Sunday, September 26, 2010

What A Difference Five Pounds Makes

I was chatting with a woman a couple of days ago about my weight loss journey and I was telling her that I have been struggling lately. I expressed to her that I have heard from a number of people that quite often when someone loses a significant amount of weight that they experience a gain around the time that they reach goal because it is just as hard – if not harder in some ways – to maintain as it is to lose.

She asked, “but you’re still in that five pound range or so, right?” And I responded with, “well, it’s more like ten, but it’s still okay.”

There are two problems with that interchange.

Firstly, my defenses went up, mildly but immediately, upon her inquiry. Now I don’t know this person well, but she appears to be a really nice woman and I have no doubt that she was simply carrying on her end of the conversation. Yet because I have had such a hard time lately I viewed her question as warranting a qualifier: “…but it’s still okay.” I guess I felt like responding that I had gained back ten or so pounds meant that she would think it wasn’t ‘okay’. Or, perhaps, I know that it really isn’t and I was trying to convince myself of otherwise.

Secondly, I lied! Me! I think of myself as a very, very honest person. My husband would probably say that I am such to a fault. But the truth is that I have gained back closer to fifteen pounds than ten; and I knew it when I was talking to her. Why did I do that?!

I guess I am scared that people will view any deviation from the healthier lifestyle I worked so hard at creating as failure. I feel sometimes like I have created a very specific image for myself in all that I have done over the last thirteen months. I have always been the type of person who achieves things that other people think of as impossible, but when there is visual, in your face evidence like a more than one hundred pound loss it becomes a different type of proof. And with that comes expectations.

With great power comes great responsibility, and so on, and so forth…

I have always put more pressure on myself than others; and I know that a lot of what I feel are the expectations of family and friends are probably no more than my own imaginings. However, people do look at me differently now and I sometimes feel like a bit of a pedestal has been created regarding my weight loss accomplishments.

And it’s a long way down.

So for that reason and due to whatever other odd malfunctions occurred in my brain in the split second that it took for me to respond to the woman’s question I decided to lie. I told her ten when I knew the truth was fifteen. I don’t want to be that person! I do not want to lie and I certainly do not want to revert to a state where I am uncomfortable with what I weigh. For the past year I have proudly announced to anyone who asked exactly what my weight was because I have been so pleased with my progress. That’s where I want to be again.

I just need to figure out how to get there.

And I need to beware of falling as I find my way.

- 4 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup fat free strawberry yogurt with 1 cup Multigrains cereal
- 1 mug pumpkin spice steamed soy milk
- 1 sandwich on sunflower bread with deli turkey, cheese, lettuce, and Dijon mustard
- 1 pumpkin scone with icing
- 1/4 cup almonds glazed with cranberries, honey, and sea salt
- 1 glass root beer
- 2 cups butterscotch and peanut butter chocolate bar ice cream blend
- 12 rosemary and olive oil whole grain crackers with garlic and herb soft cheese
- 2 cups apple cinnamon flavoured corn, wheat, and oat cereal with 3/4 cup milk

- 1 hour and 15 minutes of rowing a dragon boat
- 30 minute walk


  1. Oh. Hugs. I'm sorry--such a hard place to be.

    I haven't followed your blog for long, so I don'tknow where you are in regard to faith. So, I apologize in advance if what comes next offends you.

    But there is a Scripture verse that comes to my mind when I am in that spot of falling and trying to get up and falling again before I'm even upright. When I feel desparate and afraid that this is really the beginning of total failure.

    I thought of it just now as I read this post. It is from Micah, Chapter 7.

    It is: "Rejoice not against me, oh my enemy, for when I fall, I shall arise. And tho I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me."

    You will get through this. You will.



  2. That's a hard place to be. But I don't think gaining those 15 lbs is anything to be ashamed of really. It shows exactly how hard maintaining your weight after a huge lose is.

    I have to be honest because you were close the weight that my starting weight was. Seeing that it gets even harder at the end but that it's still possible is really motivating to me.

  3. I can completely understand why you chose to tell a little white lie in that split second. You have worked so hard to get to where you are at that you don't want people thinking that you are now going to gain all the weight back. Its scary when you finally get to goal and then you start having a slight weight gain. We have all yo-yo'd up and down so many times that you don't want this to be another time. Just make a decision right now to lose that last 15 again, take control, you can do it you have already proven that to yourself once. We are all rooting for you. Its better to take charge at 15 lbs then 30 lbs. Good luck.

  4. The pressure to keep it off is so intense. Mainteance is harder than losing. I have a friend who lost over 100 pounds and has kept it off for a few years, and she still says she'd rather be losing than maintaining. Regarding your clothes fitting, five pounds makes a big difference when you are this low on the scale, unlike the days when we didn't even feel five pounds. (over 200 lbs) So, your clothes will be fitting properly soon and are a great gauge as to how things are going.

    Way to fight through it.

  5. oops, I forgot to spell check - maintenance

  6. You already know how to get there. You've done it before and you can do it again. Stay strong!

  7. It is hard when you get this low. EVery two hundred calorie slip is a big slip...whereas before 200 calories was marginal. catching it now...good idea. You can do this. hang in there. I will hang with you. lol.

  8. Ok, now I'm going to give some advice but you can take it as coming from someone who has been exactly where you are now (more than) several times and still fallen all the way off that pedestal.

    Its time for you to stop telling your weight-loss story to others. You need to get off the pedestal. You need to let new people you meet (and people who have known you) think of you as a normal weight person. You need to think of yourself as a normal weight person who wants to lose some recently gained weight.

    Those of us who have lost a lot of weight are often very frightened of gaining it back. We think that we need to keep scaring ourselves by remembering how much we used to weigh in order to not gain the weight back. I'm starting to see that as wrong-way-around thinking.

    Because you are no longer a 266 pound woman. You are no longer a 266 pound woman who has lost 125 pounds and gained 15 back.

    You are a 142 pound woman who has recently gained 15 pounds. And that woman is not frightened. She doesn't scare herself with images of gaining 100 pounds. She just makes the decision to lose the 15 pounds (just as you made a decision way back when to lose weight.) She's determined and sure enough of herself to do what it takes to lose the weight.

    You are that person. Don't tell yourself anything else and don't tell anyone else anything but that either.

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