May 18, 2016

The Truth About Weight Loss

When you read people's extreme weight loss stories, what they don't usually share is the dark side of it all. When I started losing weight 16 months ago, I had 170 pounds to lose. Now, I've lost 120 pounds of that large number. Only 50 to go.

Except it's not "only" 50. Fifty pounds is a lot of extra weight to be carrying around. It places me squarely in the obese category. Every pound of the 120 I have lost has been a struggle, a constant battle between my body and myself. It's a battle that's being going on for decades -- I've dealt with being over weight as a child, through high school, in college and beyond.

There’s a little voice that is often the reason so many people quit or gain weight back. That little voice is a bitch that makes weight loss incredibly hard, harder than most people -- and me-- are usually willing to admit. Who wants to talk about how horrible they feel at times, how often they questioned themselves when they read all these stories about people who flew through weight loss like it’s nothing? I don't. Like everyone, I want people to think things are easy for me. So, along with everyone else, I never admit that little voice is there. I never admit how hard, even soul-crushing, weight loss is at times.

Well, I'm admitting it now.

The scale likes to screw with me, too. Follow my eating plan perfectly, exercise all I want, sometimes the scale still goes up for no sane reason I can possibly fathom. Or, it stays put, mocking me. Maybe I just miss one of my goals. That's when the fear, doubt and insecurity creeps in. The little voice in the back of my head starts up a fierce whisper, “Will the weight I've lost come back? Will I EVER be able to lose it all or am I stuck being fat forever? Why am I working so hard with no results? Why is it so dang easy for some people, yet here I am, struggling to lose even one lousy pound a week?”

Having someone comment that I've lost so much feels good. But the little voice is there to remind me, "There is still so much to go. Can I even do it? I’m nowhere near my goal." When I see others losing weight easily or quickly after weight loss surgery, the nasty little voice takes over. "Why are people saying she has worked so hard? She had weight loss surgery, she cheated. That's not working hard. It's taking the easy way, not actually earning or working for it. She looks good because she CHEATED. If I had surgery, the weight would be falling off me, too, with little to no effort. She's not even exercising while I'm over here sweating my ass off, just to watch the scale stay the same or go up." I know everyone has a different journey, a personal story they don't share all the details of, but that little voice doesn't give a damn. It's too busy giving the finger, screaming, "CHEATER!"

Walk into a store mid-weight loss and it's not quite as joyful in that area, either. Who has the money to constantly buy new clothes while losing weight? Not me. When it comes down to the mortgage and clothes for the kids or a new pair of jeans for mom, mom is going to be tightening her belt and wearing a longer shirt just in case the pants slip and show off her undies. Fit into a new size? The little voice is there, "Smaller size finally? That's nice, but it's still plus-size when you're an XL or 18." I tell the voice to shut up, weight loss is weight loss, smaller is still smaller, I should be proud. The voice doesn't care, it snorts and tells me, "Something that big is nothing to be proud of. People are still going to call you fat." Think something looks good? Yup, the voice is there. “You’re fat. There’s still a chance someone is going to laugh their butts off when they see you in that.”

Being large, I got into a habit of watching out for things that may not hold my weight or that I couldn't cram into -- chairs, airplane seats, amusement park rides, bikes, restaurant booths. I also avoid things that could leave me red-faced with embarrassment because I can't do them while others can -- long walks, gym equipment, yoga, hikes, running around a field. Losing weight to the point that these things should no longer be a worry still leaves the little voice chattering when I try any of them, "Have I finally lost enough or is that chair going to snap? Can I really fit in that space or am I under-estimating how big I still am? Am I finally up for that hike or am I going to be dripping with sweat, gasping for air while everyone is miles ahead?" The voice doesn't let me forget where I've been and it leaves me always questioning where I am.

I tell myself that I'm doing well. I'm getting there. People tell me how good I look. The little voice? You guessed it. It’s still there. “How can I look good? I’m fat. If someone gained weight and were this weight, people wouldn’t be telling them they look good. I may look BETTER, but not good. Doing well? I’m nowhere near my goal, I’m fat, the scale doesn’t want to budge, I’m failing. Even if I make it to the weight I should be, who knows if it’ll stay off.”

I’m determined to prove that voice wrong.

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  1. Although I did enjoy this article I don't think you are giving yourself enough credit. Yes, you want to lose more weight to be healthier and I understand that. However, you have come so far on your weight lose journey. 120 pounds is alot in any ones book. I think you need to celebrate your accomplishments and take pride in what you have done so far. I want to smash that little voice and tell it where to go. I guess I am trying to say don't be so hard on yourself. You are doing great and I believe in you. You will attain your ideal weight if that is what you want. It is okay to tell yourself, hey, I am doing a good job at getting healthy. I look and feel good and I am proud of what I have accomplished so far. I can see this to the end. You are not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well.

  2. Thank you for your honesty! So many people just talk about the results and not the hard struggle though weight loss. Keep at it! You are doing AMAZING!!

  3. The last few pounds are always the ones that seem to be the hardest. It seems for me that my body gets used to the things I do to lose the majority of the weight and I have to quick it into high gear and change things up to lose the last bit.

  4. Awwwww well I definitely hope you prove the voice wrong!!!! I can definitely relate to the scale messing with you though. I swear the weeks I decide no junk & constant juice and sugar, those will be the weeks I weigh myself and see my weight go up -_- makes me wonder why I'm cutting the junk at all and can be very discouraging.

  5. I have one of those little voices too. I always think I'm going to wake up and all the weight I've lost will just immediately be back on. It took me three years to get to a place where I was ready to lose weight, then another year to get the weight off. It's still a struggle every day. To those that say it's easy, I think they are lying. You hang in there, and if you need support, I'm here for you.

  6. I needed this this morning! I've just lost 40lbs with at least 40 to go. Some days are great then it can be a week of spiralling out of control! I always feeling like I am 1 blizzard away from gaining it all back! Congrats on the hard work! Cheers, Sara

  7. You are doing AMAZING. I can so relate to ALL of this, and I keep just pushing my health to the back burner because the kids or husband need something and I totally get all of it. You are truly an inspiration. Keep it up!!!

  8. Losing weight is so hard. I have been at it 13 weeks. I have lost 17 lbs and still have a lot more to go. It is a constant struggle. I am using MyFitness Pal.

  9. Here's to setting goals, and working towards them in a healthy way.

  10. I have that voice too! I've lost 30 pounds, but I'm still in plus size clothes, BMI still screams at me, so it is hard to celebrate victories when there is so much out there telling me I'm still fat.


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