Tuesday, May 29, 2012

True Self

Thinking some more about what I wrote yesterday...

Really, this whole thing is not about figuring out how to lose weight. I kind of thought it was; I was reading a lot and researching and listening to what works for other people and trying to find *the right* method for me to lose weight. I think subconsciously I believed if I found *the way*, everything would fall into place and the weight would start coming off again. After all, it did before. I found *way 1* (which I talked about in my last blog post) and lost 64 pounds doing that. There was some minor tweaking along the way... cut calories gradually from 1800 to 1500, and increased exercise gradually from nothing to 6 days a week. But it worked, it was WORK, yes, but the pounds came off and the process did not interfere terribly with my life. It *became* part of my life and even enhanced it. But it somehow got harder to manage at some point, and the pounds weren't coming off, and then I regained a good chunk of the weight (31 pounds) while I was *still* counting calories (but binge eating occasionally), biking (but not as regularly due to pain/injury issues), and blogging. I finally managed to lose 11 of those pounds and then got stuck again, at which point I found *way 2*, Medifast, which I followed fairly strictly for 8 months and lost another 59 pounds. When I stopped being able to adhere to Medifast strictly (diet fatigue, really... eating from packets for over 8 months gets tiring), the weight stopped coming off, and I started regaining what I'd lost. So lately I have been trying to find *way 3.* Is the the Whole 30? Paleo or Primal? How about Weight Watchers? There must be a *way 3* that is the next step for me to lose another chunk of weight.

But you know, really this is not about the food, or the diet, or the "lifestyle change" or whatever you want to call it. It is not about finding "the way." It is simply about discovering how to incorporate food and activity into my life *now* in a way that will result in pounds lost and health gained. It is about being happy and joyful and eating things that do not cause me to be obsessive about food. It is about being active in things I enjoy doing, whether that's hiking or biking or doing yard work or dog sports. It is not about fitting my life around a diet and exercise program. It is about melding food and activity with the joyful life I already have, with an end result of health and a healthy weight.

THAT is why *way 1* worked for me so well, I think. I did not twist my life into some contortioned existence that I barely recognized and was uncomfortable for me. It was not about shoving this darned square peg into a round hole because *it should fit here.* That's kind of what my life has become recently: an anxious striving to MAKE IT WORK. I've been yanking my life around trying to force it to be something it was never meant to be. And with the added pressure of sick children, sick pets, and my own sickness, it all came to a head this past few weeks and I have finally had to step back and say, enough.

I'm not sure if I'm expressing myself well here, but I hope you understand what I am saying.

Bottom line, I need to get back to my true self.


DawnieP said...

Amen to that. Honestly I totally relate to you. I'd lost 60lbs myself gained a bit lost a bit and so on. I tapped into a habit a lot of my very slim friends had which was they never stopped eating. I started eating more within the confines of my slimming world plan and I started hitting good losses again. I know when I was keeping a low calorie count I wasn't eating enough and probably hurting my own metabolism. Now I'm eating every 3/4 hours even if it's only a banana. Thats just whats working for me though. You're doing amazingly I hope you can find that nice equilibrium again!



Karen said...

Keep going. You will eventually find what it is that works. I also believe that you'll be brought to the point of having to face, deal with, or go over barriers that were previously in your way during the process to get to your goals.

Wishing you the strength, courage and wisdom to stay on track and to go forward. As long as you believe you can do it, you will.

You are worth all of that work. Good luck and safe travels. Karen P

Making Changes in 2012 said...

Hi Lynn,

Long time reader, first time commenting. :)

Do you monitor how much water you drink? I find that my weight loss slows down or stops if I don't get in at least 100 ounces of water.

Stay strong and keep your head up!!!

Cathie said...

It takes the "average" smoker 8-11 times of quitting before he/she actually does quit. The bottom line is - you keep trying - and succeeding to some extent. Cudos for that - really. It is clear that you are strong and determined. You will succeed. Whether it's by option 1, option 2, option 3, option 4, option 1 and 2, option 2 and 4, etc., etc., just keep working at it, keep trying - don't give up!

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister!



Anonymous said...

Dear Lynn,
I have enjoyed your blog for years! Please do not stop writing,no matter what. Your are hardly the first person who has struggled with losing weight. Life is not as simple as tHe "success stories" that we read about.
Take care.

16 blessings'mom said...

Lyn, once again I could have almost written this post myself, as far as the Part One phase goes. I lost almost 60 pounds. But I have slowed way down and am trying to figure things out again. What worked before doesn't work anymore, and it is rather No Fair that all this denying myself and exercising is only maintaining my weight, or helping me lose very slowly. But I am not giving up, and I know you won't either. Thank you SO much for sharing, I get so much inspiration from reading your blog. Hang in there!


Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree. Everyone and their dog can scribe on and on about the successes, but painfully sharing the failures,,,,,,ahem,,, I mean learning experiences takes real moxie. I admire your candor. It lets every lonely, exhausted, dispirited person struggling with the same challenges know that they are not alone , their feelings arent "crazy",,, and tomorrows always another fresh start. If we havent run out of days, we shall NOT run out of hope!

MargieAnne said...

Discovering what works best for you is definitely the key and quite a challenge too.

I fully understand your reference to not wanting to feel like a square pole being squashed up to fit a round hole.

I've just read the blog of a friend, http://achangeoflife.blogspot.co.nz/ who has been successful in losing her small amount of weight. I quote her. "The other day I said that I couldn't really put a name to how I ate as I'm not totally Paleo or low carb or primal - then a blogger friend came up with a name for her eating "The Freedom Plan for Life". Great huh? She calls it this because she is "free from counting calories, counting points, free from dieting, free from all those foods that have caused havoc with my health for so many years. I am free!!" How cool, I totally agree - I told her I'd steal the idea :) So my take on it is "Freedom for Life"... kind of catchy too! Freedom from all the shackles of dieting for a healthier life."

I think we are all seeking this kind of relationship with food.


Anonymous said...

I disagree with one of the comments. I think it is an awful idea to eat all the food you have been craving - even if just one a day.

I firmly, firmly believe that obsession with food is physiological and not psychological. Sugary, high-carb foods are downright damanging if you are insulin resistant (which I think you are Lyn), not because they are high calorie but because they just make it hard to stop eating.

Lyn, I really think the reason you did well on Medifast was because it was low-carb and that sugar-driven obsession was quelled. Now, I don't think Medifast was ever sustainable because, like you said, you are eating out of a packet, BUT the lesson there is that you do better on lower carb and I think, higher fat (animal fat!).

Fruits are great, but if you are insulin resistant, they are just like popping little sweeties.

I do think we need to eat fewer calories to create a calorie deficit, but it needs to be in a sustainable way. You should NEVER feel like you are fighting against yourself or you are just going to gain it back. Rather, once you get over the initial hurdles (such as the initial sugar cravings), you should not feel like you are fighting yourself.

Low-carb, high-fat (mainly animal fat), whole foods was my ticket to freedom. Honestly, when I first switched over, I gained about 18 pounds. I fiddled, and read, and tried different things for 2 weks at a time and suddenly I found what worked for ME! And then the weight melted off. It iwas great becaused I knew that that was it for life - I'd found what had worked for me and I was fixed. and I am.

You should really think about low-carb, high fat. It helps to end the cycle.


Anonymous said...

I think there comes a time in a big person's life when they have to say 'Enough!' Enough of diets..because it's the diet word that tends to screw us up. You hit the nail on the head when you used the word 'sustainable' because unless you have the will of a saint, there comes a point when diets stop working - for whatever reason.

You have done so well, and in your post I ticked off all sorts of plus points. You no longer buy junk foods, you now appreciate fruit and vegetables, you are cokking healthy meals for the family, you've enjoyed being active again. Look how you have turned your life around!

OK, so you still want to be slimmer, but let that stlimmness happen as a part of life, not as your whole focus. Long term dieting does mess with our heads. Carry on doing all the good things..and keep getting outside in the fresh air. As you said, life is what it's all about - enjoying life. For you, that no longer means tucking into a burger with fries. You've opened up your life and I think you should not only pat yourself on the back for a wonderful achievement, but take time now to be thankful for all you have and pledge to continue eating healthily. Enjoy life...a lighter and more active life, and slowly, but surely I have a feeling that the weight will come off. It's not a race..it's about being good to ourselves, without being obsessed with the scale, food and diet plans.

I wish you well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn!

My freedom came when I started doing Kay Sheppard food plan. I know I am a food addict and this is the only plan that has saved me.
I weigh and measure my portions and then let go, no more obsessing over food. Lost 140 pounds and have kept it off for 5 years.

I know for sure this food plan has saved my life.

Good luck with everything!

Dillypoo said...

You can't build a house with only one tool. Same with building a new healthy you. You need different tools at different stages. What worked before may not now, so find a new tool to help finish the job (or at least get you to the next level).

You're an inspiration, as always! Keep it real, Lyn, and thank you for sharing. We're not alone!

Vickie said...

I don't know if this will help you, but it is what I ask myself on a very regular basis and have been blogging about for years:

What do I mean to be doing?
What am I actually doing?
Is it working?

Three very simple little questions that put me back in touch my with reality. Sometimes it is getting back to basics. Sometimes it is unlearning/undoing neuropathways that have been set for a long time (Jill Bolte Taylor's My Stroke of Insight). Sometimes it is looking for new ways. It is always looking for simple and practical and reality.

Kandi said...

I completely understand! I am only 30, but have unfortunately have a lot of experience on the loss/gain roller coaster. I know that is because up until this time around, I was making some change that would be impossible to keep up, for one reason or another. This time I am eating better, in a way that I can see doing for the rest of my life. I have found a new love in running and make sure to keep the motivation going by signing up for races in advance. And so far so good - I am going for my 70 lbs lost mark this week. I've been at it for almost 18 months now, so it has been a sloooow process.

You are amazing, keep up the great work. You will find your true self again! I know how hard it is.