Sunday, August 03, 2014

What's been in my head lately

Obviously it's been very long since I've posted...

I get asked fairly often why I stopped blogging/will I blog again - especially now that it's marathon training season. The short but vague answer is I stopped for a few reasons, which I don't want to get into. And I honestly don't know if I have it in me to post with any regularity again. That was such a different time in my life and sometimes I wonder how I did it. I do appreciate hearing that you miss me or miss my writing, so thank you, but I just don't know. Things changed. I changed. I've been through a lot since then. I just don't know...

That being said, I have been kicking around some thoughts in my head lately that I feel the need to write/talk about, so here goes:

I don't know what it's going to take for me to get myself back on track. I've been off so long now I barely remember how to do it. I don't know how I ever did it. I tried a few times with new meetings but for 2 years now I haven't been able to find a meeting I like and commit to it. Therefore I haven't been going to meetings. Of course that means I'm not tracking. And that leads me back to a lot of terrible habits and things I'm not proud of. And it's been so long that it feels like I just can't even snap out of it at this point.

I've been trapped in a circle of thoughts that goes kind of like this: I hate where I am and I hate how I feel and I hate how I look. But then I remind myself that when I lost all my weight, and was at my smallest ever and felt amazing - I sometimes missed being 'thicker'. I'd see women who were bigger than me, and looked great, and be jealous of them and I missed being bigger! It didn't make any sense to me! Here I was, having finally done what I thought was impossible - losing all my weight and feeling more amazing than I ever felt in my life, but part of me missed being bigger like them. This confused me at the time and I still don't understand it. But it made me realize the thoughts I've always had in my head about my self acceptance had less to do with actual weight/size since I was experiencing those same thoughts even at my smallest size. It's hard to explain - though I was glad to be at my smallest weight, and didn't want to go back to a higher weight, I wanted to be seen both ways - small and fit but also thick. It might not make much sense. It barely makes sense to me now and I've had 4 years to think about it.

I guess I got my wish? Since the marathon I've put on 20 pounds. Mostly because the winter was so terrible and I let all my old habits return. It was so bone chillingly cold (the coldest winter of my life), so dark, so dreary, so soul-sucking. I spent every night eating too much and sleeping. I was definitely in a minor depression. I saw very few people socially for months - I purposely avoided them. As a result, by the time spring rolled around I'm clocking in the scale in the 170s and I feel terrible! I HATE IT. I don't know what the hell I was thinking when I was smaller - and why I missed being bigger - because I'm here and I hate it so much. I remember this feeling and it sucks. I hate what I look like and I hate how it feels on me. I hate having to search for something to wear because nothing fits. And I hate how it affects my mood/attitude/personality. But here I am. And I know I did it to myself. And I know I'm the only one who can change it. Yet that's the problem - I don't change it. I still drink way too much beer and order dinner out at least 6 nights out of the week. If it wasn't for eating pretty healthy at work and keeping up with most of my activity, I'd probably be at least 200 pounds again.

Of course this means I also negatively obsess about all the parts of my body I've always hated and been self conscious of - especially (of course) my legs. My thighs especially. I'm so horrified by the sight of them. Nothing fits me. Walking is a chore. Running isn't easy either. I carry so much weight in my inner thighs and am reminded of it every second of the day with every step I take, every time I look down at myself on my bike or on my chair at work. I see them. And they're huge. And I hate them.

I try to force myself into a better space mentally by reminding myself how lucky I am that I have 2 legs and that they actually work. These legs have carried me everywhere for nearly 43 years. They've given me the ability to bike over 15,000 miles (? maybe more) so far and they can walk and they can run! They don't run fast but they were able to get across 26.2 miles of roads so that I could cross the NYC Marathon finish line (a memory I will treasure forever!) So I try to never take that for granted - the fact that I have working legs. But I know they can be better - stronger and leaner - because they once were. If only for a brief time.

Side note - On May 29th I was having a beer with a very dear friend. We were both complaining that our weight that had crept up over this winter, and both trying to make the other feel better about it. Three days later he was in a horrific collision while on his bike. He was in a coma for a while. He had brain surgery. It's been more than 2 months now. He's still in the hospital. He's out of the coma but hasn't spoken yet. I visit him every week and think about him every day. I've made it part of my marathon training to run to the hospital to visit him. I want nothing more than for him to make a full recovery and get out of there, but it will take time. The thing is, he's lost weight since he's been in there. Probably the same winter weight he had been complaining to me about. But I am certain that if he had the choice he'd keep the extra weight in a body that can move around vs being an "ideal" weight in a body that can't do what it used to do. Every time I run I think of him. I tell myself I'm running for him because he can't right now. And despite my unhappiness with the size of my legs or what they look like, I'm so so so thankful that I can use them. I try to never take that for granted because I know nothing is guaranteed and it can be taken from me at any minute, especially considering how callously cyclists are treated by some drivers in NYC. They'll endanger your life just so they can get to a red light 3 seconds faster. It's revolting. Anyway… please keep my friend in your thoughts. He has a huge support system of people pulling for him, but the more positive vibes, the better. 

It's been a long time since I felt good about myself. And when I get compliments from people regarding how I look or if they tell me I'm an "inspiration", it's hard to accept those compliments. I feel worse than I've felt in years and I'm not sure why anyone is inspired by me when I feel like such a failure. And to be clear - I do not define myself as a failure because I gained weight. I define myself as a failure because at this time I feel like I've given up - I know what the problem is but I'm not doing anything to fix it.

But I'm so tired of living like this. Of feeling like this. I'm so tired of being a slave to food. I'm so tired of thinking about food. Obsessing about food. Eating food. I'm just so tired of it. But I don't know how to turn it around.


  1. You're an inspiration because you're brave enough to put it out there! :D

  2. If I knew how to comment under my own name I would have done so, but I can't figure out the "Comment as" thing. Your post is something I have felt myself many, many times over my 66 years. You are not alone. I read somewhere than something like 5% of people who go on diets (and I KNOW--WW is not a diet, its a lifestyle or whatever) successfully keep the weight off permanently. Its a vicious cycle of achievement followed by falling back into old habits that we've all developed over our lifetimes.

    You did a spectacular job with your weight loss but even a better job of increasing your movements! You ran a MARATHON woman! How many people can say that? You ride you bike all over NYC and in high heels! You have so many physical accomplishments that are truly beacons of hope for the rest of us. I thank you for all your inspirational posts over the years--of which I have read every one.

    I understand the feeling of not being able to regain control, but one day the motivation you need will appear and you will find the determination to jump back on the bandwagon. I hope you can find a meeting and a leader that suits your needs. Just be happy you live in a city with choices. I live in the hinterlands where I had a choice of several meetings--but they were all conducted by the SAME leader.

    I have been a WW member more times than I can count, but I was never as successful as you. I finally took a different approach and decided to have gastric bypass surgery last year. I'm at my goal weight now. I went from 238 to 138. For me, the best thing is that I am now permanently restricted on how much I can eat (which is much, much less than before) as well as the type of things I eat (with concentration on protein and avoidance of sugars which make me feel icky). My activity now includes strenuous exercise 4 or 5 days a week. I'll never be running a marathon--don't have the knees for it. I went from barely being able to bend over to cutting and hauling brush and trees on our property for hours at a stretch. I feel as though I have a whole new life ahead of me.

    I wish the same success for you, my friend. You kept the weight off for such a long time, I just know you have it in you to be one of the successful 5%! You deserve everything your heart desires. Also sending good thoughts for your friend's recovery.

  3. You are an inspiration to us because we all go thru this, you are not the only one,none of us are perfect.We know that you are a fighter .We realize that this is not an easy battle but nothing that's worth it is.I'm battling with my weight because I want to be able to walk when I retire,I'm 62 and I plan on being here for a long time,I want to be healthy and enjoy my life.We all love you and we're cheering you on.You are not alone.♥

  4. it's so hard to know what to say're one tough chick and we all think you're supergirl. I'm here if you need a shoulder, a cheerleader, or a kick in the ass! I'm just trying to figure out which one is appropriate. know that we ALL go thru this and you WILL figure it out. that bein said only you can fix it and the only thing to do is to do it, I call it living the lie till it's the truth. just suck it up and do it and keep telling yourself I got this (even when you don't) and eventually , before you know it, you will! take that shitty horrible impossible and hyphenate the bitch into I'M POSSIBLE! and you ARE my beautiful brilliant BABS!

  5. I am in the exact same boat. you are so brave to write it down and share it. thank you. maybe we can shake this.

    1. We are here to support You!!! I am soooo sorry about your friend and hope only the best for him. You have been and still are an inspiration to all of us who have been following your blog! Good or bad its nice to hear from you. I echo the same sentiment the others have said. Life is crap sometimes, we lose focus and stuff out of our control happens. I to have felt some of your feelings, and thought if I didn't have to eat life would be great. I too have been a WW member many times, whatever you do don't give up, keep on trying, we 're not perfect, some days are better than others. Let us your followers support you as you have helped us!

  6. I know you've probably heard this a million times from a million people but...the problem isn't the food. I tend to overeat when I'm depressed. I then get depressed because I binged...and so on and so on. It's a vicious cycle. I've decided to work on myself. I no longer look at food as a huge source of pleasure. Don't get me wrong...I treat myself, but in moderation. I'm also learning to eat to live no live to eat. What I tell myself to not give up is, "what if you tried a little longer? Will you die? Will it kill you to just keep going a little longer?"

    Good luck, Sheryl! You have many people who are rooting for you. Not for you to lose weight, but for you to simply be happy with yourself.


  7. I get it Sheryl. I remember weighing 175 pounds, which is about where you are now but was my low weight, and thinking I somehow missed being 10 or 15 pounds bigger. I didn't like the way the loose skin was starting to hang on my arms. I didn't like feeling like I was getting closer to being small and fragile and vulnerable. I felt curvier, studrier, safer at 190 pounds. I didn't regain on purpose, but I guess we both got what our subconscious wanted. However, I want to tell you it gets WAY WORSE when you regain a whole bunch of the weight and have to lose almost all of it a second time. I hope you can find the motivation to reverse the gain now and not let it slide up, up, up like I did. I don't have the answers, but maybe if you reread some of your old blog posts, you have them somewhere yourself.

    I will be praying for your friend.

  8. I agree with all Timothy says. Just keep going! There are ups and downs on this journey. You're doing fine. :-)

  9. I just walked in the door from a 45 minute walk, the first I've taken in a long, long, long time despite harboring a powerful self-resentment for allowing myself to get back up to the 205-210 I was 15 years ago and staying there for almost TWO YEARS.

    I thought I'd check feedly before hopping in the shower, and there, almost too good to be true was this update. Your blog, even when you are revealing life's darker moments, means a lot to me. I FEEL what you are saying here. Isn't it so, so hard to balance between not beating yourself up, but being firm & honest with yourself so as to stay focused.

    And I totally get what you mean about the longing for whatever it is you don't have in that moment - to be lean and fit, but also thick and curvy. Your before/starting out pics are almost identical to my current shape. I could compete in ironmans (ha!) and eat nothing but leafy greens (yeah, no) and I'd still have this big round ass, thick legs and curvy hips. I both love and loathe the attention it garners, and right now I've embraced this thickness, let it soak into my identity so much that I think I've been holding myself back from actually taking control of my weight/fitness because I don't know who I'd be without all of this flesh. Wow. Epiphany moment. Thanks for that.

    I hope you post more because you inspire me so much. But I understand if you don't, because, well, life.

  10. That cycle of negative thoughts can be so, so hard to deal with. It's every minute of every day. Exhausting. After years of WW and see-sawing weight, I decided to give therapy a try. I am slowly learning to be more compassionate towards myself and to see beyond my self-loathing, shame and food obsession. Therapy is no miracle diet but I am gradually feeling better about myself.
    All the best to you, Sheryl.

  11. I wish there was an easy answer. I REALLY wish. I"m struggling myself. I lost 135 pounds...and I've regained 50. I've done this journey before and I don't want to do it again....I hate where I'm at....yet I don't make the changes needed to turn the ship around....which depresses me...which makes me want to eat! Self perpetuating cycle!

    You and I....we HAVE done this...we CAN do it. I think maybe we just need to realize how badly we want it. (or something...I'm open to ideas!)

  12. I feel for you! I lost weight through weight watchers. Was feeling pretty good, but for whatever reasons, the weight has crept back on. Soooo. I haven't given up. I keep fighting the good fight.... and that's the best that I can do. You're beautiful and just know, you're not alone. Your blog spoke the unspoken words I've been carrying in my own heart.

  13. Yvette! I went to a blue's festival this weekend and cried and cried when Buddy Guy played "skin deep" ... Run for your friend, for the endorphins and the beer...

  14. My weight is a safety blanket. My weight protects me from the gaze of others. My weight is also an albatross, a curse, a crutch. I love my weight. I hate my weight. I love my weight.

    You've been a joy to read because of your candor. But, as a lifelong eater myself, I understand the need to step back from the honesty and the sharing, and instead wrap yourself in silence. You are struggling, and I think all of those who read your blog want you to come out the other side of it just as strong as we know you are. Take your silence, and know we are here, and will be here on the flip side.

  15. Positive vibes going out to your friend! Feeling the same as you here. When I lost my weight- I swore I would NEVER gain it back & here I am sitting right back where I started & starting my journey again :/ As far as meetings- I haven't found one I "like", but I started going back because I need the accountability of weighing in. Good luck to you!

  16. Sheryl, for me food is like an addiction. I eat emotionally and after much research I figured out that food works like any other drug - but it kills a little slower in some cases. When I was searching the net for articles about addiction I found this one: It is the article of an ex-drug addict, but when I read it I identified myself with everything he said.
    The point is, I don't know what your analysis is about the reasons of your eating, but if it is emotionally, if it resembles an addiction that makes reality better, then it is a life-long battle and you have to be very careful. I know for me I don't like the reality around me and food made it better. Now I try to take it day by day.
    Your last paragraph is so touching. At some point during the article Brand says that there are people that use drugs for one night and then go on with their lives but he is not one of them, if he starts he can't stop until he sells everything he owns for drugs. I feel the same way. If I go off my discipline and restrictions I can't stop. I also admire ladies that are happy being heavier, because I see they have no burden on their shoulders and are still so beautiful.

  17. Sheryl, so much of what you have said directly reflects how I have been feeling. I've been struggling with eating for almost a year again now after having been in control for a good time. I'm in the same boat when it comes to exercise: I still keep up all my activity but have little to not control over my eating, and it makes me feel ashamed and gross (I'm being honest here, I wish it weren't so but this is how I feel). I'm not binging really, just eating too much and letting food control me in a way. I'm sure you and I can both overcome this - maybe saying it out loud is a good first step. :-)

  18. That's terrible news about your friend, I can only add positive thoughts to the many he already has around him and hope for a full, healthy recovery.

    It's taken a few family incidents this year to make me thankful for my body. It's not perfect, I rag the hell out of it some days in the mirror but it's a thing of wonder and I try hard not to take it for granted. I guess we all have bad days, we're only human after all.

    Writing this down and putting it out there will probably have helped you work through this more, so I hope you find some resolve soon.

    You're doing a fabulous job being you, remember that x

  19. Would it be comforting or insulting if I said your situation isn't unique? I read a lot of blogs and all the people who lose a lot of weight seem to maintain for a while then regain some before turning it around again - and often having a very difference experience the next time.

    Blogging seemed important to you during your major weight loss months so it probably helped you a lot, maybe you could try that again to make you accountable and keep healthy eating in your thoughts. But it might not work again, you might need to find something else to motivate you this time.

    I've never lost even 10 pounds of my 50 so I don't know what you're going through after a regain. Best wishes going your way, for you and your injured friend too.

  20. It's so good to "hear" from you again. But, sad that you're going through these struggles. And you are an inspiration because you are so honest and you share...not many people would or could be so brave.

    I wish I had words that could inspire you, but I don't. I just wish you the best and hope that you find what you need to continue on successfully in your weight loss journey.

    Prayers and good thoughts for your friend!

    Take care fabulous girl! Thanks for visiting your blog and giving an update! You've been missed!

  21. Thank you for sharing this. I went through a large weight loss and got to my lowest weight in 20 years , but I missed food and wasn't physically comfortable there. I don't have a complete/healed/100% healthy mindset about weight or food or self acceptance. But I do see myself working on it. Screwing up and working on it some more.
    I remember reading your blog when you were posting how you prepared things and how you allowed your beer and fries after a big run. I don't know if going back to blogging is the answer either ,but it was a time that worked for you. I do think , for me, I j have accepted that I wasn't comfortable in that lowest weight and that I feel better about myself while I'm working on it and physically feeling there is progress . Over restricting on food isn't an answer for me. Finding the happy medium maybe. Good luck.

  22. "But I'm so tired of living like this. Of feeling like this. I'm so tired of being a slave to food. I'm so tired of thinking about food. Obsessing about food. Eating food. I'm just so tired of it. But I don't know how to turn it around."

    Sheryl you've talked before about binge eating disorder and so on. As a fellow sufferer (in recovery) I can safely say that the solution to a peaceful mind and body does not and cannot lie in dieting (no matter how much we'd like to believe that it's a 'lifestyle change'). There are other ways to full health in body in mind and they have begun for me in laying down the value of thinness, because, as you say, it's not even really about that.

    Learning self love and self acceptance is a multi-layered and complex pursuit. Are you familiar with the HAES (Health at Every Size) movement?

    I got a lot of help with recovery with these guys -

    They are on a different continent to you but I suggest reading everything on the website, and also having a read through the self help site they have added for their clients and men and women all over the world who experience distress through disordered relationships with food -

    They also offer therapy by skype, in case you would be interested.

    They literally saved my life.

    And last but not least, you remain beautiful and inspiring and interesting and valuable. Your worth is not in a number on a scale or a size on a piece of clothing. I wish you every good thing and love from across the world.


  23. You are inspiration, because no matter what happens, you still tried. And that makes you successful. So, what if you are down right now and fill like you have given up. But you haven't given up, because you are still running.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. We are having a tough time with drivers here in Houston. They are swerving purposely to hit us and honk really loudly to scare us. We have had countless hit and runs (thankfully, one person was brought to justice). It's appalling to hear the comments by people when a cyclist does die. So, I feel you on that front. I'm sending positive vibes your way. HUGS.

  24. I follow you on instagram...and girl, you were ROCKIN some bikinis this summer, something I will never be able to do. Just because you weren't were you once were doesn't mean you still haven't come a long way. I got to your blog late, after you had stopped all of your postings (around Oct 2013), but I read the ENTIRE thing. It helped me a lot (even though I don't track or eat salads very often or really do anything as healthy as you did it.) You look like you're loving life (this may just be a pretty picture to an outsider) but don't be so hard on yourself!!! You rocked those bikinis hard :)

  25. I've regained 7 pounds (of 95 I'd lost) since June 14th, so I'm right at the beginning of the same journey you're on, and this isn't the first time I've lost and regained ~100 pounds. My plan is to get in to see my therapist to deal with the anxiety, depression, and body image issues that are leading me to eat too much sugar before bed. Like you, I'm staying active even though I hate the way my body feels while I'm biking or running now, and working to recognize the negative thoughts when they pop up so I can stop that soundtrack. I feel certain that both of us will find our ways back to the happier, healthier life we work so hard for!

  26. Same. Same. Same, Sheryl!
    Winter was rough for us five boroughs, and I came out of it in a funk of epic proportions. Summer has helped a little, but not as much as I thought. I've been wanting to go back to Weight Watchers too, but the whole program has changed since I last was there, and although that's not a big deal, and I can learn it, it's also annoying. I enjoy the weekly WW meetings, but I really and truly can't spare another expense in my current situation. I feel tired too, but YES -- I don't know how to turn it around. <3 <3

  27. Dear Sheryl, I've been following your blog for a long time and I'm also on weight watchers (I blog on the UK site) and my own goodphat wordpress blog. I've been doing it for 3 years and at my best lost 30 lb, but then gained about 20 of that back slowly over a difficult year, then the following year yo-yo-ed up and down the same 10 pounds about 10 times. So i hear you when you say you don't know what to do, where to go, and feeling a slave to food, and the mixed up emotions about loving being thicker but hating being bigger. I totally get it. A leader once called me a "groupie" coz i went to different meetings every week all over London (because i was working shifts, and also coz i felt i never fitted in somewhere to call home).

    This week some of my lovely readers wrote to me basically saying I'm not being very consistent or disciplined with following weight watchers, which would explain my lack of progress (on the scales, and in my feelings about my weight). I was really hurt, offended even, feeling i had been attacked. What the f*ck do they know? they don't know me or what i've been through. But then I realised something, that in a sense they do know me coz they have witnessed me pouring my heart into writing week in week out and can see patterns in me that i didn't know exist. Things like self sabotage, and fear of achievement/success. I basically had to make a decision that either i commit to weight watchers and weight loss - or I don't, and i just forget about this whole thing and just stop caring.

    I'm not telling you what to do or what your decision is, trust me that decision for me wasn't easy as both had pros and cons. But I decided to give it one last shot. There is no record keeping or score. There isn't a gold medal (ok there is but u know what i mean) but to be honest we are women and our weights will go up and down throughout our life through every season. it doesn't matter if you have been to goal and back to start weight 100x it really doesn't. Forget about the numbers, focus on the feeling. Feeling good in yourself whether you are 140, 150, 160. At the moment you don't feel good at 170, you made that clear, but only you can change that. Enjoy food don't be a slave to it. Experiment with new foods new textures new tastes. Don't restrict yourself, embrace nutrients and vegetables and fruits and all that summer has to offer. If tracking and meetings work for you to be accountable then go to one and just say you will commit to going for one month, 4 meetings. If its too much pressure then take a break, don't overthink it. They will always be there when you are ready to start again.

    You sound like you have been through so much lately and you just need a bit of a break. Don't put pressure on yourself to do anything you don't want to do... but just know that your friends, your family, and all of us here in the blog fitfam world can help to carry you through. You will get your mojo back, and you start to feel the way you want to feel again.


  28. I know that I cannot help but I am sending all of my mental and spiritual support to you. You will make it through this. You will.

  29. You are not along in feeling this way. I've been there too especially with this rough Winter. It was as brutal as you mention and in fact it has me dreading the next one. You are a strong woman and when you are ready to make a will. I see your pictures on social media. You may feel these feelings but you are still living your life...that's what makes you inspiring. Remember that! Life is ridiculously short.

  30. I know exactly how you feel - all of it - of being thinner and still not 'finding' happy ... of trying to get on track - trying to find a good meeting leader again - trying to care - it's so hard to rev up that self motivation. I go weigh in - I don't stay - don't track - wonder why I keep paying....the program works, it's the change of lifestyle that's hard to maintain when wine with cookies is so much more inviting. I even hired a trainer - he's 68 - a great motivator for the 60 mins I'm with him ... but getting motivated to be at the gym, where I really 'want' to want to be there ... well, it's a chore. And the weigh comes off way slower when you're over 50 ... another non-motivating factor. But hang in there Sheryl ... you are an amazing person for being just who you are - with no excuses - for doing all the things that you do or try to do. You care ... that's amazing all by itself. Know that you'll get back there - again - and so will I ... because it's our health we need to take care of ... looking good in smaller size clothes should be the bonus, not the other way around. I hope your friend makes a complete recovery and am sending good thoughts and prayers for him. Thank you for posting this message - it'll help - many of us. I hope I get to see you next year at the Punk Rope games ... maybe we can both compare notes and talk about how healthy we've become!!! Good luck in the marathon - I'll be cheering for you from here in Massachusetts!!! ;)

  31. I feel like you're telling my story, after being at goal for almost 2 years working for weight watchers I too have gained 20-30 pounds (I keep going back and forth) and hate it! I keep obsessing about food but I'm not changing it

  32. Hey girl glad to see you back on here even if you are feeling a bit sad and distraught. Know that we don't only want to hear about you at your best but that your fans/friends are here for you to support you in times of hardship as well. If you don't mind a suggestion I think you should try coming back here because sometimes what originally worked is the best place to start. Good luck!

  33. Hi, can I say something?

    When I first got into the idea of losing weight and being healthy, it's because I found your blog. It was right around when I got married 6 years ago, and I wanted sort of a cute polka-dot dress. I had googled it, was parsing through the images, and somehow your blog popped up as one of the results. I read it and wept. It feels a lot less lonely when you know that there are other people in this world who feel the same way that you feel about food, their bodies, life in general, and who have a healthy (unhealthy?) dose of neuroses.

    Reading your blog, I sort of followed along your path: tracking foods, making healthy choices, I even surprised myself and joined a gym. I was in a wheelchair for years, had just learned to walk again, and somehow the idea of fitness always seemed like it would be out of my reach. I took your "shove it" attitude, and blasted through 30lbs in my first year. I was 300lbs and I had wiggled down to 218 by last year.

    This past winter. Oh man. I live in Canada, and it was bananas up here. There was a time where I didn't even leave the house for 3 days. 3 Days!! What could we do? The snow was up to my knees! I, too, self-medicated with food, and popped back up to 230. I lost the groove. Didn't gym, didn't track, made bad choices, fell into bad habits, all of it. You are preaching to the very heart of my choir. Then trying half-assedly to pick it up again: Thinking about food, can I eat this, should I eat this, I feel bad that I want to eat this, it's exhausting. But it takes effort to see results, so I guess that's what we've got to do.

    Don't give up. Take your time to figure yourself and your mindset out. It doesn't always come overnight. But find something that inspires you, and please get back on that wagon again. I keep thinking "Feedback, not Failure. Progress, not perfection".

  34. We are in the exact same situation. I got super skinny, freaked out how skinny I was, and put on a lot of weight that now makes me feel uncomfortable every day. I started training for a marathon and it is so much harder running with the extra weight. Finally buckling down this week after a crazy summer. Here is to getting our groove back!

  35. Well done on "coming out" of the dark and telling us about this ~ that is why you are an inspiration. Reading your post was like reading something I would have written myself as I am in exactly the same place as you with the added "excuse" called menopause!!!! I lost a lot of weight and it found me again and I am in the same funk as you are with those same thoughts going through my head but the will is just not there to do anything about it. And to add insult to injury my hubby has lost a whole lot of weight since having a gall bladder op in December and now I feel even more out of shape and uglier than ever!!!

    Be gentle with yourself as you plot your new course and keep running to visit your friend ... perhaps that will give you the inspiration to get back on track.

  36. I felt compelled to post because you're still such an inspiration to so many, no matter the weight! The fact that you're still running so much and with such a passion is incredible.

    I am in the same situation as you. I lost some weight, gained a lot back and am trying to figure out how I ever did it in the first place. This NY winter was incredibly hard on us, especially for weight loss and exercise. You're still amazing and I hope you find what it takes to get back on track.

  37. I'm so sorry that happened to your friend, and I hope his recovery speeds up. In a lot of ways (with less tragedy) I'm in the same place as you with my weight. I didn't miss being thicker when i was thin, but I realized as I looked back at things that it wasn't my weight I was looking back at - it was certain aspects of my life. So whether I missed it or was afraid of it, it was tied to who I was at the time. So, maybe it's not your weight you were actually thinking about, but just you and how things were going?

  38. Thanks for being so honest. Keeping it off is indeed the real challenge, and it's a stone bitch.

  39. I remember reading a remark online that Russell Brand once made (he had a major problem with heroin and to be fair, still does but he just doesn't use it anymore). He watched a video of himself getting high once and said that he was shocked at what he felt: envy. He said that that old version of himself was just enjoying that high, reveling in it, loving every minute of it without the greater awareness that it really was destroying him and he needed to stop.

    I think that any time someone is addicted to something (and one can definitely be addicted to crap food) there can be a sense of homesickness for the "old you" that just shoveled it in and enjoyed it without caring about the consequences. The realization that one ought not to do that can be a terrible burden, but there is no unringing that bell. Maybe looking at the "thick" girls was reminding you of that time in your life, when you just loved that garbage food and weren't burdened by the maturity to know it was not good for you.

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if those "thick" girls that you were looking at were looking back thinking, "I hate myself, why can't I look like her, she's so slim and pretty." Everyone's lives always look happier and less complicated from the outside.

    *hug* Be kind to yourself, hon.

  40. I have been reading your blog for a while and am a big fan of yours and appreciate you sharing your journey. I have had many of the same struggles. I wanted to recommend the main thing that has helped me: Overeaters Anonymous (and why I'm writing this comment as "anonymous"). It has totally transformed my life. It hasn't been instant, but I went from once obsessing over food with 90% of my mental energy to today living my life more than ever, loving my body exactly how it is (NOT PERFECT!) and having lost about 80 lbs. I actually attend meeting in NYC--there are meetings all day, everyday, all over the city. I would suggest checking a few out because they are all different. I think you would have A LOT to add to this group, sharing your story and what you have been through with your journey. It's kind of like this blog, but a two-way street in the conversation and support. It's not a diet but it really addresses the mental side of food obsession. You can search for meetings here: The saturday morning meeting at the LGBT center is a great one for newcomers.

    I just wanted to share how I have found help because I relate so much to your story and I hear others in meetings all the time that are struggling with the same issues and getting support. It's not a quick fix but it's been worth it!

  41. So nice to see a post from you, takes real guts to write a post like that. I'm in the same boat and I don't know what to do, your last paragraph hit it spot on.

    I'm sorry about your friend. I hope he heals and recovers fully.

  42. Just wanted to echo what some others have said - you inspire me because you share this journey so openly - both the up's and the down's. I have been where you are now SO many times, and continue to struggle. When I read your blogs I love your voice and your personality and your bravery. Thank you for sharing where you are now. I do hope to hear more!

  43. This is what we say after every WW meeting,its what my leader told herself to get her weight off, "track, move, and NEVER GIVE UP!" Not that you are asking for advise but think of this more like words of encouragement. In fact I thought of you this weekend when I asked my leader a question that has been on my mind for you and 2 other former WW members who are in the same boat and want to get back on track. I was concerned for my one friend because she did the same thing you did, went back and then kind of petered out. My leader say get to a meeting, think of it like AA go every night all over town until you find the right leader for you. Tell them at the front door what you are doing and maybe they will let it slide if you can only go to so many meetings in a month. I think you are right though finding the right leader is as much key to success as the tracking and moving. This is assuming you have signed back up. If so, this is how I get back on track and you are to thank for that since I asked you a year ago what to do if you fall off the wagon for a day and you said you just start over tomorrow. Now if I fall off for many days I just start by tracking again, not worrying about what I am eat but just getting back into the hardest habit which for me is tracking. I will do that for a week. The next week I will worry more about what my points are and then tailor my diet back to what it should be. I am so sorry to hear about your friend and you are being a wonderful friend visiting him when I'm sure many people have not. keep doing what you are doing in that regard because you are actually moving for both you and him. I would also say go back to the basics. Read your blog and go back to doing those things that you did when you 1st stared writing. I am noticing for many returning people is they forget how hard weight loss is. The frustration, the huger, the horrifying slow pace. And I think I will finish this with forgive yourself. When you go to meetings remember that you are in a room of people just like you and many have lost gained and returned. You did this once you can do it again. I hope at least one thing has helped and remember track, move, and Never GIVE UP!

  44. I actually started blogging again bc I am in the same situation! I often wonder how i did it two years ago (lost the weight) and then realized life happened, surgeries happened and accidents happened. I'm very sorry about your friend. I hope he makes a full recovery. The only thing to do is to keep pushing, little by little. We can't wake up one day and expect to go right back to where we were at our peak, at our most amazing. We did it once, we'll do it again. Be kind to yourself.

  45. Ah yes...the vicious cycle of hate. For me, the only way I can break it is to choose, on purpose, to feel good about myself. And if I am unwilling to do that, ask myself why I'm unwilling and then get super honest with my answers. To be honest, for those of us who have done the up and down thing with our weight, I think we have to revisit the old so-called negative behaviors so we can choose again and again to love ourselves.

  46. You can do this!!!! I miss your blogs, (I still think you look great as you are)

  47. Maybe you managed to lose weight but never were able to shake being bigger as part of your identity. Maybe that is why you missed it, because you missed you. Because you felt that those other women, in some way, were more "you" than you were.

  48. I just want to thank you for writing this. Can relate so much to it. I've found your posts so helpful for a few years now! Thanks -- Jen

  49. I think you are being too hard on yourself. We have all been where you are. Try not to beat yourself up so much, I do not know you but your article tells me you are a thoughtful, kind, amazing friend. Thanks for your heartfelt words. I remember seeing a book called "be your own best friend" or something like that, it was based on the premise that we would NEVER speak to anyone the way we speak to ourselves. So be your own best friend and cut yourself some slack xxxx

  50. Long time reader first time poster.
    Thank you for sharing. I've read your blog since before you hit goal, and have been an admirer, wishing I could have some of that motivation, hoping it would get to me by reading your blog. It didn't, that never happened. And I kept on hating myself and my body.

    Last fall I read Taking Up Space by the lady who writes
    If you haven't heard of it, I recommend it. I gave up the scale and the body hate last fall. I don't diet yet I've lost 20 pounds. I know this because we just moved and I unpacked my scale.
    And I don't hate my body anymore.
    I weigh 218 pounds and am 5'3".

  51. Gina HarbisonAugust 04, 2014

    Hi. I've followed you for many years and I think you're an amazing person. I just want you to know that I'm in your corner always and I wish you the very best of luck in your continued journey to wellness. I have also been a repeat client at WW and struggled with my weight most of my life. I'm 54. I am now an independent consultant for Arbonne International, a health and wellness company, which I started doing because of the amazing skin care products for my disabled son's skin. I have since learned so much about health and wellness, and in particular weight and detoxing our bodies to allow us to lose the weight. It's life-changing for myself and many others. I'd love to share this info with you. Check my facebook page, Gina Harbison, Arbonne Independent Consultant, if you're interested in learning more. The best part of my company is that we offer a 45-day money back guarantee on everything. You can't say that for many comanies out there. But I don't want to sound sales-pitchy. I seriously care and believe that this could help you get back on track. It's helping me like nothing I've ever tried and I feel great. In any event, I wish you the very best. And I believe in you!!! You will find your way back to healthy, I just know it! Keep writing!! It is good for your soul and you bring so many so much hope. God bless!

  52. Hey, girl. I have never met you and likely never will, but I had to respond to your post.

    First, I applaud you for being so honest with yourself and for having the courage to bare your soul like this. It's so important to acknowledge your feelings.

    We all struggle with this, I think. I constantly feel like I'm not good enough- never pretty enough, organized enough, kind enough, I don't work hard enough- always. never. enough. It sounds like that might be part of what you're feeling. And like you say, the only way to get past that is self-acceptance. I don't know about you, but that is hard and I have to work at it every day. No matter what nice things others might say about you, you have to believe them yourself, and sometimes that's really hard. I'm not sure if you have a spiritual practice, but that helps me with those feelings.

    Another thing you said made me think that maybe on some level you feel like there's "skinny you" and "fat you" and no matter where you are with your weight, you're always "betraying" one of them. I'd encourage you to embrace all parts of yourself and all your different forms.

    For now, honestly, I say screw worrying about your weight and just do whatever work you need to do to love yourself however you are, whether that's seeing a therapist or engaging in spiritual practice or journaling or whatever. You deserve to love yourself! Please know that you are not alone in these struggles and that you don't have have to do this all by yourself.

  53. Step one... TAKEN. Putting it out to the universe that you've fucked up---not by gaining---but my giving up on you.

    The same woman who lost all that weight before is YOU. No one gave you a magic blue print. You WANTED it. You FOUGHT for it. Maybe WW was the thing for you before, but it isn't the thing for you now. Consider something else? MyFitnessPal? Sticking with ONLY whole foods for 1 day a week?

    The point is that you just need to get in CONTROL of your situation. That means. Tiny baby steps. Tiny. How do I know this? I was my fittest and trimmest and my daughter got diagnosed with a rare brain condition and has had several surgeries. ( I fell off big time and didn't give a shit. At all. Now that I am paying attention, I have a ton of work to do and couldn't get on track until like a week ago. How?

    I stopped whining. I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I just got up one day and STARTED. That was way harder than keeping going. I just had to do that ONE thing. Drink enough water. Get 6+ hours of sleep. Eat fruit for snacks and change NOTHING else. I even put my scale in the closet.

    You are inspirational because you are fucking REAL. Honesty beats bullshit anyday. Now get honest with all the ways you CAN make changes because you CAN. And you will.

    Do the next best thing....add a green smoothie. Stop eating by 9 pm everyday. Drink 10 cups of water. Start counting calories just to reign yourself back in. Take all of those small steps that will make you feel like a boss bitch again.

  54. Thanks for this. I'm sorry you're going through a rough patch, but boy did this post ring true.

  55. Sheryl - you always seem so glamorous, so sure of yourself, so fearless. So I really appreciate your openness here. It's nice to hear that you are training for another marathon. I remember reading your blogs when you were going to a different fitness class every night, and running a cool race every weekend. It was inspiring to read. For now, throw yourself into marathon training and let yourself revel in the feeling of being light and fast, and how good it feels to have a clean engine pumping. Maybe the old (good) habits will come back quicker than you think.

  56. BTW, just a reminder to you of why I find you inspiring (although that word sound so barfworthy sometimes).

    I remember you doing the "Miss Grand Central" thing a while back. Now I'm not a makeup hound and couldn't give a damn for shoes or lipstick or that stuff. But I LOVED how you said, "What's to stop me from just saying I am Miss Grand Central?"

    "What's to stop me from just saying I am?"

    I loved that. I still do. And I love the fact that you are glammed up and still a jock as well. There's a big belief in this world that one has to be the "sort" of person to do something, and if you don't look right or act right, you aren't allowed. If you like A, you are therefore not the right kind of person to like B. That sort of garbage.

    I love the fact that you run up skyscrapers for fun, and yes you still like rhinestone earrings and eye makeup, so damn it, those rhinestone earrings and eye makeup run up the skyscraper with you. I love the way you don't amputate parts of yourself as an inevitable price to be paid for realizing other parts of yourself.

    Coming from a someone who only owns two pairs of shoes, neither with heels, and who hasn't put on makeup in twenty years -- yes, I think you are inspiring.

    Be kind to yourself. This past winter was nasty back there, and there is a lot to be said for winter depression -- and it can be hard to shake. And to be honest, I got the feeling at the time while reading your blog that Sandy really knocked you for a loop, what with the damage it did to your beloved city and canceling the marathon that year. Go through your kitchen and get rid of any shit food in there, avert your eyes when walking past crap restaurants, and just make good decisions one step at a time, okay? *hug*

  57. Your amazing...Your honesty and being able to open up the way you have is so refreshing and courageous in itself and just shows what a REAL person you are.....I have also been following you for awhile....and tracked your marathon journey (I was also on the same journey for my first marathon) and am beginning to train again after a long depressing winter...I have some of the same feelings as you...I am having difficulty getting back into the grove this year....I just don't feel as strong /or maybe it is my attitude and motivation!!! I guess transformation is all about experiencing the ups and downs. The truth is there is no destination...where you get there and say OK I don't have to work toward anything anymore!!! Once you think you have the answers is when you realize you know nothing at all. I guess sometimes you have to take a few steps backwards to go forward again!! Please keep sharing your thoughts....!!

  58. I hear the fuck outta that.

  59. I really, really, really hope that you're not blogging anymore has ANYTHING at all to do with those bitches on GOMI. It just seemed that you're blogging stopped about the time that I saw something about it on GOMI. Forget those bitches, listen to all of us who love you, you're blog, and who think you are amazing.

    1. I don't know what/who that is, what that means and based on the context I definitely do not want to.

  60. Hi Sheryl, I've been following your blog for a long time...not quite since the beginning but almost. You are an inspiration. I've always loved reading about your journey...I am a WW Lifetime member and can relate to everything you're written about.
    I got to my goal in 1991 and kept it off for about a year or so before it slowly started creeping back on. I kept going to meetings and trying to be inspired and hoped that it would "kick in" and I'd be back on track...but for me it didn't happen -- sadly I gained everything back plus. It was only last year that I finally said - that's it. I kept gaining and felt meetings and the program (for me anyways) was a waste of time - I just wasn't into it - didn't want to do it anymore...was so tired of DIETS! I quit and did what ever...kept up the gym but I ate what I wanted but always in the back of my mind I was scared. And I kept gaining...slowly but at one point I started to feel desperate. I bought and tried a smoothy program and then tired gluten free...but I didn't have any success. This year in March I came across a book with a cd by Paul McKenna - he's been on Dr Oz and anyway...I seen his book Hypnotic Gastric Bypass (I had already bought his I Can Make You Thin Book- but it didn't work for me). So when I seen this book...I walked by it and then came back to it. Since March I've been doing it...and oddly enough my little gains have stopped and I've actually lost about 11 lbs (it's been a very slow process) however - the best part about it...NO DIETING. There are 4 rules to follow and listening to the meditation or hypnosis cd - very simple and effective. Now if I want to over-eat...I can't - it's like you've had the surgery and your stomach smaller - you can only eat a little at a time. My big meals were supper and snacking at night - now I eat 1/2 or less of the portions I used to. Again - it's not an overnight thing-- for me it's slow but what I am happy about, is that in the 20+ years that I've been gaining steadily - it's finally turning around. And I do not go without. If I want something I have it. I just have to be hungry and mindful to stop eating when I am satisfied.
    I totally know and relate to the "tired of obsessing about food". I don't anymore and oddly enough - I have become more selective about food. If I am going to have chocolate - I want the good stuff, the regular candy just doesn't cut it...I don't want it. Which is sooo not me.
    I am sorry I am rambling on and sound like I am trying to sell this program...I was just so thrilled to find something that works for me. I know WW is a good program (it's just not for me anymore). I feel free from worrying about food all the time. Now I just have to deal with all the other stuff a different way...(emotional eating really is not an option) I am struggling with that.
    I really hope that you'll feel better about yourself - you've done amazing things and you are an inspiration and still just as beautiful as ever.
    Cheers Bella!

  61. wow - such an honest and brilliant post. Hang in there! You are an amazing and wonderful person!

  62. You have no idea how excited I was to see a post from you in my feed!!! I've missed you so much. I hate to hear what you've been going though. But you make so many people feel like their feelings are valid. There are so many people who want to be just like you. You are an inspiration. You are amazing. Most importantly, you are real.

    You're not like so many other fitness bloggers. I can't even subscribe to them because they are not relatable. I don't believe in them but I believe in you.

  63. i could have written this. I am in the exact same spot as you, and feel just like this. I've always loved reading your blog for many reasons. but in particular we have a very, very similar body shape and size. my legs are nearly identical to yours. and i feel the same way about them. i just wanted to say that i'm out here, and support you and appreciate your honesty. and i will keep your friend in my thoughts. that's just horrible to hear. please keep on going, and blog about it, so i can figure out how to do it too ;)

  64. I hope you feel better soon and stay that way most of the time Ms. Bitchcakes. I'm one of the people who find you inspirational because of your perseverance. I quit exercising a few years ago and turned into a lazy couch potatoE. Reading your blog and seeing your pictures riding around NYC inspired me to take up riding again. I feel better than I did in years, thanks to you!

    Hope your friend becomes well soon. An ex-veteran acquaintance told me once when I was depressed: "Count yourself fortunate that you're still here, many people aren't.". It's better that you're here to pursue happiness than not, no matter what physical or mental state you're in. The thought still snaps me out of it!

    As for your unhappiness regarding the way you feel about being unable to control your appetite, I found something that helped me with that many years ago, and still works today. Eating beans! (Insert fart joke here!) Eating slow digesting carbohydrates (low glycemic index, low glycemic load), like legumes, stabilizes the blood sugar swings which lead to severe feelings of hunger and binge eating. ( e.g. Seriously try eating beans, chick peas, etc. for breakfast, lunch and dinner interspersed with nutritious snacks and you might be better able to control your appetite as you don't experience blood sugar drops. You will get sick and tired of eating such a monotonous diet though! Be careful about eating them in a salad with plenty of leafy vegetables, as I found this makes the food move faster through the GI tract and made me hungry faster and more intensely. Also, spices can be dangerous!

    There's one more thing for controlling appetite that I found by accident, but found no corroboration on the net. Drinking distilled water. (Spring water was sold out at the supermarket so I bought some distilled water one day.) Drinking spring water made me feel hungry faster for some reason. My stomach would start grumbling and rumbling while drinking spring water but didn't when drinking distilled water. It might work for you, or not, I don't know!

    As for being tired of eating food, please don't stop as this will lead to starvation! Heroin chic is out man!

  65. Truth: It's an 80% food, 20% exercise equation.. Nobody can exercise their way out of a crap diet -- you have proven that to yourself.

    If you can't get back onboard with WW, then try something else, or make up your own program -- I did it that way to lose 85 lbs. Not only will this save money, but it becomes your new, permanent way of life and then maintenance is your new normal.

    Get your Mojo back, Sheryl. We all know you can do it again!

  66. I think it's easy to convince ourselves that being heavier is the easy option. Eating what you want and not having to put in the effort to eat healthy. But it's not. Being overweight is harder than being slim. The emotions, the tiredness, sweating like a pig in summer. It's not worth it. Being fat is exhausting and your post proves it.

    And I'm over it.

    You've just given me the kick up the ass I needed to get back into it. Thank you.

  67. Hating yourself is bad. It really is. I lost a lot of weight and regained about half of it and right now it's fairly easy for me to hold steady there. I'm overweight, considerably, and I hated myself for a long time.

    But then I stopped. I didn't so much discover healthy at every size (HAES) as much as it found me - I got hooked on plus-size fashion blogs and was struck, constantly, by how beautiful women are at every size and how much confidence they have and just realized, hell, I do EVERYTHING I want to do. I'm a runner (an ultramarathoner, at that), I'm a rock climber, I'm a vegan, I buy gorgeous clothes and revel in the makeup I use.

    And I'm never going to be thin, probably because of genetics as much as my own choices. (For people who think that's an excuse they're wrong, and science keeps proving it.) I was completely happy with my life at 140 lbs, but my life has changed and now staying that weight would ultimately be restrictive. I don't want to restrict my life.

    That's been my story, and it doesn't have to be anyone else's. Just find a way not to hate yourself. Life is like way too fucking short for that.

  68. I follow your blog because yes, I am interested in weight watchers, but also because I love your style and point of view. I wish you the absolute best.

  69. I'm not quite sure what to tell you. We know so little about other people's struggles. No mather where I've been in my own life (Currently a working mother of two in a swedish small town) your blog has always seemed relevant to me. I truly wish you all the best! I'm also so sorry about your friend and I really hope he recovers!

  70. Aaaah Sheryl, I know how you feel. I really do. I was a member of WW for years and kept weight off with it, (although when I look back, it was a constant struggle), but ultimately, put the weight back on. I tried to get back into it again. I tried and tried. I was stuck in such a vicious cycle, I cannot tell you how low I was. I was drinking every night which then made me eat like a beast and I could not stop. I started a new diet every week. Every other day. Come Monday, I would start pointing again. By Saturday, I would start the Filling & Healthy WW plan (UK), not sure what it's called in the US. By Monday, I would have given up on both and try something else. And so the cycle started again. One day, I was so low, I decided I had to stop the ride. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I vowed I would never torture myself again. I would never diet again. I was so sick of it all. And whilst WW did work for me in the sense that I lost the weight, I don't think it ever addressed the issues that surround emotional eating. And the weight never stayed off. I was hungry a lot of the time. I worked out like a crazy woman so that I could eat more. I would be obssessed at how many points I had left and what I could and couldn't eat. I was focusing on the points rather than the hunger. So I decided to quit. I listened to a positive thinking App in bed every night and every morning for 2 weeks. I pictured myself eating anything I wanted as long as I was hungry. I cried a lot. I cried because I didn't love myself. I cried for all the years I'd wasted being a slave to food. I cried because I was so sick and tired of it all. But .... I started working out again once a day, 6 times a week. I started eating whatever I wanted, (funnily enough, it was healthy food anyway). I stopped focusing on the scales as much and started focusing on how I felt, how my clothes felt, how I looked in the mirror. I focused on listening to my body and eating when I was hungry. When my stomach was rumbling ... true hunger. And the freedom I feel. The power I feel from not being caught up in the constant diet cycle is just fabulous. I won't log on to the WW website anymore. I don't want to be caught up in it all. It brings back so many emotions that I don't want to re-visit. And yet I haven't been able to bring myself to cancel my membership! How odd I am. The good news is the weight has started to come off again. You can do this. You can pick yourself up. Things change. Your state of mind changes. Priorities change. You are not a failure. You are in a bad place, but you will come out of this. You need to accept where you are and show yourself some love. Give yourself a break. I think you are very brave, you have put yourself in the public eye and it must be extremely difficult sharing your emotions, your highs and lows for all to see. I don't blame you for taking some time out. Do what you have to do to get through this and remember we are all here for you.

  71. "But I don't know how to turn it around"

    I think you just did, with this post.

    When I reboot, the only change I make at first is to make sure I am also eating,every day, one apple, one orange and one carrot. Along with, of course, everything else. It's a little change but it helps to turn me in the direction I need.

    My prayers are with your friend, and with you as well. Take care of yourself. You are worth it.

  72. I read this from your Dec. 10/2007 blog - perhaps it's time you re-read some of your blogs to get motivated again. You can do it.

    So if that means I have to sit in a meeting every week for the rest of my life, even once I am at goal weight, I am ok with that. That's another thing - I don't think people understand that "goal" is not the end - The truth is that this journey is never over. It is far too easy to revert to old habits. But that is not acceptable to me. I never want to go back to how I felt 60 pounds heavier (my all time high was 208). Not only do I never want to look like that again, but I remember how it felt- and I do not ever want to be that person again. I simply will not let that happen.

  73. I was delighted to see your new post in my feeds. As one who has always struggled with excess weight, I loved reading about all the bicycling you were doing and you inspired me to buy a good bike and start riding again. Still need to get a helmet, though, but am holding out til I can find one like yours.

    Interestingly enough, my weight loss came about when I started having problems with severe pain in the joints of my feet and my doctor sent me to a rheumatologist who determined that I have the beginning of psoriatic arthritis. Seems the most common place for it to become evident is in the feet. In an effort to stave off the inevitable prescription regime, my family doctor suggested I try going on a gluten free eating program. Lo and behold within a few weeks the pain lessened and gradually went away, as did the pain in my hip, knee and hand joints. An unexpected benefit of eating like this was that I effortlessly lost about 20 pounds. Of course, not eating bread and pasta was the reason. Eating gluten-free is most effective for weight loss when you are not substituting other gluten free products for the breads and pastas and baked goods. I just eat loads of fresh vegetables and fruit, plenty of healthy meats and some dairy. I feel so much better and I have discovered that my stomach isn't puffy and I can breathe so much easier. A good book to read is Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.

    Now I can always tell when I eat something with wheat in it because for about a week after that, I feel like crap and my joints ache like a toothache.

    I wish you the best. Your friend's accident is a reminder that we all need to treasure each day because we have no idea what the future holds. For me, eating quality foods and exercising helps me to feel so much better and that alone improves my spirits.

    I would love for you to keep your reading audience posted on how you are doing.

    I, for one, missed you!

    All the best,

  74. Sorry to read that you're unhappy about your weight gain. :(

    I read your blog and noticed that you were weight lifting at the time of your weight loss.

    It's great that you don't buy into the outdated myth that strong muscles are unfeminine. Unfortunately the body conditioning method you used seemed to have a lot of negative feedback in the form of painful foam rolling and working out till muscle exhaustion! Maybe you could try working out again in a different way. I found that stopping before exhaustion and letting the muscles heal post workout without painful stretching and foam rolling felt better. I stretched after healing at the cost of slightly lower flexibility ( and a lot less pain! :) ). Working out till muscle exhaustion left me fatigued for a long time and dreading the next work out, where as stopping the work out when I was still feeling energized gave me that exercise high and left me looking forward to doing it again next time! It was much better for a long term sustained lifestyle change. It's worth a try.

    You wrote that you enjoyed working out with a group at the gym, maybe you can arrange to work out with your friends. I'd gladly be your workout buddy but I don't think I could control myself around your awesome ass, sexy thighs, and beautiful ( thick or thin! ) hourglass curves ! ;) Hey I like what I like OK! :)

  75. I think you are halfway through the dark forest so to speak. Don't turn around, take rest when you need, but get to the other side. A few days of smoothies to clean your palate a bit and you'll be back on the familiar path. Though it might be hard for you to believe, you look pretty darn good at both weights, but at in the end choose what makes you smile the most. It is probably the same distance to turn around to where you started than to keep on going, even if you stepped off the hiking trail and had to bush whack a little bit. Be sweet to Sheryl, everyone of us loves her.

  76. Sheryl, I've been meaning to PM you ever since you posted this and time has just gotten away from me. The reason I'm writing here and now is because today someone made me furious by blatantly "fat"-shaming you (punctuated by a jealous, passive-aggressive smiley face) and I have had ENOUGH.

    You are a respected and revered public figure, a modern pin-up, a NY icon, and a nice & compassionate lady! Aside from all that, how many times do we have to shed a light on not judging based on something as meaningless as weight and, for goodness' sake, basically supporting other women? Your blog and photos (all the photos!) allow people a peek into your colorful life; how dare anyone turn around and judge you for any of it.

    I don't have the answers to any of your questions and have certainly been (and am) in a very similar situation. What I can tell you, though, is that for the last 3 weeks I have exercised more than I have in the last 20 years: combined. For me, it was simply the right pocket of time; your post certainly didn't hurt.

    For the record, I'm doing the C25K app which is challenging, exhilarating, and nerve-wracking. Any time I think I'm not going to make it to the end of the next jogging segment or up the next hill I remind myself that YOU run marathons looking way better than me on a good day AND could probably do it in heels.

    Don't listen to the haters- particularly yourself on a bad day. Sending you best birthday wishes.

  77. Let me just get this out of the way: I ate a ridiculous amount of food this weekend. But I am back on track today, and it feels good, of course! I like to remind myself that no matter how many times I... (how can I phrase this in a way that is positive?) stray from the best choices, as long as I get back up and dust myself off, it's ok. Because if I *don't* get back up and start over, it is only a matter of time before I am over 200 pounds again.

  78. Just read your new post, followed your previous journey. I'm your age as well and struggled with weight my entire life. Fat camp at age 11, fade diets and starvation diets as a teen and young adult. I've been 120 to currently my highest at 257. I too am so fucking sick of thinking about it every minute of every fucking day since I was first called fat as a kid. I didn't recognize when I was fit or skinny either. It's such a mind fuck and at this point I have given up as well. I just can not find the energy to do it all over again as much as being and feeling this way sucks. Of course I look at you and think what I wouldn't give to be at your current weight. And then I think oh boo hoo, poor me....I'm such an asshole when bad shit happens all the time to good people and they can't move or run and I can and I just sit there wallowing in my own self pity. I know exactly what you are saying. What can I say...the truth is it can get worse. So if anything look at my number because it's a lot harder to lose over 100lbs than 30. P.S. I don't want to be skinny per se either, just fit...I got the BIG Italian hips/butt/ was cute 80-100lbs ago but not so much now. The hubs also lost interest as well. It's so hard to move (I do still hike....fattest girl on the trail but I'm there). Man, it feels good to actually say all that out loud instead of a running mantra in my head. I wish you well. I think you're probably headed in the right direction since you opened up again.

  79. I just like you so much. You are a wonderful, unique person. I'm so OLD compared to you, but I wish we could be friends. I have the same problem and the same body type. Life is darn difficult sometimes. We will both come out on the other side as soon as we get through our crap!

  80. Do you blog somewhere about non-weight related things? I miss reading you, regardless of the subject.

  81. I heart you. I hear you. Hoping that you shake your funk & sunny days are ahead

  82. I empathize with your struggle, very much so. I had lost 90lbs over the last 5 yrs. The last year through some really painful experiences, i became down and then depressed. I've allowed myself to be comforted by food. Where i going to the gym 7 days a week i now go sometimes once or twice every week or sometimes i'll go 3 weeks or a month without the gym. Id say Ive gained about 20lbs. Nothing fits anymore. I too hate where Im at. I like aspects of my curviness, i have boobs again! But my thigh jiggle more now and dont fit into my jeans. Im trying to get out of the depression and refocus on new goals. But i think my old fitness goals are not exactly what i want anymore. But i dont like where im at now either. I feel i can really understand your struggle. -beth

  83. Sheryl, i know i can't really be help but just try my secret of self confident. just try to be yourself. don't listen too much to what people think and comment about you. love what you are now and try to think positive about food. stay gorgeous and stay healthy girl!

  84. Baby motto is that even if it's a baby step, it's still a step forward. I'm not where I want to be, but my biggest breakthrough was acknowledging that I could not do it alone. So whether it's WW (a good group leader makes all the difference...I go to a meeting in Sunnyside, Queens and I really dig the group leader), traditional therapy, or a trainer at the gym, you need to find what works for YOU. It's hard to ask for help and sometimes harder to accept it...that's been part of my journey for a while. Thanks for being so honest about your journey.

  85. I don't know you in real life, but I love your posts and your style and your zest for life.

    If you are healthy, the number shouldn't matter so much. About a month ago, I went to the doctor and she told me I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I'm only 45. For the first time in my life (I've struggled with my weight for a long time) losing weight wasn't about being thin, it was about being healthy. I've switched my eating and exercise habits, no WW, no specific "diet" just a change to clean eating and working out regularly again. I've lost almost 12 pounds and while at this point other people can't really see a change in my weight, I can see a change in me and that is more important to me. I also was diagnosed with depression (my brother passed away 2 years ago, and I thought I was dealing with it well, but it turns out I wasn't.) So getting help for that has been huge for me as well. The things you said in the last two paragraphs describes how I had been feeling for the last two years, especially "I know what the problem is, I'm just not doing anything to fix it". That is exactly how I felt, I had zero motivation to do anything but the basics for me and my family. Maybe think about seeing a professional and talking about what happened to your friend? I know I wish I had gone to see my doctor a year ago instead of waiting until I got to the point I had gotten to.
    Hang in there Cheryl...

  86. Cheryl,
    As a former W/W leader, my heart just breaks reading you latest post, but boy, do I know what you are feeling and going through. My biggest gripe as a leader, was we just didn't have a good enough maintenance program. Good weight loss but lousy maintenace. W/W is in the business because people keep gaining the weight back they have lost when they were members. It's such a vicious circle. Don't be so hard on yourself, you are perfectly normal, more than not, people just revert back to old habits. I had over 8 groups a week and I know I was a fantastic leader. Loved helping people lose their weight. Now that I myself have not been working for them for a number of years. I find myself right back where I was when I joined. I just got so tired of talking about food and not eating it, I did just that. I knew what I shouldn't be eating, but did so anyway. I just got to a point where I didn't stop. Still haven't stopped. Me of all people, should know better. So, you are not alone in th is journey my friend, you are pretty normal. People lose weight, they gain it back. Once it starts to creep back on, it's so hard to stop and get back on track. Everyone always thought I had a secret for being thin that I wouldn't share, No way, it was my hard work every day. I always said I could help anyone lose weight if I locked them in a closet for a month, but what would happen when I let them out? It all comes down to a decent maintenance program, and I do mean very decent, keep on trying, beause one of these days you'll feel you yourself, not W/W, can do this again but it's not easy. I'm pulling for you.

  87. You truly are an inspiration, Sheryl. I was on the same situation years ago when I'm in the middle of fighting my weight, my look, and everything. Well, I took a break for a little while just to absorb everything and reflect on what's happening in my life, my achievements, and the good things about me. After that, I went back to face my struggles and succeed. Now, I can never be more happier. I'm pretty sure you'll get over with it. You're strong and best of all you're really gorgeous and beautiful. That beautiful face which I hope I could also have. Haha

  88. Sheryl,

    I admire you for all that you accomplished and the courage to bear your soul as you move through a temporary valley in this journey called LIFE. As someone who also struggles with my relationship with food, I can appreciate where you are. I’m in the same place! And like you, if it weren’t for my commitment to activity, I could be in a pretty dark place.

    You have so much to be grateful for… I’m trying to embrace what Geneen Roth (author “Feeding the Hungry Heart”) shared on a recent webinar: “stop waiting for the future to bring what I think will make me happy. Live in the moment. And know that I have enough!” This is easier said than done. So, the journey continues!

    Sending prayers to your friend as he slowly recovers.


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