Monday, May 16, 2011

It's been a year

It was around this time last year that I weighed in at 235. It was the lowest I'd been on the WL train thus far (this time around). This weight is also significant in that it was the weight I maintained the first time I lost weight -- more correctly, I stalled out around 229.5, gained a little over Christmas, and maintained at 235 for several months.

This week, I once again weighed in at 235. In this last year, I've been as low as 228.4, as high as 240.4 and have bounced in between these two weights in the 235+/-5 window. Perhaps a classic case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." So how do I feel about that?

Actually, I don't really know, but I lean more towards feeling good about it than feeling bad. But let's start by getting the negatives out of the way.

I know that for a person who is my height (5'8"), that 235 is not a healthy weight. I know that I still struggle very heavily with compulsive overeating and that there is progress to be made on that front. I feel somewhat frustrated that I'm about 50 lbs heavier than the weight that I think is probably healthy for my body and that it's been an entire year since I've lost weight. That part is sad/frustrating/annoying.

Before I go on -- I must acknowledge that this is NOT a plateau. To me, a plateau is when you're doing everything right (at least to the best of your knowledge) -- exercising, following your food plan, etc -- and the scale isn't moving. The fact that I haven't lost weight is due to my decision to not follow the Weight Watchers program consistently, my not being as diligent about exercise as I have been in the past, and succumbing to the occasional binge. I KNOW what it takes to lose weight, and in the past year I've either done it inconsistently or sometimes not at all. And THAT'S why I haven't lost weight -- not because my body is confused or I'm starving myself or anything like that. I accept responsibility for my decisions, and am working to change the dysfunctional thought patterns that underly those decisions so that I can once again make progress.

However, like I said, the larger part of me is proud/happy/optimistic about what I've done with my weight the past year. I have dealt with depression and a lot of anxiety about my career and future. In the past, food would have been my primary source of comfort to deal with these issues; now I more often turn to friends and to God (although food is always there and still gets abused sometimes). I also have just in the past few months have made several realizations that are critical to my longterm succcess, thanks in large part to OA and a book I'm reading called Made to Crave. The biggest realization is that not only do I not have to do this alone, I really can't do this alone -- I must seek help from God if I am truly to recover from using food as a substitute for strength, love, comfort, and hope. And that fills me with unspeakable optimism.

On a pragmatic note, I must acknowledge that I have gone down a size in the past year despite my weight staying the same. I think this is because I work out and I've converted some fat to muscle. I must also admit that I think this is the first time I've ever maintained a weight for a year. While one might see that as a negative, as someone who has either lost or gained a significant (10+ lbs) of weight each and every year of her adult life, I see a year of maintenance as both extremely significant and extremely positive. A year of maintenance puts me one step closer to stopping the madness of gaining gaining gaining or losing a significant amount of weight each year, and so I am extremely proud of that.

I'll leave you with pictures of me from last year this time at 235 (black shirt) and this year (blue tanktop and bad posture). I see a little bit of a change on the side view and I think my face looks skinnier (more pronounced chin), but other than that they look kind of similar to me. I can, however, assure you that those pants fit much better now which means that even though I may not see it, I know progress is being made.
And yes, that's a calendar year of concerted effort to grow my hair. Curly. hair. grows. so. slowly!!!


  1. I'm a fellow natural curly, and while we actually grow hair the same as anyone else, because of the spiralling, it looks shorter. Sigh. It's taking me fricken forever to grow enough (with trims every 3 to 4 months to keep shape) to get to the length I want. Maybe three more inches would be nice. :) That's problly 6+ inches straight people hair. ; ) Or, a year's worth of hair!

    I hope you can make some more progress to the weight you want. Maintaining teaches us stuff, too. I know. I maintained for a couple years before finally getting within 39 pounds now of my goal. HOpe this year will see me there by the year-end holidays.

    Onward....curls a flying...

  2. I think it's great you've maintaing and stayed +/- 5 lbs. That's very normal for anyone.. although I know it's frustrating to look at the time line and know the work you did at times... but maintaining is a good skill to have!

    I've never known that about curly hair - but shocking! That's 1 year of hair growth?? crazy!


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