Once upon a time, I set a goal of losing 42 pounds by my 42nd birthday. It took me five months and a strict-ass diet, but I did it.And then I undid it. Completely. Slowly at first. Holidays, you know. And then all at once. That’s how John Green’s character Hazel Grace Lancaster describes falling in love in “The Fault in Our Stars.”

And then I undid it. Completely. Slowly at first. Holidays, you know. And then all at once. That’s how John Green’s character Hazel Grace Lancaster describes falling in love in “The Fault in Our Stars.”

“I fell in love with him the way you fall asleep – slowly, and then all at once,” she said of her (spoiler alert) doomed boyfriend.

That’s how I gained – regained – the weight. Slowly. And then all at once.

How did I put it back when it was happening? When I did nothing to stop it?

“So I kind of fell off the weight-loss wagon and landed with a serious thunk. OK, that’s not quite true. I didn’t fall off; I was thrown. That’s not right either.”

“I jumped.

“I took a big ol’ running start and leaped off the weight-loss wagon. It was quite graceful until I botched the landing.”

Yes, I’m quoting myself (Ew!), but that is exactly what happened. Like I said, it wasn’t too bad at first. My birthday. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. And then the calendar flipped to a new year and I resolved to rein it in and get back on track.

And then I lost my mojo and apparently stopped caring. I have no idea why. Perhaps I needed to feel invisible again. I should probably talk to somebody about that. It’s a little too much self-examination for this blog post, but it might be worth a closer look.

It didn’t help that I never really saw a visible difference in myself when I was 42 pounds lighter. It seems so wrong, right? I was still wearing the same size clothes. A size down was still too small. I have no idea how that was even possible, but it was true. And it was frustrating to no end. Why bother?

It felt like I was surrounded by stories of people’s whose bodies changed significantly with a loss of five or 10 pounds. And then there was me. I was down 42 pounds! That’s like a 3-year-old child! I shed a whole toddler! Or four and a half Figaros, depending on how you look at it. Regardless, I should have been able to see some difference in my body.

But I didn’t.

So, I let it all go and I allowed myself to revert to some bad habits I thought I had left behind. Nope! Just kidding. Habits, especially bad ones, are sneaky little bastards waiting to swoop in when your defenses are down. And mine have been down for quite some time now.

Fast forward two years, and I’m back where I began only two years older. I’m at an age where two years doesn’t really make a difference. At least not until two becomes five and then 10. Kind of like weight. Two pounds? Not a huge deal. Five? Bigger deal. 42+? I can’t even.

I’m also at an age where I cannot rely on my body to do a damn thing the way it’s supposed to. The joys of middle age. Blech! When did that happen? More than decades into this adulting thing and I’m still not great at it. I can keep the catkid fed and the bills paid, but anything beyond that is kind of a crapshoot.

So here I am, back at the beginning of the game, and I am profoundly ashamed, disgusted with myself. I thought I had left that behind, too. Nope No. 2! I see judgment everywhere I look when in reality, I’m sure everyone I know has better things to do than judge me. They’re probably too busy judging themselves. That’s what we do, right? Part of being human?

I now find myself asking two questions.

How did I let this happen? Why did I let it happen?

I can’t decide if it’s important to answer these questions or just let them go and deal with things as they are now. After all, I can’t change the past. If I could, life would be infinitely easier. And I, having found a way to do the impossible, would never have to work another day. You know I could patent and sell that shit. People would pay for it! I know I certainly would.

Go back and rewrite your history for just three easy installments of $99.95! BUY NOW! I’m probably pricing it too low but I would make it up in volume, no doubt.

So. What do I do now? What should I try next? More importantly, how do I make it stick?I swore that “this time was for good” last time but I didn’t stick to it. I broke my promise to myself, something at which I

I swore that “this time was for good” last time but I didn’t stick to it. I broke my promise to myself, something at which I seems to excel.Wow. This sounds so “woe is me.” This is what I need to get out and

Wow. This sounds so “woe is me.” This is what I need to get out and hopefully this self-psychologizing will be a solid first step. Writing is how I work things out.

Consider yourself warned.