When you are overweight, you can't see or feel the difference when you lose a few pounds. The opposite is also true: you can't see or feel the difference when you gain a few. So--in my experience anyway-- you go back and forth, up and down a few pounds all the time. Down because you try, then back up because you can't really feel your effort so why bother? Going the distance? Too daunting a task.
So you go up and down five pounds, then ten, maybe fifteen. Over time you go up more than you go down. And suddenly you find yourself at a weight you promised yourself you would never ever see on the scale. So you pretend to yourself that you're okay where you are, because trying and failing would feel worse than learning how to love and accept your new, heavier self. If you have a healthy self-esteem and value things about yourself other than body image, you figure it out. Your pretty face, sense of style, sense of humor, intelligence, compassion, creativity, and strength are worth a lot. Your family and friends love and accept you. And you do the same.
But then one day something shifts. You decide you can go the distance because if you don't the future is bleak. That something may be one certain thing. Or it may be a confluence of things.
Deciding to change careers.
Getting ready to spend a summer away in a city that's fun to walk around, where you will not be getting in a car to move yourself from every point A to point B.
Seeing an old picture of yourself and thinking, Oh my god, how happy I looked! Not necessarily How great I looked, but how happy I seemed to be. I didn't avoid the camera then.
So you say Enough! Get it together, girl! You have way too much to offer to hide behind that wall of... what?... insecurity?...fear? Whatever it is, you decide it just doesn't suit you anymore.
No more looking back. No more beating yourself up. What's done is done. You shift your energy. You set a realistic goal, seek support from a few people close to you who will encourage you, and you start to get it done.