Monday, September 27, 2010

Why Off Plan?

Yesterday I posted a pretty tough weigh in with a large gain for the week. I'd spent several days sort of being "half" on plan but indulging in yummy Italian dinners, baked apple strudel, and M&M's (among other things). Lots of comments asked about whether something was bothering me in my life and was I eating the pain. And I thought that is a great thing to address, since that *has* been the usual culprit in the past.

This time was different. When I was buying those M&M's, I was just as happy and carefree feeling as you can get. I was not DYING for M&M's or anything. I just wanted to have some and had them. When I went out for Italian, I just thought "Oh, wouldn't some pasta and garlic bread be nice?" and decided to have it. I enjoyed every last bite. Same with the other things I ate. I was feeling relaxed, happy, and enjoying reasonable portions... not binge eating a TON of anything.

WHY?? If I am trying to lose more weight WHY would I go off and eat like that for several days? I was not stuffing down pain. I was not feeling frantic. I was not having terrible cravings with arguments in my head. I just sort of ate what I wanted to eat, without flipping out and being in an emotional state while doing it. In fact, I felt really good.

I did not, however, feel good on Saturday when my jeans that used to be loose were uncomfortably tight. And I certainly DID NOT feel good when I stepped on the scale yesterday. I also did not like going to bed with a lot of food still digesting in my stomach or the heavy feeling of fatty stuff in my system. Thus, I went back on plan yesterday, 100%, and dropped a lot of water weight overnight. 189 today.

Something I have noticed is that the sense of urgency is gone from my weight loss efforts. I used to feel absolutely *desperate* to get the weight off. I needed to stop the migraines, the heart palpitations, the acid reflux. I needed to get some weight off my knees because they were disintegrating at an alarming rate. My weight was affecting EVERYTHING: my mobility, where I could fit, how I felt in public, what I could wear. My pants were wearing out super fast, with big holes in the inner thighs, and I could hardly roll over in bed if I wanted to change positions. I had to heave myself over to move. I had to struggle to get up off the couch. Even going to the bathroom was difficult... getting up and down off the toilet was painful and if I went to a public bathroom I had to use the handicapped stall. The others were too narrow to get in and shut the door. And I was afraid every day that I was going to die of a hart attack or a stroke and leave my kids without a mother.

I had a lot of pain in my life every day when I was morbidly obese... physical pain every time I moved, and emotional pain when I looked in the mirror and saw what I had done to myself. Now, 90 pounds lighter, all of that is gone. No headaches, no reflux, no heart palpitations, no plantar fasciitis, and almost no knee pain unless I really overdo it. I see a ME that I recognizee and am proud of when I look in the mirror. I can go anywhere and am not limited by my size. In fact, there is almost nothing that my weight is affecting daily anymore. I can do what I want, for the most part. And I think I look good.

And so the urgency to lose weight has passed, and while I still want to (and need to) get to a normal BMI for the sake of my health, I am just not as driven as I used to be. And so when some Food Occasion pops up, I think it won't really matter if I indulge. I feel so happy where I am that going off plan seems justifiable.

But, it's not. Really. I mean, if I am *truly* satisfied with this weight loss and WANT to stay 189 pounds, great! I should do that, transition off Medifast and just be happy at this weight. I could do that. But I know that this is NOT where I want to stop. I want to lose *at least* 25 more pounds, and then reassess. Why? No longer for looks (although I am sure my arms and legs would benefit greatly from fat loss). Mainly, for 1) my knees, 2) my heart, and 3) my ovaries. I do not want to wear my knees down any faster than I have to. I need to get more weight off them to let them heal and be able to carry me through life. There is a LOT of heart disease on both sides of my family. The extra fat on my body AND in my diet is bad news for my heart. And my mother died of ovarian cancer. Extra fat is a risk factor, and too much "padding" on the belly is what made it so difficult to diagnose my mother until it was far too late to do anything. So yes, I do very much want to get more weight off. And since that is what I want, I need to knuckle down and do it instead of drawing it out for another year because the sense of urgency is gone.

So anyway, I have a plan, I am sticking to it. The exercise room is so close to being done and I intend to start biking in there next week, and put together some kind of weight program soon as well. In three months I think I can get that 25 pounds off.

And to be clear, there is in my own mind no chance of me flipping out and gaining back a ton of weight. This is my new life, and I love it, and I am never going back. Maybe to some of you, my journey is annoying or disappointing. You see a woman who took more than three years to lose 90 pounds, who still wants junk food sometimes and goes off plan. Maybe if I gained weight 3 weeks in a row you'd be so annoyed you'd never want to read my blog again. I don't really get that mindset. Are you looking for some perfect weight loss story and living it vicariously, thinking that people who "do it right" *should* lose weight a certain way, and never stray? I dunno, seems a little unrealistic to me. There are blogs out there with people who lose weight every week, who never go off their plan, who lose faster than I do or never post a struggle. That is not my journey. My journey is imperfect but real AND successful. *This* is my journey, always shared honestly, and I am glad some of you do find inspiration in what I am doing. I am just a normal mom with a bunch of kids and the usual struggles, changing my life week after week. And for *me*... that is good enough.

33 comments:

L A U R A said...

Your journey isn't annoying or dissapointing. It's real. Ups and downs. This is what REALLY happens when you go through a drastic weight loss like several of us have.

Glenn, Fat at Fifty-five said...

I don't think the count of those who started on this journey and made it to the end without a stumble is very high. As long as you just keep climbing back on the wagon you'll get where you're headed.

-J.Darling said...

Sounds like you've got a great head on your shoulders Lynn. You know where you want to go and you're working on getting there. You really have changed your life.

It's important to enjoy your happiness and LOVE where you're at too! You are truely getting past some of the ugliness in your life that's been dragging you down, and looking FORWARD. Instead of being hopeless, you've chosen to find, make and maintain hope!

You're on the right path!

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

Take it from me, when you lose that lightning-in-a-bottle intensity on this weight-loss journey, the losses become that much harder to come by.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn - I think you have done wonderful. You have lost 90 pounds. You look great. You obviously feel way better than you did 90 pounds ago. Maybe I have the wrong attitude - but would it really be so horrible if you could stay in the 180's if you are feeling good about yourself and looking as good as you do? Perhaps you are not thin - but darn it, you aren't obese anymore either. I think you've done great and don't have to apologize to anyone if you decide you are happy where you're at.

Karla said...

Bravo!!!

Stephanie Hill said...

I actually find your journey quite inspiring because it is REAL. You're a real person dealing with your life and issues, and that is far more help and inspiration to me than some Susie Sunshine who decides to lose weight, follows the plan 100% all of the time and never has a blip of indecision or temptation. What could I possibly learn from someone like that, someone I could never relate to? No, your journey is far more inspiring, and gives me hope that I too can lose weight here in the real world.

Theresa said...

as I said........ I won't stop reading because you had an off plan week! ;)

Vee said...

I agree with Laura. Your journey is real and anyone who doesn't have slip ups either (1) isn't telling the truth (2) is too perfect that they never really got fat to begin with. Good for you for being you. See? Told ya you were an intelligent passionate woman!

Vee at http://veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

CathyB said...

Your journey is real. And I love it. In the words of the brilliant Dr. Seuss: "Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter." I gravitate to the "real" blogs far more than I do the always-perfect ones, because real is where it's at. You go, girl! I know you'll never go back. And so what if it took you 3 years to lose 90 lb? If you hadn't been working on your weight, you'd likely have GAINED 20-30 lb in those three years. 90 lbs is phenomenal regardless of how long it took. You rock!!

bbubblyb said...

I love reading about your journey and your honesty. It makes me know I'm not alone with the ups and downs. I also know about being comfortable now at the weight you are. Keeping your goal in mind is the key I think. You will make it.

Just Me said...

I love your blog, Lyn, because it is real and you're willing to tell it like it is. Maybe some people zoom down to their goal weight and never have a problem ever again, but they should be on the front page of the newspaper, because I think it is rare for anyone lossing a lot of weight to be like that. If it was so easy, everyone would be doing it.

I am inspired by your blog, I can relate to you and I can feel your pain at times. I am happy for you with your weight loss, but I would never stop reading because of a gain or because you were struggling. I do want to offer my encouragement though because you have worked so hard to give this up and I know that you won't. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for yesterdays, because we can't change them. Thank you for being you!

Dinah Soar said...

Your journey is 'real'. Honestly, those blogs where the weight loss happens every week--can't buy it. What we are getting on those blogs is a bit varnished.

I read a food blog, the blogger posts pics of all her foods. Not long ago she admitted that she often ate extra squares of chocolate, etc. and did not post them.

It is her right to do that. Those who read blogs and believe every word as the gospel truth--well, I've got a few bridges for sale.

I applaud you for sharing your frustrations, failures and defeats. You are being real and keeping it real.

We need some realism. Why? So many compare themselves to others and if others aren't what they appear, we are striving for a thing non-existent.

Twix said...

I keep coming here because you're real, a real honest person and I like you. :D You've done great this far and I think you can knock that next 25 off. GO LYN GO!!!

Lanie Painie said...

I know you can do it when you set your mind to it, that's for sure. If you are happy at 189 then you should stay there, but since you obviously want a healthy bmi and you clearly know what you're doing, I know you'll do it. You have shown yourself what happens if you lose focus even for a few days and how quickly things can go in reverse. We all have good days/weeks and bad days/weeks. People shouldn't be too hard on you. You've done amazing things and I know you'll be doing lots more!

Leslie said...

You know how I feel about you, Lyn, and your commitment to honesty. Weightloss is not and never will be a linear process. There will be ups and downs, times of calm and times of struggle. Just like LIFE. I think you help as many people when reporting a stumble as when reporting new weight lows and rewards. It's all REAL. Just like we are. You normalize it for us.

Anonymous said...

I just love to read your blog every time ! Your honesty is something I really look up to. That´s what makes your blog so interesting. I had never been dissapointed when reading your blog. You make your own journey the way you want to, and that´s it. But to me your journey is amazing and so encouraging.

Heather said...

Lyn,
The stumbles are what make you so inspirational...to me at least. It helps to know that someone who goofs it up once in a while can get back up, dust herself off,keep going AND actually still end up losing weight!

I'm not perfect and I know my journey will not be perfect. You've shown me that quitting on myself when those things happens just isn't going to be an option. I sincerely appreciate your honesty.

Deb Willbefree said...

I'm new to your blog. When I read the first sentence of this post, I realized that I hadn't read your last one--so I went back and read it. (I didn't read the comments--sounds like some weren't really helpful.)

When I read the part where you described your feelings about buying candy, etc in the past and your feeling about being able to eat it now--I nodded thru the whole thing. I have felt/thought everything you wrote. I won't hijack your blog by giving examples, but I know those late night runs to the convenience store...

And, then, I returned to this post. And I nodded thru it, too!
I once weighed 252 pounds. Lost 30 pounds and kept it off a few years ago. Now I've lost another 50 pounds since Sept. 09.

I know exactly the feeling you're describing and have just now gotten my second wind. And it's tenuous.

It feels like--in a month's time--I went from the FAT PERSON in the room to a normal person who needs to lose a few. Well--everything you said in this post, I could repeat here. :)

I get it. And getting it, helped me. You stated what I have just this week realized. That's a good feeling.

Thank you.

You are a courageous woman.

Deb

Potato Diva said...

I just started reading your blog and enjoy it because you are seem to resemble me in your struggle to lose. Lose not just weight but the fat thinking that goes with it.

You are succeeding. Figure out what percentage your 90 lb is off your total amount you want to lose. Compare that to the amount of your weight gain in percentages during this last binge. See the difference? Isn't it vast - huge even?

That is not to say this slip is unimportant for every journey begins with one step, but it can end just as quickly or you can change directions with one step also. Turn back to your original course. You can see it. You haven't forgotten it. It is that recent. You know the way. I know you can do it. I am proud of you.

www.potatodiva.blogspot.com

icannotweight said...

Are there really people who think you should be perfect? The only person I ever feel that way about is myself, and even then I know I'm going to mess up now and again.

I think you are doing wonderful, and it IS ok to have weeks like the one you had last week. If it wasn't, then weight loss would be totally unsustainable. I have one of those weeks every holiday season when the temptation gets too much, and yes, I do feel grouchy about it when I step on the scale in the end, but it's my new life and I can get back to where I was again, even if it takes a lot longer than it took to gain.

Water weight rocks doesn't it? I was 170.0 on Friday, 179.2 by last night and 174.6 by this morning. I expect to lose the rest and hopefully more by Friday as it still feels a bit like bloating and water weight to me :)

Becky @ Becoming An After said...

I think the fact that you are honest, especially with yourself, is the key to your success. I appreciate your honesty. Here's to better days!

Hope said...

Lyn, I totally experienced the same thing with weight loss. It's not a totally URGENT thing for me anymore. For the most part, I enjoy what foods I eat, whether they be healthy or nutritionally void, and I can eat them (again, most of the time) without trying to stuff my feelings and stress away.

But kudos to you as well for not letting a tiny setback upset you. :)

MB said...

You inspire me every day. I started my blog over 3 years ago and actually gained weight the first couple of years but now I feel like I'm finally on the right path. It's almost more inspiring when I see someone struggling with weight loss and pushing through it than someone who just cruises down 100 pounds in a short amount of time. This is not a race and it may take me another year or longer to lose all the weight I want to lose but I'm ok with that. This is what I think healthy living is all about.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn! I've never posted here before, but I felt compelled to because your journey and mine, while not the same, have similarities. At my peak weight, I was 290. Then for years I fluctuated between 220 and 250. In the past year plus a few months, I've lost 70 pounds. I weigh 180 now, and I have weighed about that, give or take a couple, since June 1. I want to lose another 30 and for once in my life be a "normal weight person". But, the intense drive to lose x number of pounds by a certain date no longer exists. I'm so happy and proud just to maintain. And for all of the reasons you are thrilled to have lost weight, ditto. Eventually I will lose the extra weight, but for now I'm just happy to enjoy my success. No one will make me feel guilty for the route I take on my journey. Congrats to you on yours!

Kay

Cupcakes & Veggies said...

I agree with everyone. I like reading your blog because it's real. If you were perfect week after week; I probably wouldn't read it.

Karen said...

Lyn, you always inspire me!!! I am so glad you are back on track. I also got a grip after several weeks of eating anything that crossed my path...and many times it was binging behavior. I have reagained most of the weight I worked so hard to lose earlier this year but all I can do is get back on the healthy bandwagon again. Thanks for making me know its possible to fall but then get back up again and be successful!!!

Mind Over Fatter said...

Way to bounce back, we all need that jolt and your message of getting back on track really means a lot to me...

Anonymous said...

I've been reading you for a few months now and I just wanted to say, I read you b/c you are REAL. It makes me say, yes, she fell just like I do (stumbled, went OP, whatever) but she's getting back up again which is what we all have/need to do. I absolutely won't quit reading you just b/c of an off week here or there. I was near to your starting weight and only 40 lbs into my weight loss/health journey. It's nice to have someone who I can relate to on so many topics. So you did not lose a reader here...even though you didn't even know you had me. :p

Liway said...

Hey Lyn...great post. I just wanted to say that I don't really pay much attention to your numbers. Whether you gain or lose or eat a few M&Ms doesn't really matter to me. Where I gather the most inspiration and helpfulness from you is in the deeper "why" questions you pose or the "a-ha moments" you discover. These force me to think about my own journey and the challenges that I face. You are helping me solve some deep seated issues that I have regarding letting go of this weight and that is why I keep coming back. I certainly wish you well in your journey and I'll cheer you on no matter what...but it's the digging into self that I appreciate and sincerely want to THANK YOU for that!! :) Whether you gain, lose or just stay the same....you're inspiring to me and others in more ways than you can ever imagine!! Thanks for that!!

Anonymous said...

Lyn,
Your journey is real and that is what draws so many people to your blog! I know that I get encouraged when I read your struggles because they are struggles that I am having too! You are such an inspiration and you deserve days or even weeks where you are allowed to just eat what you like because you know how to eat correctly now and you can just get back on track!
Blessings my friend!
Sarah Lownsbery

April said...

Lyn have I told you how similar our journey's are?! ...because really they are. just recently actually i highlighted you on my blog stating that if my readers ever wonder what i'm feeling that they should read your blog because if you haven't written it already, you are about to!

i myself took a small break from my plan, and picked myself right back up and got back on. i too have at least 25 more pounds to lose, and am for damn sure those pounds will be off before i go home for Christmas. yes my weight loss has slowed down as i've gotten more comfortable, but that doesn't mean i am done.

we'll get these last few pounds off. if i can lose 85 and you can lose 90....heck yes we can lose 25 more!!!

Barb is losing it. said...

Love reading about your journey, it is real... and helps me know I can and will do it too..
I just started my own Blog and love writting in it every day..
You look fabulous.. Keep working because I know you will reach all your goals.
Barb