Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Inagural Address by Amanda, Mayor of Plateau Town
So I think it is a plateau. I did some research on plateaus this morning and I don't like what I found. Basically my body has adjusted to my caloric intake and exercise level. If I want more weight loss, I'll have to either eat less or exercise more. There's some talk about eating more calories for a week and then re-introducing the deficit again, but I'm not sure I buy that. So I either have to make some changes or be happy with where I am at.
I hate change.
Can I be happy with where I'm at? I think so. I've lost more than 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.), which was my initial goal. I'm wearing a size 12 pants and size medium or large shirts. I'm 5'8" (172.5 cm.) tall so my current weight of 179.2 lbs. (81.3 kg.) is okay. I look pretty good.
But the gain bothers me.
What if I start re-gaining the weight at my current level of caloric intake and exercise? I feel like all of the sudden my weight loss is no longer in my control. It reminds me of how helpless I felt before I had surgery when I would diet and lose weight so painfully slowly. My last real diet effort lasted six months during which time I lost 25 lbs. (11.3 kg.). I followed all the rules and it didn't seem to work. So I became frustrated and I quit. I used to try to explain to people how hard I was working to lose weight and how it just wasn't working and I felt like they didn't believe me. I felt like I was offering a bunch of excuses. I figured people looked at me and assumed I just ate crap all the time. But I didn't. I tried to eat healthy food and I exercised regularly. It was a really dark time in my soul. The frustration, the pain, the self-loathing were unbearable.
So being where I am right now reminds me of that time and I feel myself doing what I did back then to cope, which was give up.
But I didn't give up. I had lap-band weight loss surgery and I lost more than 100 lbs. I am experiencing a plateau, which is a normal part of weight loss. And I have choices. I can decide to work on maintaining for awhile and see what that's like. I can cut my calories some more and try to lose more.
I guess I've grown attached to how relatively easy my weight loss has been so far. Sure, I've worked at it. But I've also done it "my way". I've refused to diet. I don't write down my food anymore. I don't track calories. I don't deprive myself of the foods I love. I've always believed it is (or should be) possible to eat a diet of all things in moderation and lose or maintain weight. And that's what I've done. I've written about it. Hell, I've bragged about it! When I see people beating themselves up for eating foods they label "bad", I've said, "Hey! Stop! There's no such things as a good or bad food. Sure, some foods are more nutritious than others and some should only be consumed occasionally, but ALL foods have a place in a healthy diet eaten in moderation. You don't have to feel bad about yourself because of your food choices!". And I want to believe those words so much! I do believe them. I hate that this plateau is making me doubt myself!
So I think I'm going to go for maintenance rather than more weight loss. As long as I stay about where I am now, I'm fine with it. I feel very healthy (other than all this scale/mental BS). I like how I look. I've achieved 95% of all the health benefits that I would have achieved if I'd lost the additional 14 lbs. (6.4 kg.) to reach a "normal" BMI. The only concession that I'm going to make to this plateau is that I'm going to log my food for at least the next week to make sure I really am eating as well as I think I am.
So stay tuned!