here I go again

funny-scaleOnce upon a time, I decided to lose some weight. I started counting calories, I started exercising. I was tenacious. And it worked. I lost 108 pounds, and it felt terrific. And… I’ve gained it all back. Every single pound, and then some.

What happened? Well, a lot of things. The first answer, and we’ll come back to this: I ate too much. I also stopped exercising, and that, to be fair, wasn’t my fault. After I hurt my back, and then the surgery that followed, the sciatic pain in my leg took away the walking I loved. Outside on Amherst’s bike paths, my mix going on my iPod shuffle, walking sneakers on, workout clothes always with me, I loved to walk. A lot. The treadmill will do in the winter, but walking those paths, or the ones at the museum, that was fulfilling. Sometimes joyous. But it’s not a real possibility now. My leg muscles are tired and weak, and the pain recurs too often and too strongly. So this time I’m focusing on swimming. I’ve never been a great swimmer — I taught myself when I was 11 or so, and I’ve never learned to swim underwater (long story). But I can swim laps, and I can exercise in the pool, and it’s the best thing possible for my back.

But back to the eating too much part. Well, that was all me. Why? I don’t know, why does anyone eat too much? I wanted to, for one. I was home a lot more. I had time on my hands. I like food. It tastes good. I like a big comfy meal that makes me feel warm and fuzzy and full. I like salty things and cheesy things and ice cream. A lot of people do. I like them too much — a lot of people do that too.

I was also happy. I met this guy, as you know, and that worked out pretty well for me. 🙂 And then you’re a couple and you’re going out to eat, and you’re sharing desserts, and you’re happy. I felt loved, and okay, and for the first time in forever, not so insecure. I’m lovable! I’m great the way I am! And there’s some value in just loving who you are and accepting it and so forth. But there’s a line somewhere that I crossed, and now I don’t love who I am. My clothes don’t fit. I don’t fit. I don’t like myself this way. So it’s time to do something about it, again.

For unrelated reasons, I’ve been tested six ways to Sunday by a veritable crew of doctors in the past few months. Enough bloodwork to satisfy a hungry vampire’s thirst. Ultrasounds and sonograms, some of them mighty uncomfortable. A couple of specialists. The upside of all of that is that apparently I’m actually pretty freaking healthy. I get nice numbers on everything, except for an underactive thyroid (and while yes, it’s true, that ain’t helpin’ the number on the scale go down, studies have shown that weight gain due to hypothyroidism is mild — in the 5-20 range, and I got a lot more than that to lose so I’m not hiding behind that). And we’re addressing that with medicine, so here I am, healthy as the proverbial horse, but just overweight. Again.

There were a few false starts this spring — I tried a couple of other diets, but none of them did much for me. And then, after another dismal rendezvous with my friend the scale, I finally conceded that I have to go back to what worked before, and will again, no matter how tedious. Calories, calories, counting calories. I started using MyFitnessPal, and I like it. Since I began last Sunday, I’ve lost 5.2 pounds — as an experienced dieter I know that’s just the initial water-weight jump, but it’s still nice to see that number on the scale going in the right direction.

So, here I go again. Wish me luck. 🙂

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

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20 thoughts on “here I go again

  1. Ugh. We’re identical eating twins. I remember seeing someone (I’m pretty sure it was Kevin James) on a talk show talking about how he gets so sad when his plate is empty, and I was like YES! THAT’S ME! So all I’m focusing on right now with food is not eating when I’m not hungry, and it’s so hard! It’s such a no-brainer for most people, but for me…I could just eat all day and be completely happy.

  2. It’s difficult, but I’m impressed with your 108 pound weightloss. You did it once, you can do it again! I like the “My Fitness Pal!” I may have to consider doing it as well…. Good luck, my friend!

  3. When I was on the Weight Watchers boards about ten years ago, it went something like this: “Oh wow, did anybody here KNOW how many calories there are in lasagna/cheesecake/fried cheese sticks/a stick of butter/peanut butter pie?” I couldn’t stand it. Also, EVERYBODY there wanted to “loose” weight. Ugh.

    • That’s bad, but this is even worse. This is:

      Person A: “Hey, I just found this great new snack XXXX, it’s only 120 calories”
      Person B: “You know you could just eat raw spinach all day for a fraction of that.”
      Person A: “Well, yes, but XXXX is yummy and a low-cal treat.”
      Person C: “Yes, but it’s terrible for you. Here is a link to the study showing how it causes elephantitism in lab koalas.”
      Person B: “Or kale. You should eat kale.”

  4. So true! I am on a fitness high right now because I love food to much and I am a stay at home mother which I can easily get into some trouble, me and the fridge are homies lol But after 2 days of no gym I know I have to make myself get up and go… good luck to you I wish you many healthy blessings.

  5. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroid last year, it can have a devasting impact on some people, (that would be me.). I am on the medication which regulates my “blood levels” and does not treat any of the symptoms of hypothyroid. I was DETERMINED to lose 20 lbs so my “boarderline” blood pressure would go down, and being overweight would not be an excuse for my doctor to not be willing to treat my symptoms. I am 1.6lbs away for goal weight, and still feel awful. I have been to a few doctors, and I am still looking for one willing to even try to address the symptoms. Everyone reacts to thyroid issues differently, and it may be a huge roadblock to weight loss for many people (due to multiple symptoms ranging from joint pain, depression, anxiety attacks etc) stemming from an under treated thyroid condition. I really thought I was crazy, until I found a Facebook page where 100’s of other people were having the same issues. Not that this is your issue, I am not hiding behind it, I am searching for treatment along with many others. There are so many more who don’t realize that their symptoms are a result of their disease. Good luck, swimming and aqua fitness are amazing ways to gently work your muscle groups. Due to your injuries, you may also want to seek out a sports related physical therapist who will gently guide you back to building strength while protecting your back and leg.

    • Thank you Leslie — excellent points and I feel a little bad for not spelling out the hypothyroid issue better. Yes, it can make weight loss difficult, especially in the range you’re talking about, and I hope I didn’t sound flippant about what a crappy problem that is for many people. I just meant I can’t blame my gaining 100 pounds on that. 🙂 I hope you get the doctor you need. Finding a good doctor is like winning the lottery. I had a good endocrinologist in Buffalo but I’m no help here on the East Coast.

      You’re right — I have worked with a physical therapist. I think that water exercise is the best thing I can do, and the added plus is I’m enjoying it. I was always a lousy swimmer so I never spent much time in the pool before but my husband loves it and he’s converted me.

  6. Pingback: day 200 and counting | hold on... what am I holding onto?

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