Most of us remember the old story of the tortoise and the hare. As children, we rather viscerally reject the notion that the hare would be so dumb as to blow it in such a careless fashion. I’m not so sure that anyone accepts that slow and steady wins the race, at least not deep down.
Obviously, the story of the tortoise and the hare has popped into my head more than once as I proceed down the weight loss road. From visualizing a multitude of fat cells shrinking at an infinitesimal rate until they reach some sort of critical mass where I can see a change to repeating to myself that I didn’t get fat all at once and therefore can’t lose it all at once, I try to offer myself mantras to be patient. I’m trying to be the best tortoise I can be.
That being said, I realized a long time ago that this isn’t a race I slowly plod my way to victory in and then go on with my normal life. This must become my “normal life”. There’s no going back to the way I was with food unless I want to return to the way I am in weight and size. While a time will come when I can eat several hundred more calories per day than I do now, it will never be the case that I can “pig out” without significant risk to returning to my current state of obesity. This was the realization I didn’t make so many years ago in college when I initially lost weight.
I continue to feel slightly frustrated with the tortoise approach though. I occasionally read about obese people who have lost 30-50 lbs. and are unhappy that no one has noticed, or dissatisfied that they don’t look appreciably better. I empathize. I have likely lost about 50 lbs. at this point as well and do not feel I look any better. I feel better and move a bit more freely, and I look different, but not “better.”
That being said, what else am I going to do? This is how it’s going to be for life so I’m not chomping at the bit to do something else, such as pig out on food that is highly caloric. I try to view this as growing more and more accustomed to and comfortable with a normalized relationship with food with subsequent weight loss rather than a diet with only weight loss in mind. I can have my health and a better quality of life, or I can have an all you can eat buffet of food and hide from life as best I can. I’m tired of not having my health, and of hiding away.