Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gettin' it out of neutral

(via)

When we were in Chicago and went for our final stroll around the city, we passed some designer shop with perfect clothes in the window.  It's a place that I think barely carries a size large.  I remembered passing this store the first time we went to Chicago back in 1994.  I remembered the wonder because I was a po' teenager who never in my wildest dreams thought I could ever afford something from a store like that.  Then I looked down, saw my protruding gut and thought "one day, I will wear something from this store."  I didn't necessarily have to buy it but at least go in, try something on, finally feel like I was a "normal" member of society and maybe take a pic of myself in the mirror to prove it and then put the $500 dress back on the rack.  I just knew this whole being fat thing was just a passing thing even though I'd already lost weight once and had gained it back.  We were going to get back on track, right?

*Cue me gaining 100 lbs*

*Cue me losing 85 lbs*

*Cue my gall bladder dying on me, 6 months of testing, incompetent doctors, physically unable to exercise and regaining 85 lbs*

*Cue gaining another 124 pounds on top of the original 100 lb gain*

Yeah...totally a passing thing.

Nothing like wasting most of your 20's and 30's being stuck in a body you don't recognize or want.

Then came that final stroll around Chicago, passing that store and thinking "you are literally no closer to wearing anything from that store than you were 20 years ago.  Way to go."  I almost wept in the street.  It has nothing to do with the brand.  It has nothing to do with being able to afford it, I could if I wanted it but it has everything to do with breaking that promise to my younger self because as I looked at the outfits I thought "and now you're too old to pull that off."

I'm sure I'm not but that's how it felt.

I have been 40 for six months and I'm not going to lie, it has sucked.  I've been sick for 3 of those months.  I have started speaking in old person tongues and it's seriously a matter of time before I start referring to the things as "the Facebook" and "the SnapChat."  I'm feeling way older than I should be and I feel like my weight is now the main factor in feeling that way.  I cannot squander another decade, wake up 50 years old and STILL be dealing with this crap.  We still have to create a plan that is doable for us, nothing trendy where food groups are cut out.  We're still implementing but it's very frustrating to say "I've lost 200 lbs" and have someone look like they want to say "so you're still working at it, right?"

If you'd have told me four years ago we still would be struggling to get this under control, I probably would've thought about giving up.  I'm glad I didn't and I'm glad to have basically maintained but it's not enough anymore.

So that's been my train of thought to finally get it out of neutral.  I know if there are people who have never struggled with weight loss issues that just don't have it in them to go through watching someone who has try to "just do it already", I get it.  It can be hard to empathize with a journey you've never had to take.  But for those of you willing to hang in, please know despite having already lost 200 lbs, I am still not a pro at this.  Those 200 pounds should've never been there in the first place.  Where I am...this place...this is where I spent a good part of my life and where my body likes to settle.  I'm in for a whole new fight.  I can want success but fail many times to attempt to achieve it.

I know my weight loss story has no end.  I don't get to a magic weight and then I'm "done."  I will never be done.  None of us who have struggled with our weight will ever be done because once you get there comes maintenance which I seem to have mastered but at the wrong weight.  I've got things to do and at my age, I just don't feel like I have all the time in the world to do them anymore.  I hope I don't disappoint you all too much but most of all, I hope I can finally stop disappointing myself.

What's one of your weight loss related regrets?

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20 comments:

  1. It feels good to have a new focus and plan. Thankfully we haven't done much damage in terms of gaining a lot back, but it's high time we stop just maintaining and start getting it done again.

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  2. I got to 80 lbs lost a year ago, and I still have 75 more to lose to get to "normal" weight. But instead I have stayed nearly the same over the last 15 months. Lots of excuses as to why I lose and gain the same amount over those months, but honestly, I just still don't have the food thing down. I want to be able to eat like I used to, and when I do allow myself to stop watching what I eat, I gain. Good luck with your new plan. I look forward to following along.

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    1. That is our problem as well. We want to eat the same way we used to but the way we used to is only maintaining. Let's ride this train together!

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  3. I lost 30 pounds twelve years ago. I did this by not eating enough and working out for at least two hours per day. Not a healthy way to live. However, during that time I met my husband, new co-workers, neighbors, friends, etc who only know me at that weight. No one saw the "behind the scenes" of my life and people would always assume that I was naturally very thin, etc. and didn't have to work hard for it. I had my first kid and during my pregnancy I still counted calories and worked out like a maniac. I looked great after my pregnancy. I just had my second kid. The second pregnancy was a different story. I didn't work out and ate what I wanted (excessively), when I wanted (excessively). I'm at my highest weight ever. None of my clothes fit and I am ashamed to see the people who only know me as a really thin person. I am also afraid that I will never get back to a weight that I find acceptable.

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    1. (((Hugs))) Are there any of those fitness classes where they encourage bonding with your baby during the workouts. Being around other moms with like minded goals could help. I know that feeling of being ashamed for people to see you but put that aside for now and focus on yourself, making small changes to point you toward your goals. Focus on being a good mama to that new baby and the weight loss will come.

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  4. I regret not taking care to maintain my high school weight, or something like it. I was a kid and didn't get it. Then I lost 40 regained a bit and then lost 30 more. Then I just stopped, and regained all of that plus another 40 that I'd never had before. I regret all of that, and now I'm working to lose that and work my way back down to a previous high that appalled me at the time. I don't think you can work this thing without setbacks and regrets.

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    1. Isn't it funny the weights that once appalled us are all we'd love to see when things take a wrong turn? I mean I remember 250 lbs in high school is what spurred me to lose 35 lbs for prom but right now I'd take the 250. (Especially those legs...sigh) Here's to both of us getting back on track!

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    2. That was my thought. I remember being embarrassed about weighing 150 lbs. I'm more than twice that now. Highest weight ever because I can't go long enough without an injury or stress event sidelining me. I am SO impressed by how you have managed not to backslide for sure long. And I'm a bit envious that you have a committed parter on your journey. My hubby is a darling but not into organized dieting, although we are both severely overweight.

      I'm still trying to find my answer. I hope you find yours.

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    3. Having the Mr on this ride definitely makes it easier. If you're the main cook, I'd just start slipping healthy stuff in and if he wants to eat, he'll hopefully just eat what you make. When we decided to do this, it brought out my creativity to make everything we ate not feel like 'diet food.' Unfortunately he can't be pushed into it, I also know that far too well. There were plenty of times he was ready and I wasn't and vice versa.

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  5. When I turned 40, I vowed that I would not spend my 40's carrying all that excess weight that I carried during my 30's. I had some success but gained again and now I'm 50, and heavier than I was at 40. I have lots of reasons (excuses!) why - empty nest, major move and career change, ruptured disc in my back, etc., etc., or at least that's what I tell myself. I want to get in better shape and lose some weight, just so I can buy clothes at a "regular" store. My weight has been a battle all of my life, I have starved myself to be "normal" size, but as soon as I started eating again the weight came back. It helps to read your blog because I know then that I'm not alone in this lifelong battle. Accepting that this has to be a life change and not a diet will hopefully make a difference in any success I have going forward. Good luck with everything and I'm looking forward to following along!

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    1. It's easy to let life events pack on weight. That is how I got to my heaviest. Work stress, family members going through and dying of diseases, the loss of our dog. All kinds of things and we used food to cope through those times. So many of us do it. We all have to find what works for us and knowing it may not be what worked for the person next to us. Let's do this!

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  6. You are absolutely right that "we are never done". It's a constant challenge to "think" about what we're eating and not letting the beast loose, so to speak. I think I have two big regrets when it comes this journey. The first is getting within 4 lbs of a 100 lb loss and absolutely blowing it and gaining it all back. The second is taking that first compulsive bite of a trigger food about a year ago thinking "oh, I'll be fine, I won't let one simple bite control me." HUGE mistake. That one bite led to another and another and the trigger food became my obsession once again, once I'm still struggling with. For me, the reality is there are certain food items that I CANNOT touch ever again. It's like lighting a fuse and I derail to the point of pain. I let my guard done and figured it didn't have the same hold over me, but it sure did, and I've been fighting it ever since. Pisses me off royally because I knew better. I just thought I could find an easier, softer way, but it doesn't work that way. Dammit.

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    1. That has to be frustrating and I know the food triggers have been an issue we've talked about before. I know you can get it under control again and continue on with the business at hand.

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  7. You never disappoint me. You inspire me. Your courage to come here and be so real, so open and honest about something deeply personal helps people like myself. I often feel so defeated and that I will never conquer this. I read your posts though and you give me hope.

    My biggest regret is not getting a handle on this earlier. I was 115 lbs my first 20 years. To have let that go to such an extreme of my highest weight at 279 lbs makes me very sad. I lost my 20s and 30s to obesity too. My children have never known a thin mom. Honestly THAT is my biggest regret. They deserved better than a mom constantly obsessed with the next diet fad. They are now grown and here I am 41 and still obese. They are my biggest cheerleaders though and are always encouraging me not to beat myself up with regrets that serve no purpose. They are always saying "just keep going from today mom...you can do it". I can't seem to bust past 250 though. Been here a year. I need to change things up. Just not sure what. I've tried so much already.

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    1. Jeez make me cry! :-) Thank you so much for that and I'm glad I could help in any way.

      You raised some smart kids, listen to them. I was talking with the Mr and said we have maintained longer than it took to lose 200 lbs. He said we can't look back and have to go from this point forward. Sounds like we both have smart cookies in our corner!

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    2. ((Hugs))

      Thank you. I am beyond blessed with them. I am learning to listen more to them. They have young adult voices now that at times have very profound things to offer. It truly is a new stage in life for us.

      Your Mr is right! Yes, we sure do. :)

      Let's make a deal...if one of us starts to look backward we will look to this post or contact each other for a gentle reminder. Life moves forward and we can both do this. Deal? =^)

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  8. So I have been thinking about this since you posted it a couple of days ago, and I have to say... I think you ARE closer to wearing something from that store than you were 20 years ago. You have discovered that you CAN lose weight when you try. You have found exercise that you enjoy, and you keep doing it consistently, even through injuries, because you know it helps you with your stress. You've made a commitment to a life partner who you know will support you through thick and thin (heh) and will help you reach your goals. You have made yourself and your health a priority, whether or not the scale agrees. I think that's a VERY different place to be than where you were 20 years ago, from the way you describe your journey!

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  9. Oh man how I can relate and I'm just glad that I am not in the midst of Aunt Flo's torture because if I was I would surely be reduced to a blubbering fool at this very moment.

    So let's do this lady...we totally CAN and we totally WILL!!! Time to own this bitch of a decade that 40 is!!!! LOL

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