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    LESLIE871948   54,478
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Day 152 of the trip back to "normal" - Support is critical

Friday, September 21, 2012

I have been looking at places where I had pictures taken, and old records that I have here and there of my trials with this life long struggle. It reminds me in a way of how we teach our nursing students that people need to be lifelong learners. I could look over my records and come to the determination that I am a failure, because after gaining the belief from a really fine weight watchers leader, that I Could in fact achieve a "normal" BMi, and attaining that in late 2003, I had a period of regain. I dug out my somewhat sparse records from the National weight control registry. I enrolled in that after a period of time when I used weight watchers to Re-lose some weight I had put on. I was reminded of that study when I got into a discussion about it on Spark. Anyway I achieved and maintained a "normal" BMI for about 4 years. I found an interesting note on one follow up report to the NWCR that I copied for my little file. It says I gained 10 pounds in the four year follow up year, and that it was due to Injury (bad bicycle accident) Stress (Mom had to be moved to a nursing home because she became violent - she had Alzheimer's disease and I had been caring for her and several other ladies with dementia in our home) and Change in Job (I took a job in the local University teaching Nursing). I found that the data in this little file filled in my spreadsheet of weight changes that I did when I got back on this path.
I am struggling with this now, because I need to define what constitutes maintenance for me. I want a date to celebrate. I have intended to use my weight watchers lifetime membership goal of 164 as the beginning of maintenance. As I approach that I am wondering about it. When I did not have the support of my WW meetings (when I went back to work teaching and stopped weighing in monthly) I began drifting up and down. As the job became more and more stressful I would drift higher each year until I saw myself briefly entering the dreaded twoterville in late 2008. I can see I was fighting it, as it never went too far into that land, but I also did not manage to get very far away from there. I know some facts of life about "normal"
1) There is Nothing "Normal" about me. I am an extraordinary person, as are all of you here.
2) If something stops me from exercising, I am just Not Good at managing stress and I go back to my old habits of soothing it with food.
3) From this community, I find that there are people who could have helped me choose alternative exercise when I was injured. I won't forget that.
4) Sure, I can do it by myself. Today. But not consistently. And if I turn my back on this it is going to cause me to lose what I have today - a healthy body, and a joyful and grateful spirit.
5) NEEDING other people and support does not make me a weak person.
I am an egomaniac with low self esteem at my worst. This time back I was broken in a big way. When I began to use Spark again it was rough admitting I needed help. I joined, then dropped out, then joined again. I was extremely ill and had begun losing weight without trying. It was just luck. I thank you all in this community
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPLSLINDA 9/21/2012 1:44PM

    Powerful post, LESLIE871948. I don't keep nor hang onto the records you do, but I certainly recognize myself in much of what you've shared. Starting my weight loss DURING a time of major stress, as I am now with being unemployed and moving early next year, is very different for me. In the past, I've started weight loss efforts when I've reached some sort of stability in my life. This time, it's the ONLY stable thing in my life, i.e. it's the one thing I can control in this season of major transitions.

I'm glad to hear that you're now looking for a calendar date to commemorate your goal weight, a day to celebrate and to mark this big next step. It's a rite of passage, in a manner of speaking, signifying the end of the first part of your journey and the beginning of the rest of your life. Doesn't mean you can't continue to drift downward like a leaf until your weight settles, but to continue the mindset of being in weight loss may not serve you well in the long run.

Not that I have much experience with maintenance, but I don't think you need to define what constitutes maintenance for you now. I think you will define it once you are there and can see what works and feels good to you.

Somewhere on a portable hard drive, I have photos of me when I was at my previous goal weight for some period of time. I need to find those and put them on my page as both a reminder that what I'm doing is possible, and as a vision for where I'm heading.

I love what you said about Needing support. I think of others who seem to be able to manage their eating and lose weight without support. I tell myself I should be able to do it that way, too. And I have tried it that way before. Several times. It simply doesn't work for me. I'm beginning to realize that, as an introvert and a loner, my need for support is my body's way of telling me that I need people in my life. I need a community. That sitting alone in front of my computer is no way to live.

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