Friday, January 29, 2016

Why I'm Not Motivated to Lose Weight


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.



16 comments:

TheAgonyOfBeingFat said...

You have great goals for next week!

I know being stuck at a weight isn't any fun. Hopefully the scale will move soon.

Catherine55 said...

I wish I could help you to get OK with the idea of having weight loss surgery. I am living proof that it works, and it has changed my life for the better in countless ways. My heart goes out to you because I see you revisiting the same issues over and over again, something I did for years. You don't have to continue this pattern. There are tools out there (lap band, sleeve) that can help you and make this problem solvable.

There is no failure in getting medical help with this battle. The health benefits to being at a healthy BMI are no less real if you achieve them on your own vs. with surgery. It is not a failure to use a tool that medical science has made available. It is not cheating, and it is not "taking the easy way out."

For me, it was the only way out, and I have never looked back. It freed me from the food prison.

Lyn said...

Agony~

Thanks. It would probably be easier for me if I wasn't fairly content at this weight. I think if I take it in small chunks (like losing 10-15 and then staying at that weight a bit) that might make the body changes more tolerable while getting the benefits of weight loss.

Catherine~

I really am thrilled for you! And I believe you... that is not an easy way out. It looks a lot harder to me (all the physical pain and recovery). I have my own issues that keep me from doing surgery but I'm definitely not opposed to it for any other reasons.

Anonymous said...

I've been following along. I am the same way, I have no motivation to lose weight (at 240 pounds) but I know I should. Your way looks like a painless way and I am routing for you to succeed.

Meryl said...

WLS is not freedom from food prison for everyone as Catherine alludes to. I don't know how far out she is, but I am 6 years out and without a doubt, still in that prison. I have less capacity to overeat in one sitting but I am far from immune from the addictive behaviors and issues I've had my entire life. I've managed to keep 80 of the 130 lbs I initially lost, but I struggle and suffer every single day and have been extremely unsuccessful in the past couple of years. It's driving me mad. I'm really beginning to wonder if I need to be more like you are right now Lyn. The obsessive dieting is NOT working. It's just not.

Anonymous said...

Your fear of the gym is utterly bizarre.

Lyn said...

Meryl~

I am so sorry to hear that. It must be so frustrating to go through a difficult surgery and STILL have the food/weight issues. I have a good friend who had a Lap Band done and she has had the same experience. She tells me she can eat lots of ice cream or drink chocolate milk with no problem but she can't keep down salad or vegetables... they come right back up. I don't think there is one answer for everyone. But I do think, for me (and maybe for you), getting out of the diet/control/obsessive mindset could be the answer... even if weight loss is slow, if it's permanent and not stressful, that's a good thing.

Anon~

No fear. I just don't enjoy going to the gym.

Lyn said...

p.s., Meryl~

I cannot even tell you how nice it is not to be in the struggle anymore. It's such a relief.

LHA said...

Amen! Lyn, I am convinced you are on the right track in realizing there is real danger in restricting and obsessing about food. It has happened to me too many times to count. Your mind is in a good place. You have an excellent reason (health) to try to get the weight off but rushing it and hard core dieting will not be a lasting answer. You seem to know the best path, so following it can't be wrong. Good luck!

TexasTanya said...

I think we're all different. What works for one, might not work for another. I found a plan that has allowed me to lose 80 lbs, and I feel fantastic. But if my overweight father were to try it, he'd hate it.
Good on you for finding a plan. I wish you all the best!

anne h said...

I think for me - blogging is key!

Karen said...

Have you reconsidered re-branding your blog to HAES? Perfect fit for you in the last few months. Also, please update your photo on your front page. I've noticed that many people believe you've lost and are maintaining over 100+ pounds. It seems like you are maintaining 30+ pounds? Correct me if I have that incorrectly.

The dots don't connect for your blog title if you are comfortable at your current weight. They really do connect for the HAES community. You'll help yourself by having the dots connect. I wrote a recent blog post about updating your blog, social media to more current photos,re-branding, etc. It was not directed at any individual, but I've noticed Holly at 300 pounds and the other Hollie at Transforming Holly have taken the steps to update their messages. I applaud anyone else who has updated.

Onward and heres to current photos and clarity. This results in your audience being able to connect with you more closely. At least add "moderation based" eating in your blog summary.

I can tell you that abstinence based eating is a gift, and life saving to me, much like Catherine55 found her food sobriety via surgery, I found mine via abstaining from my 40 year binge cycle foods. No sugars, no grains. Not my fault. Genetics cause the extra ghelin hormone. Impossible for me to be at healthy mind or body eating moderately. I've updated my blog spot description to reflect that. I'm no longer the Medifast, WW, person. I would not consider no sugars no grains restriction but simply the tools that I use to live without food addiction.

If you are indeed escaping obesity, then be certain to state clearly and plainly in your blogspot header your method. Thank you so much and here's to getting well again using the tools that work for you. Onward. Karen P

JM said...

I really think that for me an approach as an addiction has worked the best, I use a 12 step program and its been amazing. Freedom from food obsession.

Lyn said...

Karen~

I have never been a blogger who paid any attention to branding... never felt the need to work on a "brand" for myself. But, this has always been a blog about me trying to lose weight, get to a healthy place where I don't want to lose more, and meet interesting people along the way. I totally support those who promote HAES simply because I think other people's weight is their own business (and the business of their families and loved ones whom the weight affects). I know that losing more weight will benefit me healthwise, plus hey, I have a lot of good clothes I will fit back into when I drop another 30 pounds!

I am coming to understand that I can be content and happy and loving to the body I currently have, while still seeking to lose weight (slowly and gently, without distress) and improve my health with weight loss. It is such a good feeling to be truly okay with myself and how things are, without giving up. I have a peace I did not have before. I hope to be able to share more about that in future blog posts.

Under the "100 Pounds lighter" pictures, on the front of my blog, it says "More Update Pictures." There you can see links to all of my progress pictures along the way, including a link for "68 Pounds Regained" that I took about a year ago at 243 pounds. In that post I promised new pictures at 228 pounds. I hit 228 for about a day last week and am currently at 229, so new update pictures are coming soon! As you can see, that is 50 pounds from my start weight. I will do new photos every 10 pounds as I always have when I've been losing. I am pretty sure they will look similar to the "50 Pounds Gone" pictures already linked on the front page, in case any readers want an idea how I am looking now (and every ten pounds in either direction).

Feeling great this morning, having my coffee, planning a prime rib dinner for tomorrow (we bought a roast for New Years and saved half in the freezer, yum!) and going for a nice long walk with the dogs and my scootering daughter after lunch.

Karen said...

Month and year on your photos. It really helps-IMO. Onward.

Anonymous said...

All of this sounds sustainable. You've obviously learned a great deal from your journey, and I have learned a great deal from you. Thank you for continuing to share.