Holding back the numbers….

December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

As I mentioned in my previous two posts, I’ve been struggling (as usual) with yo-yo’ing between 234 pounds and 250 pounds.   The good news is that while I continue to live within this 15 pound Yo Yo roller coaster….it never goes beyond that.  Thank goodness for that much!!

Yes this yo yo cycle has lasted for close to a year but at least it has boundaries. And  I know that there is no mystery to this problem.  I don’t have some undiagnosed thyroid problem causing me to not lose weight.  No one is sneaking into my house at night and injecting me with liquid Twinkies.  I haven’t been taken hostage by a chef who insists I eat constantly.  The reality is this—I know how to lose weight.  I’ve done it in the past.  But for whatever reason I haven’t been able to get over the mental hurdles holding me back.   Because that’s what it is.  In fact, I’d venture to say that so much of weight loss really is mental more than anything else.  Let’s face it.  If we did what works….it would work!  It’s sticking to it that is tough because our brain, heart, and emotions get involved.

I bounce up to 250 pounds and as soon as I see that number I freak out.  I kick into high gear and get back to 234.  Yet as soon as I’m back in the 230’s I start to relax.  A mental block goes up.  Apathy.  Not caring.  Lack of motivation.  Slowly I creep back up until you guessed it.  I see that magic number of 250.  NO!!!  I won’t go over that halfway mark I say.  And back again I go.  This happens over and over again.  A relentless never-ending cycle.

What is about 250?  Why is that the number that makes me stop gaining? I don’t know.  But I’ve had this same experience before.  I can remember the years before I ever even got to 200.  Back then 200 was the “magic” number I freaked out over.

As long I as never make it to 200.…I’d think

And THAT fear kept it at bay for quite awhile.  Years in fact.  Until it didn’t. And then it happened.  One day I got over 200 and when it happened I just let it.  Before I knew it there was 210….220…..and up I crept.   I accepted I was now in the 200’s.   That’s just the way it was.

As long as I don’t hit 300…then I’ll be ok

And that’s how it went for years. Holding 300 off like an intruder who kept peering through my door.  I’d peer back out at it from the peephole and see it staring back.  Hanging around at front.  Just waiting for the moment when it could rush the door and finally get in.  And eventually it did….

I almost don’t remember when 300 broke through.  But it did.  And 400 came faster than all the others.  By then I felt outnumbered.  200,300, and 400 had me outnumbered.  What could I do but just give up?

I believe what everyone has told me.  Maintaining a weight and keeping regain at bay IS a big deal.  The fact that all I’ve done is gain and lose 10-15 pounds repeatedly but nothing more IS an accomplishment.  The fact that I’ve still kept off a large amount of weight and haven’t gained it all back is still a major feat.  But I’d be fooling myself if I let that be the only thing I acknowledged.  Because I’ve played this game before.  Over and over throughout my life.  Holding back numbers.  Feeling somewhat satisfied with the idea that at least I haven’t gone over THIS or THAT number.

And the frightening realization for me is that while….YES…I’ve done this successfully for an entire year….that alone is not (in my world) proof that I will continue to do so.  Just because for the past year I’ve managed to gain and lose ONLY 10-15 pounds is no guarantee that in the future it will not end up being 20, 30 or 50 pounds.  For me this is something I’ve done before.  I maintained myself in the 200’s for years.  In the 300’s for years.  And in the 400’s for years.  I have gotten better I believe at not gaining weight AS QUICKLY. I used to gain it by 25 and 50 pounds almost overnight.  Now I’ve at least slowed down to 10 and 15 pounds. But still the slow creep keeps going on.   I have to find a balance between being proud of myself for having maintained the same weight for so long AND also being very keenly aware that there is a number right on the other side of the door just waiting to creep in if I let my guard down for too long.

I did something this week.  I bought a new scale.  My old one had seen better days and it wasn’t accurate.  I knew that. I’ve known it for months.  It keeps giving me numbers that are off by 10 pounds.  But always in my favor.  I liked hoping that the scale was right. What can I say?  I knew it wasn’t but I preferred to pretend somewhere deep inside that I wasn’t aware it was inaccurate.  But this week I bought a new scale and now I know.  I’m 245 today.  Not 234.  Not 250.  But 245.  Definitely not a number I’d like but there it is.  And I hope the fact that I’m willing to see that is progress.

There were years I would have felt that weighing 245 pounds was a dream come true.  Like winning the lottery.  And I have to acknowledge that it still really is.  Weighing 245 pounds truly is to me a blessing.  It’s not 417 pounds.  And I have to remember that.  But I want to keep losing.  And more than anything I just don’t want to go back to the prison in which I used to live.  Where I weighed so much that I could barely walk.  Where I could barely even play with my own children.

So I will find a way to both see the positive in this number while still remembering that there is an intruder on the other side of that door which I must fend off.   An intruder that knows me all too well.  One that won’t stop coming for me.  And one I must never forget waits for the day when I decide to let the guard down one too many times.  When I become so tired of holding it at bay that I give up and give in.

That’s what I can’t let happen.  That’s what I must always fight.

Obesity is a teacher.   Both the bad one and the good one.  But one thing I must admit.  It never stops teaching me.

So it’s my job to never stop learning.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb December 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm

I can so relate. For years I’ve been battling hitting the 200 mark. The minute I see it on the scale I freak out and buckle down but once I’m far enough below it that I can relax all heck breaks lose again. My biggest denial is being addicted to sugar. I keep trying to convince myself that I can have a peaceful relationship with it but after 30 years of struggling with it I can’t seem to get it through my rock hard head.

I found out in July that I have high cholesterol and I really thought that it would kick me into gear and is hasn’t which is just pathetic. It’s the only real health issue I have because of my weight but it isn’t an ache or pain which is so apparent. I know it isn’t healthy but why can’t that be enough to get me moving in the right direction?

So yes, I can relate!

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16blessingsmom December 15, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Just. don’t. give. up. You an do this. As that guy pointed out in the grocery store, you are beautiful. You can do this. I know about the dreaded “creep”, and am battling it too. It’s just our lot in life. Recently, my tall thin and lovely daughter-in-law said to me, “Isn’t it just annoying for you to always watch what you eat?” This is a girl who eats ice cream every night, and white bread….Yeah, annoying is an understatement. I am sick and tired of it, but I cannot afford to give up, or I’ll be back where I started…back where I can hardly bend over, and get all huffing and puffing just walking down the street. I don’t have the luxury of not thinking about everything I put into my mouth, it’s just the way it is. So don’t give up, you aren’t alone. Some us just have this “thorn in the flesh”, or whatever it is. And please know you are much appreciated, I love reading your blog. I love your honesty, and am greatly encouraged by you.

Della

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Linda December 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Holly
do not give up !!
Keep fighting !
Make every decision in the direction of your goal!
Its not easy. You know this. Keeping my weight off is like a fulltime job. Alot of mental and physical energy!
But its worth it…but its hard !!!
Hardest thing i ever did actually!
Keep plugging away!!
I am rooting for you!!!

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Anneli December 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm

100% agree with Della. For some reason I’m reminded of a skinny girl I actually didn’t like, but she said once to another friend, “I could never be fat in the summer.” She’d been talking about all of the physical stuff she did in the summer. I’m also reminded of the skinny people in my recent kettlebell class who were always making some kind of goal—give up ice-cream for 21 days. Eat so much protein, eat 5 servings of veggies whatever. Maybe along with the eternal goal of weight-loss you might enjoy some smaller, short term goals that don’t really have anything to do with weight, but will obviously move you in the right direction.

I can’t remember if I ever told you this one–but I once “biked” 632 miles to Mt. Rushmore on my stationary bike. It was fun. It took months, I wasn’t tracking time, but once I got there, I got online and ordered myself a Mt. Rushmore sweater. Silly. I have no idea how much or how it benefitted me, but it didn’t hurt.

I can’t tell you how much it helps me to have goals that are not weight related. I’ve never succeed in losing all the weight, but I HAVE and CAN succeed in other things that are indirectly related to losing weight. No emotional baggage! it makes a big difference.

Hang in there!!
Anneli
Anneli recently posted..Back at workMy Profile

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Bear December 15, 2014 at 11:31 pm

“No one is sneaking into my house at night and injecting me with liquid Twinkies.” lol .. I think I have used that excuse.

I am new to your blog but what kind of exercise program are you following?

Peace ~ Bear

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Bear December 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm

“No one is sneaking into my house at night and injecting me with liquid Twinkies.” lol .. I think I have used that excuse.

I am new to your blog but what kind of exercise program are you following?

Peace ~ Bear
Bear recently posted..15 Dec 2014 MonMy Profile

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LHA December 16, 2014 at 2:18 am

Every word you say is true. The next “level” or weight milestone is just lurking out there waiting for you to slide up a little more. I think you are right on the mark here, knowing that you can be proud for stopping your weight gain and remaining pretty stable for quite a while, but you have to be vigilant to make sure you don’t go further than this.

I just know that you are going to find your way to your ultimate goal! There is a way, and you will discover it. Thanks for a great blog that is inspiring!

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John (Daddy Runs a Lot) December 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm

You’re right – maintaining absolutely is an admirable achievement . . . I know you’re maintaining at a higher level than you would like (and what you’re calling yo-yo’ing, I’d call maintaining . . . I’d be saying that I weighed 242, plus/minus 8 pounds), but maintaining is something to be celebrated.

The one thing that I’m not seeing in your posts, however, is a “I want to do this” type goal. I don’t see “x days with y calorie deficit” or “z days without refined sugar” or “weigh A.” Every now & then, you’ll talk about a 5 day challenge, but what’s behind the other doors? If we said “if I did everything right, for a year, I’d be THIS,” what would THIS be? Would you be running 5k’s every weekend? Weigh a certain weight? Fit into a particular dress size?

Yes, a journey of a million miles starts with the first step, and it’s important to concentrate on the steps, as you go . . . but if you don’t have a finish line in your dreams, skipping a step doesn’t always feel detrimental.

Does that make sense?
John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted..Where I present the unforeseen downsides to getting in shapeMy Profile

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Gary from WeightPsychology.com December 16, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Of course you are concerned … your history teaches you that you should be. The essence of the value of maintaining your weight in the current range is that 1) you know for sure what’s necessary to maintain your weight in that range and 2) you develop the lifestyle habits, thought processes and abilities (and confidence) to support that. Your not in that range by magic or things not under your control, but rather by strategy, skill, commitment and effort.

If your weight is going to go up, something has to change. Similarly, if your weight is going to go down, something about those things has to evolve as well.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down December 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm

well said. You are right. I am not here by magic. What makes me feel as if I have cruised through decades of pounds that weren’t under my control?

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Gary from WeightPsychology.com December 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

First, to be able to weigh over 400 pounds to begin with, your physiology has to be among the most aggressive physiologies out there when it comes to weight gain (we know there are people who could have done what you did and not weigh over 400 pounds … they don’t have as strong a tendency toward hyperinsulinemia, which we know is genetically based.). A physiology like that coupled with today’s food world (as opposed to the food world 100 years ago when obesity was relatively rare) is going to beat just about everyone in that situation (all we have to do is look around to see this, right?) – so … to answer your question, unless I’m missing something, I would think that those pounds weren’t under your control because you didn’t have the skills and understandings to control them – skills and understandings that, to your credit, you have obviously developed in large measure in the last few years.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down December 16, 2014 at 11:07 pm

You know what? You have a good way of making someone feel both less guilty and more empowered at the same time. Really starting to love you,Gary!!

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Gary from WeightPsychology.com December 17, 2014 at 12:24 am

Thank you for your kind comment – glad it helped.

Wendy December 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Hi Holly – I really admire your journey, and effort. You are extraordinary. For real.
I also just wanted to piggy-back on one thing Gary mentioned, and that’s the “food world.”. He’s talking about all food, everywhere, in the US today (I think), but I think there’s a lot of illumination and empowerment in realizing that we also each live in our own personal food environment. The empowerment comes from us taking action to ensure that our food environment is safe, and supports our goals. It shouldn’t contain traps, or “trigger foods” – those things aren’t safe! They don’t support us, they defeat us! And who needs that?!
For me, anyways, this realization is empowering. My primary for environment is nothing but supportive of the way I want to eat. And, I avoid food environments that are unsafe and destructive, as much as possible. I hope this helps.
Keep fighting the good fight!
Wendy

Angela December 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I just found your blog today. Thank you! I am two weeks into the Optifast diet and my head and heart are determined to use this time off solid food to reset my own addiction to food as comfort. I know it needs to be fuel only for me. I think reading your blog is going to be a tremendous support for me, so thank you for the generous sharing of your journey! You are an amazing inspiration and writer! I’m so thrilled for your success and look forward to joining you on this path! <3

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down December 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Oh thank you so much Angela!!!!

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