I had lunch with a friend today from my neighborhood. She had wanted to get together to find out what I am doing to lose weight because she has been struggling.

I showed up with a short list of recommended books that supported the choices I have been making in my diet and lifestyle and told her what changes I had made.

Her next question was forthright. "This has been your go-to change before. What makes this time different for you?"

She wasn't at all rude in the asking. It was an honest question, and I think it was apparent that something had changed. I took a few moments to think about my response. What WAS different, exactly? What made this time feel so different than the times before?

After a bit, I answered her and I think in giving my response, I really came to understand it myself.

I finally, FINALLY understand that this isn't something I am just doing to lose weight. It isn't about reaching a number so that I can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to what I was doing before. I've finally understood, deep down understood, that I CANNOT go back to what I was doing before.

Is it fair? OH HELL NO. It is not freaking fair that when I eat like most other people, I steadily gain weight. I don't go face first into a whole pizza or a gallon of ice cream. So no, it isn't fair. 

But fair isn't going to get me able to hike through nine states on our Epic Summer Trip come June.

Fair isn't going to care when our last kid graduates high school and we can travel the world.

If I want to do these things and more, and I really REALLY do, then fair doesn't matter at all. It just is what it is, and I can either stop thinking of this as a temporary diet to get to a number, or I can write off all those bucket list goals for my future.

It is one, or it's the other. Not both.

This realization was somehow shocking to me. That really, it is that simple. 

I either choose to eat how I used to eat, or I choose to have the life and future I want to have.

Looking at it like this has changed everything. EVERYTHING. 

And I feel a peace of mind I have not felt in years about food and about myself.