chiropractor is that he saw me through the entire thing. When I finally, full of shame, went back to him to seek his advice, he sat me down and said, "You did everything we told you to do. I know you. You push hard, but you're smart. I think it's just the luck of the draw. This was going to happen. Did the weight help? I'm sure it didn't. But was it the one and only reason you're in this situation now? No. I don't think so. Not in your case." And that's honestly how I feel. (Thankfully, my PCP said something very similar.)
Truthfully, my pains go deep. Skeletal. Yes, they could have been exacerbated by the extra weight I have carried around for nearly my entire life. I don't doubt that for a second. But there are certain things that just always would have been - my super high arches caused by strange bone structure in my feet and my tilted pelvis, likely the result of a rather traumatic third trimester of my second pregnancy. There isn't a doctor on earth that could tell you that if I had weighed a perfect 160 (or whatever that lousy BMI chart says) that these things would have never caused an issue.
A few months back I had to take my 15-year-old son in to see an orthopedic specialist. He had been complaining of some knee pain. My 15-year-old is the most fit in our family. He's thin and tall and doesn't overindulge too much (but, come on, he is a teenager). He first felt the pain while competing as a track and field member. He was active. He wasn't carrying 100+ extra pounds. He wasn't even carrying 20+ extra pounds. I sat in a chair with this dumbfounded look as the doctor explained all of the things wrong with his knee that my doctor explained to me when I was 16, right before I had surgery to cut ligaments to my patella (another one of those mistakes I made in life I wish I could change...another one that has nothing to do with my weight). That was the moment it hit me.
We'll never know for sure, of course...but maybe, just maybe, this is my lot in life. Maybe this was going to happen no matter what I did. Who is to say? And what more could I honestly have done to prevent it?
I made the adjustments I was told to make. I backed off. I did all of the recommended things to treat, heal, move forward. As for losing weight...I was doing that! That's exactly what I was in the process of doing. And I couldn't have safely and effectively done it any faster than I was. I was doing it textbook...and it didn't work.
So, as I reflect on restarting my journey....no, wait...this isn't a restart of anything. It's a continuation of it. Because no journey ends or begins with a before and after picture unless you count a baby picture and then the last photo taken of you before you kick the bucket. So, as I reflect on what comes next, the past few months have been letting go of the thought of "What if I fail?!?" Because I might. I might fail another 15 times. I might NEVER be thin, or healthy, or anywhere near recommended weight ranges. BUT...sitting here doing nothing and fretting over that big what-if isn't helping me BE healthy. In fact, just the opposite. Even if I'm in a wheelchair doing arm exercises and watching my diet I will STILL be healthier than I would have been if I choose to do nothing.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Even if I stay over 400 pounds. Even if I don't get surgery. Even if I fall down 500 times and get back up 501...these years will be healthier with the choices I continue to make toward a healthy life than if I simply didn't try because I was afraid I wouldn't succeed.
I guess it depends on how you measure success. Is it a number on the scale? Is it a size on your jeans? Or is it just making choices every day that make your body, mind and soul a healthier place to be every single day...even if it fits no one else's definition of healthy. Success is living a healthy life and making as many healthy choices as you can - and being alright with your healthy self at any size.