Thursday, March 29, 2007

Today's title is a mystery to me

Before I get into the meat of the matter today, I want to thank my daughter for the heads-up about this week's episode of Penn & Teller on Showtime. There probably is a YouTube or Google Video of it out there somewhere. [My lack of recording skills is starting to bother me. I might have to read a manual.] The P&T subject? The obesity epidemic; they expressed everything we've been saying about it out here in weight-loss blogland, only with much more colorful language. And naked breasts. [That should get some unusual hits!]

M@rla wrote a long and thoughtful post yesterday, about continuing to work out and eat right despite the lack of downward progress on the scale – a topic with which I'm very familiar. Some of you have weighed in – sorry – about that issue here, encouraging me, propping me up, making suggestions. Here's what she said about choosing the word 'disappointed' to describe how she feels at not experiencing further weight loss.
I can't come up with a word that expresses the frustration, rage, agony, depression, heartbreak, and despair of having worked so very hard at this, at having done everything right, and more than right, without losing a single damned pound for two years, so we're going to settle for the word "disappointed."
I've often thought she and I were twin daughters of different mothers. Except I'm older, so I guess we're not really twins. Heh.

Not that I don't always have my weight problem on my mind, but it was particularly front-and-center yesterday. M@rla's post and Penn & Teller were the bread for a sandwich filled with one of those Discovery Health programs about a woman who lost more than 400 pounds [gastric bypass] and then had surgery to take care of the loose skin problem that inevitably follows when you lose that much weight fast.

One word: Gruesome. Okay, one more: Grateful.

It was an interesting progression, first identifying with M's frustration and depression, then feeling gratitude that slow or no weight loss means surgical intervention won't be necessary, and finally laughing about the absurdity of it all.

Eat less and move more: That's the answer from doctors and magazine articles and well-meaning friends and family. And it does work for a while.

My frustration stems from the fact that I've been there. I've been at a healthy, attractive weight. I have a bag of size 6 and 8 clothes to prove it. I have pictures of myself wearing those clothes. I keep telling myself that I did it once and I should be able to do it again.

How did I do it then? I ate a very low-fat diet and I worked out hard, in a gym, for two hours every freaking day. I'm not yet at the point where I'm ready to do that again, though it might come to that, eventually. The low-fat diet was awful; my skin was dry and flaky, and I was cold all the time. The exercise wasn't so awful, and I feel like I'm almost there now, with the race training.

Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that food is still the problem. One thing is for sure: The YOU: On a Diet plan is too many calories for me.

PastaQueen commented on M@rla's blog that:
I sometimes wonder if it's been easier for me to lose the shitload of weight that I have because I never dieted before, like that saved me from having a screwed up metabolism.
First, nothing about losing half your body weight is easy, PQ. But I agree with your theory. My metabolism is just plain broken.

Knowing that doesn't mean I can quit. It means I try harder, I adapt and shift and change. And also? I hope and pray that something will work. Someday.

A request: If you leave a comment today, please don't tell me to try this or do that. Someone's already suggested it before, and I've already tried it. And especially don't tell me I need to "up my calories." A broken metabolism only knows how to do one thing with extra food – I might as well just paste it on my ass, because that's where it'll end up, eventually. Thanks.


Edited to add: Thirty (gulp!) days until race day. Thanks for the reminder, PICAdrienne!


Anonymous said...

Great post. I understand why you don't want "well try this" comments today. (Honest question: is it off limits to say what is working for us, though? I totally understand if it isn't.)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that last phrase should be "if it is". Haven't had coffee yet.

Debbi said...

I think it's great that something's working for you. Or you, or you, or you. Heh. Seriously, though? What else could there be that I haven't tried?

I've done any number of food plans, I've incorporated weight training into my fitness plan, I run more miles than most people walk (and I also walk), I measure and weigh my portions, etc., etc. I'm a pro at this weight-loss stuff. My first "diet" was when I was 11. I joined WW the first time at age 20. I'm now 55.

Maybe just for today commenting about what's working for you is off limits, too. Because today I'm pretty discouraged.

But I'm happy for you! And I hope you'll come back!

Anonymous said...

What I'm doing seems to have dealt with the frustrating set point dilemma (diet is only about 2 years old, but is based on older research). But you're right - it's not a good topic for today. Will be back. Thanks for the blog and major props for the courage it takes to write about the bad days as well as the good ones. Take care and be kind to yourself today.

Lincoln Highway Gal said...

I am a faithful reader and only an occassional poster but today I have to say.....

You are amazing. The very fact that you can continue trying and continue doing the "right" things is wonderful.

I know I would not have KOKO the way you do.


MS said...

I also usually don't comment, but I just want to thank you for posting nearly every day (and warning us regular readers when you won't be able to do that). Even when you're frustrated and discouraged. Thank you for setting an example of not giving up, even when things aren't going the way you want.

Jack Sprat said...


Quite often when I'm telling Devin about something that's concerning me, I preface it with "..and honey, I'm not looking for PROBLEM SOLVING here." That way he knows to just nod his head and say "I can see why you feel that way."

Its a natural inclination for people to give us helpful advice and tips. But sometimes its so much better if we can just put our stuff out there and just get a hug or a "I hear ya" in return.


I hear ya, and I can see why you feel that way!


M@rla said...

Um, yeah, why don't you try eating less?


Hoo boy. I laughed myself into a coma there. Here's what I think about the "why don't you try such-n-such" suggestions (and I'm not aiming this at Anonymous, who is obviously a sweet person who is behaving civilly and appropriately): Because 1. I have probably already tried it. Because 2. I may have already rejected the idea as crazy, dangerous, unhealthy, unreliable, etc. etc. Because 3. I read other blogs, I read a variety of fitness and health publications - if I want to read about someone else's theories, I know where to find them. And I do: I love to read about what other people are doing, on their blogs. I don't object to the occasional suggestion in my comments, but definitely not on a day when I'm venting my frustration. Because you know what that type of comment says to me at a moment like that? "You're not trying hard enough. You're not doing enough. Possibly you're a moron." And I am definitely not in a receptive mood for that opinion.

KOKO, chickie.

PICAdrienne said...

You didn't list how many days until race day! :)

Thirty days to go, and you are going to make it. I admire you for your hard work to be able to run that far, no matter how fast.

Connie said...

You know, I think you ARE losing pounds - it's just that the losses are going to your devoted readers. (Damned readers!! *grin*) The ones who gain inspiration from your posts. The ones that admire your strength, your courage, your gumption and that never-quit attitude. The ones like me! By the way, you are going to freakin' RUN A RACE in 30 days. That's so AWESOME, and so are YOU!