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Losing weight shouldn't be the goal

Friday, February 01, 2013

I managed to squeak out a 1.4 pound loss this week. This time, I'm only setting a goal of a pound a week. It's definitely coming off a lot slower than it was 40-something pounds ago. More importantly, I want to make sure that everything I'm doing right now is something I can continue doing even at a maintenance weight, because weight loss cannot be my primary goal anymore.

I know me. I know I like to eat. I like to be athletic too. So while I try to watch what I eat and exercise more, this time it's more important for me to focus on the big picture. I like sushi. So I need to have a lifestyle that allows me to eat sushi once a week. I also like my mom's cooking, alcohol, and the occasional Five Guys visit. My boyfriend's culinary skills on the weekend involved mostly frozen pizzas. Now, that probably means I will need to exercise a LOT. Which is OK as long as I'm doing something I love, like this triathlon training.

What I can't do is be an emotional eater. I can't turn to food for comfort because I'm tired or stressed or depressed. I also can't overdo it with foods that make me feel bad. A lot of fat makes my tummy very grumpy because of my missing gallbladder. Anything with carbs from mostly sugar makes me really moody and sleepy because of the PCOS. I cannot consistently have more than 50-55% of carbs in my diet without feeling incredibly fatigued and depressed. I have to find balance with the food that I love. Like sushi and mom's cooking just one time a week. And fewer slices of the frozen pizza with some healthy snacks thrown in later. Will I always succeed? Heck no! It's a day to day thing. Even after 2 1/2 years of therapy and 2 more years of working at it myself, I STILL have days where I am so stressed that BBQ nachos is the only thing right in a world of wrong. And I know there will be more days like that. The key is that I cannot let it CONSUME me like it once did. When I do that 2, 3, 4 days in a row, it turns into a week. Then two weeks. Then next thing you know, I'm back at square one.

You know, regardless of the time I've spent off SP these last few years, I've only managed to put back on 10 pounds of the total 50 I lost. To me, that is an extreme achievement. I've basically maintained a 40 pound loss since March of 2011. That's almost 2 YEARS! Instead of focusing on that last 10 lost/regained, I've never taken the time to consider the other side of that. Through a divorce, student teaching, graduate school, and a full-time job, I managed to only gain 10 pounds, and I really only did that towards the middle of 2012. That is crazy to wrap my head around because I am an emotional eater. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years. If anything can make you feel worthless and insecure, it's your husband running off with a 21 year old blonde almost 10 years younger than him.

But I didn't let it consume me like I had let all the other crap in my life before that. And the only things I can think of that saved me from that was God, all the work I put into my therapy, and my divorce support class.

So I guess I'm saying that sometimes you have to put things in perspective. If you haven't lost any weight recently, think of the weight you lost before and the fact that you have maintained. If you haven't lost any weight yet, think about how your clothes fit better or how much energy you have or that you aren't moping on your couch or that you can walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like you are going to pass out. THAT is what you should be proud of. Losing weight shouldn't be the goal. Being HEALTHY and HAPPY and LOVING YOURSELF at any weight should be your ultimate desire and reason to change your lifestyle. Losing weight should just be a nice perk of achieving that.


(I do tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor emoticon)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Glad to hear that you have a healthy perspective on your journey. Honestly when it is just about the weight, people tend to just give up - or worse, succeed and then gain it all back because they went back to the habits that gave them weight problems in the first place. It's all about a permanent lifestyle change, a change of mind, a change of who you are in the inside!

    Keep up the good work! I only lost 1.4 pounds for all of January, so doing that in a week sounds pretty amazing!
    1931 days ago
    1933 days ago
    It's like half-empty or half-full glass: you either focus on gaining 10 pounds or maintaining a 40-pounds loss. I think you have the best perspective at the moment and it can only help you in your way of success. Be positive!

    emoticon emoticon
    1933 days ago
    Great blog! It's all about perspective. Only you know when you're bullsheeping yourself. And only you know when it's safe to have an indulgence and not go off the deep end. You've learned so much about your body's individual needs since you began your journey. So many people never stop to figure that out, and ultimately give up.

    Maintaining a 40 pound loss is freakin' awesome! Way to go!
    1934 days ago
    SO TRUE!
    1934 days ago
    Seriously! You are awesome! I totally relate to "it's not coming off as fast as it did 40 pounds ago", I am learning that too. I keep trying for 1.5 or 1.6 pound losses (because 2 a week isn't in the cards anymore), but maybe a pound a week is a more realistic goal. As long as it's coming off then I am happy. I am also looking to maintenance mode even though it is soooooooooo far away for me. It may be silly, but I feel like I am sort of prepared for when I finally get there, whenever that may be.

    It sounds like you have really thought everything you and you have a firm grip of your goals and the person you want to be now, and at maintenance. Going through the motion can (sometimes) be the easy part, it's the planning and the emotional journey that is the hardest part, and you are doing fantastic on all counts! emoticon
    1934 days ago
    What a great perspective. And congrats on the weight loss you've maintained! Thanks so much for sharing! emoticon
    1934 days ago
    Great words to remember when struggling. Thanks for sharing.
    1934 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading your blog entry. You are definitely heading in the right direction. Victory is yours!!! emoticon emoticon
    1934 days ago
    It sounds like you know yourself pretty well. Here's to maintaining a healthy and active real life!
    1934 days ago
    You are so right! The right perspective is key!! Congrats on your success!!

    I am proud that of the 75 pounds I lost after my son was born, I have managed to maintain a 55 pound loss - & he's about to turn 10! And I have a 5 year old daughter - so I was able to go through another pregnancy & lose most of that.

    This week the Evil Scale Troll showed a gain - like he did last week. BUT, I am still down 6 pounds for the month of January & 1 inch smaller around my waist.
    1934 days ago
    omg I am loving that website!

    I agree with you about putting things in perspective. Instead of me being annoyed I'm not losing this month, I'm going to focus on the fact that I've lost 70 lbs already.
    1934 days ago
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