Every now and then (as in the recent past) I let go of this rigidity. That’s not because I magically attain super-weight-maintainer powers, allowing me to relax around food and exercise with impunity – it’s because I get tired. Of all the non-stop explaining. Why I’m not eating the pasta (because it causes immediate weight gain). Why I’m not available on Saturday morning (because it interferes with my weekly long run). Why whatever it is that everyone else wants to do doesn’t work for me (because I’m too set in my ways). Eventually I get to the point where I say, OK, I give up, cut me a slice of the cake, and then a very predictable thing happens. I gain weight. I’m dealing with ten pounds of “I give up weight” right now.
When I wax poetic about the kind of environment needed to support me in maintaining my weight loss, this is what I mean. I’m not shunning personal responsibility for my diet and lifestyle, not merely kvetching about the daily assault of mega-calorie, high-fat, sugar-laden foods. I’m making a plea for more understanding, for the simple recognition that there are things I need to do to manage my weight and the odds I will do those things go up exponentially when I follow a regular, even rigid, routine. The odds also improve when I don’t have to constantly defend my choices.
What I’ve learned over the last several years is that if I’m to be successful in keeping off the weight I lost, I need to be as unyielding as the reality of obesity. Other people may have flexibility; I don’t. Other people might be able to enjoy a measure of spontaneity; I can’t. Unless I want to risk weighing 250 pounds again, which I don’t.
And that’s just the way it is.