Enough.

So.  I started this post a few weeks ago.  Then I noticed a few things.  So its been edited, and now I’m not so sure of myself.

August 31, 2010. First.  This is the hardest one to say out loud.  For now, I’m calling it quits on trying to lose more weight.  I guess I’ve lost enough.   Its hard enough trying to maintain this 100 pound weight loss.  And though it is a little disappointing to think that this is as far as I’m gonna go, that’s reality.  Quick weight loss recap:  Starting about Jan. 1, 2005, at 50 years of age,  I joined weight watchers at a starting weight of 255.5.  It took about a year and a half to lose 87 pounds, putting me at 168 pounds.  That puts us at about July 2006.   After that, it took a great deal of effort and probably about 4-6 months to lose another  thirteen pounds to get me to 155.5, my 100 pound weight loss.  Since that time, I regained 13 of those pounds (back to 168,) then started working out with a personal trainer and re-lost those 13 pounds.  I have really not gone below 155.5  except for maybe a day or two in  all that time.  Today, after taking a wee break from vigilant maintenance my weight is again at 168.  (The overachiever in me feels the need to point out that ALL the 168 weights were fully clothed and in  the middle of the afternoon …)

Recently, they started something called ‘My Chart’ online, where you can look at your medical record.  It was a bit jarring to see 168-167-168  on my medical record, EVERY TIME I have gone to the doctor’s in the last four years!  Seems like my body would prefer to be at 168, and not 155.  However I am not.   Darn it, this is complex!  Okay first I have to admit.  I just like saying I have lost 100 pounds.  Must be the Monk in me.  Its such a nice even number.  And so much more impressive than 87.  But that’s just a silly reason.  For someone who isn’t really even 5’1″, 155 pounds is still very heavy.  Intellectually, its the max I can consider carrying,   But my body seems to be saying–hey, we (the cellular we) think 87 pounds is a very generous amount to give up.  We’re really not comfortable living with less. Aack.  More negotiations to follow.

Currently I am working my way through the ‘Do You Use Food to Cope?’ workbook, and I am doing pretty good with some of the suggestions and information.  This book runs along the same lines as mindful or intuitive eating.  I am not weighing myself, and I am not tracking my food 100 percent, although on most days I could tell you EXACTLY what I ate, when I ate it, and how good it tasted.  And I would know an approximate calorie count too.    I am still eating the same very healthy food that I have learned to eat over the years.  Still eating 5- 6 meal/snacks per day.  That’s the next enough.  To maintain this weight, I get to eat enough food to be happy and satisfied each day.  [ added today:  I made myself finish the book last night.  I learned a few important things from this book about how my obsession with food started, or was nurtured.  I also realize that I like to eat ‘recreationally,’ and that is not gone.  For example, when I watch my bi-weekly quilt show, I like to have popcorn and a little chocolate, EVEN IF I’M NOT HUNGRY.]

I am very happy with the exercise I am getting on a daily basis.  The best information we have (NWCR) says that people who have maintained a weight loss for a long period of time exercise approximately one hour a day.  Thanks to Mr. Noah, I am meeting that goal easily.  Sometimes I run, but I am never going to be a runner.  I have enough joint damage and mild arthritis that there are too many days I don’t think it would be wise to run.  So its hard to improve your time and/or distance when you can’t be consistent.  But I can walk and hike  with the best of them.  I am going to the gym regularly.  Get in the pool at least twice a week, and I do some pretty heavy duty lifting.  I am doing enough exercise.

I haven’t mentioned being creative lately, but I am pretty happy with how that is going too.  The reason  I haven’t talked about it is  because I have been working on  my Pay It Forward challenges.  Lots of creative fun.  Just can’t share it with you.  And as I am with most projects, I am anxious to finish these now so I can get on to the next project.  I am getting enough creative time.  [obviously, written a few weeks ago.]

Spiritually, I am also happier with my choices.  I am (most days) spending time reading spiritual books, the Bible, journaling, and spending time in prayer BEFORE I hit the computer for blog reading.  [oops.  Except today, I started writing this first.  Because I was thinking about it a LOT yesterday.]

Added today:  This morning I checked out Dietgirl’s blog, and she wrote about her struggles and her stint with intuitive eating. (loved Pubsgal’s comment on this blog.) Dietgirl’s been at this A LONG TIME.  It gives me hope, and helps me to realize that its okay to still be having these struggles.  I do feel a little pressure to be a ‘role model’ of a ‘maintainer’ when my weight fluctuates rather consistently between these ranges.

However, onward and upward.  The trail mix crack is out of the house.  No, I did not throw one single bit of it away, even though I realized it was not something I could eat in a controlled manner.  It is something that has to be relegated to the kingdom of chocolate chip cookies–a food that is so perfect to me that I will only have it once in a while, bought for a one time treat.  Not kept in the house.  Period.  I will continue to work at getting to 155 and STAYING THERE.  I know its not optimal to have your weight fluctuate this much.  Some days I am tracking my food instead of listening to my hunger signals.  Some days I weigh myself (funny thing was, in the middle of all this, my scale died. so I had to stop weighing.  But there is still a scale at the gym, so I can check once in a while.  The NWCR also says that most maintainers weigh regularly.)  I know I’m not going back.

Stay tuned for the further adventures of…debby, a short formerly fat middle aged woman who still loves food.

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25 thoughts on “Enough.

  1. Wow, This was an amazing an excellent post, Debby. To hear you talk about your rational decisions in such a well thought out way that is informed over the long haul by your experience is pretty inspiring. Your honesty is as well. I’ll be tuning in to see how this all continues to unfold for you, but it seems like you are accepting “what is”, which is a major hurdle over which to travel to find peace.

  2. Monk–gotta love him. To make you feel better about the number 87: It’s the sum of the squares of the first four prime numbers. It’s also the sum of the divisors of the first 10 integers (whatever that means!). But, even better, Shakespeare’s 87th sonnet, perhaps written to your 87 pounds–here’s the first line:

    Sonnet 87
    Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing.

    I’ll leave you with a quote from a somewhat less erudite, but none less beloved Mr. Rogers. “We love you just the way you are.”

    • OMGOSH, you made me laugh so loud, Tish! I guess its good to have a librarian for a friend!

      I’m gonna have to print out that Shakespeare sonnet and put it on my fridge. How appropriate!

  3. I think you came to a very reasonable decision at this point in your journey. I once read somewhere (written by a Dr.) that previously overweight folks can often weigh at a higher number and look thinner at that weight than those who were never overweight. I don’t know the rationale behind it, but I also know that when I am at the weight you are (I’m not much taller), I feel and look healthy (as you do). I also know from my own experience with weight loss that once I get frustrated trying to go lower and lower in weight, and my body is stubbornly staying at the weight it seems to like, that’s when I’m most at risk for going in the other direction. You look great, Debby, and your journey is amazing.

  4. I know this was hard for you to publish, but I think we all need to know how hard it is to maintain. Maintenance is not the glory-land we all wish it would be (not that I know what I’m talking about personally, since I’ve never been in maintenance).

    As far as losing more…hmmm. Not sure. Your body feels happy at 168, what do your med stats say? Would you be healthier at 155? Or is it pure vanity that makes you want to go there? (These are questions I need to ask myself, btw)

    And I think Tish said it best via Mr. Rogers “we love you just the way you are!” :)

    • It WAS hard! I’ve been mulling it over and avoiding it ever since I told you about it. And then I gained some weight after that! But it felt so good to get it out there.

  5. It is hard to know when to stop, but dang, I feel like I’ve been losing weight forever, even though in actuality, I haven’t lost any new weight in a while. It’s that mindset, and it can be tiring. I completely understand your “enough” – and yes, I do think that we shorties DO end up weighing more than what is optimal for us…but hey, it’s a hell of a lot better than where we started! BTW, I had no idea we were so close at our starting weights – I was at 256. Twins! :)

  6. OK, I hit publish before I was really done. I think it’s ok to maintain at a higher weight, as long as we’re really maintaining and not gaining. So if 168 is your top-off, then maybe that is what your body says is right. You have to be able to maintain while still enjoying things like froyo (you KNEW I was going to say that!) – otherwise, what is the point? Life is meant to be enjoyed…in moderation. ;)

    • Moderation? What’s that? Is there a book about that? LOL.

      My twinsie–we must have froyo together again. But we must never be at 256 together again.

  7. To all:

    It was so fun to come back from my walk with Noah and find so many kind and interesting responses. I was really very worried about this post. Thank you for being so kind and positive!

  8. Good job, Debby! I think it takes the mental pressure off to reassess things at this point in your weight loss, and the decision to maintain is as important as the decision to lose, esp if it’s an inordinately hard struggle to lose more. I think after losing a lot of weight, the body needs to find a new equilibrium, and this can take a long time, given the time spent being very overweight. If/when you’re ready to challenge your new normal, your body will probably be more responsive.

  9. I appreciate this post on more levels than I have fingers to count. You’re accomplishment is amazing, whether it’s 87 or 100 pounds lost. The truest achievement was in taking control of your actions, and you have those well in hand. Mostly. :) I think you can live a long and healthy (and happy) life this way. WEll done!

  10. Oh, you know I was thinking of my comment on DG’s blog when you mentioned your “100 pounds” fixation and was going to mention it, and darned if you didn’t mention it!

    I loved this post, because it really shows the thought processes behind deciding on that “golden mean” of healthy weight, “I like how I look at this number” weight (what some people call “vanity,” but I’m thinking more of the weight that gives one body confidence – some people feel dissatisfied even when they reach their “vanity weight”), and the maintainable weight. Maybe that’s why an acceptable range is a good target. What Jane said, “I also know from my own experience with weight loss that once I get frustrated trying to go lower and lower in weight, and my body is stubbornly staying at the weight it seems to like, that’s when I’m most at risk for going in the other direction.” That seemed to happen to me earlier this year, and I feel like I had to gently rein things back in.

    FWIW, I thought you look terrific, but I’m also in the Tish and Mr. Rodgers’ camp.

  11. said with a smile:
    it isn’t the BODY that ‘likes’ certain weights, it is the habits that support certain weights, and there is a difference in the thinking between those two views

    I have noticed in weight loss blog land, those that are still ‘trying’ to lose, often maintain. Those that are done, often regain. It is the difference in the mindset.

    I absolutely do not think every person has to get to the low end of bmi. I think there are a lot of people that pick a higher level and then maintain. But maintain is the KEY point of that outlook.

    and I have said this always – one either gets on the scale regularly or one tracks their food/exercise and keeps it in line. It can be both, but it can’t be neither. Have to do one or the other to maintain. No magic.

    and we all – absolutely all – are going to hug the ceiling of our weight range. If we are holding between 155-160, then we are going to weigh 160, not 154. So if we change the ceiling to 160-165, we are going to hug 165 and not 159. It is like a fact of life.

    I agree, really good post. Mine will not be anyone’s most favorite comment, I realize.

    I stopped using the scale for two full years and maintained. But my food/exercise was spot on that whole time.

  12. Pingback: Guess What I’m Eating Tonight? « debby weighs in

  13. Pingback: Quilts and Maintaining « debby weighs in

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