Thursday, March 22, 2007

This isn't what I'd planned to write about today

I really was going to talk about some knitting progress [or lack thereof], and my run yesterday [eight miles in 88 minutes – yeah, me!]. But then Amy wrote yesterday:
i've been wondering lately about some dieters. folks who've been at the same weight for ages and ages and are still trying even though nothing seems to change. i've been wondering where the breaking point is? when is it time to accept mediocrity if not defeat?
Hmmmm. You talkin' 'bout me, Amy?

This particular weight-loss trip started for me in January, 2006. By October I'd lost 43 pounds – not as much as I'd hoped to lose, but certainly enough to make a huge difference in body, mind and spirit. Most of my exercise was walking on hills; I'd just started running again during the summer.

Then I developed plantar fasciitis, and couldn't run or even walk for a very long time. I tried to compensate by using the rowing machine, but it's boring hard to row nowhere for the length of time necessary to release endorphins and burn fat. I tried to eat less and more carefully, but I eat when I'm bored and depressed. And when I can't exercise the way I like to – running outside is my number-one choice – I'm bored and depressed. And also? I eat.

So I reluctantly accepted the return of 10 of those 43 pounds. And they've pretty much been here ever since, give or take a pound or two.

I am the definition of someone who's 'been at the same weight for ages and ages and [is] still trying even though nothing seems to change.'

I haven't reached my breaking point. Yet. I don't feel like I'm even close to giving up, and I don't really know what giving up would look like. Would I start eating sugar on a daily basis? Would I make more fast-food drive-through trips? Would I stop running? I'm not doing any of those things. Yet.

Ten years ago, at my thinnest adult weight and also at my fittest, I thought I would never get fat again. I did, though, gradually and eventually, regain the weight I'd worked so hard to lose and added even more. How did it happen that it was okay for my fitness level to decline and my weight to grow, year after year? What will it take for that to happen again?

I hope to hell I don't find out!

I think, although I don't know, my first step to giving up would be to stop blogging. Whether you need me or not doesn't matter. I need this accountability and I enjoy this venue for spouting off and celebrating and sometimes even whining. As Amy said, "We're here to support each other."



Andrea K said...

Amen to that! Blogging (both writing mine and reading ones like yours) has kept me sane and accountable this past winter, as well as keeping from gaining weight. I even managed to lose a few.

What I admire about you is that even though the scale hasn't moved much, you've done a wonderful thing and taken on a new goal -- getting ready for this race-- that will not only be a personal achievement, but will improve your health as well. I think those kind of goals are more meaningful than trying to reach a certain number by a certain date.I wish you lots of luck!

Amy said...

i totally didn't mean you. i couldn't lose 43 pounds if i wired my jaw shut. i'd learn to eat with my ears or something.

keep caring for yourself, you'll reap the rewards in so many ways!

LPW said...

Of course I just wrote a long post and the whole thing got erased. . .

But what I wanted to add is that I too have been wondering why I exercise so much and work so hard to eat healthy and the scale really hasn't moved. . .all I'm asking for is the smallest reward--just a pound or two--to keep me motivated.

But then I realized that this whole attempt that we are all making is so much more than just numbers on a scale. We're keeping our bodies and minds healthy--we're improving our attitudes and increasing our cardio because there is so much more to being healthy then the scale. Even if the scale isn't moving, it's okay, because at least we're out there moving everyday, and that's what is really important.

Frustrated? You bet I am. But, I'm not ready to give up, because I wouldn't trade the improvement in my strength and self-esteem for all of the Big Macs in the world (but I might trade it for a pan of brownies).

I read this blog when I first get to work every morning, and I am always glad to know that there's somebody else out there, dealing with the same things that I am dealing with--but what I appreciate most is the attitude and the "never give up" feeling.

Keep up the good work (even if the scale isn't telling you to).

Grumpy Chair said...

For me, I know the weight isn't moving downward, but it isn't going up either other than 2 pound flucuations. I was able to stop the upward spiral gain at almost 5 pounds.

You went from having plantar fasciitis to training for a half-marathon! There will be no "Yets".

Lori said...

I'm not sure if it's defeat to stay at one weight and to keep trying. What's the alternative? Give up and gain weight? That is what happened to me the last time I lost over 50 pounds -- I had a plateau of sorts and just gave up. I didn't appreciate the plateau as meaning I had kept off the weight or not gained it back until I gave up.

You've come a long way, not just with the weight but with the attitude and the exercise. I also think that although you have those 10 pounds with you, I bet you $5 that you are in the same size you were then (with the total of 43 pounds gone) or smaller.

I don't kid myself. I know I'll get fat again if I'm not careful. I only had to regain several times to get that message across. Complacity is my enemy. You're doing great!

Jonathan said...

I blog therefore I'm thin!! Soon I'll be celebrating my fifth year at goal. I spent the first 40 years of my life rapidly gaining and losing, so this is pretty amazing.

Plateaus are discouraging. I do know that people can and do break through them, even when they last seemingly forever. Last night a client of mine who's lost over 140 pounds told the meeting that he didn't lose any WEIGHT during most of 2006. Instead, he said he spent the year MENTALLY ADJUSTING to his new body size before he was ready to move on.

Jake Silver said...

I just came over here from Jack Sprat's Blog... and I think I'll look around.
I've been up and down between 171 and 132 and recently I spent about 2 years at 160-ish and I was just not happy. Week after week I'd report my failures but I never ever gave up. I finally shed 20 pounds late last year and now I'm working on the last "Vanity Ten".

debra roby said...

Amen, Lady.

First I'm thinking you lost 2#s last week because you let your body rest and really heal. A good thing to do sometimes but harder than we allow.

I'm losing after a slow 10-20 years of it becoming OK to be less fit, to be more lazy, to not move. I hated being in pain all the time. But exercising before my surgery wasn't working. Since I've returned from surgery, the weight is melting and the body is shrinking too. (though where I really want to see it? torso and bust? not so much). I don't expect it to continue unimpeded.

Still check on Monday when I model my new "half way" jeans.