Saturday, July 17, 2010

Not my post

The following is NOT MY POST. It is a blog I go to daily. A blog I find inspiring and lovely and honest. is an amazing story of a woman who is battling her demons and finding out who she is again, and I think this post in particular shows how weight loss can be incredibly rewarding and yet excruciating. Please read!

Time to Lose
You know what's really crazy? The more weight I lose, the more impatient I am getting to get it ALL OFF. I mean, yeah, when I weighed 278 pounds and was looking down the barrel of losing over 120 pounds, I felt overwhelmed. I wished it would instantly poof off and be gone. I wished I could undo the years of damage. I even dreamed of hacking off my own fat slabs with a scythe so I could be immediately lighter. Let's face it, knowing one has to lose that much weight is a real downer. It seems impossible. I went through a lot of anger, fear, and sadness:

How could I let myself get this big?
Why did I do this to myself?
How on earth and I going to lose 120 pounds? It is going to take forever.
Is it even possible?

I chose to just start on the path and not worry about how many miles it would be. One foot in front of the other, step by step. The time was going to pass anyway, day after day after day until I was ten, twenty, thirty years older and the only thing I could control is whether I would be heavier, lighter, or the same weight when another year went by. THAT, I could do. I knew I could lose, say, ten pounds. That was not impossible. But I always regained the weight. I never got to 40 pounds lost. I always stalled out and regained. Could I really get off ten pounds and keep it off? That became the first goal. In fact, sometimes my goals became "lose 5 pounds and keep it off." I knew if I could do that, twenty times, I'd have lost 100 pounds. It might take a year, two years, five years. But, like I said, the time would pass anyway. May as well do *something* real about my weight during that time.

I started in August of 2007, almost 3 years ago. It took me about ten days to lose the first ten pounds, and I kept it off. I kept it off FOREVER. And even if I had stopped there it would have been a positive change and a new accomplishment. If you can get ten pounds off and KEEP IT OFF, you have really done something good for yourself. Yes ten pounds matters. And yes, being *able* not to regain that amount is a huge step! Yet it is one most of us would think nothing of, would downplay, wouldn't bother to have as a goal. It should be the first goal. Get off ten and KEEP IT OFF.

It took me a little longer to lose the next ten pounds... 34 days. That's still rather quick in the scheme of things. So in under 2 months I was down 20 pounds and I KEPT IT OFF. That is huge! You can go back and read my archives and see that I was not on some strict diet to accomplish that. What started this weight loss was simple: a trip to the Farmer's Market. I had coupons for free produce, so I went. I bought so much fruit it looked like an orchard in here: a case of peaches, bins of blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, bags of plums and whole watermelons and cantaloupes. I got some veggies too but I was still not big on veggies. And then I didn't want all that fruit to go to waste so I ate and ate and ate it. And I lost weight, because peaches left no room for Big Macs and berries displaced candy bars. I just kept going, week after week, buying produce and eating that instead of crap. I also did try to stop eating *all the time* as I had been, and stopped eating late at night. I drank water and tea instead of sodas. The weight came off.

It took even longer to lose the third 10 pounds: 55 days. Almost two months to drop that ten. It was getting harder, but it was still coming off. After awhile I started walking a tiny bit. I started counting calories at some point. The binges were getting fewer and farther between. And I was still wondering if I had it in me to lose all this weight and keep it off. But I was up to 30 pounds gone, I posted progress pictures and the difference was astounding. I kept going.

The next ten were critical, as I'd never quite gotten to 40 pounds gone before in all my dieting days. Each set of ten pounds was taking longer to lose... 10 days, 34 days, 55 days. And the fourth ten pounds took three and a half MONTHS to come off! This is where most people give up. I mean, how do you keep going when it takes THREE AND A HALF MONTHS to drop ten lousy pounds?? Well, you just do. You have to keep fighting. Some of that time I was just aiming not to regain all the weight. I was working the mental battle. I was figuring out what works for me. Trial and error. The Farmer's Market was closed and I was figuring out how to get what I needed from a grocery store. I figured it out. That ten came off and STAYED OFF. Spring came, it got slightly easier, and the next ten pounds "only" took 50 days (less than 2 months).

Now stop and think. If it took you MONTHS to drop ten pounds, how would you feel? Would you give up? Is it worth it if it is coming off that slowly? Let's wait and see...

So it had been nine months and I'd lost 50 pounds. I was feeling much better but I had to work hard on the mental and emotional stuff along the way. I tried different plans: calorie counting, South Beach, low carb, weight training, biking, eating on a schedule, meditating. And I just kept going. It took me exactly 2 months to lose the next ten pounds.

And then I got kinda stuck. I didn't give up... I kept counting calories and exercising and eating lots of veggies. I blogged. I worked at it. And do you know how long it took me to drop the next ten pounds?

One year and nine months.

Yep. Twenty one months after I hit 60 pounds gone, I finally reached 70 gone. I struggled and worked and DID NOT GIVE UP for 21 months. It was hard, let me tell you. I wanted to give up sometimes. I thought I couldn't do it. I figured at this rate of loss I would be an old lady before i reached my goal, if ever. But what were my choices? Give up? Go back to bingeing and being morbidly obese? Sadly, many people choose to give up and regain the weight because it is SO TIRING to keep fighting and it seems impossible and that it is taking SO LONG and will never happen. It really gets exhausting and discouraging... but keep going.

The next ten pounds took 32 days.
Then next ten took 45 days.

And the next? Who knows. I am working on it. I am getting close to 90 pounds gone. It took me almost three years.

Is that too long?
Is it not worth it?
Is it worth fighting and working when it takes that long?

Yeah. It is worth it. Keep going.

I may feel impatient sometimes, but the TIME is part of the process. It's part of learning how to live a life with a healthier relationship with food. It's part of processing the pain and grief that may have led to the weight gain in the first place. It takes time to let those things go, to learn how to eat well, to revamp your life. It takes time to lose weight. But yes. It is so, so worth it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

And ... I'm back!

One month, one month gone. One month not tracking food or exercise or how I feel. But I'm here. I'm running again, luckily I didn't gain any weight. I guess it's more than luck. My life is different than it was one year ago. I am different than I was a year ago.

I am thirty pounds lighter.

I enjoy the running I do.

I look for ways to be fitter, better, healther.

I can't wait for my next race!

Isn't that was this is all about? Changing our lives. Not a binge diet. Not some crazy food plan where all we eat is celery for three weeks straight, but learning to eat and work out in a healthy way. So my month off wasn't necessarily a failure, except for the no exercise part. It was an exercise in moderation. I think I can do this!