It's no secret that I am not really making an effort at weight loss these days. Sure, I try to keep my portions small, even while eating basically anything I want. And I do pay attention to my nutrition, choosing more protein and produce and less processed foods, but that's more about overall health and making sure I feel my best. The only "effort" I have made in losing weight since July has been to cut back a bit on the carbs the last week or so, and to try to get out and take more walks. And of course, "intending" to ride my exercise bike (but not actually getting on it much so far). I mean, sure, I know it makes sense to lose weight. It isn't ideal to weigh as much as I weigh. It would be better for my health to drop about 50 pounds. But really, if I was truly motivated to lose weight, I'd be working harder at it... getting more excited about it. I'd be looking forward to the changes weight loss brings, and putting in the effort to make weight loss a priority. Right?
Well, there are two basic reasons why I am not really gung-ho about weight loss anymore. I am not working myself up with internal cheer sessions like I did the first time I got to the weight (down from 278+). One of them is emotional. One is logical.
Today I weigh 229 pounds. I have gotten "stuck" at this weight several times in my life. You know how your body kind of settles at certain weights and stays there fairly easily? I was like that at 278. And 245. Then 228. I can sit at this weight for months, eating pretty much anything I want as long as I don't binge. It's an easy weight for me... takes very little effort not to gain from here. And emotionally, it's a very comfortable weight. (Notice I didn't say physically; it's not exactly a comfortable weight to be in a physical sense. Still too heavy and hard on my joints.) But emotionally, this is a weight with a lot of good memories. I experienced some wonderful relationships at this weight. Before I remarried, I dated several men who found me very attractive at this weight and loved my body just the way it was. And for me, it's not so overflowing with fat rolls that I feel self conscious about my body; I love my curves and embrace this fuller figure. I was very happy at this weight in the past, so that makes it an easy weight to accept now. I look okay in clothes (I do NOT feel or look ok in clothes at, say, 245 pounds), I don't have any sagging, deflated skin like I do under 200 pounds. I can physically do most of what I'd like to do at this weight. I can live a confident, happy life at this weight. So there is not so much motivation to lose, because I'm not terribly uncomfortable here, mentally or physically. (Do I sound like I am convincing myself not to try?)
The logical reason is that I have already done the "I am so excited, I am going to lose this weight once and for all!" thing too many times to count. I know that if I get super motivated and go all in with 100% effort to lose weight, I will lose weight. But then, I will probably stall or regain. I know this from decades of experience in the dieting mindset. I can restrict, count, track, and force myself into an unnatural way of living and see the weight start to come off. And then, if I restrict enough, one of two things will happen: either my body rebels by slowing my metabolism to a crawl so the weight loss nearly stops, or my brain rebels and wants to eat EVERYTHING I have restricted for so long. Suddenly a donut because an object of desire instead of a once-in-while treat, and just as suddenly, that donut once eaten derails my eating for days or weeks and results in several pounds of weight gain, instead of just being part of my normal eating and *not* causing weight gain, like now. (Yes, I have an occasional donut now, whenever I want one... or half of one... and it doesn't trigger a bunch more eating or a stubborn weight gain). I know that if I ramp myself up into a diet mindset, I will probably just burn out in the end.
So I am not motivated to work hard on weight loss. Then why bother? Well, because I want to live longer, I want to stabilize my blood sugar, I want to keep my blood pressure in control, and I want to preserve my joints. So I do know that weight loss will benefit me. I do want, and need, to lose for those reasons alone.
This is why I am still blogging, and working on health and weight loss (even if in a much lower key, non-dieting way). I think I need to find a point at which I have a little *more* motivation, energy, and working towards weight loss without going back to restricting or forcing myself into the gym. I need to put weight loss (for health) closer to the front of my mind so that I put more effort into it. Maybe some goals would be a good push in the right direction.
Goals for next week:
Walk outside 5 days/week
Bike 3x/week, however long is comfortable for me
Eat a little less than I think I need
Substitute more produce for some of the carbs I've been eating (potatoes, pasta, breads)
That's enough of a push for now. I think the most important thing for me is to stay relaxed about my eating, and not let it become an obsession again.
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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