I've been looking back over my blog, trying to piece together in my head a picture of what has made weight loss success or failure over time for me. Of course, not every dieting attempt I've ever made is chronicled here, but an awful lot of it is. Maybe there are some bit of information that will be helpful going forward.
In the months before I started blogging, my weight had gone up (into the 280's) and down a bit as I tried to get a grip on my weight. In December 2006, I was counting calories and eating 1800/day. By summertime, I was able to get down to 266 pounds, but I was still having periodic binge episodes which landed me at 278 pounds by August, in the very beginning of my blog.
At first, I just focused on not binge eating as much, and eating lots of produce, lean meats, and whole grains. I wasn't counting calories and I was out of shape enough that even a one-block walk left me out of breath. Just by making those small changes, I lost 13 pounds the first month. By October, I had purchased my bike and was riding 5 minutes, 3 times a week. Sounds silly, but it was HARD. I was so out of shape. I had to work up to walking and biking more. By December I was down 30 pounds and able to walk 4 blocks at a time. I went off plan over the Christmas holidays, but maintained at 248 pounds through February 1.
That's when I started calorie counting. I began logging everything I ate and aiming for 1500 calories a day. I was also biking 10 minutes, 3 days a week. I kept this up, increasing my exercise, staying at 1500 calories a day, and having a rare, occasional (but big) binge. By April 1 I weighed 235 pounds and had added lifting weights 3 days a week. May 1, I weighed 228 and was biking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and weight lifting 3 times a week. I kept up this activity pace and 1500 calories a day of eating until I hit my lowest weight, 214 pounds, in August.
Then I stalled out. I regained 11 pounds in one week in August. I was struggling emotionally, started to binge again, stopped exercising. I was stressed to the hilt with marriage issues and kids' health issues, and I let my eating get away from me. Over the next 18 months I tried *so hard* to get back in the groove. I intermittently counted calories (1600-1700), biked, and lifted weights alternating with periods of overeating, ignoring my intake, and not exercising. I went up and down between 222 pounds and 235 pounds, losing or maintaining when I was counting and exercising and gaining when I wasn't.
March 1, 2010, I weighed 234 pounds... a 20 pound regain from my lowest weight. I started Medifast and stayed on it (with some blips here and there, on and off plan, but very few) with very little exercise besides walking. I was eating an average of 900 calories per day, and in 8 months I lost 59 pounds, hitting my lowest weight of 175 pounds in October 2010. I felt GREAT. I maintained in the 170's for the most part, going up into the 180's here and there as I went on and off plan over the holidays. April 1, 2011 I weighed 182 pounds. I was struggling to maintain, and not losing anymore weight. I was finding it very hard to stay strictly on plan. During times of stress and overeating I got up to 198, but by June I was 184 pounds again.
In August 2011 I was eating a whole foods plan and not counting calories, but I gained weight doing this... 199 pounds in February 2012. I went back on Medifast and followed their Transition plan to go off to a whole foods diet. I started counting calories again aiming for 1500/day.Over the summer I went grain free, legume free, and sugar free, aiming for a Primal/Paleo way of eating. Intermittently I biked and lifted weights, too. In the fall I joined two gyms and religiously went to swim and lift weights three times a week. I started counting calories (1300-1400 calories) but was not seeing much in the way of results. I ate more when frustrated, sick, and stressed and saw the scale start creeping up again. By November, I weighed 222 pounds and went back on Medifast, trying desperately to stop the regain.
2013 has been interesting. I pretty much stayed within 5 pounds of 217 all year. I was very inactive due to plantar fasciitis, I went on and off plan with Medifast until I began the 4&2 Plan over the summer. I finally got down to 208 pounds and have been back on the 5&1 Plan since September 1.
So that leads me to the present time. I will tell you I am really sick of dieting, but that's nothing new. I am even more sick of being fat... even though I am 70 pounds *less fat* than I was when I began.
I didn't write this whole thing out for *you.* I know all of this is already on my blog. I wrote it out for *me*, because I do not want to keep making the same mistakes over again. This regain has been very frustrating. I have spent a lot of energy trying to get out of it, only to spin my wheels. Well, I am proud of maintaining and not gaining back another 70 pounds or more. I know that is a big accomplishment. But I want to get out of this rut... this rut of dieting and getting nowhere. Yes, I have lost 2 pounds this month. Ten pounds this year. But I am sorry, I just cannot believe or accept that THAT is all I am capable of... that it is the best I can do.
My story goes forward from here. I keep chronicling my activity and intake. I NEED to see bigger losses and I NEED to feel more energized. There is an answer here somewhere. I am taking the rest of this month to really work it out... what has gone wrong, what has gone right, what does my body really need right now? What am I capable of? While I work on that I am continuing Medifast 5&1 and will start biking as soon as I have my bike tomorrow. October 1, I will reassess. I just can't do this for another six years.