I have been at this for almost 2 years, and in that time I have struggled pretty much the whole way, especially in the last 6 months, but I never realized how much easier it was in the beginning until now. Before I started this whole thing, I ate like crap. We ate out a lot, fast food was a staple, and so were things like Hamburger Helper and boxed mac n cheese. We ate a lot of processed foods, sugary coffee drinks, and ice cream. I didn't move my body much at all. I walked from the couch to the fridge, from the couch to the bed, etc. Working out kinda terrified me. I would get winded going up the stairs.
So when I started to eat less crap and I started to walk, weight fell off. To the tune of 30 lbs in about the first 6 months. Sure, that's not record speed, but it was consistent and I didn't have to do much besides eat a little better and move a little more. The change I made was drastic enough to cause a decent loss. I realized it started to slow down after that, so I kicked it up a little bit, running, doing P90X3, etc. I had to do MORE to lose what I lost doing less before, which was frustrating but made sense. It took almost a year to lose another 30 lbs.
But as I kept going, this became my new normal. I stopped eating processed foods for the most part, I started exercising above just walking 5 or more times a week, I created a healthier lifestyle, and that became my new normal. And my body stopped responding to it the way it once did. In the last 6 months, I lost a lot of things that weren't weight. I lost my self confidence, my belief that I could do this, and my patience for the process. I worked less hard every day, and slowly but surely, I found myself back up almost 20 lbs.
I am learning now that getting BACK in the habit is even harder than starting was. I have to work even harder for my body to respond, and that is frustrating. I would love to be able to change my diet a little bit and walk and lose 30 lbs again. But I know that's not my reality.
Weight gain is part of the process. Struggling is part of the process. Plateaus are part of the process. This just gets harder, not easier. But having faith and determination will get you through it. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. This year is almost over, lets make it count.