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"Have you gained any weight back yet?"

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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Yesterday we hosted a graduation party for our older son. It was an intimate family and friends affair held outside on a beautiful afternoon.

A question drifted my way. "Have you gained any weight back yet?" The question was posed by my mother, rather loudly and from a distance. Silence ensued. I might have taken offense, but my mother was privy to some information that our other guests were not. I responded, "No, and I don't plan to."

Two months ago, my weight loss began with a medical crisis: I was diagnosed with an ovarian mass. It was removed a week later, and fortunately, it was benign. Between receiving the initial diagnosis and the final pathology, my body went into panic mode, and I lost 10 pounds in 10 days. After learning the good news, I decided to take advantage of the jump start in weight loss. It would only take another few pounds to get back to a "normal", healthy BMI.

I am not new to weight loss. I've had 30 years of practice, and I know what works for me. Unfortunately, I sometimes lose focus and the pounds creep back on with stealth. A year ago, I started running intervals on my treadmill with a goal of running 4 miles in 40 minutes. I hadn't yet attained that goal...and still haven't. Currently, I'm at 3.8+ miles in 45 minutes. (I was able to get back on the treadmill five days after surgery with my doctor's approval.)

I had also already been eating mini-meals every three hours, five or six times a day. To lose the extra few pounds, I just made a few minor adjustments. First, I made the exercise a bit more consistent, throwing in some walks and some outdoor running now that the weather is more cooperative. Second, I cleaned up my meals a bit. I eat only five times a day, and the food is healthier.

These changes resulted in a total weight loss of 19 pounds in less than eight weeks (from 151 pounds in the emergency room to 132 pounds today). My mom's question was innocent concern that there really is something wrong with me that I'm not sharing with her. My weight loss was quick, and in some ways, less than healthy, but in the end, it was intended.

The silence that followed my mom's question, however, gave me pause. I think people may have been surprised that someone would dare to even voice that question. Yet, everyone thinks it when someone loses a noticeable amount of weight...and everyone wants to know the answer. The odds and statistics go against successful weight loss maintenance. My own experience has taught me how difficult it is to maintain a weight loss.

Have I gained any weight back yet? No, and I don't intend to. I'm buying new clothes, one to two sizes smaller than my previous wardrobe...and I don't even know if I'm done losing weight yet. I'm going to continue with what seems to be working for me and see what happens.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a great response! Clear and to the point :) Best of luck with the rest of your journey
    1606 days ago
    Go girl Go!
    Have you ever hiked Mt. Monadnock? Here is some interesting info on hiking the most hiked mountain in the Western Hemisphere!
    1607 days ago
    Good for you! also I'm so happy the mass was benign and I hope you can make your goal of 4 miles in 40 minutes seems too tough for me lol but you seem strong enough to get it done!!

    1609 days ago
    what a calm and healthy way to respond to this potentially loaded question, sweetie. awesome!
    1609 days ago
    Congratulations on making lemonade out of life's lemons, and on releasing that extra weight.
    I know that it is hard to maintain a new weight and am looking forward to trying, but still have a few kilos to go. But I am deliberately framing my thinking, I have released the weight, it has gone, it isn,t waiting somewhere to pile back on, I can't regain it or put it on again, if I gain weight it is new weight that I am gaining.
    Right now, my plans are all about attaining a comfortable weight and size. Congratulations on your success in attaining that and best wishes for continued success with maintenance.
    1610 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/26/2013 5:10:12 AM
  • OOLALA53
    I have found that many of the activities I did to lose weight led to greater bingeing. I started 41 months ago (after 38 years of weight loss failure and weight gain) with maintenance in mind much as you said somewhere that you weren't going to do anything just for the short term. I just wanted to tame bingeing. In doing so, I've lost weight and kept most of the losses along the way. I'm still at it, meaning bingeing happens once in awhile, though technically what I do now is just overeat sometimes. I firmly believe that weight regain happens a lot because the person was doing something that was unnatural at the moment or aiming at something untenable.

    Given that we live in a culture of abundance and a love/hate relationship with food, all but a few of us have to find ways to limit our intake. Only we can answer the question of how much food is going to be enough to satisfy ALL our needs, not just the need for nutrients. In that quest, my mentor Reinhard Engels asserts that there is no real before and after, just before and during.

    Here is to your successful during.
    1611 days ago
    Well done - keeping the focus has always been my issue too! So glad that I found Spark and ultimately the AG&M+TM Team and YOU to help me learn what I need to do to stay with this program and maintain what I have worked so hard to achieve!!! CONGRATULATIONS on all your successes so far and best wishes on all of those to come!
    1612 days ago
    I love your attitude towards your Mom's question! emoticon
    1612 days ago
    Congratulations! Way to go. You're gonna love buying and wearing new clothes!

    1612 days ago
    Interesting story -- glad to hear that you are well. Thanks for sharing!
    1613 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1613 days ago
    emoticon You are a person to be admired!! Love people like yourself who pick themselves up and dust thenselves off and GO SHOPPING : )
    You go!!!!
    1614 days ago
    Good for you! For me the maintenance has always been harder than the losing. that is how it used to be. Then I found SP and I am ay 65 weeks and counting. I know you can do it too. SP makes it all work.
    1614 days ago
    So glad you are ok! And good for you for using something negative to turn it into something positive, making good changes for your health. God bless!
    PS My daughter's graduation is today! What am I doing on Sparkpeople?! Heading out the door in about 90 minutes for the ceremony!
    1615 days ago
    You really DON"T need to assume the weight will come back. I eat the way my sister eats (she of the naturally thin) but I have to weigh and measure and log in order to do what she just does. It's not a "diet", just the way a normal weight person eats.
    1615 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon in all ways! Answering your Mom and responding to the health crisis! You rock!! Here is to happy and successful maintaining in that fabulous new wardrobe!!
    1615 days ago
    Congratulations on the weight loss. Sorry you had such an awful health scare, but glad it turned out okay.

    I do feel like people are constantly watching to see if I will fail and gain weight back. I know your mother didn't mean to put you on the spot...but you were ready with a great answer!
    1615 days ago
    A big congrats on your weight loss and transition into maintenance. You're right....maintenance isn't easy. It seems to be much harder maintaining the loss than losing the initial weight, but with determination and motivation it can be done. Like you, I want to be in the 5% club of maintainers who find success. So far, so good!! Enjoy your SP journey!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1615 days ago
    I need to drop about 10 pounds--have already lost 35 (well, 30 right now) and these last ones are hard to lose and easy to regain!

    Good luck--you WILL do it--I can tell!
    1615 days ago
    Good for you! Keep up the good work! I guess I would have done the eye roll thing if my mother had done that to me. I'm not sure how I would have answered her.
    1616 days ago
    emoticon Thank the Lord the mass was benign/
    1616 days ago
    I can relate to the public shame of relative posing the gain weight question when you haven't! Good job to you for succeeding and never giving in! Happy for you that your diagnosis was good and you are doing great!!
    1616 days ago
    Congratulations on your health, weight loss, and the grace with which you answered an awkward question. You can indeed maintain without regaining.

    1616 days ago
    Great blog! Great achievement. You can maintain. You have all the skills and knowledge, now you have publicly stated that you intend to maintain. YES. You can do it!! It's not always easy, but definitely worth it.
    1616 days ago
    Well done, on all counts!!

    So glad the mass was benign.
    emoticon emoticon
    1616 days ago
    When I lost my weight I gave away my big clothes to a missionary who needed them.
    Before I had kept them and grew back into them and even had to buy larger ones.
    I decided it was time to buy new clothes when my pants fell down in the street in broad daylight.
    emoticon emoticon
    1616 days ago
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    1616 days ago
    Congratulations on a great answer to your mom's question! And on turning a health scare into a jump start to a healthier weight, that is positive energy in action!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1616 days ago
    1616 days ago
    I am glad the mass was benign. it is wonderful that you hear the love behind your mother's words and not hinting at failure. Thanks for sharing.
    1616 days ago
  • MOMMY445
    congrats to hear that your mass was benign and that you are taking such great care of yourself! mothers do mean well, in their own way. have a wonderful day!
    1616 days ago
    Glad the mass proved benign! Whatever your reason(s) for losing weight this time, good for you for deciding it's the LAST time. You really set the accountability stage with your answer to your mother's question. I didn't get public questions like that, because my co-workers tip-toed around wondering if I was sick. I was...sick to death of being fat!

    1616 days ago
    So glad you heard the love behind your mother's question - so glad you aren't facing something life threatening.
    1616 days ago
    Whew! I'm glad the mass was benign and emoticon on keeping the weight off. You deserve some smaller clothes that fit! emoticon
    1616 days ago
    Well done with the weight loss and maintenance, well done navigating that most difficult of relationships (mother daughter) and discerning the intent behind the question!
    1616 days ago
    My fantasy to to always be able to answer such questions with grace. They are so politically incorrect and of course those of us who have spent time overweight fear them. Still, it's my fantasy. I think I'd be a little freer.
    1616 days ago
    Wow - what grace to REALIZE the intent of her question!! emoticon Here's to staying at a healthy BMI!! And to the health and fitness that come with it!!
    1616 days ago
    I feel the same way. My boyfriend teases me about eating all the time. I eat very little. I think he knows this. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I'm always wiping down counters and washing dishes. I'm not eating all the time like he says.
    1616 days ago
    Good job handling your mother and, more importantly, your own attitude toward your mother's comment. May that new, smaller wardrobe prove to be a cost-effective long term investment!
    1616 days ago
    Congratulations on your success and attitude. I'm glad your health scare ended well.
    1616 days ago
    Congratulations! I'm so glad your health scare was only a scare.

    You handled your mom beautifully ? You are a good person inside and out.

    Continued success to you!

    1616 days ago
    emoticon So proud of you!

    1616 days ago
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    1616 days ago
    I completely agree with your thoughts on the dreaded question! I believe it's always on the mind of people who meet someone who has recently lost weight. And it's just another proof of how much more difficult maintenance is than weight loss.
    Congratulations on your progress and I'm glad your health scare was completely treatable.
    Keep on Sparking!
    1616 days ago
    Consistency is the key, isn't it? For losing and maintaining....

    You have a kind attitude about your mother's question, I'm not sure I could be so kind, given the circumstances you describe, but good for you! It's really not about what other people throw at you, it's about how you receive it, and you did so with grace!
    1625 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Good for you keeping those 19 pounds off and buying new clothes. Your mother meant well, but it is funny how everyone tunes into that question. My mom asked me, " Are you still on that crazy diet?" I said yes, it is called maintenance.

    Have fun buying new smaller clothes.

    1626 days ago
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