Project Healthy Amanda
To say this year has been hard is an understatement for many (Hello Covid-19!). My shirt may say “This is terrible” on it, but it also says, “Keep Going”. It’s from one of my favorite True Crime podcasts, “My Favorite Murder”. Within the context of the show, it’s like yeah this is terrible to talk about but let’s keep talking anyway. I also look at it this way: yes, life is hard and can be terrible at times, but you have to keep going! You have to keep working through it, and don’t let it derail your progress. This has been one of the best years I’ve had in my healthy life, but it has also been hard.
If you would have told me it would have taken three years, but I would be 100lbs down by Oct 2020, I’d probably still do it. However, if you told me how hard it would be mentally and emotionally, I probably would have sat back down on the couch and stuffed my face. It turns out that for me, losing the weight is the easy part, but battling my mind, habits, and emotions is the hard part.
I have been working on becoming healthy for almost 3 years now (I started in Jan 2018 – you can read more of my story and how I wound up joining PHB here). I knew that I needed to go to back to therapy, but really fought myself on going. I finally found a therapist and by February 2020, was going weekly (therapy is also something that the hosts of the MFM podcast talk freely about which also helped encouraged me into going back again). I was easing myself into it, but feeling my feelings and even talking about them has always been hard for me (I typically shut down pretty easily when it comes to my emotions). To make things more challenging, I had gained some weight over the holidays and was struggling to get myself back on my bike. Then I had a few difficult conversations with my coach, my friend, my boss, and one of my biggest supporters, Jennifer Joffe (who I know loves me and only wants the best for me). She called me out on my own shit, which I didn’t like and I felt attacked. These conversations weren’t easy, there was a lot of ugly crying, along with me throwing my own adult temper tantrum, and frankly I felt on the verge of throwing in the towel and just quitting because I was tired of the work. The fact that she’s still my friend says a lot about her, and what an amazing human she is, but she really believed in me. I just had to finally believe in myself that I could do this. I kept on going, and I kept working through my emotions and reactions in therapy.
The Project Healthy Body program encourages clients to feel their feelings. This is hard when you’re an emotional eater, like myself. I used food to soothe myself for most of my life, and unwinding those bad habits is hard work. Not to mention that when I resorted to emotional eating, it only made me feel better in the moment. Later, I would end up feeling worse by beating myself up with negative self-talk for eating all the things and having thoughts like ‘you probably just gained weight’, ‘no wonder you suck at losing weight’, or ‘just quit you’ve already ruined all the progress you’ve made and you’ll never get healthy’. It turns out that the healthy option is not to eat, it is to FEEL. Even if that means crying on your bathroom floor, or going out and crying while you walk (just don’t forget to grab the big sunglasses!). This work is hard, but over time it does get easier, just don’t give up on yourself! I know I’m still figuring out how much I am truly capable of, and I’m going to keep working hard on it every damn day.
This morning I woke up, got on the scale, and crossed over the 100lb loss mark. I’m still kinda in shock and it’s hard to believe, but I did that!! I worked hard for that and now my next goal is to get into Onederland. To celebrate this major milestone, I am going to treat myself to a spa day here in the near future, because food is no longer a reward for success. Today, I stuck with my routine. I drank my lemon-water, got in some movement, and then had my green drink.
There is no destination on this journey. It has been almost THREE YEARS and I didn’t quit, I haven’t given up, I’m still a work in progress, but I’m getting healthier every day.