Gaining back hundreds of pounds twice was horrible. It would be easy for me to see the re-gains, and even the losses themselves, as failures. But I choose to look for the positives, and there are many.
First I am blessed I put so much work into training my taste buds to like vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods. It doesn’t take long for me to enjoy eating this way as much, and maybe more than, I enjoyed eating junk. When I first started losing 160 pounds at age 22, it took a long time for my taste buds to adjust. I also had to re-learn cooking. Each week I would pick at least one new vegetable and one new fruit to try. Weight Watchers offered a plethora of easy and tasty recipes to help me learn how to cook these new foods (this was before I had ever used the internet – now there are seemingly endless sources of inspiration online). Today, thanks to the prior hard work, I have lots of recipes I already love and know by heart.
I have also never again been as unhealthy as I was at 22, when I ate no vegetables and drank only soda and coffee, never water, and had never committed to routine exercise. I could not walk from the couch to my car without becoming sweaty and breathless. Even though I haven’t been routinely exercising for about three years, I can still walk about a quarter mile before becoming winded, and my body gains fitness faster now than it did that first time. I suppose my body remembers somehow. I can already tell a difference in my strength from a few days of ten squats at a time. I add a few stretches, arm circles, and alternating toe touches – not a lot at once, just enough to get my heart rate up a few times a day without triggering any whining or excuses. I can take doing ten of anything. I’m not calling it a workout yet but I will get there.