Thursday, May 14, 2015

Reducing our risk for good and not just for now

When you hit your rock bottom close to 500 lbs, the road to getting to anything resembling "normal" seems long, daunting and possibly unreachable.

(Sorry spammers)

It's pounded into your head that people can't lose that amount of weight without the assistance of weight loss surgery of some kind.  That has never been in our vocabulary as we've seen the results and consequences up close and personal with loved ones and while it was the right choice for them, it wasn't for us.  We skated by without any serious health issues but knew it would eventually catch up to us if we didn't do something.  We were at the age where it was no longer about looking good but being healthy.

Fast forward to 200 lbs lost and you get very comfortable. You know you've greatly reduced your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancers and all of the other lovely reasons they tell you its important to lose weight.   Life has opened up not only health wise but in ways you know others take for granted.  You can go to 99% of restaurants out there and not have to worry about whether or not you'll fit in a booth or chair with arms.  You walk in a park and when a car drives by, you don't worry about being verbally assaulted.  You don't have to get back to people about going somewhere so that you can stalk Yelp or TripAdvisor looking for pictures of the inside to see if you'll fit in their seats and decide whether or not to accept based on those factors.  You can shop at an actual store instead of having to order from a catalog and pray what you bought fits.  It's a freeing feeling and it breeds complacency. It got to the point where we didn't feel the urgency to lose more weight because honestly, we could do most things we wanted to do.  I mean nothing was like being in that prison we'd created for ourselves and now we were on parole.

Of course we wanted to but being able to still eat what we wanted even in amounts that turned out to be more than we needed during the week was more important than giving up more.  We went on for 3 years telling ourselves that we'd ditched those health risks we had when we were at our heaviest and we did for a time.  But then you see health shows or articles online where people talk about how unhealthy and obese they are and they were 50 lbs less than we were.

But...we lost 200 lbs a piece.

Yeah but you're still over 100 lbs overweight for your height.  In plain speak...we would both still qualify for weight loss surgery.


So that was when we put our newest plan into action and stopped lying to ourselves.  It has been working and we know we're well on our way to kicking the complacency to the curb and truly reducing our risk for good and not just for now.

What weight loss truths and lies have you told yourself?

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  1. Pretty much the same thing. I've already lost X pounds, so I can have the chip/cookie/cake/candy - no big deal. I ate healthy all day, so I don't have to work out tonight. That kind of thing. The self-manipulation, rationalization so that I can have/do what I want. The part of me that knows better screams in frustration, but the instant gratification part of me keeps at it.

  2. I lost 178 lbs., and got down to my goal over four years ago, but lately I've been struggling mightily. I think my regain is at 30 lbs., but I've been scared to get on the scale to check for sure. I have periods where I do just fine, then I slip and I slip BIG! I need to get back into that groove where I was for so long. It was tough, everyday was a struggle and took all my determination to not give into temptation, but I did it for so long, why is it so hard to get back on track? I thought it was supposed to get easier. Instead I find myself thinking, "I'm so tired of being hungry all the time," and "I want a piece of candy or cake, I've deprived myself for so long, I deserve it." Justifications that are so very wrong. I have told myself everything that you and Mr. told yourself during your stagnation period. I'm feeling so much better, I can do things and go places that I had shut myself off from at 328 lbs. My BP is normal, I feel great (other than my knees, but that's another story), and it's easy to slip back into bad habits when you think you are at last, "Normal." I know I will never be "normal," in that I will always be a food addict and have to be extremely self-disciplined if I want to keep this weight off. The evidence of how tough this battle of weight loss and maintenance is can be witnessed in how few people are actually successful at it. I plan to be in that small group of people who did it, however!

  3. I thought I was doing good. Joined a gym and went pretty regularly for a couple of months, then slowed down and then didn't go for a couple of months. My workout partner has no drive for himself. Then my daughter turned 18 and she wanted to work out with me, so she joined and now we go together and we BRING IT! I have to do what is right for me, and if my Mr. wont do whats right for him, I can't make it happen. But, I can do for me and take care of myself, and now I am back at the workouts and eating healthier because I want to do it.

  4. Good post. I guess the big one was: I can work on this later. I have plenty of time. Hence, it taking me 20 years ago to get back to where I am now. And, now, I'm 61 and really regret the waiting until later to work on this....


  5. Bottom line, to maintain my weight loss I have to maintain the good habits. No exceptions to the rules. And to LOSE weight, I have to improve my habits (meaning lower calories or up exercise). There is no short cut. Yet I still keep trying to find a short cut (meaning I eat lazily and think I can make up for it by exercising harder. . .wrong, doesn't work that way).

    Man, how often I have tried to figure out ways that I can still be lazy with my habits and reap the rewards (be it maintenance or weight loss). It simply doesn't work that way.

    Like you, I'm working on shaking off some major complacency. And, imagine that, when I started eating within my calorie range (while getting my minimum exercise) I started seeing a loss again.

  6. OMG, I just wrote this long thing and my computer refreshed the page. I need to walk away before I chuck this rat bastard right out the window. I'll come back to respond. ARGH!!!

  7. Ok, I'm back. What I was trying to write the last time before my computer decided to fray my last nerve, is that I've told myself many a lie in order to justify what I was doing. Two things come to mind. One, I will NEVER being a normal eater. Ever. I've been compulsive since my first memories at 3 years of age and I'll always be a compulsive eater. I've never viewed food as simply fuel for my body. It's always been far more to me, and even in my "healthy times" thoughts of food have always been foremost in my mind through planning, preparing, etc. So long as I kept my hands busy with food, then my mind was calm. The second thing I've learned about myself is that I cannot ever, ever eat my personal binge foods. They are deadly to me. For years I tried to justify having them and thought I could handle smaller quantities. I cannot. Some people do great with this, and I think that is fabulous. I am no one of those people. I've never considered myself a sugar addict so to speak because sweets were always something I could take or leave--no great pull for me. What I didn't make the connection with is all the processed food that I eat and how much sugar is in that. I've always read food labels, but never connected the dots with the sugar content if the food was salty or savory. Now I understand why I struggle with those foods so much...the pull. So I have a list of personal binge foods that I know if I eat one, single bite, I'm screwed. Because one will lead to another, then another, and another. And quite possibly not at that exact moment. But the thought will get into my head and I'll slowly start to obsess on it, and will come up with reasons to have "just a little". I've never done anything "just a little" where food is concerned. So when I go to the grocery stores, I keep the mantra in my head, "Don't Tease The Disease" and keep out of the aisles that bring me trouble. I know my ways don't work for most people and I completely respect that. I've tried other people's ways, and have had very little success because I was trying to fit in to a plan that wasn't a good fit for me. I feel a far greater sense of calm when I stay away from my trigger foods. Ironically I've just had an "aha" moment in recent weeks that one of my binge foods is actually a condiment! Funny how those little buggers can sneak right in there and I never acknowledged it before now. Fooling myself indeed.

  8. I don't know what I hit but let me try this again. I have this bike I don't use because I am over the weight limit and have been scared that I am going to break it. I kept gaining and gaining and finally one day it hit me that it was just a stupid excuse. I paid for this thing and if it breaks then oh well. I have been using that as an excuse for too long but I sat there in shock still because I can't believe I have been telling myself such a flimsy excuse. Now if I can just start counting my calories again 😕


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