Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pee or Get Off the Pot

It's something I have seen over and over again in my 3.5 years of blogging: people say they are going to lose weight, but they don't. Or maybe they do, a little, and then stop, stall, or regain. Sometimes people blog for months, even years, about 'weight loss' but never see a significant loss... never reach their goals. What is it about people?

Well, I am one of them. At least, in some ways I am. In a lot of ways. I am just the same as everyone else who makes goals, has wants, and just never quite gets there. Back when I started blogging, I did lose weight. People started reading and cheering me on... for four months. Then I stalled for 2 months with no loss in the winter, but wow, after that, I blazed right down to my lowest weight in a decade: 214 pounds. I had a lot of confidence. I did a lot of work. People were flocking to me for inspiration as they watched me drop those 64 pounds and gain back my life. It felt *amazing.* I was a "weight loss success story" even though I was not done losing.

And then, if you've been reading for long, you may know or remember that I started to regain weight a bit and then spent the next TWENTY MONTHS going up and down the same 20-30 pounds between 220 and 245. Just look at the "Weight By Month" list on the left sidebar of this page. See it? Kind of discouraging there for awhile! Not much loss going on. Can you imagine going for almost two years working on weight loss and seeing no net results on the scale? That was a hard time for me. And it was also a time I lose long-time readers and got hostile and hurtful emails telling me I was "not an inspiration anymore" and that I was "not serious about losing weight." Well, those folks were wrong. I still was doing the work I needed to do to keep this weight off, and I was ever so serious about losing weight. When I finally picked up and started to lose again, I blazed off 59 pounds and got down to 175. Once again, I was a "weight loss success story." Some people suggested I was "done" and didn't even need to lose more weight. And then, you guessed it, another stall. I hit 175 almost three MONTHS ago, bounced back up a bit, and have been hanging out around 178 ever since. WHY? Am I done? Or what?

I am not done, and sometimes even I do get frustrated with myself for taking so long to get to my goal. I know I need to drop more weight for the health of my knees and other joints. And just as I knew all these 3.5 years, I know I am going to get there. But sometimes, like last night when I ate a shortbread cookie, I snark at myself, "will you just pee or get off the pot already???"

And I see that in the blogging world, too. The attitude seems to be that if you have a "weight loss" blog, you darn well better be losing weight and not "goofing off". Weight loss blogs come and go at an alarming rate. People blog and lose (or don't) and regain. People give up. And they... you... are NO DIFFERENT than I am, with one exception: I do not give up.

You do have to work hard at it, and you do have to be serious about it and make the hard choices and tell yourself NO. You do need to see some semblance of "weight loss" over time. If not, why are you on the pot? I don't mean 2 weeks, I don't mean 2 months. I mean, if you really do want this, you have to work at it and make it happen. And then if you stall out for awhile because, after all, dieting is stressful (even if you call it a "lifestyle change") and TAKES TIME. Yes it is fine if you can lose all your excess weight in 3 months and be done, but it is also fine if you take longer... as long as you are actually DOING IT. It can be in spurts or in a long stretch but if nothing AT ALL is happening it is time to reassess. Don't give up while you reassess, though. Keep trying, working at it. Don't beat your head against a wall, though, doing the same thing over and over if it isn't working. Try a million different, safe, sane approaches. Go at it from the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sides until you find an "in" and the weight is coming off. Pep talking ones' self is nice, and can be helpful, but actual WEIGHT LOSS is the goal here. Even with stalls and hard spots, there should be some kind of reasonable progress over the course of a year, two years, don't you think? If there is no progress, maybe it is time to get off the pot and to a counselor.

I am no icon of weight loss, even though I have lost 100 pounds. What I am a symbol of is perseverance, tenacity, dedication to a goal. I am not done here, but I am not going to sit on the pot for another month just staring at the wall. Time for some action.

38 comments:

Thrice Blessed said...

I just went through similar thoughts with myself, and decided it was time to reassess. (http://thriceblessed-lessofme.blogspot.com/2011/01/why-did-i-make-change.html) I'm really hoping my revised approach will work and keep working, but if not I will reassess in another few months and try something else. Like you said, don't keep on doing something that isn't working, keep trying different safe approaches until you find what works.

Neva4getme said...

Great post!!! I'm a "slow loser", mainly because I don't track on weekends :) I have ZERO time with two small daughters aged 2 and 4 - I'm just too happy enjoying my time with them :) I don't care though! I KNOW I'll make it! I found an exercise I like (dancing) and have been doing it for over a year now - CONSISTENTLY. Nothing wrong with SLOW I say!

kathyj333 said...

Thank God for people who admit their flaws. What bugs me about some bloggers is that they lose a significant amount of weight, and then think they know everything there is to know about weight loss. They then go about telling the rest of us what we're doing wrong—sometimes even in tones that aren't so nice.

So thank you for this post. I appreciate someone who knows how hard it is and isn't afraid to ay so.

Kathy said...

Thanks, I really needed that pep talk today. I am a repeat offender and am at it again. It is just going so slow for me this time. But I have never given up and that it the key. I am teetering on obese and overweight but if I had given up I would be morbidly obese with serious health problems and for that I am so proud of myself and you should be too!!!

Hallie said...

I identify with this post. I lost a lot of weight, but then paused and then gained some back, sometimes trying to get back on track but not staying on track very long. I guess I always kinda figured that I'd lose weight the way you did - lose some, stop, gain some but not all the back to where I was, lose a little more and get lower than I had before, then settle, gain a little back but... like a ball bouncing down stairs. Congrats on your success and here's hoping mine follows along!

Amy said...

Your accomplishments are amazing and inspirational, but the draw for me, is reading about the obstacles you face and how you handle them. Your grace in the face of challenges, and your tenacity is just as inspirational to me as your weight loss!

Andra said...

This is why I absolutely hate the idea of "dieting", because the majority of people still believe they can "diet" to lose the weight then go back to couch surfing and eating Cheetos. Lifestyle change is NOT the same as a diet! I can't stress that hard enough.

The Late Great Jack Lalanne said it best... "It's a lifestyle, it's something you do for the rest of your life. How long are you going to keep breathing?"

RickGetsFit.ca said...

You're bang on, again. Good inspiration to stay on the steady course of working hard. Cheers, Rick

Nicole said...

So inspiring and well-put. Support is really wonderful, but those mean e-mails are shocking. No one else can be responsible for your health but you, good or bad.

Everyone's body and thus their progress is unique, but sticking to it and working hard is great work by anyone.

Great perspective, you know you're trying and that's what really matters!

Ellie said...

You are an inspiration and if anything your flaws make you relate-able.
Keep doing what you are doing because it is the right thing!

LeFebvre Momma said...

I decided this last Christmas that I was NOT going to be one of the bloggers who writes for years and in the end weighs more than when I started. Last year I lost 6 pounds (in 12 months - 6 pounds). However, this year I am already going fast than before. I have pledged to do at least 1000 minutes of cardio every month. I have been working out harder than I ever have in my life and though I am tired ti feels great. This is the year that I get the weight off - next year is the year that I maintain!! Thanks for your encouragement!

ShrinkingDoc said...

It's a process. But I wish it was easy to figure out how to get back in the "zone"! Hope you get there!

Kimberly said...

Thank you for your post. Do you mind if I print it off and use it for daily inspiration?

Anonymous said...

Changing a lifetime of behavior takes time. Haven't we all proven to ourselves over and over again that quick fixes just get us back to the same place all over again? Or worse, even more obese than before? As long as you have not given up and YOU haven't-just because the pounds are not coming off does not mean you are not still on the road. Taking a break, or going off course also doesn't mean you are off course for good unless you stay off course and give up. And YOU clearly haven't. I have to tell msyelf this all the time. Reading your blog helps remind me of it as well.
I have been following your blog for just a couple of months and even though you been struggling through, I still find your blog one of the best out there. You are honest, about what you are doing and determined not to give up. (Maybe you should have gotten a Bulldog as your mascot instead of a German Shepard as your trainer;-)
I have been at it for five years. 30 pounds, first round, held on to the weight loss for two years, 20 pounds, second round, hung there for two more years, and now 20 more in round three with less than 10 to goal. Before I started back to lose this last 20, there were moments I thought I must be done or else I would be back on track to getting to my goal. But I knew I wasn't done. I just needed to try something different. So I did. You will figure it out. You have come this far for yourself and helped so many others along the way - you are far from done with this journey. Carry on...

Debbie said...

Great post, honest & inspiring. I've been saying the same thing to myself. I went into a stall in October, I've only lost 3 lbs. since then. I know the reason is that I let up on my exercise routine. I've been really inconsistent. It is time to get tough with myself. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

Lyn said...

Kimberly~

feel free :)

Courtney said...

I think it would be odd if someone could make such a monumental shift in say, three quick months. I mean, it took you YEARS to gain that weight, and I think it makes sense that it's taken years to take it off. Only this time, the work you're doing is mental instead of reaching for the M & M's.

Life doesn't have such a simple "beginning" and "end" as people wish it did. Even after you've hit your ultimate goal weight, there is still work to do to STAY there. Show me a "maintenance" blog that has a lot of followers? It's just not as exciting or drama filled. But guess what; that's LIFE. Sometimes maintaining is the hardest part.

Keep up the good work; you're a great inspiration!

Hanlie said...

I don't like the term "weight loss blog" anymore, because I think that even once you' have lost the weight, the journey continues. Yes, the focus might change, but we're not out of the woods yet. I have been reading your blog for years not, and I come back not because of the number on the scale, but because I identify with your struggle and I your truths resonate with me.

Ladonna said...

I found your blog by mistake several months ago, while looking for a recipe for meatloaf for my husband (who was on Adkins). Since then, I keep coming back, privately cheering you on.

I love this last entry! You're so right...weight loss is a journey not just about the body, but also about the soul. Therefore, there will be seasons of maintenance, and maybe even some gains. But moving forward, no matter how slowly, is what counts. And that is what you're doing.

Congrats!

Wencked said...

I feel like I've been trying FOREVER. But the more I work at it the more I learn so much is mental. I can give myself excuses for not eating right or not working out like I should (or said I would) or I can give myself credit for not eating the chips that are calling to me from the pantry. I have to believe in myself that I am moving in the right direction, no matter what the roadblocks (the ones I make for myself or the ones that are put in my way).

I get inspiration from reading blogs like yours and Bitchcakes and others....I also watch shows like the Biggest Loser and the new show Heavy. Seeing other people struggle, succeed and still struggle and push thru and still succeed keeps me moving forward.

so thanks!!!

cindy said...

I love it. So I must confess and tell you that I've gained/lost the same 6 - 8 pounds since Christmas Eve. It soooo stupid and it sets me up to constantly berate myself. Which must be what I get out of the situation...which is why I can't seem to move past it. ugh. Thanks as always for the insight..

-c

Anne said...

I've just lost 56 lbs, and it was fast. But I have over a 100 lbs to go, and it has to be a marathon not a sprint. I lost all the weight twenty years ago and put it all back on and more. I thought then it was a matter of 'discipline'. It really isn't, it's about learning about yourself, and keeping at it.

I love your blog, I read it every few days, I love your honesty. There is no 'right' way to lose weight, and I have read some horribly spiteful bloggers on here who spend most of their day attacking others. Your blog is lovely, very inspirational, you're doing brilliantly!

losing_it said...

People can be so cruel behind their little curtain of anonymity... but you are an inspiration. Even if you never lose another pound, and even if (God forbid) you gain it all back - you still have the cajones to talk about the issues you are facing, to put it all out there for everyone to read.

I've just started reading your blog, but I'm no stranger to the roller coaster. After reading blogs like yours, I decided to start my own. Hopefully, being able to go back and look at my ramblings will help me break through my own issues and come out healthier (and lighter) on the other side.

So congrats on all you've done, and thanks for sharing all your ups and downs!

Marie said...

I've been on a weight loss/ get fit journey most of my life and for me its time to get off the scale, put down the hamburger, and get on the treadmill. I'm losing slowly but steadily now. But I don't even care about the weight loss, (although it is nice) all I care about is that I am taking the time to enjoy the food I eat (which I've found I don't really like hamburgers), and to enjoy my life and family. yes it may take me years but I don't really care how it takes anymore.

://: Héni ://: said...

You are so right! Thanks for reminding us all and encouraging us!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

AMEN! Every single word of this is so true and so me!
I have been at the gym every morning at 6:00 a.m. and I am not stopping this time! I will lose this 60 pounds !!!!!
We can do this!
Have a pretty day!
Kristin

Anonymous said...

I still think losing it slower is the better way to go. Skin has more time to shrink. The nurse at the hospital told me they see people in there getting gallbladders removed regularly from losing too fast as well. (that is what happened to me). Just keep doing it, you'll be fine.

PaulaM

Jane Cartelli said...

Keep removing from your life the things, (people and places, too ) that do not bless your life - and that includes rude posts and emails.

Jane~
Keepingthepoundsoff.com

Jill said...

Lyn, you're a breath of fresh air. You haven't always seen yourself as such, but you are the epitome of tenacity. No one who has ever lost weight, or completed a challenge of any kind, has done so perfectly from start to finish. That's superhuman. You remind us that we are human. Flawed, addicted, lazy, tired, whatever . . . We are real, and as long as we are putting one foot in front of the other (even when the road is doubling back on itself or taking a detour) we are making progress. And it's the journey that makes us what we are, not the destination. You'll "get off the pot" when it's time for you to make the next "push," I have no doubt. Go Lyn!

w0rld4vamps said...

Thank you for this. Honestly, lately I feel like I've been slacking off and I want to Make Sure I'm not going to get lazy and Keep going. This is good to hear. I NEEDED to hear this.

Thank you.

bbubblyb said...

This post hit home with me for sure. This is a life change and it's not about ever giving up on wanting the healthy living for ourselves. I don't think it needs to be about a number on the scale either but more about how we feel and how we live day to day and it being a healthy life. I've been following along with you for a long time and it has little to do with weight loss but more with identifying with you as a person, a mom, so many reasons. *hugs*

Maude said...

I was looking back at my "before" pics, and imagine my shock when they were labelled as 1999! I've been doing this for 10 years. I'm only 31. That's a third of my life. It's taken me that long to get to around 15 lbs from goal. And you know what? That's fine. Because that entire 10 years I've been learning the tools I need to stay at my goal weight for the rest of my life.

Sophia said...

You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself. Loosing weight is a stressful process. And when you've lost so much weight, it's normal (and sometimes better) to maintain a certain weight, in order to allow yourbody to get used to the weight change. This way you create a 'memory' for your body of a thinner you. Take breaks, just come back stronger!

Diandra said...

Are you serious??? People berate you for not losing weight fast enough???

That's plain ridiculous.

Your progress over the years has been amazing, and the only person you have to report to is - yourself. In the end, many people (including me) are happy that you are willing to share your story.

Deniz said...

Losing the weight and keeping it off is a lifetime commitment - and, yes, it's darned hard to do! Big 'however' coming up...

However, it isn't a race and it can happen in fits & starts (has done for me). This is frustrating, but it is NOT wrong!

As for me, well I'm still peeing :-) even though the flow has reduced to a trickle of late.

But I won't give up and it is that same 'never give in' attitude that I've admired in you for so long.

You've been such an inspiration to me since I started this journey. Lyn, never change that spirit. You are WONDERFUL!

Anonymous said...

I sometimes think that one of the reasons there is a part of me that maybe *doesn't* want to reach my goal is because losing and gaining weight ('fighting' this) has just been a part of my life. It's become a part of my *identity* and losing that part of me is scary.

It is also scary to think that maybe, just maybe, I won't be able to blame my problems on my weight. Maybe the weight was never the problem at all? Maybe I'll have to face *other* issues that cause me to self-sabotage.

Hope that makes sense.

Sunny said...

My blog isn't called "Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight!" for nuthin.

Nail, meet the hammer. :)

GREAT post. I'm right there with ya! :)

Big White Granny Panties said...

thank you. thank you thank you thank you for that post. am new here and it was just what i needed to hear today.

xoxo