My View: Maintaining weight loss means taking it one day at a time – Buffalo News

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“You look amazing! Can you share the secret with me?”
Jill Redman
I hear this a lot since losing 109 pounds, and quite simply there is no secret. If there was, I would have found it 20 years ago.
I am addicted to food and powerless over it. I struggle, suffer, ponder and think of it every day, hour, minute and second. It is how I celebrate, grieve and everything in between. I am never not in the middle of this love-hate relationship.
Jill Redman
The cold hard facts are it has taken me one year and 109 pounds to be in the same place I was one year and 109 pounds ago, powerless over food. I have struggled and cried my way through some days and sailed through others, but food is always in my periphery.
It is my oldest friend and my worst enemy, a tether on my leg. The same way an alcoholic or drug addict is never cured, I am always a few spoonfuls or forkfuls away from being consumed by my obsession.
Sometimes, when I seemingly have it beat, I have a relapse and almost feel ready to give up.
There are no shortcuts, no secrets – every day, I must come to terms with the fact that food makes my life unmanageable.

How was I able to break free enough to lose 109 pounds? A chance meeting with a former friend forced me to take a look at what I had been doing to myself. Seeing her face was all I needed. At that very second, I was done running.
First, the pain that caused me to lose control had to be dealt with. I called a mental health professional and booked an appointment. I went to numerous hypnotherapy sessions, I started to meditate every day and showed myself kindness and forgiveness.
I only looked at losing weight in 5 pound increments and focused on eating only when I was hungry and never to fill a void. Slowly, I cut out processed foods and refined sugars.
Slowly the weight came off and, as I healed, I kept walking this path and learning about myself.
I learned that a wrong that had been done to me had to be faced before I could stop hiding behind food and take back what was stolen from me. Now, I am no longer afraid and I am ready to tell my truth.
I will not carry the shame of that history a minute longer as it never belonged to me and it weighed far more than the 109 pounds ever did.
That being said, I don’t feel yet qualified to give “how to” advice on how to beat a food addiction, as I am always a forkful away from a downward spiral.
Some days I want to go back. I want to hit a drive through and feel the fountain Pepsi burn the back of my throat and run into 711 and grab a Twix on my way home.
The only secret I know is, you need food to exist. The line between eat to live and live to eat is a fine one and one I am certainly no expert on it just yet.
It frightens me when people look to me for advice on this topic, because I am just finding myself again. It’s a very personal climb and so many of us are on it.
Sometimes, I really hate this journey, but some days, when I am stretching the legs that have a new found ability to run faster, when I’m skiing without pausing for a breath or when I realize I can keep up with my kids on a 10-mile hike, I pause and say, “Yeah, I did that.”
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Jill Redman
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