I had to get some dog food before I leave on my trip, so decided to make a day of it. First stop Costco, for the dog food, and then ended getting a lot of extra household supply-type stuff. Basically no food, except goat cheese and laughing cow light, the Chevy’s salsa, which I love, and those little bowls of pre-cooked brown rice. They are just right for me.
On to Marshall’s and Ross, where I planned to look for some tops for my trip. I have enough pants, but thought I might be a little short on tops. I tried on 10 tops at one store and 8 tops at the other. Only ended up with one that I really liked enough to buy. As I stood in the dressing room trying on top after top, I consciously did not allow myself to engage in ‘negative talk’ about my current weight, the size I was wearing, or the state of my body. I was not discouraged that I didn’t find more to wear. I am just very picky about paying retail prices for things that don’t fit that well or aren’t flattering to my particular body type.
When I got home I checked the blogs, and Lynn had posted! She was recently featured in a segment of 60 Minutes Australia. It was a very interesting piece, because they started out talking about a study that was done in Melbourne that ‘proves’ that your weight is genetically predetermined and so it is pretty much impossible to lose weight and MAINTAIN that weight loss. Lynn’s part was showing that it was possible to maintain weight loss long term with “hypervigilance” both in food choices and exercise. They also featured the doctor who is part of the NWCR study, which of course has 10,000 people who HAVE successfully lost and maintained their weight loss for a number of years. A big part of the segment was dedicated to a plus-sized woman who won Australia’s Got Talent. She discussed her journey of trying many different diets, trainers, etc, and finally coming to just “love herself” the way she was (they didn’t mention it, but it sounded like “Health at Every Size.”)
I guess I just want to say that I can see both sides of the equation. I’ve been at my current weight since before I went to Africa, so that’s been about a year and a half. Its 20 pounds (plus or minus one or two) up from my lowest weight. Sometimes part of me feels like a failure still. That’s when I remember all the evidence about how hard it is to maintain weight loss. And yet, if I dwell in that camp for too long, it can kind of boomerang on me. There’s nothing wrong with being hypervigilant about my food choices, and nothing wrong with exercising a lot. Lori made such a funny, but true comment in response to the 60 Minutes piece. The doctor from the Melbourne study had made the statement that to exercise that much was “obsessive-compulsive.” Lori said, “An hour of physical activity is obsessive-compulsive? Why does no one say watching an hour of TV a day obsessive compulsive?” LOL. That is so true!
On the other side of things, sometimes it DOES seem weird that I think about healthy food all the time, talk about it endlessly. Worry about what food to take with me on a trip vs. just dealing with what I can find when I get there.
And back on THE OTHER SIDE of things, I don’t think the current weight I am maintaining is because of genetics. I think its because I am indulging too much. Sometimes when I take a little bowl of walnuts and raisins to bed with me, when I’m not really hungry, I think about that. I don’t know why I can’t resist it, but I don’t really think its a genetic or hormonal thing. I don’t even think its an emotional thing. But since I can’t identify what it is, maybe it is a physical thing?
Ah, so you can see I have as much concrete information about weight loss maintenance for you as most of the experts do. I’ll just tell you that the best advice I can come up with, and it has been something I have kept in the forefront of my mind for the last 7 or so years, is to look at what the successful people have done and imitate that. So when they said that most of the people in the NWCR ate breakfast, I learned to enjoy a good breakfast. When they said that most of the people exercise for an hour a day, I took exercise seriously. I worked up to over an hour of exercise a day. Now, I don’t know if I get an hour every day, but it is close. They said that most people weigh themselves once a week. I have gone back and forth on this. Currently I weigh myself twice a week. And lastly, they said that most people watched less than 10 hours of TV a week. So I threw my TV out! LOL, that’s not exactly true. I don’t actually remember reading that fact before. I did get rid of my TV for different reasons, and I think because of that I do stay a lot more active.
I also think its not bad to keep the increasing body of evidence regarding the extreme difficulty of weight loss maintenance in the back of your mind. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I think women are striving to get to an unrealistic weight. By unrealistic I mean that they are not heading towards that weight with the full knowledge of what will be necessary to MAINTAIN that weight. And in the meantime, they are very unhappy with themselves. That’s no good, is it? I recently saw some pictures of me as a little girl. I remembered that time so well. I was, umm, well endowed at a pretty young age. I remembered having to get that awful ‘old lady’ yellow swimsuit with the built in bra. I FELT SOOOOO FAT. What I saw in that picture was a VERY SLIM little girl. Oh my goodness. The mind games we play on ourselves. Its just no good.
So wherever you are on this journey, try to look at the truth that is known. Work that into your life now. Try to love yourself now. Find clothes that are flattering for your body type right now. Don’t wait until you are some imaginary shape or size. And don’t wear clothes that are too tight to remind yourself of how ‘bad’ you are or how you want to be another size. That is not loving and kind.