Saturday, March 24, 2012

Not the Fairy Tale

Sometimes I wish my "weight loss journey" was confined to a neat little box of my life... a specific nine months or year or a year and a half with a distinct beginning and ending marked by "before" and "after" pictures. But it's not like that. Oh, I started out *intending* it to be that way. That's what the media portrays, right? You "start", you lose the weight, you celebrate! You go on your way la-la-la to your perfect non-fat life. I don't know too many people who really have it like that, though. You don't see a whole lot of follow-up for the next three or five or ten years after people get to their goal. Maybe it's mostly a sham anyway. Most people I know, and most people I've followed online, struggle and regain. But we don't want to shine the spotlight on THAT. That's not the shiny gold star we want to see at the end. We want the pretty fairy tale.

My life is not a fairy tale, but it's pretty darn good anyway. I guess it's a good thing for people, including myself, to realize that weight loss itself does not 'fix' everything and that losing the weight is just another part of your life. It's a section of the stream you're floating down, heading to the ocean in the end. We all die someday. Part of what we're trying to do, here, is make the trip there longer and more pleasant. Right? I think so. Weight loss has definitely made my trip more pleasant.

I want more, though. This week, my body is telling me that I am not doing enough for it. I had migraines... debilitating, nauseating, vision-distorting migraines... all week. I had been relatively free of headaches for a long time but they have cropped up with a vengeance. I think it is related to lack of sleep, but I am also looking at my diet to see what has changed. The biggest thing is the increase in carbs.

I am still giving my body time to get used to eating lots of whole foods again. I think if I keep at this, things will level out and my health will improve along with my weight. As tempting as it is to restrict drastically to see the scale go down, I am done with that. I refuse to let a number on the scale prod me into behavior that I think is not healthy for me. What I believe is healthy, for me, is to get more sleep, watch those carbs, eat whole foods, keep up with the exercise. I have this dream... this vision... that if I do these things, eventually, suddenly, the weight will start falling off again. I believe that. We'll see.


Anonymous said...

I believe in you and your "Non- Fairy Tale" Thanks for keeping it real.

Anonymous said...

You got this in the bag! Your food is so healthy I am sure your body will respond. Best wishes to you.

Ron from NJ said...

"weight loss itself does not 'fix' everything"

I think that sums up my biggest problem with weight loss. The fear of losing it all and my life still sucking.

I MUST keep telling myself that even IF THAT IS TRUE, it won't be as bad if I am in shape. I will be able to breathe better and buy cheaper clothes. Those two things alone should be enough...let alone being able to ride roller coasters again.

Best of luck...I am here.

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Ellesar said...

I am discovering that weight loss is only part of the 'journey', but that even if your life still 'sucked' you would at the very least have a greatly enhanced sense of personal physical wellbeing, improved health, and improved self esteem.

And though most people hate to admit it - people ARE generally more attentive and respectful if you are slimmer rather than fatter. This is something that is a nasty aspect of Western society, but it isn't going to disappear any time soon.

Princess Dieter said...

I couldn't get going on weight loss for a long time, years, though I'd tried. Lose a few, gain them back..and more. Never got anywhere, anywhere near not being obese.

But it was fruitful wen I began that blog. I pretty much stopped the trajectory of gains, lost a bit, and kept that lost bit off for the years I wasn't losing, but was learnign to exercise and build muscle.

Two years after building muscle and beginning to feel better, I began to loss phase. BUT...that was 3 years after starting my weight loss blog, and I had read enough (including on bariatric surgery which I considered STRONGLY) to see the pattern of loss, regain, loss, regain. Or, more sadly, loss, regain, and disappearance (bloggers who just went bye-bye or deleted blogs rather than face the shame.)

Which is one reason I admire you. You do not disappear. You let us see your struggle...month in and month out, the hard work. And that's why I believe you will ultimately succeed. YOu keep at it rather than throwing in the towel and blanking out your blog.

I went into this in 2010 with studying those who maintained successfully, cause I assumed I'd be doomed for regain if I didn't learn what they learned...somehow, what I had to do not to regain my loss. I saw how VERY HARD it is to keep it off. I learned I'd be eating at dieting caloric levels FOR LIFE and having to move my butt FOR LIFE and having to be vigilant FOR LIFE.

I realized I had to find a way to eat I could live with. Not packaged, not limited time, but forever, cause the ones who maintain did just that. Found a way to control portions, keep to a caloric level, schedule exercise, and work on emo-issues, psych-issues and other things that might hinder a structured, self-controlled way of eating for life.

It sucks. I wish there was an easier way, but in 2010, I realized I had to stop wishing that.

I'm now in my first crucible since that day of decision. The point where regain is easy, loss seems impossible (with 20 + pounds yet to go to goal), and motivation flags.

So, I am doing what I did in 2010. Facing the truth, reading maintainers, going through the affirmations and other habits that got me going in 2010. I haven't binged. I haven't gone nuts. But this is the first big, huge, honking trial. Do I do it? Do I regain?

I am the one who has to unflinchingly decide. It's scary, but I knew this day was coming. It comes for all dieters.

Now, I pass or fail.

I'm working to pass.

And as long as I keep at it, I have the hope to be one of the 5%.

Let's be in that minority, Lyn. Hard as it is. Let's make this stick.

God bless us all in thsi fight...

Colleen said...

Hi Lynn,

I'm checking in after week 1 on topomax for weight loss and headache prevention. It seems timely to mention after your week full of migraines. So far, my energy is up and consistent, less affected by what and when I eat, and appetite is down. My carb sensitivity is reduced (energy level much more stable after carb consumption, and I don't bloat up the next day from more than one grain serving). Only side effect so far is that all diet coke tastes flat to me! My one indulgence! I guess I have to be entirely virtuous now ;). The scale is down about a pound, we'll have to see if that's just water weight or what. I haven't changed my diet, if anything it wasn't the best week nutritionally (nor the worst).

purpleivy said...

After some time on the Dukan plan I realised that I hadn't had any migraines for a while. When I abused my system and ate badly I got a couple. Back on the Dukan and it was no migraine. Last week rather off the plan and it was a mega migraine as well.

Bear in mind it was only after I had been on the Dukan sometime that I googled migraine + Low fat and found stuff on it.

I like reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

I predict a good loss this week! I think you will be down several lbs tomorrow.

LHA said...

You are on the right track. At least that is what I have found for myself. Severe restriction always, always, always leads to weight gain afterward for me. It took me decades of "dieting" to learn that, sadly. Stay with your healthy eating plan and let it take where you need to go. I think you are doing very well transitioning from medifast, as those types of changes are often difficult. Good for you!

timothy said...

just hang in hon if you do what you know you need to your body will eventually have to respond accordingly! xoxoxoxo

Caron said...

Another blogger recommended a movie that we can watch online free until the end of the month. It is called Hungry for Change and I enjoyed it very much. You can find it here: