We all have had times where we took a few steps forward, just to take a step back (or quite a few). My first round of weight loss was a good example of taking almost as many steps backwards as I did forward, so I was no stranger to this.
I’ve always been an overachiever, finishing tasks early and taking special care to make sure that I’d exceeded the goals set forth. This also means that I tend to work too much sometimes. When a major project at work was plopped on my plate, I knew I’d be in for trouble, I just wasn’t sure how much trouble. Before, I’d been averaging around 50-55 hours a week with my job, which was totally manageable for me to keep exercising, eating right, and taking care of myself. But with this project on my back, my hours working quickly escalated to more than 60 hours, then 65 hours, and finally into the 70 hour range each week. Needless to say, this ate away at my exercise
time, so that was the first thing I let go. But working all of these extra hours also meant that I had more stress, so I retreated to older ways of dealing with stress: more smoking, more coffee, and more food. I was quickly
becoming a much thicker version of this picture.
I’d been a smoker since I was 16 and I hadn’t even thought about quitting while I was losing weight, so I still had that crutch the entire time. Coffee? I swear I could take that intravenously. So – that left one other outlet…and so I began to seek comfort in food, yet again. After putting in 11 hours at the office and then coming home, knowing I’d need to log back in and get more work done, the last thing I wanted to do was cook food. So, delivery and fast food became my trusted companions, yet again. To make matters even more interesting, my roommate and I decided to get our own places in late 2012, so I’d moved to a new apartment, all by myself. This meant I had no one to share my gluttonous treats with, so I ate way more than I should have, and had no one there to really judge me, except for maybe the pizza delivery drivers. I’m sure they had my address memorized, and that’s no exaggeration. I’d easily order pizza three times a week.
I was definitely putting on weight again, the pants were getting tighter, the shirts weren’t fitting as well, but I didn’t really care too much – I had more work to do! In late December, I got sick. I usually get strep once every other year or so and it looked like December was my time – but then I got it again, and then a third time! The third time they ran another test and found out I had good ole ‘mono’, which I’d never had in the past. The only medicine at that time was to rest.
Well – I didn’t rest, I felt miserable, but I had more work to do – and – I knew the light was at the end of the tunnel. I was tired of being sick and tired (and not having my clothes fit), so I was already dead set of taking my life back and getting back on track! We only had about 6 more weeks left of this massive project and so the weekly hours were actually ratcheting back down. However, since I had ‘mono’, the doctors wanted me to wait a few more weeks before I did any major exercise. Bummer – I was finally getting the time to do that!