Just twelve pounds, in the past that would be an immediate excuse for me to go on a binge. Let me explain. In the past when I was “dieting” and trying to lose weight, I was a slave to the scale. I would weigh myself in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I would weigh myself before a shower and then of course after a shower (hey dirt has weight too). I would take a drink of water, weigh the glass of water, weigh myself before drinking it and then after I drank it, just to see how much weight I gained. Yes, I was compulsive and obsessed with that scale.
Then numbers were a big part of this “weigh” of life. I wanted to see how much weight I lost in a day, a week, a month. Not only was I interested in these numbers but it seemed like many of my family, friends were too. As a matter of fact the whole world seemed interested. A common greeting to me, would be “Hi Mike, how much weight did you lose this week”? Believe me if that number was not high (in the double digits) many of them did not hesitate to say, “Oh, you had a bad week”? Some people might think nine pounds in a week was not bad but for Mike Hebranko it was not good enough. Not even for my own standards.
This is a “heavy” burden to put on oneself, a lot of pressure to be under. This way of life I truly believe was part of (not totally) but part of my overall unhealthy way of losing my weight in the past. Probably contributed to me gaining so many times, my weight back.
Part of my “new outlook”, my new “weigh” of life, what I like to call, my "journey down the road of recovery” is …
I do not have a scale in my home!!! I now weigh myself once every three months and that is at my doctor’s office, only because she requires it.
I do not care what I weigh. What I do care about is how I feel. Am I feeling well, am I able to do more things each day. Am I making progress and yes am I eating within my plan? If I can answer yes to these questions then I know I am getting better and better with each day.
To many times in the past, have I played the “number” games only to lose at the end, and I am not talking about losing weight. Yes, I would lose weight, only to gain it back and then some.
I knew that changes had to be made. I knew that with each experience, I had to learn something and I did. It may have taken a long time, it may have even almost cost me my life at times. I know that some people around me today may not exactly understand or even agree with me and my methods, attitudes or the way I do things. Yet I know, what is working for me. I know how I feel in my head. I have come to a point in my life (over the last few years) where I am achieving an inner peace and a certain co-existence with my own disease (my eating addiction). No longer am I in a race, no longer am I looking for the magic answers, no longer am I trying every new diet, gadget, and procedure out there to lose weight.
I have realized that food is here to stay, I will have to eat at least three meals a day for the rest of my life and if I want to have any length or quality to that life, I better find some way of life, that is going to work for me and hopefully forever.
My twenty years of serious searching and trying to win this battle, plus being in the rehabilitation center for the 36 months I have had a realization. What works for me, is not starvation, not depravation, not elimination, what works for me is simple. Exactly …simple. K.I..S.T. Keeping It Simple for Today! I will basically eat about 1200 to 1400 calories a day and simple ones. Tuna for lunch, Chicken for dinner, simply prepared, sometimes a mushroom omelet made with eggbeaters. There may be occasions where I may go to 1600 calories or a little more (a wedding, party, etc); otherwise, I try not to stimulate the taste buds to much. I am not talking about the taste buds on my tongue but the taste buds in my mind! The better it looks, the better it taste, then the more I want and boy, if I want more and if I cannot control that urge, I can eat a tremendous amount food. I know this because I have done so in the past, (remember 1,000 pounds).
Now in the old days if I was on 1200 calories, the weight would melt off and the numbers would drop on that scale like a “hot potato”. A fact, now due to all the years of yo-yo dieting, losing weight (body muscle) and then gaining it back (more body fat), and along with getting older has effected my metabolism greatly and the weight just does not come off like it use too.
That is okay, it is what it is. I am thankful that it is coming off at all.
Back to “Just Twelve Pounds”. Therefore, I am at the doctor’s office, I get on the scale with no anticipation in my body, the digital number begins to appear. I had lost another 12 pounds. That is 12 pounds in three months, a pound a week! Some may say “just a pound a week”, I say “are you kidding”? The thing is I am not gaining.
My body is slowly losing the weight and this is a good thing for me. I say, I have no goals (as far as weight numbers) this time. If I never reach that number goal then I do not have to worry about “then what”! I know I cannot lose forever and eventually I will have to deal with some kind of maintenance and I have an Idea of how to do that when the time comes. It will be a while.
Twelve pounds, when those people say, “That is not so good”; I think to myself “you are entitled to your opinion”. Some even come to the brilliant conclusion, “you must be eating”. “Guess what? I am eating. Three times a day, everyday”.
If I need to boost my ego, I could tell people or just remind myself that in the past three years I have lost over 320 pounds or that I have lost over 100 pounds since I am home from rehab. (14 months). The one I love the best for some reason is when I got on the doctors scale this week I was 380 pounds.
I love that because that means getting around better. It means having one of the best summers I had in many many years. It meant attending family weddings, christenings, going to Atlantic City for the day and even for the first time in over 15 years I was able to stand by my wife’s side when we recently had to say goodbye to her (our) dear Aunt Ruthie a lovely lady who past away. She will be missed dearly. I was able to be like any other husband and be with my wife and her family through this terribly sad time. Let me mention we traveled over 100 miles to get there and did it two days in a row. To put things in perspective, my dad past away in 1996 and the funeral was a ½ a block from my home and I could not attend.
Three hundred and eighty pounds means a little more freedom than 400 pounds and a lot more freedom than 700 pounds.
As long as I stay focused, stay positive; continue to love life, my family, friends and the good Lord himself things will be okay. I know I have to Keep It Simple, and as long as I can stay “light” in my head, smile as often as possible, my goals will be reached. None of those goals involve numbers (scale numbers).
I will share with you one new goal that has been popping up in my heart lately. When I was a teenager one of the happiest days of my life was the day I opened up the mail and there it was, my “drivers license”, wow what a feeling of joy. Well I had to give up my license and I have not driven now it has to be since about 1993. I am going to drive again, not sure when but I am going to do it! I feel it in my bones, I just have to get my legs to work a little better and be sure to be able to fit behind the wheel, and then…..I am off!
Who knows, maybe I be driving through your town one day and we can say hi!
My friends take it from me, do not play the number games, do not get crazy on what that scale says today, and do not let it rule your life. Better still, concentrate on “change” (do I sound like a politician)? The kind of change that will better the quality of your life.
Let me share something with all of you, even my friends that do not suffer from the “weight” struggles. Change is good (for the most part) especially if it will better your life. If you could smile a little more, feel better about yourself, be more comfortable within your surroundings and with the people around you then begin to make the changes necessary.
Twelve pounds does not drive me crazy, it makes me happy! I lost twelve pounds, I have had a steady loss for three years, and it is a trend and new life for me. More important I have not “binged” for three years. Now that is something I cannot believe I can say. So that twelve pounds represents a new life for me and at 55, a new life is pretty cool! I am a lucky guy!
Lucky to have the people around me that I have, lucky to be able to share my blog with you, lucky to be alive and living better each day!
Have a wonderful day, and appreciate what you have for there is someone out there who has a lot less.