Monday, August 9, 2010

Doughy in the middle

So, here's the thing about losing mass quantities of weight, when you get to the end you're not really done. It isn't a lie, like I thought it was. Maintaining is much harder than losing, (once you figure out how to get the damn weight off).

For 8 weeks I haven't been able to run. It was a quick way to burn a lot of calories. It made me not hungry. It gave me happy brain chemicals and it made me want to do new and different things.

Since I stopped, I've been having to cross train with biking, swimming, walking. I do fitness classes and weight training, stretching and I've been in Physical Therapy for 3 weeks. But here's the deal, the happy brain chemicals are gone. And I'm depressed about my body not being able to do what it used to. And I stress eat.

It's like losing the weight was more like suddenly being able to walk on water. Your body feels a bit easier and much more agile. But if you start to gain it back, you sink in a bit. Right now, I'm up to my thighs. But I've been sinking for so long that the water is tepid rather than a cold shock of a number on a scale.

In reality, I'm up 10 lbs. But truthfully, that's almost going from a size 6 to a size 8. I'm bloated and doughy in the middle. And I know what I need to do. Every morning I get up and write out the food plan. And for some reason, my brain thinks it's okay to deviate from it (like today's pretzels and non-fat greek yogurt). Yeah, that probably doesn't sound like junk food. But it was way too many pretzels.

There's a part of me that feels like I was waiting for this failure. Then there's part of me that says, "Screw that, get down to business." And although Quigs promised to punch me in the face if I started gaining, she hasn't said anything yet... but after this post, I'm expecting to have to use my ice pack. Because I really want to be part of the 2%.

If anyone's got any motivating words, I could definitely use some friends.


Dana said...

I don't know how helpful this comment will be because I can't quite form the words the way brain wants to, but here goes ...

I think we, as in people who struggle to lose weight or maintain, have to be willing to accept the grey areas. It is hard to relearn habits of overeating/not exercising. Often we just replace those habits with extremes of control and exercise. Then when our bodies start to fail us we are at a loss because we didn't embrace or ever find the grey area.

We will likely never have a perfect world where every meal is 100% catered to what is "acceptable" in our minds, and we may not always get a chance to burn all the calories we think/know we need to each day. Even if such an existence were possible, I would wager it would not be very satisfying or would burn us out in the long run.

So ... find the grey?

"Yes, today my back is being a pain in the butt, but I will do my best to accept it and factor that into my day's meals and activities. Perhaps some Wii with my child will be the thing that makes me happy today, rather than the lack of ability to pound the pavement making me blah. I can't going running, but I can do X."

I will not claim to have such balance, but I know (hope) it is a great, achievable thing to have.

imarogers said...

I agree with Dana. You need to find balance. It seems like you are not happy with yourself even though you were hoping this process was going to make it feel that way because you are always want to perfect it a little bit more. And while you would like to be a size 6, a size 8 is a healthy size. I got rid of my 6's because I knew that an 8 or a 10 would be a weight where I would have to work, but I could enjoy myself. And I like myself that size - when I am that size.

The question you should ask yourself is if you are doing all of this to be healthy or to find happiness. Because you seemed happier when you were bigger. I don't care what size you are, but I miss that happiness.

The Fearless Freak said...

I have to agree with Lori. Your happiness seems tied pretty tightly to the number on the scale. I get the obsession with it because I was in that same head space when I was doing weight watchers. Everything I did revolved around what I was and wasn't eating and how many points I had or could get during the day. I also get that you have, quite literally, worked your ass off to get where you are and that determination and drive is fantastic and being healthy is a top notch goal but I have to question if you sacrificing your emotional health for your physical health.

You need to find a place where you are happy. If that is a size 6, great. If it a little closer to an 8, where your body isn't rebelling and you aren't hurting yourself trying to get/stay there, that is great place to be too. And you know we all still love you, no matter what size you are. You just have to find a place that you can love yourself.

Good luck! :)

Quigs78 said...

I will gladly punch you in the face! :)

But I have to honestly say that I haven't noticed that you've put on any weight. We are always our own worst critics, whether it's weight loss, motherhood, marriage, etc. And I agree with Lori and Carrie. If you'd like to go out - either for a walk or a drink - to talk, I'd be more than happy to.

And you can add me to the list of people who just want to see you happy and healthy.

Looseyfur said...

I would say that I've reached a satisfied/dissatisfied state with my body. The dissatisfied state occurs when my pants get tight and satisfaction occurs when they fit. It's a bell or alarm that goes off to stop the insanity before I binge to a point where I start making excuses for poor choices that will adversely harm my health. I think although my big picture of happiness does include me existing in that safe area, my happiness barometer does not even come close to depending on my size.

I think to suggest so really limits the thoughtfulness and intention that I put into every other aspect of my life.

I can't control so much of how life works out for myself or the ones I love, but I can make the choice to have behaviors that help my health and mobility (particularly in my current annoying situation with my back).

For so long I felt like I had completely ignored my body as something that didn't matter. I valued my brain and heart above all else. The last year while trying to maintain my weight, I finally found a new exciting place where brain and heart finally connected with body.

I could move. I could literally play. I could dance. I could carry things up the stairs -- like large, king-sized mattresses. I felt curious enough to play dress up and see what the package looked like andI could take it out for a spin. I loved that whole when "body meets soul" connection.

I've had to reset myself in the last 24 hours, to get away from hormonal panic and know that I'm not about to lose that bliss to the lures of summertime ice cream and emotional eating (I went out for it 4 times last week, and it's a leading trigger food. Really once would have been fine.)

The truth is that I want that connection to be my norm, rather than a single moment of awesome in my life. But like anything else that's awesome in life -- I have to put a lot of time and energy into it to keep it running as smoothly as I can.

I guess the nice thing about physical therapy, is that there are a lot of people there who are suffering through sudden limited movement: whether their grandmothers unable to get on the floor with their grandchildren or athletes out for the fall season, and they all discuss how they need their activity back not just to get their bodies back into the same shape they were prior to injury but because accepting change in how their body performs is a difficult and challenging task to confront. It takes time and patience -- and you have to endure quite a lot of ongoing physical pain just to be able to move your arm or walk during recovery while you're able to determine what kind of movement you'll have and what your new limits are.

I'm always fuzzy on all good and bad things. I embrace gray. It's, indeed, my favorite color to live by because I know I don't know everything and I have no thoughts that I'm somehow perfect or maintaining perfection. I found this new different part of me, not in a size, that clicked into place with all the other parts of me after 30 plus years of analyzing and studying myself that I couldn't believe I'd missed.

So I read the comments, and I appreciate all of your support, concern and ideas. But it also really made me aware how much myself I must not be sharing with others outside of my house -- even with my social networking addiction. I really thought I was painting a broader picture of myself, but somehow I apparently managed to limit my scope instead.