Right back where I started

weight loss, weight watchers, running, andrea updyke, lilkidthings

I was hovering over the shirt drawer wearing nothing but a tank-top and underwear. The pile of clothes I’d been trying on all morning lay on the floor near the closet and nothing was right. “None of these clothes are right,” my mind screamed. They used to be right, back in the spring when I bought them in a flurry of weight-loss glee. I worked hard to lose those pounds and I celebrated with some really cute clothes. For days and months I meticulously tracked everything I ate and every activity. I watched. I counted. The pounds didn’t melt away, but they slowly dripped off me one ounce at a time until I was satisfied.

I started to enjoy other things in life like travel and friends and summer time. I relaxed. As the holidays wore on I consumed everything about them; the decorations, the smells, the food. I consumed and I laughed and I loved. I gained every single pound back. I failed.

As I ran these thoughts through my mind, my husband walked into the room. I immediately burst into tears confessing the obvious.

I think I am going to struggle with my weight forever.

It doesn’t matter if there are people bigger or smaller than me. I try hard not to compare myself to others. But I do know when I should be trying harder and I also know that when it comes to meal time, the time when I can finally sit down with my family or my friends, the last thing I want to to is TRY. I try all day long, to be a loving mother and wife, to produce quality work and make sure I am getting enough sleep. I try to take breaks and have fun. Everything I do is carefully calculated. So over the holidays, I willfully gave myself a pass on trying. I ate, drank and was incredibly merry. I loved our vacation and the joy we all had together. I literally ate it up. I even decided not to make some big weight loss resolution. I wanted to stay in that carefree place. It felt so free.

I got about 10 days into the New Year with tight jeans that were getting tighter and over-sized sweaters that were starting to feel regular-sized. I began feeling new aches and pains when I ran and knowing that I will be running a half-marathon next month, I panicked. I rejoined Weight Watchers and decided that not trying just isn’t an option for me. You know what? I really hate that.

I don’t want to think about food all day. I don’t want to constantly think about what I am putting in my mouth. It’s far too time consuming. Yet in my 35 years of life, I’ve found it is the only way to put on the brakes. And I want to be healthy. I need to be healthy for my boys, but mostly for me. I just don’t understand why it is so hard for some of us.

Our Pastor spoke on Sunday about how we are designed to consume. Our desires aren’t inherently bad. But when they take over our lives and reorient them to point in the wrong direction, we ultimately lose. To hear his words was both comforting and enlightening. Yes, I am a consumer. When I find something I love and start to sink my teeth into it, some may even call me obsessive. I consume words, knowledge, experiences and yes, food. If there is a glass of water in front of me, I will not sip it. I will drink it until it’s gone, many times in one drink. I will refill it and do this two or three times until I can hear the liquid sloshing around inside my body. I am thirsty. I have a man-sized appetite for the things I love.

So when I struggle with weight issues, it’s not just about oh I wish I were prettier or smaller or whatever. It’s out of a deep desire to not struggle. I feel like trying to lose weight goes against my very nature and try as I might to pray for a miracle and hand the issue to God, the day in day out truth of it all is I am the one putting hand to mouth. I am the only one who can decide if there will be a carrot or a cookie in that hand. I am the one with this struggle. I am embarrassed that this is my struggle. It seems so privileged, so non-important. There is so much more than food tied to this.

I am the only one who can face this struggle in myself. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to think about food all day.

But I have to.

I know I am not alone in this. And while I would love to shed the extra weight once and for all, what I really want to know is how to really kill the struggle. Have you done it?


  1. says

    I just want to let you know I’m here for you and still working on losing some weight myself. So I can get back to my happy weight. It takes me forever even with tracking (I blame my hypothyroidism) but I get up every day and keep moving forward.
    I’m (finally) back into (some) of my skinny clothes after almost a year of working.
    I do know that I don’t struggle with it much any more. It seems when I do struggle and fight with it, I gain regardless of how healthy the rest of my lifestyle may be.
    I really liked reading “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. She does a good job of explaining, biblically her walk through struggling with food. It put a lot of what I was going through in a new perspective.

  2. Sarah Cole says

    Andrea, I am SO THERE. Or I was there 5 months ago. It seems like ever since I got married, I can’t lose. Or couldn’t lose. I found this amazing resource…Trim Healthy Mama. It’s a book, but there is a WONDERFUL Facebook group. I have lost 27 pounds (I have as much as that to go, too) eating eggs fried in butter, coffee with cream, chocolate, lots of chocolate. I highly recommend the book, and I haven’t felt better in YEARS. I feel like this is totally sustainable for good, and good for my family. The authors were on Fox and Friends this past Monday, and the clip is on the website. For the first time in my life, I feel in control of my cravings, and I feel like my relationship with food is healthy.

  3. says

    I am SO in the same shoes. I am so incredibly frustrated with it. I don’t know what the answer is. I now weigh what I weighed when I was 9 months pregnant with my oldest. Now knowing I was young (and too thin) I don’t ever want to go back there, but I look back and marvel at how easy it all was when I was younger. My metabolism tanked after I was done having children, so the answer for me is counting calories, and not eating crap calories in the first place. I’m getting there-we’re making small changes in our house to help. I’m with you though-we can do this.

  4. says

    OMG. I am so there with you. It is so frustrating. I hate to be consumed by food and weight, but if I let go, I can put on 5 lbs in a week. And I’m not talking water weight. I’m talking about weight that STICKS. It has been a constant battle for my whole adult life. I know I’m relatively thin, but it doesn’t matter. It’s a constant struggle. And let me tell you, 40 sucks. it just gets harder. I know that’s not what you want to hear. But… girl. It is hard. xo

    • Lilkidthings says

      Solidarity! It’s so frustrating but glad to know I am not some crazy outlier. I just wish it weren’t such an issue. There are so many more important things to think about.

      • says

        I know, that’s how I feel too. Guilty b/c it seems so frivolous. But it affects how you feel every minute of every day!!! Not to mention, buying new clothes every time you go up a size isn’t very fiscally responsible either. :-) I’m on the brink right now. I’m heavier than I’ve been since college when I went on Jenny Craig and lost 25 lbs. (pregnancy not included) and it sucks. I’m within 3 lbs of that “check in weight” when I went to JC and it is making me CUH-RAZY but it does NOT wanna budge. Anyway, thanks for the space to vent. :-) And you are NOT alone.

  5. says

    so there with you! I literally almost cried when i steppe don the scale after the holidays. i’ve also been stuck at the same weight now for almost 3 weeks of working out like 4 -5 days a week and eating better than normal. I am so frustrated and so disheartened. I wish I could be my 25 year old self again and not have to worry about this!! Gone are the days of eating whatever whenever….it sucks having to work at this :(

  6. says

    so there with you. I almost cried when i stepped on the scale after the holidays. and now after two weeks of working out regularly and eating better i haven’t lost anything. it’s so frustrating and i hate that I have to worry about this. I miss my 25 year old body and carefree eating habits!!!

  7. Mary says

    This is also a problem for me! I’ve even put on weight since I started training for long running races – I find myself using food as a reward for long runs :( and overcompensating. It’s such a hard balance!!!!!


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