It’s Not About the Food at All

So, my pal Colleen posted something today that resonated with me.  Please go over and read her post (I’ll wait).

Finished?  OK.   *Deep Breath*

I’ve been struggling lately with the whole weight loss thing.  I haven’t made any progress on the scale since, oh, May.  I exercised all summer, half-assed Weight Watchers (seriously, I could not get enough food this summer), and I pretty much maintained, which is…ok.  Lately, all of that combined with my diverticulitis woes just made me want to give up.  I don’t want to do that, so I decided to switch to counting calories instead (which I do still plan on writing about), which I’ve been doing for the past week.

Anyway, Colleen’s post about feeling like giving up made me sad at first.  She’s an amazing friend, and such an inspiration to me.  But after my initial shock (and a frantic text to her telling her that she cannot give up under any circumstances), I realized that I know she won’t give up.  And that beating ourselves up over “poor” food choices isn’t about the food at all.  It’s about us, and what we’re afraid of.  I hopped onto her blog tonight, and left this comment:

“First of all, I honestly do not think you have it in you to quit. Seriously. (Oh, that’s not a joke that I used it. It means I’m being serious). Do I think it’s possible for you to have a day, or even a week when you don’t track or exercise? Sure thing. But you have come too far physically and emotionally to give up for good. I know that, and I think that’s why I don’t worry so much when I read a post like this from you.

Every day is a gift. Every day is part of your journey. Sure, you may go “off track” with eating, skip a workout, or whatever, but you’re still progressing toward your goal. Even just having a day when you learn something about yourself is movement toward your goal.

Like I said to you, we can’t demonize food (except for Nutella). It’s food. It’s all fuel. Some are better for our bodies than others. I really believe that it’s not the food that we have angst about when we “stray” from our chosen plan. What’s truly going on is that we’re afraid that we’re going to go back to being the “before” girl. The one who didn’t care about portions, healthy food, and didn’t track anything. She didn’t care about exercise, and only thought about running in the context of being chased, and her life would have to be threatened in order to really run. She didn’t love herself, or accept herself.

You will never be that girl again. Never. Because you’ve been on this journey, and you’ve changed.

I don’t have to point out how blessed you are in your life. I don’t have to point out that for the first time in a long time, you are starting to realize and ACCEPT how awesome you are. You know that you’ve fallen in love with your collarbones, or the way your ass doesn’t jiggle as much when you run. You know that you love having the energy for your family and yourself. You know that you love feeling powerful and in control. So I don’t need to point out any of that stuff. Right? “

As I submitted the comment, I realized that I could just as easily be writing about myself (because, let’s face it, it is all about ME).

I’m not really mad at myself for eating cheesecake (which, honestly, was DELISH).  I’m afraid that I will give up and not care about myself again.  But I know that can’t happen.  I’m not the same girl I was when I began this journey last October.  I’m more confident, and more in love with myself (seriously, I’m pretty rad).

When I’m feeling low and not-so-confident, I listen to “Tiger” by Paula Cole (whom I met at Lilith Fair, and she was so sweet to my shy, adoring self).  I can’t find a decent recording of it on the YouTubes, so please take 4:18 and go to her site to listen.  She even has the lyrics posted.  The song is my anthem. Go listen.






About JessieB

Just a 30-something girl trying to figure it all out. I write about weight loss, books, motherhood, life, and whatever is on my mind.
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10 Responses to It’s Not About the Food at All

  1. I’m not sure which day it was that I sent you that message on Twitter, that I reached out to you and took a chance on getting to know someone I’d never laid eyes on. But if I did know which day it was, I’d celebrate it every year because that one simple act of me leaving my comfort zone and reaching out to someone and taking a chance is the day that I found an amazing soul that I can call a friend.

    You’re so right. It has nothing to do with the food. Fear is such a bitter pain in the ass that I have become so good at running from it. I *AM* scared. Seriously. ( 🙂 ). I’m scared that I’m going to fail at this too. But I totally know that I’m not. I’ve never been a fan of labeling days “good” or “bad,” but a day I can’t be proud of food-wise is, in the big picture, so damn insignificant that it’s a speck of dust in the universe. Instead of trying to make myself feel like shit, I should just wake up the following day with the resolve to make a few better choice, and a few more the next until I’m full-blown back on the wagon.

    Because really, the wagon’s much more fun to be on than lying in the dirt is.

    Thank you for so, so many things (especially the Paula Cole song. For realsies.)

    • Aw, shucks! You are too kind. I’m just a girl trying to figure it all out.

      As I’m struggling here, I’m just trying to process being able to eat with accomplishing my goals of being healthy. I HATE when I eat something that I crave, something that I enjoy, and it’s tainted with the whole, “Oooooh, this is so “bad” for me!” It ruins the experience. I want to get to a point where I can enjoy the occasional cheesecake (seriously, I’ve been craving it like mad lately) without guilt.

      Thank you for everything, every day. I’m so glad that you took pity on the girl who failed at the 100 day challenge and offered to be my pal. 🙂

  2. michelle says:


    that comment could’ve been left for me because i’ve been feeling like that, too. you’re absolutely right. i’m also terrified of being that other person… and i’m totally in love with my collarbones 🙂

  3. Never give up. Remember that quitting is never an option!

  4. Scarly says:

    This post really spoke to me. Sometimes I am afraid of MYSELF. How can that be? I’m just so afraid that I’m going to wake up one of these days and decide that I’m done with weight watchers, and gain all the weight (and then some) back.

    It is so hard taking control of our own lives at times. Love your blog. 🙂

  5. HI! I have been following you on Twitter for awhile – and have just recently started reading your blog. This post and your comment to your friend is so eloquent and factual, I think that we all could print this out and post it on the mirror. Seriously. (I think there is an inside joke there – but I use that word a lot and mean it too!) I have been on Weight Watchers since Sept 2010 and reached goal and lifetime this summer – it still is a daily battle for me. I think the food part will always be my weakness. I just wanted to drop a line and tell you that I will keep an eye out for you on Twitter and be supportive as you re-focus with WW, et. I can tell already that you don’t have “quit” in you either and I look forward to cheering you on! Be strong!

    • Thank you so much, Jen! I can’t begin to express how much I appreciate the support I’ve found on Twitter. It has much such a difference during this journey.

      The food aspect is so difficult, I think because we need to eat to survive. And for many of us, emotions are so tied to food that it’s difficult to overcome. But we can, and we will.

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