This was part of my contribution to "How NOT to Lose Weight on a Diet" - a joint project with Colette. It's also an interesting (to me) look into my mindset before HAES.
Here's where the idea for this project came from: I have been dieting for 19 years, since two months before my first wedding at age 20, and I have doubled in size across about two decades. How is this possible? How can a person attempt to lose weight, a lot of times and in a lot of different ways, and yet manage to turn into the equivalent of two of herself? Let me be mostly truthful here: I weigh (about) 300 pounds. Since I am 5'5'' this means that I am at least twice what the height-weight charts and the BMI charts say I should be.
I don't have a graph for you – I'll make one if you really want – but the trend is my weight stair-stepping up across the years. The first year I was married, I gained about 40 pounds. Then I went on a high cost, we-feed-you plan and lost 50 pounds in a year. Then I got into a lousy job situation and gained back 60 in the next year. Then I stayed the same for a long time, probably six years, even while working in a restaurant. Then I got pregnant, gained 60 pounds, had the kid, lost 25 pounds, got pregnant again, gained another 60, had the second kid and never really lost any more. I stayed at the new higher weight for about eight years, went on a low carb diet, lost 35 pounds in 6 months and gained it back in 3 months, all while doing the hardest workouts of my life in the martial arts. I got divorced, gained 65 pounds due to: lack of exercise, getting a full time job for the first time since having kids, going out to eat with the new boyfriend, and acquiring sleep apnea. Last year, I tried a liquid diet, lost 30 pounds, stressed out and ate real food, and gained the 30 back.
I only hit the highlights, but in the midst of the big weight loss attempts, probably once every other month, I try a new plan and generally fizzle out. And every time I think, "Okay, my body has to stop here, this is really the most I can be," but I often manage to add some more weight. Holy cow!
And feel free to laugh, because I do. We've got to laugh at the crazy things we do to lost weight and the seeming futility of most of the plans we all have tried. Colette and I – and you if you'll share – would like to tell our stories of trying to fight the weight loss battle and (usually) losing. We'd like to commiserate about what doesn't work, so maybe we can all laugh a little and try not to worry so much about our slip-ups as we keep trying to get to our magic number, be it pounds or pants size.
I know there are people who have actually succeeded at losing weight and maintaining it. I'm sure you have advice for us. The advice probably has to do with portion control and overcoming emotional eating, right? Okay, share that advice. Let's have a discussion about what's worked for you and what hasn't, because the first diet is not the one that works. Nor is the second, third, or fourth, if I had to speculate, but maybe you finally got to your magic number and can stay there. Let us hear from you, too, because with weight loss, hope springs eternal.