I’ve been thinking about this since Christmas, when I ate more cookies than I should have, and I made the discovery that sugar leads to more sugar, leads to me wanting more sugar, leads to I WANT SUGAR NOW GIVE ME MY SUGAR, IMUSTHAVESUGARNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW. Really, I don’t know how I didn’t know this before. I mean, I had an inkling that it might be a problem, and so, a lot of times I was choosing sugar free stuff on purpose, but somehow, something deep and internal has been learned.
But I digress. What I have been thinking about is that question my sister asked last summer: “Did your tastes change?” And I really thought they hadn’t. I still crave and love good food. I had just discovered different food. But I think she is right. My tastes did change. But it took a lot of time. And I think it was a very gradual process for me. So when I started, and I said, no more to unlimited sweets, no more to big giant brownies, etc., suddenly a Luna bar named German Chocolate Brownie seemed like such a good deal to me. Or a Fiber One bar with little chocolate chips. So before when I would have tasted these things and would have compared them to a ‘real’ brownie and a ‘real’ chocolate chip cookie, of course they would have come up deficient and been discarded as not worthy. But now, since the ‘real’ things were essentially not available anymore (by my choice) it seemed delightful to me that I could ‘indulge’ in these treats. And of course, since then, I have further changed and challenged my taste buds to enjoy even healthier treats, such as the ‘La Raw’ bars made only with dates, walnuts, and cocoa powder. But it has taken a lot of time. I am approaching the four year mark since starting this journey.
And that is the thing I notice all over blogland, and even closer to home with friends and acquaintances. If a person is extremely successful and loses the weight quickly, either via discipline or surgery, they still have a lot of ‘work’ to do, whether it be in learning to eat well, or exercise, or accepting their imperfect body, or internalizing the fact that they are no longer fat. That stuff just takes time. I think it takes about four years…Ha! since that is where I am right now. But just recently, I have begun to feel so much more confident about the permanence of this change. Just recently I have begun to think of myself as an athletic person (that is still not something I would say out loud to anybody. But I do think it, at least.) I actually always said that when I had maintained for 5 years, I could consider myself in remission. So that time is still a long way off.
Some of the blogs that entered into this thought process: Lynn wrote a great post this morning about running into the dark for your weight loss quest and coming back with something bigger and better than you expected—she related it to her dog going out to chase a toy and coming back with a dead possum! You have to read this post! And this guy has a GREAT weight loss success story (130 pounds in one year on W.W.!,) and has even run a 50 mile marathon, and yet admits to struggling with the ‘fat guy’ in his head. And, of course, Lori, who has been so successful, and yet admits to the sugar monster roaring pretty fierce, and all my friends out there who are still struggling with this thing, whatever it is. But as Linda put it: NEVER GIVE UP! This sounds so simple, but it struck me as profound. If you really adopted that, NEVER give up, you eventually would be living a healthier life, wouldn’t you?