This is one of the hardest posts I've ever written but I just hope it helps someone.
Last year I completed SS, losing about 3 stone and ending up quite happily around 9 stone 10.
Like many on here, I'd battled with weight and depression all my life and thought I'd finally finally broken the back of it. I felt great, I looked great, and I was finally beginning to live. I made a lot of plans for this year doing all those things I'd put off for being overweight and just enjoying 'being normal.'
I finished SS and thought that was it, I had it made. I was really careful with my food and exercise and maintained my weight for a few months. I didn't do the steps because I didn't think I needed them.
Then I didn't deal with some of the issues that were bothering me. I made a few half arsed attempts to get back on track and would do okay for a bit but slowly, and then faster, I went downhill and I kept on tumbling.
I didn't learn how to control my food, I didn't reach out properly for help, I stopped weighing myself, I stopped exercising, I stopped planning my food. I started to feel sorry for myself, I started to think 'just one won't hurt' and I thought tomorrow would be another day.
Now I find myself 6 months later wondering what on earth happened. I'm back at the weight I was before I started CD, and perhaps a little bit more. I'm isolating from friends and colleagues, especially those that were sceptical about the diet. The diet didn't do anything wrong, it was me.
We've all got battles to face and after the honeymoon period of losing weight is over, the hard part really begins. This is time you really need your CDC for guidance, use the forums and follow the steps - they are there for a reason.
To anyone out there who is thinking about not doing the steps, about going it alone, please reconsider. We've all learnt how to NOT eat in SS/SS+, now it's time to learn how to eat. The steps teach you how to be control of your food.
I don't want anyone else to end up like me - 6 months later looking at photos of a me that was so happy and feeling so free and knowing they have to go through the process all. over. again. Instead I feel guilty, ashamed, sad, and I'm hurting because I let down the one person I really need to look after - me.
So financially things are going to be tough too but I'm determined to still have a life as much as I can. For (cliche two) it's often been about what's eating me, not what am I eating so I will get out there and keep meeting the triggers that have caused me to run back to the food and isolation before. I can do this, but it's just a pain I have to do it all over again!!
I'm a big believer in life trying to teach you lessons and if you miss them the first, second, third.... time, they'll come back at you so you can learn them in order to move onto your next stage. This is where I am now, the kid whose just been told she needs to repeat a whole lesson that really the answer was just there on the page, she just didn't really think she needed it.