I feel like I am starting over. But then, I feel like that often, and then I slide back into a complacent maintenance routine that's comfortable and familiar. It is easier to eat like I am used to eating, go about my day in the usual manner, and not *really* shake things up all that much or for that long. But then I don't like how my clothes fit, or how my knees feel, or how the fat has grown back onto my body. I look in the mirror, get on the scale, and see "obesity." Again. I had escaped, and then I slipped back. Not all the way, mind you, but a good 40% regain of what I'd lost. I try to turn it around and be happy I have kept off the 60% for so long. I try to look at the good habits I have kept that made it possible to maintain at a much lower weight. But I am not really satisfied with just that, so I keep trying. I keep working at it and writing about what I am doing so that I can look back and see what worked and what didn't.
The starting-over feeling is not a good one. It's not an excited "I am reborn!" feeling nor a "let's start fresh" renewal. It's an "ugh, I have to do this AGAIN?" thing, and I often wonder how many times I have to do this before it sticks... before obesity is kicked to the curb forever. It is doable; it is possible... my success has taught me that. But it is NOT easy and it is NOT simple, not for me. I am super glad there are people who can just say "I am sick of being fat" and work at it and hit goal and stay there forever, but they seem to be such a small percentage of the people who are actually sick of being fat. I am quite sure the whole thing is way more complicated than the doctor's orders of just "eat less and exercise," because if it were so simple there were be very few fat people among us.
But that doesn't make it a losing battle. Maybe my blog isn't a blog of someone who "did it" and "won" in a year, ending in silence forever after the goal is met, leaving the impression that after success one trots off into the sunset and never has to think about their weight again. But this blog is a good dose of the reality of weight loss. A five-year chronicle of the struggles... not only of losing weight, but of regain, reloss, and the longer battle with obesity... is important. I learn from it. I hope others do too.
There are a lot of components to the process for changing from a morbidly obese person to a healthy BMI person. It is not the same for everyone. I went from someone who ate fast food several times a week to a person who doesn't eat fast food at all; from sodas as a beverage of choice to green tea and black coffee and water; from sitting all day to being up and active in daily life. Actually, the biggest change is that I went from sad and trapped to joyful and free. A lot has changed in five years.
I first had to learn to eat correctly. I cut out the junk and learned to eat more lean protein and fresh produce.
Then I had to work through all the emotional demons... the reasons why I was binge eating.
I was able to stop the bingeing and compulsive overeating that was keeping me trapped in a 278-pound body.
I had to learn about portions and the timing of my meals and how much protein (and how few carbs) it takes to keep me feeling good and energized.
I had to become more active in my daily life, choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, making a habit of parking far away from stores, walking my kids to the park instead of driving, and raking the leaves instead of paying my kids to do it.
Now I am at the point of building a regular exercise routine, getting stronger, and working through these nagging injuries and conditions that have kept me from being more active. I also need to go back and "clean up" my habits a little bit. Sometimes I let things slide.
Just this one piece of bread with my dinner...
Maybe just a little sugar in my coffee...
A few cookies won't hurt...
I am too tired to walk the dogs today...
A few handfuls of almonds, no need to measure...
Those are the little things that can slip back in and that, along with lack of exercise and a few bigger "oh just this once" indulgences here and there are keeping me from getting back out of obesity.
So it's cleanup time and gym time. Kids are starting back to school this week. Let's see what I can do!
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