Saturday, January 11, 2014

Is There An Escape From Obesity?

As I sit in my recliner hour after hour, not because I want to, but because of the pain it takes to get up and walk, I look back over my six years of blogging and part of me starts to wonder: is there really an escape from obesity, for me? For the first time in six and a half years, I am seriously having doubts. All this time I've thought, well, I made it this far. I escaped *morbid* obesity. I changed my life, my habits, everything. I don't wear 3X shirts and size 26 jeans anymore and I honestly believe I never will again. And in 2010 I actually did escape obesity. I got there. I weighed 185 pounds when my BMI moved out of the obese category and into "overweight" and I went on to lose ten more. Three years later and I'm in a really bad place physically. I can't believe it. It's like a nightmare that won't stop.

I put on a brave face to the world. When I go out I smile, at least as much as I can remember to through the pain. I try very hard to do my usual things, but over the last 2 years it's become less and less. I go out less, I do less, because it hurts too much. And when I write here or talk to others about the weight thing, I try to find motivation and hope and all of that... to BELIEVE I can do this again, to truly know it is possible and all I have to do is do the work. But for the first time, I actually don't think so. Underneath the "I will do this" there is a person who is starting to accept that maybe I can't.

That doesn't mean I am giving up. It means, I guess, that my spirit is just... I dunno. Yes I am going to the doctor (again) and maybe a new PT (again) and yes I am eating well and trying to bike and I could be forcing myself to do more, lift weights and do a bunch of sit ups and everything but you know what, I have put my heart and soul and tons of effort into this SO MANY TIMES and failed, that I am starting to think that's all it's going to be, so why try? Why try.

I am not feeling depressed about it, I am just suddenly seeing the possibility that maybe I can't fix this. I never allowed that to be a possibility before. And now, it just seems I might be better off accepting that I am not going to heal, that something is wrong that they can't fix, and that I need to stop beating my head against a wall trying to... escape obesity. I guess.

I don't want it to be this way, but I am just not sure what else to think anymore.

I'll be letting this sink in a bit, thinking it over, but in the meantime I'm just plugging along with my diet and exercise... not because I think it will get me out of obesity again, but because it's the only thing I know to do to at least improve my health and well being in other ways.

I appreciate all of your support over the years, I really do. Thank you for all your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and prayers.

31 comments:

Kara said...

Lyn, I know you and I haven't agreed over the years and I know you might take this wrong, but I see this statement as being exemplary of your entire time of trying to lose weight:

"I could be forcing myself to do more, lift weights and do a bunch of sit ups and everything but ... "

I could be ... but.

You have made progress in the past when you've put your mind to it, but right now you don't want to put your mind or effort to it. Over the last 2 years you could have been lifting weights with your upper body and burning calories. You could have been doing situps/crunches. You could have been eating better. You could have stuck with a plan for more than a few weeks. You could have stuck with therapy. You could have .. but.

Until you get to the point that you stop saying "but" ... nothing is going to change.

Betsey C. said...

Oh Lyn, I am so sorry. i am sorry for you, and I am sorry for me, too. Some day they will discover the reasons why we overeat, and why we are obsessed with food much like an alcoholic is obsessed with drink.

Until that time comes, we must never give up. We must keep trying to escape from obesity in whatever way we can.

It is so hard to motivate ourselves when we are in pain. Pain is debilitating physically and mentally. I know, because I have rheumatoid arthritis. So I understand feeling defeated by pain.

Hang in there, dear Lyn! Keep trying and don't give up. We are all in this together.

timothy said...

I don't know what to say to this darlin. I'm of two minds I wanna give you a BIG hug and I wanna shake you till your teeth rattle! giving up will only lead to weight gain and a gain will make the obstacles you're facing far worse. take a couple of days and mull it over, throw a pity party do what you have to then get back on the horse and keep going! in the long run something will give and we both know that. I do agree that you just need to make a decision and then stick to it whatever it may be as I think we all need structure in our lives. sending positive vibes your way!

screaming fatgirl said...

No one can know what it is like to live in your skin or in your life circumstances. There is a point at which greater effort yields fewer results for each person. This issue with diminishing returns is very personal and another 10-20 lbs. loss is very hard to maintain.

You have to find the point for yourself where the weight you maintain is doable with your energy levels, time, and commitment capability. I once got down to about 150 lbs., but I could only manage it by exercising 90 minutes a day five days a week and dieting.

When I got a boyfriend and a job with a different schedule, I couldn't do that much exercise and regained. My body simply won't go lower than 185 lbs. and it only stays there were 45 minutes of some moderate exercise five days a week and dieting with no more than 1800 calories per day.

Not everyone can be thin. You can only be the best and healthiest you can be. Don't let anyone tell you to push beyond your comfort levels. Find health and peace for yourself, not where someone else tells you to find it.

Jami Stakley said...

Lyn, I have no idea how you feel right now and the struggle you have overcome over the years. I do know this, you have children who need you. You have a life and you have a choice.

Are their challenges? Yes. But they are challenges that you can overcome. As a critical nurse I have seen countless tragic deaths. People maimed and injured beyond belief. I am in the military and as a Navy nurse I can't tell you how many young men I have seen with missing limbs. Usually 3 or 4 limbs. I am not trying to diminish your pain. But you still have a choice. You have a life. It is no secret that obesity increases morbidity and mortality. Why would you even consider just giving up?


I do understand pain. I have had 2 back surgeries and spent a year at the age of 35 learning to walk again after a severe back injury. I was told I would never nurse again. I fired that physical therapist and went back to the ICU 6 months later. I was accepted into the military a year later (which is unheard of after a back surgery).


You can overcome obesity. There are many conditions that can't be overcome. Obesity can be overcome.


I really think you need to get some counseling for what is driving your eating. I am a binge eater. I had anorexia and bulimia as a teenage and through my 20's and 30's. I experienced horrific abuse in my childhood and have spent years in counseling. Binging is not about food at all. It is a symptom of something much deeper. Until you get to the root of this, it won't stop.

Help is out their. Please get some help. Your children need you. Giving up is not an option.

Amy said...

You have done more to lose weight, and with more research,calculation and determination than anyone I have ever met. It's not fair to compare yourself to anyone one else, including who you were 3 years ago. I know what it is like to have pain interfere with intentions, when everything that could potentially help the weight issue HURTS, that is a real problem. I was reading somewhere that thyroid issues are one of the most missed issues because they can often give misleading results on blood tests and most doctors don't do a thorough enough exam for it. I know you've been tested and passed before, but it might be something worth pursuing again sometime or getting a second opinion. Could also be hormonal changes? I totally understand where you are at; I think there are thousands who do, and I'm glad you are sticking to what you can do for now, even if it is so frustrating. Think of how much worse it would be if you weren't controlling your diet. Hopefully you will get some info from your next doctor appointment.

LHA said...

Yes! There is an escape from obesity. Too many people have successfully transformed their bodies and their lives for any of us to think it is impossible. Lyn, I know you can do this. You are having a low moment right now but I believe in you and in your determination.

I know you have mentioned some stress in your life which you do not blog about. None of us knows what you are facing daily and so none of us can really understand your struggle. You will find the energy and courage to start again I know. When you do,even if the weight comes off very slowly, you will see improvement and be glad you kept trying. Good luck to you and thanks for blogging!

lindalou said...

Lyn

Just a quick point not meant to offend...
The only thing, imo, that will help your feet is to lose weight...
I have bad knees and even 5 extra pounds makes them feel so much worse!!
If you are waiting for your feet to feel better to lose weight, I feel you are in a perpetual circle.
C'mon girl, you know this...
you got this !!!

Lyn said...

Thank you for the thoughts. I appreciate them all.

To clarify, I know there is a possibility that losing weight may help my feet. That's a huge part of my frustration. I have never given up, I am still working at it, I have had months in a row on plan and have not been able to get below 200 in years. That is so, so frustrating to me. I also know that my foot pain was no better when I was 20+ pounds lighter than I am now.

Of course losing weight would help. Of course I want that. I do believe I can get back to and maintain at the "217 zone" that I have stayed at for most of the past couple of years, but getting below that... don't know.

birchgirl said...

Yes we are all different and all have different challenges. But this is one way we are all alike. Our thoughts can either move us forward or hold us back. Do whatever you can to not make yourself a victim of your own stories. Check out You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hays.

Lyn said...

birchgirl~

I have the CDs. I don't feel like a victim, but the chronic pain is very real and debilitating.

Vickie said...

There is a lot of tone work you can do without being on your feet. Arms, abs, upper back/shoulders, legs. Think Pilates. There is cardio work you can do with no impact on your feet (legs in the air bicycle). You can figure out how to work swimming into your budget. Because that is the real solution for people with feet/knee issues. And I am talking swimming laps, not playing with kids. I think a pool should be a priority. PT and doctors must be costing you something. Ditto with dog stuff/travel. . .

I personally do NOT believe there are people out there who cannot be thin.

The habits support the weight. Change the habits, change the weight.

Did you find a therapist? When you were having such a hard time after death of your friend, I mentioned I thought you needed one. I think I also said I did not think your former therapist was a good fit because she ended your work way too soon (in my opinion).

Lyn said...

Vickie~

yes, I did that last fall/winter, went to the gym religiously, did weights for 45 minutes 3 days a week and swam laps in the pool 4-5 days a week. I did this for 3 months and I did not feel better, lose weight, or reduce my foot pain by doing so. It's not a budget issue now. It's an issue of I do not believe it will help me any more than it helped me last fall and winter.

As of the 1st, my old insurance policy 'died' and I had to pick a new one with a new company, so I may have some different options for treatment now that I didn't have before. I am looking into all of that now. I think I need to attack this from a different, totally new angle if there is any hope of getting better.

TNTriathlete said...

I have lupus, so if anyone can understand what it is like to live with chronic pain it is me. I know how it affects every aspect of your life and how it can sap your motivation. It makes even the simplest tasks difficult.

That being said, if I knew that losing 50 pounds (or whatever amount) of weight might cure or significantly improve my condition I would move HEAVEN AND EARTH to do it. I know you are feeling down right now but the fact there is still something for you to work on should help give you hope for the future. Your situation is not hopeless.

You are a mother with a young daughter. Because of that fact I don't see your pursuit of optimal health as optional. You need to make your health your absolute highest priority in your life so you can be there for her long term and in the best shape possible.

You always said you would never give up. Now is the time to prove it. Go back and read some of your entries when you were on a roll, losing weight steadily. You were on top of the world. You were so happy. You can be there again, Lyn. You have so much going for you, so much support here. All you need is a little bit of momentum and you will be on your way. Redouble your effort and look forward to a good weigh in next Sunday. And don't you dare even think about giving up.

TNTriathlete said...

About the swimming, I recall you said you weren't a good enough swimmer to be able to swim laps effectively. You were going to look into swim lessons so you could improve and then get a better workout in the pool. With you being confined to the recliner so much this seems like a perfect time to pursue that. By your own admission you weren't getting the full potential out of swimming as a workout. If it's no longer a budget issue why not do that now?

Low Carb Daily said...

You know you can escape from obesity. You've done it before and you can do it again... You know you have it in you!

Lyn said...

TNT~

I am not a good crawl stroker. My breathing is bad. I do get my heart rate up with the side stroke, and my daughter's swim lesson instructor taught me the breast stroke this summer.

I dunno, maybe.

birchgirl said...

Lyn, in no way do I question the reality of your pain, and I don't buy into Hays 100%, but I do believe that you have the power to feel better at the beginning of 2015 than you do now. And it starts with your thoughts, and your thoughts drive your choices.

Lyn said...

birchgirl~

I hope so. I am trying.

Chanelle said...

Lyn, I am a little upset at your comment about not wanting to give weight reading another try when the statistics for maintenence after weight loss all point to exercise (namely weight trainig), and a certain amount of exercise per day to be THE reason why people maintain their weight. And to read this post, and others, where it sounds like you would do anything to lose the weight, then to read "I dunno, maybe" when people are offering you very sound advice. .. it's sad and hard to keep reading. Do something different because cardio alone does not work. Do something different because doing the same things over and over doesn't make sense and clearly isn't working for you.

Lynne said...

I agree with Kara 100%

I agree with Betsy - It is hard to motivate ourselves.. but we can't give up!

I don't agree with the "screaming fat girl" YOU NEED SOMEONE TO PUSH YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!! Don't you watch Biggest Loser?! Don't you see these people say "No, I can't do that... Not one more ... but they do.. and they see that it may be uncomfortable, and hard and... THEY CAN DO IT"

Listen to Jamie - Get some help... Not pills, not regimen, HELP. Someone who is not full of pity, someone who sees your potential and will help you to honestly help yourself.

I agree with Lindalou "If you are waiting for your feet to feel better to lose weight, I feel you are in a perpetual circle"

I don't agree with you..."yes, I did that last fall/winter, went to the gym religiously, did weights for 45 minutes 3 days a week and swam laps in the pool 4-5 days a week. I did this for 3 months and I did not feel better, lose weight, or reduce my foot pain by doing so. It's not a budget issue now. It's an issue of I do not believe it will help me any more than it helped me last fall and winter." Do you really believe this???????? That you went, worked out with intensity and saw NOTHING? Exercise is 10% of the weight loss equation. It's benefits are in toning and conditioning and for your heart and mind...

You have been such a help to me through the years and I hate to see you so low. You know you can do when you're ready. No excuses - When you are ready you will do it.

Lyn said...

"I dunno, maybe" = I cannot imagine having to walk into the gym, into the locker room, change, walk to the pool, and then do it all in reverse after I swim. It is not the swimming I am hesitant about. It is all the extremely painful walking involved in getting there. I may be able to do that if my doctor gives me pain medication. I could not, at this point, also walk to the weight area and between machines to do weights. I'm sorry, but I cannot physically do it.

Kara said...

You keep saying "I can't" to a post that starts off with "As I sit in my recliner hour after hour".

Lyn. Seriously! As you "sit in your recliner hour after hour" why are you not doing cardio with your upper body? Why do you not have hand weights next to your chair so that while you sit there you can do presses and curls and flys? Why do you not lie down on your back on the floor next to that chair and do leg lifts? Why don't you get out of the recliner and into a straight backed chair or a stool that forces you to sit with proper posture and where you can do yoga stretches to help your back and hips. Or where you can do a cardio routine of some kind of TaeBo or punching that gets your heart rate up.

"I can't because I'm in debilitating pain" only goes so far. I have PF myself - agonzing, bad, makes me cry to walk PF in my right foot. I still move. I still lift weights. I actually do squat and do wall squats - since once I'm up and standing, I can manage it as long as I don't put full weight on my heel or walk too far.

Maybe you can't even stand w/out pain, and I get that. If that's the case, then you need to find other options - and there are ALWAYS other options. But please stop saying "I can't". You can. You just won't.

Lyn said...

Kara, you really have no idea.

Nicki Glave said...

Hi Lyn,

I'm a new reader, and felt compelled to leave a comment. I am obese as well, and had plantar fasciitis for more than 3 years, first in one foot and then the other.

I tried night splints, physio, and had my partner tape my foot every morning. I did stop short of saline injections, but I was nearly at that stage with the pain.

I got to the point that I was angry with everyone I saw around me who was walking without pain -- I was saying "ow" inside my head. Step, ow, step, ow.

I have to tell you, the thing that suddenly (within 2 weeks, no pain) and completely (pain is now gone entirely for the last 6 months) cured me of plantar fasciitis is simply wearing shoes with a sturdy 1 to 1.5" heel. I used to wear New Balance shoes with orthotics religiously, everywhere. I'm 5'10", and so I never liked to wear heels. New Balance with good arch support and orthotics didn't help. But a regular boot or shoe with a 1.5" heel, oh my goodness, I just couldn't believe how suddenly I was pain free.

That continual slight elevation of the heel compared to the toes was all it took. If only I'd known years ago. I hope this might help you. Best wishes.

Lyn said...

Nicki~

that is interesting. My last podiatrist gave me some "heel lifts" to wear inside my shoes. He said the lift would take pressure off the tendons and fascia while I heal. That was some time ago, and these heel lifts are the sticky, disposable kind and I think they have compressed quite a bit. I will replace them and maybe even double them up to get a better lift and see if that helps. Thanks!

Nicki Glave said...

I found heel lifts inside my shoes were painful and didn't help - not high enough. It was an actual shoe heel that did the trick for me. Inside and and outside the house, all the time. No barefoot walking at home, no slipper-type shoes. Cheers! Nicki

LesaP said...

"Studies have shown that about 2/3 of people with "learned helplessness" stay that way, while about 1/3 actually learn how to get out of that mindset. So yes, even if you tried and tried and tried to lose weight, and now you feel helpless and believe it is impossible, you can change YOUR OWN mindset by changing your thoughts.

Stop blaming your genes. Stop making excuses. Don't say "I tried so many times and failed." Fall down 50 times, get up 51. Believe in yourself.

I'm not helpless anymore. I know there's a way out. If I could show you how to jump the barrier into the other side of the box, I would! Maybe that's what I am trying to do with this blog: not just escape, but help others realize that THEY can escape, too. You don't have to just lay there and get shocked. We're not helpless! Believe."
Posted by Lyn at 8:21 AM Monday, April 13, 2009

Abderrahim Ouchan said...

- Lyn, this article really inspired me. I really hated my life 5 years ago when i was obese, I could not get anything done, i felt sluggish the whole day. There was a voice in my head that just told me you can do it !

Thank you for your article and your blog.

-Brian

meowmix said...

A lot of people don't understand chronic illness. People with depression are told to just cheer up. People with chronic pain are frequently told "oh i know exactly how that feels- i remember that time i sprained my ankle and had to ice it for two whole days!" Sadly, that's not what chronic conditions are like. It's sort of like telling someone with a broken leg that they should just run it off. Or make you feel bad because that one time, someone else had TWO broken legs.

I've also noticed that when I've gone to doctors in the past with valid concerns, the doctor didn't seem very inclined to listen to me because of my weight- instead of trying to help me solve my problem, they told me to just lose weight. Exactly how is weight loss going to cure strep throat again? Or a torn achilles tendon? Once, I went in with a broken ankle, and left with diet pills. No x-ray to see whether or not my ankle was broken. Just a prescription for diet pills, because that would make my ankle stop being broken.

If your doctor seems disinterested in helping you because of fat bias, it's not a bad idea to go find someone that is willing to listen and help. Personally, I've been through periods where I over-exercised and binged and purged, which did my knees and ankles no favors. Until I tried to figure out what was really going on, which meant reading medical journals, trying to find the right doctor, and getting therapy for lingering mental issues, my life was a constant cycle of losing weight, trying to do anything else with my life (while gaining weight at an alarming rate), hating myself (and the way others made me feel like I was less than because I took up more space than I ought to), then losing more weight. I'm pretty sure other things happened during my twenties, but in broad strokes, that's what I did.

If you feel that your doctors aren't helping as much as they could with your chronic pain, advocate for yourself. And don't be afraid of therapy if you need it- it's hard, but it might be the best gift you ever give yourself. If I'd spent all the money I've ever spent on stupid weight loss crap on a good therapist, I'd be a lot smaller and a lot happier (and have a lot less in student loans).

I hope things get better for you, and if you are in chronic pain, maybe pain medication isn't the worst thing ever. I've been through times where the only way I could get through my shifts at work was with pharmaceutical help. Didn't last forever, and I was very careful with my dosage, but I'm glad that I had pain meds available to me to use to get me through that point in my life. I earned more money working than I did in a fetal position on the couch. Sorry this is so long- I honestly didn't intend to write a novel! I'm a long-time lurker checking in. I'm sorry you're hurting. I hope you feel better soon- you deserve to be happy.

Lyn said...

meowmix~

thank you. That comment means a lot to me. I appreciate you taking the time to say all of that, it is helpful and it is good to know someone understands where I am coming from.