Habit forming....right???

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It amazes me to realize that I've lost almost 60 pounds since April. The weight loss was fast at first, but then I reached a point where I didn't lose every week, but do continue to lose (just more slowly). Since this is a permanent lifestyle change I am ok with that.
You see I've lost weight before. So many times, only to gain it back. Each time that I started on a venture to lose weight I knew more and tried to be more realistic. 10 years ago I was sure I was going to keep the weight off. I did everything I had learned about successful weight loss. I was sure to get enough calories, I exercised, I drank water, I wrote down what I ate, I prayed, I kept in mind that this was a permanent change and over the course of about 10 months I went from 230 pounds to 160, then I joined a great gym, did strength training seriously 3 days a week and walked 5 days a week and got down to about 135. I got into the exercise so much that I even took a personal trainer course and passed. People were motivated by my weight loss and looked to me for advice concerning weight loss and exercise. I felt like maybe this was a plan that God had in mind for me to help others lose weight. But evidently not because I eventually did gain the weight back.
There were lots of circumstances that I would like to blame the weight gain on. I got married, I moved about an hour away, changed jobs, and took on a step kids and in laws and many many new issues (new job that was awful, Child didn't like new husband, Child support, husband all the sudden pops up with rx drug addiction 5 years into the marriage, hysterectomy , etc... It all seems like a blur now. Any way I guess the bottom line is I gradually started dropping my healthy habits and gaining my weight back.
I did try to fight off the weight gain by seeing dieticians, personal trainers, making healthy lifestyle plans, being put on antidepressants, seeing the Doc and being put on synthroid for hypothyroidism, but the weight won.
i also thought making changes in my life would increase my chance of successful weight loss. I changed jobs from the stressful on your feet 12 plus hours a day(three days a week) hospital nursing job to the less stressful but full of paperwork and traveling to the tune of 84 hours a week hospice job for a private for profit company. I loved the job, but working 84 hours a week was too much. I still had a daughter at home then and wasn't seeing her very much so I went back to the more stressful job and was there for several years when I decided to go back to school for Interior Design so I could get out of nursing all together. While I was in school part time I worked part time at the hospital. It got to the point that my legs and my back were aching so bad every day that I worked from being on my feet for 12 hours so I started searching again for an 8 hour job. A home health and hospice job from the hospital that was nonprofit came availabe part time so I applied for it. I was so nervous about making another change and wasn't sure what it would bring about, but it turned out the be a great move. When I finished school the job market was not good for interior design in my area and I decided to just keep working in home health and still do today. I am lucky first to have a job, but on top of that it is a great job, and the people I work with are like family. All those changes and I still weighed 240 pounds and was very tired middle aged couch potato.
So what happened that caused me to gain the weight back after I had done everything possible to keep it off? I don't know for sure why I would allow myself to eat more after being so vigilant or to stop exercising. I think maybe when I got to a healthier weight I was fooled into thinking that I'm "normal" now and can eat like everyone else. Also I turn to food as a comfort during stressful times. I knew It could make me gain weight, but I tried not to think about it as that would mess up my whole purpose in eating the unhealthy food to begin with. I once read an article in spark that says when we gain weight back it's because we gradually lose our healthy habits. That makes sense to me. But also I think that being healthy took so much of my time to do all that exercise and count all those calories and to obsess of weighing that it was difficult to maintain and still be involved in the rest of my life. I guess that is why I am not obsessing this time. I'm doing 30 min on Wii fit 5 days a week (alternating between strenth training and aerobics (I don't feel the need to get into serious weight training and trying to be a personal trainer), completing my food diary daily(very quick and easy on Sparkpeople), and drinking my water. I try to read an article several days a week and to post to my teammates 5 days a week (that is my commitment to help others). If I have time to do more than great, but if not I just stick to my basics. If I mess up by eating some christmas candy etc... then I get over it and start right back on my health regimen. It is not that hard to do (except resisting temptations at Christmas) and not hugely time consuming and the benefit of being stronger, feeling better about myself, fitting into smaller clothing and generally enjoying life if way worth it.
When I was a little girl my Dad once told me I would probably have to watch my weight for the rest of my life. He did not say it in a mean way, but I started crying. In order to console me my Mom quickly said it wan't true. Turns out he was right. Watching my weight will be a lifetime challenge for me not matter if I'm skinny or fat at the moment. I guess if I can accept that and commit not to let my healthy habits gradually drop then maybe this time...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Marie, thank you so much for sharing with us your weight journey and how life works with you and against. We all want to get off the roller coaster and stick with healthy habits, but sometimes life issues happen and we seem to let our healthy habits hit the wayside while we cope with the other issues. I have known most of my life I would have to figure out what is healthy for me and stop looking in magazines for diet help.

    Sounds like you've got enough knowledge under your belt to stick with this healthy lifestyle and make it work continuous for you. I am so proud to call you friend and what you've accomplished.

    Keep that Spark burning, honey!
    3865 days ago
    Thank you so much, Marie! I love hearing your story and can relate to so much of it. Losing and regaining over and over again is what I want to stop.

    You are such an inspiration!

    3868 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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