I admit that I occasionally listen to Miley Cyrus. I have little kids and her music pops up on the shuffle more often than not and some of it’s grown on me enough to put it on the playlists I have for when I’m exercising.

The other day I was walking and from my iPod came the Miley Cyrus song The Climb. I really listened to it for the first time and the lyrics blew me away. Not because they are musical or poetic genius, but because they resonate with me right now and my weight loss journey.

I’ve spent most of my life struggling with my weight. When I had my surgery 7 years ago and then lost 90 pounds I thought that the part of my life where I struggled with it was over.

But then I got pregnant with my son and after he was born the weight was impossible to take off. I’ve written about that struggle before, I don’t need to rehash it, but the bottom line is that suddenly I was struggling with my weight again in all the old ways and I felt frustrated and angry.

This was supposed to be over.

I wasn’t supposed to be dealing with this crap anymore.

I was suppose to be free of these feelings.

Except I wasn’t.

This wasn’t over.

I’ve made a fair number of “last ditch efforts” to lose the weight again over the past 4 years. Every time I set up a new spreadsheet in excel, or started tracking my food again, or joined Weight Watchers, or wrote out a food plan for the week I told myself this was the last time I’d try and either I would be at my goal weight by a certain date by sheer force of will or I would just accept this lot in life and move on.

Of course, neither of those options ever panned out.

I know now that I can not lose weight by force of will.

I also know now that I can not just accept being fat.

I don’t like being fat.

I don’t like how I feel in my own skin when I am fat.

I feel trapped inside layers that hide me from the world and I do not want to be hidden or kept behind a barrier.

I suppose it was about time that I changed my understanding of what “this” is.

So, I embarked on this diet differently. I didn’t set out to lose a gazillion pounds. I didn’t set out with my mind filled with fantasies about being thin. I just told myself that I would do it one day at a time as long as I could and see what happened. 3 months into this experiment I’m down 28.5 pounds and I’m happy again in a way I haven’t been in a while.

Why is that? Not just because I’m 28.5 pounds lighter. I’m still 2 pounds from my major goal and 15 pounds from my final goal. But here’s the thing. I’m happy on the journey. I’ve never been happy on the weight loss journey before. I’ve always spent that time imagining the foods I’d get to eat when it’s over. What my “final goal” isn’t the same anymore. It’s not just about the scale anymore.

This time I’m been focusing on how the change in diet is making me feel better, more clear, happier, with less anxiety, with more energy, with more patience, with less sadness. I don’t want to change that.

How does The Climb enter in? Well here are the lyrics let’s look:

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I, I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

‘Cause there’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb

Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

See my “weight problem” is never going to really go away. This is no longer daunting to me, in fact it’s a relief. I’m never going to be finished with this process. I will always have to bear it in mind. Rather than holding me back that continuous push towards getting there will keep me where I want to be. See in the past I’ve spent ridiculous energy trying to get thin so I could forget about it. Now that I don’t want to forget it anymore I can expend small bits of energy to stay stable and stop the yo-yoing.

It means that I am never going to be finished with the task of becoming me.

See this journey teaches me about who I am and the potential I have inside me to be better than I am now.

I always focused on how fast I can get to my goals; on what it will be like once I get there; the rewards waiting for me there. I have always dismissed the journey as something that must be endured. Not anymore.

I am no longer stumbling blindly from one thing to another without direction. I’m not losing faith in myself because I keep failing. Right now each day is a success because I am engaged with my life and with this process. Through that engagement I have figured out some of the ways in which food is a drug to me and I’m recovering from that addiction.

I’m excited to see what a winter on this new food plan will bring to me and if I can manage to avoid my annual seasonal bout of depression and anxiety as a result.

For today, I will keep on moving, keep on climbing, keep my faith in myself.

Indeed it is all about the climb.

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