Saturday, March 17, 2018

I'm Not Sure I Can Do This


Over the last few days, I've had this thought pop into my mind: "I'm not sure I can do this..." It's kind of a hesitant, "I just don't know" kind of feeling... not distress or worry or even discouragement. Just a sense of how big this thing is. How I have lost weight before, but wasn't able to *keep* losing when I wanted to and sure as heck wasn't able to maintain. I mean, the closest thing I've done to "maintaining" was keeping my monthly weigh-ins between 175 and 186 for eight months in 2010-11. But before I get to a maintenance attempt, I have to get to a weight low enough to call maintenance.

For now, I sit at 202 pounds. I first hit 202 on February 26th and have not gotten lower since. In a way I feel like I need to be at this weight for now... just sort of slow it down and get used to being smaller for a couple weeks before moving on to the 100's. Maybe this is actually the part of losing weight (and eventually maintenance) that I need to not get frustrated with or try to skip through. If I am not gaining, then 202 is an okay place to be, right now, today.

I had to be patient when I decided to stop tracking, measuring, and restricting in order to reset my emotional state about food (and, possibly, my metabolism). I gained for awhile, and I had to learn to be okay with that as a side effect of the work I was doing to heal from disordered eating. I think that was the right thing to do, because it *did* heal something in me and greatly reduced my food obsession and compulsion to eat. Maybe this is the same. I have to be patient because I am deciding not to freak out or try and force my body to hurry up and lose weight faster. I am not doing the same thing I did before. I won't be frantic about it or feel like a failure. I am fostering the same thing with the scale and my weight number as I did with my eating and diet: calmness. The essential part of being able to do this, for me, is having that calmness about food, weight, numbers, speed of loss, clothing size, fat blobs on my legs, loose skin on my arms, and everything else that comes with this process. That's what I didn't quite get before: the calmness. It's anxiety and distress and fear that drove me to binge long ago; those emotions were at the root of my eating disorders. Of course I still have some times when weight-related emotional drama pops up this time around, like when I tried on a brand new sweater that I was saving in the back of my closet for when I could fit into it and discovered that I somehow missed the window and it is huge on me now. I started to go into a spin of "I wanted to wear this pretty sweater! I bought it as a 'goal' sweater that I could work towards as I lost weight. I wasted money on this! Now it's too big! Why is it so huge on me?" but then I made the choice to foster calmness and say, "how wonderful that I am smaller now, and won't this be a great gift to someone who can use it?"

Panic about food and weight was one of the reasons I got fat in the first place. Calmness about it will be the reason I am able to lose this weight and keep it off this time.



18 comments:

heidi said...

Here is something you might consider... Once you are no longer using phentermine, calling this your new maintenance weight and keeping your weight at this weight +/- 5 lbs for 6 months or a year. At which time you should be sensitive again to the phentermine and you can make another run of weight loss. During that time, you could practice maintenance and hopefully give your skin some additional time to recover. Perhaps work on weight lifting and toning during that time to improve health and increase resting metabolism. This would give your head time to catch up with where your body is now and allow this to become your new normal.

Betsey C. said...

I love Heidi's idea. I think it's rather brilliant. Practicing maintenance would be very good for me after I lose a few more pounds. All my adult life I have been either gaining or losing. I have no idea how much food I would need to maintain about 180 lbs. for 6 months or so.

Something very interesting to think about.

Leslie said...

Being a food addict myself, I can tell you, Lyn, that the voice in our heads is our disease talking. The doubts, the overthinking about every little thing...it is absolutely the eating disorder trying to call the shots and undermine our successes. If you really desire to break free, you have to meet these doubts and fears with a "thank you for sharing," kind of mind. Notice how persistent your ED is, and that will help you feel courageous and strong for determining to overcome it. You can. When you (and I) are sick and tired ENOUGH of being sick and tired. Pray for help to whatever/whoever you believe in. At long last I've found what works for me, but I also know that I have to be aware that I will never be all the cured. A pickle cannot go back to being a cucumber! There are many worse things for us to have than eating disorders. We can manage them a day at a time and find complete remission, but don't think for a second that you will ever be cured. As always, my very best to you.



Karen Cain said...

Are you at all concerned about your long-term health? I ask because you seem very caught up in the way your body looks at a certain weight, not how you feel. After losing 40 pounds and mostly keeping it off for the past four years (I had a hysterectomy in between, which means my weight went up a bit and it's harder to lose), I understand not having the "imaginary" body we picture when we're working on weight loss, but I try instead to focus on how I feel. My joints don't hurt as much, I have way more stamina to play with my kids, and most importantly, my overall health is improved. This is key for me, since i had a sibling die at a young age from suspected heart problems, and my father has had two heart attacks, and being overweight increases one's overall risk of certain illness and problems. Maybe if you focus on your health, rather that whether you can wear a certain amount of clothing, or whether you're going to have loose skin, that would help?

PamL said...

I totally get what you are saying about wanting to wear something, and then it doesn't fit. That exact thing happened to me--I lost 40 pounds in 6 months, and I wanted to wear these awesome capris that I couldn't fit when heavier. By the time I tried them on, they were at least one size too big! I remember telling my weigh in person--I'm so shocked because I have all these cute clothes that are too big now! Well, guess what? I wasn't really ready to maintain that weight...I gained back 15 pounds...and sure enough all the clothes that had been too big all fit. And after about 6-8 months, I had had enough, and I got back on the bandwagon. I am now almost 15 pounds down again, and it feels great. If I have something too big to wear, I give it away. Losing weight is such a mental game, isn't it!?!!

Anfisa said...

But Lyn.....
It should be about your health.
Not about not being able to wear an outfit, right?
We all have outfits that are too big/small (heck I’ve got two closets full! Lol)

Anfisa said...

Leslie, well written.

Ruth-Hanna Strong said...

You might want to look into T-Tapp. It is an exercise program focused on the lymphatic system and she has success stories of clients losing major weight without major skin challenges. I just started a few weeks ago and have definitely seen benefits. I bought a used copy of the book (which included the DVD) and digital access to another video. Very limited investment and so far my results have been good (I'm not being paid for this opinion).

There are lots of free videos on YouTube and in the Facebook Community.

https://www.t-tapp.com/

Regardless of what you try next or how you proceed, I wish you the very best.

Anonymous said...

I think you should check if the drug you were taking has an element of compulsive behaviour suppression. Removing it from your system might be having an impact on your coping skills. This was what happened to me with a weight loss drug that was taken off the market. I say listen to Heidi. She’s wise.
Theresa in Alberta

Lyn said...

heidi~

that's a great suggestion! I may take it! Thanks :)

Leslie~

Good to hear from you. We have had a lot of the same thoughts and experiences and I always get something out of your insights. Best to you also!

Karen and Anfisa~

Oh definitely this is more about health than about looks or anything else. I've written a whole lot about that... and all the health benefits from losing weight and getting stronger, and how much better I feel at a lighter weight. I can't ignore the emotional and mental part of me that is uncomfortable with certain parts of this process, like loose skin or the way I look or how clothes fit; I feel like if I try and ignore those things, I'll get the same result as I did last time when I started getting uncomfortable. And this time, I'm not going to ignore my emotions, but work through them and not let them get the best of me. (But I am definitely happy about how much better I feel and my health improvements, too!)

Pam~

Wow, interesting! I guess sometimes we have to take it slower than we really want to.

Ruth~

Thanks. I know that has been suggested to me before. I need to look into it!

Anon/Theresa~

I'll check... thank you!

Josie said...

How is the exercise routine going?

Amy said...

The brilliant thing in life is you get as many redo's as it takes. I'm happy you are finding some peace along the way. That's really what it's all about isn't it? I love that you are challenging some of the things that sabatoged you in the past. Taking the drama out of the equation helps it feel much more manageable. I'm always over here rooting for you!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried art journaling (maybe with tweens and teens that need a mentor, a hand up?), crocheting, painting, writing, maybe a job...all the focus on yourself and the anxiety needs an outlet. Looking outside rather than inside is a great way to move forward. Your life energy needs a different purpose, something different to consume yourself and what you contribute. What will your legacy be? Think outside of your anxiety and change your purpose.

Lyn said...

Josie~

Going well!

Amy~

It is definitely about peace. That's what I think tripped me up last time: too much internal drama about things and not coming to terms with my feelings. Fostering calmness (and acceptance) is helping me this time and I hope that will make the changes easier to keep permanently. Thanks for always being supportive!

Lyn said...

last Anon~

didn't see your comment until I responded to the others :)
I definitely have those kinds of outlets and purpose. It might seem like my focus is always on myself, because that is what this blog is about: me, my weight loss process, the thoughts and emotions I have about that topic. I don't write in detail here about all the other varied aspects of my life... I mention some of it in passing, but that doesn't mean the content of my daily life is the same as the content of my blog. Make sense? But I agree that having a purpose, helping others, serving, building something important with one's life is really important to having a sense of peace and happiness. It can't all be about weight.

Cris said...

Lyn,

Have you considered sticking at maintenance for a while (several months- or even a year) just to take some of the sting out?

I know for me this has been the single best piece of advice my therapist gave me this year. I’m so used to having a pay off (pounds off scale, people noticing the losses) it’s been SUPER helpful for me to learn to do all the work without any kind of pay off.

Plus it’s supposedly helping my droopy skin too.

Just wanted to share that with you.

Lyn said...

Cris~

oh that is interesting about the "pay off" aspect of it. I hadn't thought about it like that. I *have* thought about picking a higher weight to try and maintain for awhile before losing the rest, sort of as a practice/stabilization period, but was hoping to get under 200 pounds for that. I think I will try for a couple more weeks to get into the 190's and then maybe make a goal of maintaining there for several months and never hitting 200 again. Thanks!

Michelle Himes said...

I don't know if it's cold or warm where you live, but when I have a sweater that's too big, I wear it over a turtleneck when it's cold.

I got down to my goal weight three years ago, kept it off for a year and a half, and then gradually gained 25 pounds back. I've been yo-yo-ing those 25 pounds for a while now, and I'm having more trouble getting them off than I did losing the whole thing. But I'm calm too, realizing that this is normal, and a lifetime struggle that we just have to stay on top of. And yes, you CAN do this, and so can I.