One Year Later (Thoughts on my diet-versary)

One year ago today, I looked at a picture of myself on my phone, that my husband had taken of me, his mom, and my sister-in-law, and mentally said to myself: "enough of this shit... you HAVE to lose weight..."  I have no idea where the time went and I'm still looking at myself in the mirror and the number on the scale with disbelief.  There is still that feeling of dread that if I eat something I shouldn't, the 65 pounds I lost will magically be added back to my body instantaneously. 


If someone told me one year ago YESTERDAY that I would be 65 pounds lighter in one year, I would have laughed at them and told them: "that's a beautiful theory, but my body won't let me lose 65 pounds..."


The journey wasn't easy, but it wasn't that hard, either. Once I had a routine of food in place, all I had to do was stick to it. Obviously, for the most part, I did, and it worked. 


What's hard is the now.  


You'd think it would be easy to just keep going. One of my doctors said I'm still overweight by about 15 pounds. It's just 15 pounds. I should be able to lose this in a few months no problem. I've already lost so much weight, why are these 15 pounds staying put?  


They are staying put because while I'm MOSTLY doing what worked before, I'm not doing everything that worked before.  I'm measuring protein and fats when I eat at home, but I'm not logging them. I don't log any fruits vegetables or potatoes.


On date nights, I'm basically eating what I want to instead of trying to make reasonable choice to stay within my calorie count.  I'm also drinking beer. 


I've also lost some of the discipline I had before. I have not been able to get a handle on munching extra calories at night. I have not figured out why I'm suddenly craving food at 9:00 pm when this did not happen before. I've lost the willpower to resist the urge to grab a handful of nuts, pretzels or trail mix.  I've tried to think a lot about this, and I've come to the conclusion that it's one of two things. The first is that I'm pouting and worried that I'm going to have to be on a 1,000-calorie diet for the rest of my life and I'm going to have to exercise every single day (which my joints will not like).


The second thing is that we have been binge watching this show at night that is somewhat stressful for me. It's called "Shameless."  It's a show about a  dysfunctional family in Chicago, struggling to survive with siblings raising themselves and a morally bankrupt selfish father who does nothing but make their life worse.  I wonder if watching all the angst and agony this family goes through just stresses me right out to the point where I want to eat to calm my stress. I really need to do an experiment and see if I watch something else less stressful if I get food cravings. I may do that tonight. 


Surprise! This isn't a "yay! Look at me! I did so good losing weight and you can too, post." It's a post about the realities of post-weight loss and how the struggle continues after you've had a modicum of success.


I haven't posted that much here lately because I have felt defeated in some way, because my weight loss has stalled and I'm not currently practicing everything I've been preaching, which is true. I had no idea why, but then I started to write this post and I think I have part of the answer.


I cannot get rid of the thought that my endocrinologist says I need to lose another 15 pounds.  That doctor visit is sort of haunting me. What he actually said was that the weight loss I had achieved was great. He did not mention to me that I needed to lose more weight. I brought it up and asked him. Point blank. And he told me what his medical opinion was.  Why have I not been able to let go of that conversation?


We often hear that parental approval and acceptance is really critical when you are growing up. Well, I had a father who was very hard to please. It always felt like the carrot was always being moved forward, and you really couldn't ever reach it. When I got As in school, he'd tease me and ask why they weren't A+s.  I honestly felt like nothing was ever enough. I was too young to take his comments as "I'm really proud of you but just don't know how to express it." No one ever explained that to me.  I'm pretty sure the way he parented us was his personal experience as a child, so that's how he learned to parent. My sister and I became over-achievers. My brother just flat out gave up trying to accomplish something to make my dad proud. In his mind, what was the freaking point? My dad was never going to give him a "job well done, son!"  He was much harder on my brother, as well.  I know in my head that my dad was very proud of me and my accomplishments. My heart, however, still has the yearning of a little girl craving unconditional acceptance. 


So, the doctor telling me I needed lose 15 more pounds to not be considered overweight was me hearing that everything I accomplished wasn't good enough. I think derp down Im afraid that if I lost 15 pounds, it still wouldn't be good enough, so why bother at all?  I think, honestly, that is the mindset I'm struggling with at the moment.  


I makes zero sense because I know in my head that those thoughts are not true. BUT, they are very powerful thoughts that I HAVE ALLOWED TO TAKE OVER MY MINDSET. 


Food will always be my issue. It will always have to be managed and controlled from my part. My body is very efficient at storing food and processing it. What doesn't get used, gets stored. I think I'm angry that my body didn't transform into a high metabolism fat-burning machine by losing weight and putting on muscle.  


The hardest part, though, is maintaining a positive outlook and the desire to stay the course. That one question I asked the doctor knocked me off my game. All because of something from my childhood that remains unresolved. Hopefully, now that I've acknowledged it again (I think I did write about this before), I can see it for what it is, the need for recognition and acceptance, and put those feelings into perspective so I can continue on and FINISH the job I set out to do a year ago. 


Feelings are tough. I may be older but that doesn't mean all the angst of my life has magically been dealt with. 


I think being self-aware is a good thing. Knowing (truly) why we do the things we do, what our triggers are for unhealthy behaviors and why we sometimes get unreasonably emotional (anger, sadness) over situations helps us Understand who we are.


Don't shy away from these things about yourself. Spend time figuring out who you are and what makes you tick. Yeah, you will learn some uncomfortable things about yourself. But, the more you know how your mind and emotions work, the better off you will be at managing your life. Figuring out this stuff can also help remove the power it can have over you.


I'm hoping that this post helps me to have a positive reboot today. 


In an earlier post, I alluded to the fact that people who are trying to lose weight, are truly in a 'recovery" of sorts. Just like alcoholics, we have 'triggers' that cause us to lapse off our diet and not stay the course.  I guess I'm going to have to keep preaching that to myself, because clearly I haven't been taking my own advice. 


Here is a link to that post:


Are We In Recovery????? Hello, my name is…..


I wish I had a laundry list of easy-to-accomplish tasks that will lead you to attaining your weight loss goal. I don't. I have suggestions about what worked for me (60 plus blog posts full of them here), and potholes to avoid, along with thoughts about all the emotional angst and stress you may/may not encounter in your daily life, and strategies I've used to battle the desire to use food as a crutch to deal with them.


By reading this post you've realized that reaching my goal weight will not be the end of this journey. Why? Because the struggle to maintain a healthy weight will be with me until I die.


I'm not going to sugar coat the post-weight-loss experience for you. The worst days are getting on the scale and seeing you've gained a few pounds, and you feel your actions over the past week really shouldn't have warranted the weight gain. Or you've exercised all week long and lost less than a pound, or actually gained weight. Those days are discouraging and make you want to give up.  The best days are the days you look in the mirror, and still have that shock of surprise at how thin you look. Or you put on your 'thin' clothes and even they are a little loose. Or you schlep up a hill in heavy ski boots, carrying your skis and poles and you are not out of breath, but the younger folks are panting heavily as they climb the hill next to you. It's the little victories that get you through the day. It's realizing that you no longer have to shop in the plus-sized clothing department. These little victories are important. Don't diminish or discount them.  Embrace and remember them when you are feeling discouraged.  They are not shallow. 


Always remember this:

No matter what some idiot tells you, it is NOT easy to lose a serious amount of weight, so stop letting the words of those high metabolism thin people in your life tell you how 'easy' it is, that you'd be thin if you just did....... this or that.  Do not give these people that kind of power over you.   Ignore them and know that they have issues that you may be unaware of.  Until someone has walked in your shoes, been you, with your uniqueness, they have NO IDEA about what it is like to be you.... 


Still want to lose weight? If you want to get started the way I did, here are a few posts to get you started:


This is How We Do It!


Calorie Deficit Diet - Ten Things I Want You to Know


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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.

60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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