While I am (finally) bound and determined to succeed at losing weight AND keeping it off, I’m sure that many other obese people have had some of the same thoughts as me in the past.
Why bother? Is it worth it? Can I really do it? Can I keep it off?
Is it an “Against All Odds” scenario?
That is, for all the effort that is spent in losing all this weight, will it all be for naught?
A Canadian publication¹ posted by the NIH which discusses the common misconceptions about obesity suggests that “approximately two-thirds of people who lose weight will regain it within 1 year, and almost all of them will regain it within 5 years.” As well, it states “Rather than a simple lack of willpower, the relapse of most individuals to their previous weight after otherwise successful weight loss is largely driven by the coordinated actions of metabolic, neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioural changes that oppose the maintenance of reduced body weight. The few individuals successful at maintaining weight loss (at least 13.6 kg for at least 1 year) generally have common behaviour and strategies that include consuming low-energy, low-fat diets; engaging in high levels of physical activity; consistent self-monitoring of body weight and food intake; eating breakfast regularly; and demonstrating a high level of dietary restraint.”
As I’ve stressed many times over the past 6 months, to me, what I’m doing is NOT a diet. It is a lifestyle change. I cannot possibly do any sort of short- or long-term dieting, drop the weight and expect it to not return. So my goal all the way along has been to (re)learn and (re)teach my body (and my mind) to eat healthier and to take care of myself.
While the idea of losing all this weight is daunting, it is the somewhat fear of trying to maintain it once it’s lost that is actually much more scarier. But as I’ve stated before, it is a concern I will address at that time (along with all of the excess skin I will undoubtedly have).
But it still can be said that it often seems to those of us dealing with obesity that we are trying to push a peanut up Everest with our noses. All of this hard work – is it for naught?
I do wonder if I’m going to be one of those “two-thirds” this article talks about. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t sit here and dwell upon it, but it does often come to the forefront that no matter how hard I work, in the end, it may have been a futile endeavor. Yet, I have enough to worry about in the “now” that I don’t need to worry about the potential future.
In the four weeks since I started with Maria (http://spoonoflife.com/home/), I have lost ELEVEN pounds and remarkably, several inches from both my waist and my hips. And I won’t lie and tell you it’s been easy because it hasn’t been. It’s been very hard. I went from being someone who rarely cooked and ordered in/out a lot, and rarely ate vegetables, to someone who eats veggies every day, several times a day. That’s not to say, however, that I’m enjoying it. But then again, I wasn’t expecting to.
I have never really enjoyed eating many foods. I am not, as I’ve stated before, a “foodie”. I don’t care about flavoring or presentation, or what the latest and greatest “super food” is. I eat only to fuel my body.
There are times in these past four weeks that I didn’t feel like eating. In the past, I would simply not eat. I have had to force myself to eat, even when I didn’t feel like it at all. And to be honest, I think I mentioned this before, I have grown somewhat tired of eating mostly veggies all the time.
Now I understand that under Maria’s plan that she has a set method to what I will eat and when, and I am on board with it, but if you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m going to bitch a bit about it. Because I went from someone who rarely ate veggies to eating them every day and several times a day, and I know that are doing my body good, but I get so bored of eating them. I wanted some variety. I wanted to be able to have more of a selection to eat. As someone who doesn’t like a lot of foods, it’s hard to not get bored with eating the same stuff all the time.
But like I said, I get that she has a plan for me and this is how it is.
So back to the topic at hand…
I want to believe that I’m not fighting a losing battle. That every hard step I take will all be worth it. That my sweat and many tears of frustration and angst won’t be for naught. That I will succeed. In the past I haven’t been very good with believing in myself. It’s so easy for me to look at myself in the mirror and already see failure – because I let myself get this big. And I shake my head at how stupid I have been.
But as my 50th birthday approaches in May, maybe I’m finally looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, “Fuck it! You’re still here. Get off your ass and do something about it!”
So I am.
So my goal is to be the “one-third” that does not only succeed in losing the weight, but will succeed in keeping it off. From now on, I will endeavor to work as hard as I can, to learn new habits and push the old ones aside. I will try to not dwell on the “what ifs” or “what might happen” and concentrate on the right now. And what I can do for myself at this time.
Thanks to Maria, my mom, my family and my many, many friends – all around the world – with all of their support, I’m going to be the “one-third”.
As my buddy Brandon Auret says, “Keep On Keeping On”. And that’s exactly that I’m doing to do. Even when it gets to be so hard I want to give up…
Blessings to all. Be safe. Be good. Be someone’s inspiration.
¹Widespread misconceptions about obesity Chaput et al. 2014 Can Fam Physician. 2014 Nov; 60(11): 973–975. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4229150/