Sometimes, I feel just fine about the size I am. I'm happy with myself and the way things are going. And then every once in awhile, I have this flash of almost-panic about my size and want the weight off RIGHT NOW. It comes on without notice, when I am walking uphill while chaperoning a school field trip, out of breath and hurting, or when I put on a shirt that clings to every fat roll and looks awful in the mirror. It flashes before me when I have a health scare or when I am trying to walk up several flights of stairs or when I see yet another pair of jeans growing a thinning patch of fabric between the thighs, and I know soon there will be a hole and yet another trip to the store for something I can fit into. It hits me when I see people who knew me thinner, or when I am the fattest mom in the room, or when I am naked in the shower. Just a fleeting thought of "oh my goodness, this has to change NOW. I cannot stay this fat." I remember being 50 pounds lighter and I want it back.
When I look back on my history of losing and regaining weight via various methods, from calorie counting and exercise to low carbing to Medifast, I get scared. Scared nothing I do will work long term. Scared that even if I manage to lose 100 pounds again, it will come back. I *thought* I had changed my habits. I thought my new habits would keep me from regaining. But they didn't. I don't binge, and that's probably the sole reason I have been able to stay down 40 pounds from 278. I think of that 40 pounds as my "binge pounds," because they were there due to binge eating and when the binge eating stopped, they never came back. I think of the next 20 as my "junk eating" pounds, because when I stopped eating junk, I was able to stay under/around 218 pounds for over 3 years. I am pretty sure if I totally cut out the chips, gluten free cookies, cheesy stuff, candy, pudding, etc, I would get down to 218 (slowly but surely) and maintain there. I have been sliding slowly towards that number this year but my almost-daily junk keeps me from losing faster, even with exercise. Below and beyond 218, I have only been able to ever get and stay by doing something drastic, like Medifast. That is the *only* thing that has gotten and kept me below 218 in almost 20 years.
So sometimes when I get that "omg must get this weight off" sensation, I think about starving myself. No, not in an anorexic kind of way; I get sick and dizzy when my blood sugar goes too low, which seems to happen after 4 or 5 hours with no food. I can barely function. And I really don't wish to develop yet another eating disorder, either. What I mean by starving myself is going on another 800-1000 calorie a day weight loss plan. I think about it. I justify it because hey, weight loss surgery is an accepted means of losing weight, right? Doctors approve it and people generally are encouraging and supportive of WLS because, after all, the risk of surgery is less than the risk of staying obese. Isn't WLS basically like starving yourself for awhile? You can't eat for days, you have to drink liquids, then you can only eat a couple tablespoons of food. Your hair falls out and everything. It works because it limits how much you can eat. Isn't that a temporary starvation diet, at least until your stomach stretches a little and you can eat a bit more? So if everyone is supportive of that, and it is okay, why isn't eating that way *without* the surgery acceptable? Why do people flip out about those who do something like HCG or Medifast or some other really low calorie or liquid diet plan? It's all the same nutrition, I think. The difference is how you manage long term. Everyone says the low cal plans are not sustainable, I guess because you don't have a long-term stomach pouch to limit your calories forever. Obviously I did not manage well long term after Medifast and it did slow my metabolism. But people recover well from WLS all the time, by basically starving for awhile, and keep the weight off. There has to be a way to starve it off and keep it off without surgery. In fact I know there is, because I have online friends who lost weight on Medifast and have kept it off for 3-4 years so far by changing their habits and adding lots of exercise when they went off the liquid diet. (*Note: I do not mean literally starving. I think 800 calories of protein shakes per day is pretty nutritious and you can survive on that for a few months or a year).
This week I tracked with my new Fitbit. I found:
Steps per day: between 6,000 and 10,000
Average sleep per night: about 6 hours
Calories eaten per day: between 1055 and 2078, with an average of 1520/day (still gluten free)
Exercise: walking the dog or to school 1-2 miles/day, biking 20 minutes twice, hiking 40 minutes up and downhill, yard work
Weight lost: nothing. Nothing, on 1520/day with exercise and 10+ cups of water per day.
So I go back to, do I have to starve myself through WLS or a low calorie (800ish) diet to get this weight off again? Nothing else has ever worked. And yes, I spent about 2 years pre-Medifast counting calories, biking, etc without any loss.
I think if I had the dedication and fortitude to do a liquid diet right now I would do it. I would do it, get back to 175 or less pounds, and then figure out the rest, and try to fix whatever broke down last time I got the weight off, so I wouldn't regain it this time. That's the catch, isn't it? Regaining...
Maybe I will do it, or do shakes all day and a solid meal at dinner.
*I am not a doctor and I am not recommending that anyone else lose weight any particular way. So ask your doctor. I am just trying to figure out how to make this happen for *me.*
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