I was 10 years old when they sent me away.
I spent the entire summer after 5th grade away from home.
Yes, there were other kids there and they called it “camp”, but I knew why I was there.
I knew I was an embarrassment to my mom.
I knew my dad didn’t know how to help me.
I knew I had a problem that needed to be “fixed”.
And so I went to FAT CAMP to lose weight.
It worked. Of course it did. All diets work IF you do them.
The problem is ‘coming home’.
That may have been the first time I lost a big chunk of weight at one time… but it certainly was not the last.
It didn’t take long to go back to the same-old, same-old habits.
As soon as I started to gain a little weight… I totally freaked out.
I would eat all the things I would never eat again (after tomorrow)… just let me have it one last time.
And then I would be ‘good’ for a day or two (maybe)… until another just one more night.
I cannot even tell you how many sets of 10 – 20 – 30 – 40 – 50 pounds I would gain making promises to myself that tomorrow… or Monday… or on the 1st… I am going to start eating better… I’m going to lose the weight for good… I am never going to do this again!
I had no idea how to navigate maintaining a normal weight. What did that even mean.
I just wanted to get the weight off and stay there.
I had no idea that is not how it works.
I no idea I had to change more than my weight.
It wasn’t until I put 3 things together have I been able to understand AND Enjoy the Dance of Maintenance.
– this required a completely new attitude towards food, my body, and my weight.
#2: the DANCE
– this required me letting go of control and practice compassion for myself even when old thoughts flood in.
#3: of MAINTENANCE
– this required I accept my past … and take responsibility for my future with honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.
The value of putting these 3 ideas into practice… every single day… to the best of my ability has given me the peace of mind and freedom I only dreamt of as a child.
I thought that getting “thin enough” would solve the problem.
Turns out, my weight fluctuates and I am still lovable, worthy, and valuable.
In the wise words of my 13 year old son “that’s money, mom!”