A lonely journey

My weight is something I struggle to understand and tame. It’s something I’ve been actively fighting with since my freshman year of college, and the best analogy I have for the process is trying to grab a fallen bar of soap in the shower. Sometimes you can grab on (as I did that first year), only to lose it again a moment later.

I read a lot about weight-related matters–everything from Skinny Daily Post‘s more informal articles to more scientific articles to weird newsgroup postings. Skinny Daily Post is one of my favorites, because a lot of the things the folks there write about are things I see and fight within myself–impulsive eating, lack of control, struggles with making too many comparisons, etc.

My freshman year, I relied on my dislike of the cafeteria food at Rose to help me drop the 75 pounds I wanted to lose. I also had the advantage of discovering the joy of being able to make my body move and little enough homework that I could spend two hours a day working out with no problem.

Two years later, I am back up twenty pounds, but I live off-campus. It is hard to knock out things from my diet that I intellectually know I don’t want to eat. It is hard to say no to free pizza when I don’t have an alternative at hand and am hungry, and I have difficulty exercising enough to curb my sweet tooth totally. I still derive an immense joy from exercising, but I am learning that a good amount of weight loss comes from a healthy diet. Some suggest weight loss is 80% diet and only 20% exercise. How I wish it were the opposite.

Right now, though, this journey feels long and hard… and lonely. I’m setting goals on a small scale–how much to lose on a monthly scale, how to shop weekly, how to eat daily–but there isn’t anyone to talk to about it. I keep a journal, but that’s unidirectional for the time being. It’s something of a taboo topic in my relationship with WO, and I feel uncomfortable burdening others with this sort of thing. I mean, it’s really just a lack of willpower on my part, right? I should be able to fix it without letting it consume me.

It is hard. Part of me wants to try to recapture the ease I had in losing weight my freshman year: to rebuild my digust with food; to suffer a few weeks of gastrointestinal distress and grumpiness, then find myself floating along on a smaller appetite and a higher metabolism.

I realized at the end of my freshman year that I had no idea how to maintain weight without losing or gaining. Now I’ve realized that I’m going to have to relearn how to lose weight and train my mind to think healthily about food without stepping over the line of an eating disorder.

Yeah… very lonely.