As you can see from my statistics, I've sadly let myself go...and way, way too far. I have had a pretty crappy last two years but within those two years I have completed a huge amount of soul-searching. Yes I've dieted before, I've tried most of them but my mind's never been in the correct place, not really. I've always tried before now because I've wanted to lose weight without realising that, for me at least, this was the totally wrong mind set. So how have all these hours of soul-searching helped? Well, I've realised from a very young age, and through all my years of childhood, I never felt I was cared about. I'm not saying I wasn't cared about, it's just that I never felt I was. I wasn't beaten or neglected, just never made to feel important or that I was cared for/loved. I feel the upshot of all that is that I have never cared about myself. It's true. I have gotten to 49 years old and can say, with hand on heart, that I've never really cared about myself, and therein lies the answer. As a side note, not caring about myself has always meant I never believed anyone cares about me either. So times are changing and not a day too soon....I climbed onto those scales last week and gasped when they read 22 stones 3 and a half pounds!! Heavier than I have ever been. I have had a good week...eaten plenty as you can do on SW and not really been hungry. Sunday was very tough, spending the whole day battling with that bloody devil that appears on my shoulder at times like this. He encourages me to fail, to destroy all the good I have done thus far...and worse still, tries to reiterate all these negative thoughts that I'm attempting to get to lay dormant. This 'devil' wants me to fail, wills me to fail, encourages me to fail and, at worst, begs me to fail. It's good that I now recognise this, Of course it's not the devil but it's almost as if this is some sort of demonic safety mechanism to keep me believing what I always have, that I shouldn't care about myself and that no one else does either. Well, as I said, times are changing. So what's this all about? I'm not on a diet I am telling myself, because it's true, I'm not. I'm simply taking care of myself and if taking care of myself means I'm going to lose weight then I'm going to revel in that, why should't I? Whereas before now I'd slink away from SW meetings or sit at the back and out of the way, I will now stay to every meet and accept every ounce of support that is on offer from the wonderful nature of the SW groups. And, moving forward, I want to be able to encourage and empower others to succeed, I want people to look at me one day and aim to achieve what I will achieve. Stepping on the scales tonight, I wasn't apprehensive, I was hoping to have lost some sort of weight...as it turns out it was a 17 1/2 lb loss...A record one-week loss for my SW group leader - have to say that that's a pretty good start! Even after a week I've notice some subtle changes... Easier to put my socks/shoes on. I have more energy Some clothes already fitting better Feet and legs a lot less swollen Severe acid reflux gone already One more thing...I'm going to get a picture taken of myself every week for a year and then post them up online somewhere, once my journey is complete of course. I look at the two I already have and it saddens me to see me in such poor physical shape. In a weird way, I will enjoy looking at these pictures one day. I intend to post here on a regular basis though, with my thoughts and musings and, whilst I'm at it, I take a pile of encouragement from all you others who are in a similar boat and making the necessary changes to their lives so, they too, can love the reflection they see when they look into a mirror.