Falling off the Wagon

I have fallen off the wagon y’all. I feel uncomfortable in the skin I’m in for the first time since my weight loss journey began in 2017. I had been fortunate to keep the weight off until recently when food, especially the pizza and parmesan bites from Domino’s Pizza, began to stick to my butt, hips, and stomach. I know from previous experience that telling myself, “Oh, don’t worry about those 3 or 4 pounds”, only leads to gaining more pounds. When I started gaining a few pounds before, I’d simply pushed back from the table, so to speak. But this gain came on so fast and it is not moving.

I’m hard on myself and I’m so disappointed that I’ve gained so much weight back. At least ten or fifteen pounds. That’s what I see, anyway. A tell-tell sign of rapid weight gain is the way my clothes fit. I didn’t even want to try to squeeze into my size 7 jeans last night for rehearsal. I noticed I’ve started wearing the clothes I bought for my trip to Hawaii in 2017. I was at about 150 then. When I think of my lowest at 138 pounds, being 150 or more really saddens me.

Every woman knows her body. We know what every inch of our body looks and feels like at our ideal weight. With me, heredity lets me know I’m gaining weight by the appearance of the double chin that runs deep with the women in my family. That happens way before an ounce can be seen on my body. Unfortunately, it’s so hard for me to get rid of that darn chin or any fat due to my extra slow metabolism.

But! I do know what to do to lose it. It’s all about discipline. It’s difficult to diet when you are on the same small budget but your family has grown overnight from eight to thirteen. But, for me, portion control and preparing your food correctly important. A good thing for me to remember is to is make sure I’m cutting back on fat and carbohydrates.

Read food labels. Know what you are putting in your body. My first step was replacing all soft drinks with water, sugar-free juice, camomile tea, sugar-free jello, and yogurt. So I don’t get tired of water, I drink or consume anything sugar and fat-free that will turn to liquid at room temperature. Hence, jello, pop cycles, ice pops, and Italian ice. A lot of people don’t think about this but I’m not a water drinker. So I substitute often.

Sometimes I see all this info on Facebook about cleanses. The 7-day cleanse or 14-day cleanse. They show before and after photos. I’m not sure how valid their claims are but I do understand that ridding your body of toxins, rebooting your body and allowing a healthy start to weight loss are important. But who has the money for those cleanses? I don’t! Plus, they want you to sell their products, be on video calls and bug your family and friends. I’m the worse people person on the planet, so I don’t sell anything.

So what do I do? I heard from one of my uncles that drinking a glass of warm water each morning helps cleanse your body of toxins. I must admit I haven’t been brave enough to try that one. I do drink a cup of coffee in the morning. That’s not the same though, is it? I’m trying to get in the habit of drinking a bottle of water at room temperature after my coffee. I have noticed it does help with irregularity or getting my digestive system moving when it won’t do so naturally.

The worse part of this is finding myself right back uncomfortable around other people. I hate the self-conscious feeling of thinking my flaws are on display in neon lights for everybody to see. My castmates are my extended family but I constantly kept trying to hide my stomach or hold my breath and squeeze it in. I need my make up to be perfect to compensate for feeling overweight again.

It’s awful to feel like this when I know I will get back on track. No one can do it but me. I don’t ever want to end up in the hospital again, two steps from being in ICU. I know what’s at stake. I think this blog is my way of telling myself what it is I need to do before it’s too late. It’s an affirmation to my mind and my heart because I not only do I want my health, my self-esteem, and peace of mind back; but the self-confidence that comes with hard work and accomplishing this for myself…is everything!

“Whenever I look down, my confidence shatters”

~Valerie Collins


Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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  1. Hi Valerie,

    You’re as authentic as always. I noticed one thing as I read. You did not confirm that you have actually put on weight. When we know our body we can tell. Sometimes though, it’s a temporary bloating. I have been on intermittent fasting (15 hours no food/9 hours to eat) for about 3 weeks and have had to force myself not to weigh everyday. It’s incredible how weight can fluctuate. Hope you find what works for you.

    • Thank you, Yvonne,
      My feelings often spill right on to the screen as they are because writing is an outlet for me. My body, because of fibromyalgia, is very sensitive and I know when I get that hereditary double chin, I’m gaining weight beyond one or two pounds. Plus the amount of the time I’ve been at a higher weight and needed a bigger size in clothes has been my scale throughout these last two years of my weight loss journey. We all have our individual ways of knowing we have gained enough weight to make a difference. Then the scale tells on us too!

  2. Keep your head up Valerie and DON’T give up! A just man falls seven times and rises back up again. Prov 24:16. So no matter how many times you ” fall off the wagon” you keep at it! Try not to think of it as a diet, you’ve done it before and you can do it again. I’m so proud of you! Be proud of yourself! God bless and be with you.

    • Thank you PreKaya,
      I think it’s bothered me because it’s the first time in two years but like you said I can’t give up! I think talking about it is helping me too. I was skeptical of sharing this article but I’m glad I did. I look at it as a lifestyle change. This is something like aging, I’ve got to maintain. I just can’t go back to those old ways of thinking. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome and thank you so much. Reaching those who have gone through the same thing is my ultimate goal. We just have to remember to allow ourselves a brief pity party, end it, and get back on track.

    • Thank you, Larry. I hesitated to post this because it’s so personal. But I wanted to show others that it is ok to feel like this as long as you do the work to get back on track and remember who you are inside.

  3. Gaining too much weight or losing too much weight are both dangerous. Clothes can stretch or shrink. Your doctor is the only person you should listen to in terms of what your ideal weight should be. You have to stop being so hard on yourself. Looks can affect the way you feel but never let your appearance cause you to lose sight of who you are as a person and what makes you special.

    • Thank you, Joel. I’m trying to but my self-confidence suffers because I go back to feeling like I did at 206 pounds. I’m climbing out of that darkness as I realize how to separate the two, self-confidence and weight gain. It’s tough though.

    • Of course it’s tough. I still have a gut feeling you are more than up to this challenge. When things happen in life your self-confidence takes a hit. Gaining weight is easy while losing it is hard. Lose weight using whatever method works best for you. If you made some mistakes in your eating habits that led to the gain just keep in mind so many others have had this. Please do me a favor and focus on all the good you have done in addition to all the good that is Valerie Collins. You are not alone. You can do this. You will succeed.! You will succeed!.

    • Thank you, Joel, again. You’re the best! Im glad I had this article published because now I see I have support and I’m not alone. I will succeed!

    • Great attitude! There is no doubt in my mind you can and WILL succeed! I would be happy to provide any support if you should need it.

  4. Blessings Valerie, Life is difficult in many ways. I relate to you in the self-confidence realm of physical appeal, but I have come to know that loving myself for who I am, but most importantly what I can give to help others, regardless of anything is uplifting. Thinking of others takes it away from myself and it doesn’t mean anyone has to agree. It works for me.

    • Thank you, Lynn,
      It’s taken me a while, I mean years, to get back to self-love. And it is exhilarating! It feels great to give back to others as well. So I agree with you. I think this hit me so hard only because it’s the first substantial gain in two years. But I know what I have to do to get back on track. Im dedicated to my health.