Maintaining is hard, too

I weighed myself four days ago and was 159 pounds. That is 15 pounds heavier than I was in May of 2013. That is not good.

In the year since losing 60 pounds, it’s been interesting to learn that losing weight is hard. But keeping it off is hard, too.  It's a different hard.  A hard that can sort of creep up on you.  A hard that can let you get comfortable and loosen the reigns on the habits that got you there.

I’ve kept exercising since losing the 60 pounds.  But I found myself slipping up to 148 pound range.  Then I kind of settled there and considered it a nice maintanable spot that I'd bounce around depending on what I ate the day before. It felt like a good weight for me. Maybe I just say that because I was wearing baggy size 8 jeans and I finally trained my brain that I wear a size medium not an XL.

Then I started training for a marathon. It burns a lot of calories and definitely put some muscle on my legs. Muscle weighs more and my size 8s were still baggy so 148 to 150 still felt pretty good. But as marathon training went on, the long runs got longer and the valley of hunger it created got deeper and deeper. It took a lot of food to fill it up. And filling it up felt really necessary to having enough energy to finish the marathon. So in the final weeks before my marathon, I gave up even guesstimating calories or thinking about it.

I focused on eating healthy stuff so there was lots and lots of fruit, eggs whites and whatever my family was having for dinner that night. I just did the best I could to get me to the finish line. I weighed in after my marathon around 152. I didn’t beat myself up over it. The pride of having finished a marathon made it a lot easier.

But with the marathon done, it was time to return to business as usual. I did fine for awhile. Then I was sore from Crossfit. Then Crossfit was just plain discouraging. And then I gave it up. Then I started at a gym which was exciting. And then I started feeling really, really tired all the time. And then my brain decided it didn't want to function properly anymore. And that’s depressing. And then I became convinced that I’m just plain sick and under the weather. And then the gatekeeper of my waistline went completely off duty and all kinds of crap went down my pie hole. And then I started wearing my size 10 pants to work instead of my 8s. And my size 8 jeans still fit but, gee, they were a lot less baggy. And then I weighed myself and the scale read 157.6 and then I about flipped out. 
The worst possible photo of a scale.  Numbers you can't read and large albino white feet.  It says 157.4.  I took a photo of it because I thought I was busy hitting rock bottom that morning and ready to get back on track.  Shows how much I know. 
But apparently I didn't flip out enough enough because then I sucked down some more Cadbury Mini Eggs and Dr. Pepper and a whole lot of other crap.  And then I weighed myself the next day and the scale read 159.

And then the world shrank to tunnel vision and those numbers were all I could see standing in my bathroom in the dark early morning hours. And then I was still standing on the scale 30 seconds later long after the numbers faded to black. And then I stepped off that scale and felt big, huge and out of control. It especially sucked to feel big, huge and out of control on top of feeling sick. But maybe feeling sick brought it home. Maybe it helped convince me I needed to get it the hell together. I don't know. But what I do know for a fact is that I left that bathroom that morning knowing that’s not who I want to be.
I even started thinking about joining a Weight Watchers meeting. I’ve never gone to a Weight Watchers meeting in my life. After I had kids, I used Weight Watcher points and lost the baby weight. But I did it all online. I never went in person. Then I lost 60 pounds on my own without any Weight Watchers. So it seemed slightly wacky that I would suddenly require meetings to lose 15 pounds. I don’t want to say I have a tendency to overreact. But let's just say I’ve successfully convinced myself to hold off handing over my credit card until I give it a few more days.

This morning I weighed in at 153.4. So I’m already down 5.6 pounds. The tunnel vision is letting up a little.  But weigh ins like that are the ones that lead crazy people to think losing 5.6 pounds in four days is real. It’s not. It’s a lot of water weight that this female right here lets go of every single time she puts down the Dr. Pepper bottle and stays out of the Whataburger drive thru line.

I’m always amazed when people do a 10 day cleanse and are impressed when they lose 6 pounds. Duh. You dropped 4 pounds of water weight just from not eating crap. On top of that, you probably consumed less calories than you burned so you dropped some actual weight that way, too.

But losing an actual pound is equivalent to burning 2500 calories. And this female right here did not burn 13,000 calories over the last 4 days. I’ve mostly sat on my butt behind a desk at work and stayed upright long enough to cook dinner and wash some dishes. I count it as a victory that I successfully didn't freak the hell out when we ran late for soccer. It’s the little things in life. Especially when you don’t feel great.

But I’m back in the saddle and heading in the right direction. It's a start. And I'm happy with that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that keeping it off is hard. I lost 30 lbs last year and while I've mostly kept it off, some has creeped back. I read a book last year that depressingly told me only 5% of those who lose weight keep it off. The point was that you have to maintain all the good habits - so it really is a lifestyle choice. Sigh.

For what it's worth - I did re-join WW earlier this year to keep myself on track. I found it helped. It was an extra bit of accountability - even just the online tracking. Kept me more conscious of what I was doing.

Good luck! - Louise

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