Debra Mullins

Achieving Goals: The Journey of Weight Loss

Last month I stated that one of my goals was to lose weight. It took me a while to get going, but I’m on the road now. Day 16, and I’m down nearly 7 pounds.

Losing weight is not an easy thing. For me, it’s more mental than physical. I have to be in the right mindset to begin. I think about it for several days—process it, I guess—before my brain kind of clicks into place. (It’s the same way I write books.)  Once I’m in that zone, I can walk past a plate of brownies without really being tempted.

The reason I am so overweight is because I used to drown my emotional pain by eating. Some people drink, some people turn to drugs or other vices; I ate. I was never happier than when I was on the couch with my nose in a book and a package of cookies in my lap. So I had two addictions: books and food.

The book thing worked out for me.

The food thing, not so much.

Someone once told me I used food to comfort myself, and I believe that is true. So I am striving to find other ways to comfort myself that don’t involve eating. But every day is a challenge. I’m the only one who can move myself down this path with any success. Others can support me and cheer me on, but I am the only one who can do this for myself.

The other day I went to lunch with some important visitors at work. We went to a Chinese place, which is easy for me to fit into my eating plan—except for the eggroll that comes with the lunch special. I love eggrolls, but at this point in my program, I couldn’t see how eating an eggroll would fit. I was talking to my husband about the eggroll the day before the lunch, trying to decide the best way to handle it. And here’s what he said:

“The eggroll isn’t going anywhere, but you are. You have to get on a plane in a few months.”

That is exactly what I needed to hear. The reminder of my goal to fit into an airline seat is something I’ve kept in my mind as I’ve faced other challenges over the past week. When I get stressed, I go for sugar (see my post on candies from your childhood!), but now I remind myself that the candy isn’t going anywhere, but I am. Visualizing sitting in that airline seat and not overflowing into the seat next to me, the seat belt fitting without me having to either suck in my gut or ask for an extender—these are the things that keep me going now. And I’ve found that a nice hot cup of tea can comfort just as well as a bag of gummi berries, for way less calories.

As for the eggroll, I decided to eat it. But I made adjustments to the rest of my meal so that I could make it work with my plan. It was a conscious, thought out choice, not a desperate grab to stifle some emotional pain. I had my eggroll, and I ate it, too. 🙂