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Gained it Back

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Old 03-25-2008, 07:11 PM   #1
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I haven't been on this site in quite some time. In fact, the last weight I had recorded on here was 207.4lbs. I'm now at 244lbs, which means I gained back approximately 37lbs in the past months.

Last summer I read "Overcoming Overeating", and found it inspiring. I really thought I had figured out that it was my obsession with my weight that was keeping me fat. Since then, I've stopped counting every calorie I eat, I've stopped feeling good/bad based on that day's weight, and I've stopped making it my goal to lose weight. Now, you might be thinking, "Yeah! And look what happened, you gained back almost 40lbs!" Well, true. But there have been a number of other circumstances accommodating dating that, not least of which is that I worked full-time and went to school full-time for almost 7 months. Now I'm back to working part-time (still in school full-time), and I actually have (a bit of) time to breathe again. Being so busy meant never having time to exercise, nor having time to plan food. I spent most of my day sitting at a desk, either at work or at school, and when I'd get home (at midnight) I just wanted to crash.

In this time, too, I've gotten into the fat/body acceptance movement. I've come to love my body in a way that I certainly didn't when I was obsessed with weight loss. I've come to realize that fat isn't evil, and I don't have to lose weight just because I'm fat. I don't owe weight loss to myself, nor anyone else. I can be healthy at this weight. But after 7 months of no exercise and eating whatever was cheap and readily available, I'm certainly not healthy.

I've become really interested in eating whole, natural foods, and cutting out processed, "100 calorie pack!", refined foods. I found half a loaf of Dempster's bread in my cupboard that I didn't remember buying (who knows how long ago it was, probably weeks), and it was still fresh and white. That's not cool! I want to eat food that will actually break down, as organic things ought to. I've been eating this way for a few weeks, and haven't seen any losses on the scale, but the gastrointestinal problems I had been having have almost entirely vanished. Plus, I have more energy.

That said, I'm still in a classroom/at the library/at work for the majority of the day. Right now, my education and supporting myself financially are my priorities, not weight loss. Thinking back on it, I love the body I had at ~200lbs. I was still fat–obese, even!–but I was so mentally unhealthy back then that I couldn't appreciate my body for what it was. I was in shape, I had curves, I moved easily and my body felt good, even if my mind didn't. Now I have a healthy mind, and I'm desperate to get back my healthy body. It's not the fatness I don't like about my body, it's the way it performs: I'm out of breath climbing stairs, I can't see the muscle tone in my legs and back and arms, and I don't feel motivated to do active things because they're not as "easy" as they were for me when I was in shape.

But I feel helpless. Without being in that "MUST LOSE WEIGHT" mode, I don't know how to be. That's how I've bee since I was 9 years old. I'm still hella busy, and don't have time to get to the gym right now. Time is my most valuable asset, and it's generally the case that I feel it would be a better use of my time to read/study/work than to exercise.

And here I've spent precious minutes writing this post, rather than exercising. I'm hoping someone here can help me. At 244lbs, I'm not sure I actually want to lose 100lbs (frankly, my goal right now is to get down to 215lbs or so, as long as I also get in shape), but this was my support group before I left, and you cats are a great bunch.

I have:
- 10lb, 3lb & 5lb freeweights
- Walk Away the Pounds (1, 2, & 3 mile walks)
- Just My Size Yoga
- gusto (currently in hibernation, though)

I don't have:
- a gym membership (nor money for one, yet)
- much space (bachelor apartment!)
- time. =P

Any advice? I feel like I don't even know my body anymore. I've definitely put my health aside, and I want to reclaim it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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I've lost weight before without exercising and I got down to 174 and was in much worse shape than I am in now at 196, so I totally get where you are coming from

I started working out in November doing Karate two days a week and that was fabulous! I was soooo scared I would be the fattest person there (I was at 220 when I started) .... but I wasn't! It's about self-defense, but it's also one heck of a work out! I then started running at the YMCA on the 1st January starting doing 60 seconds of running alternating with 90 seconds walking and two days ago I ran 20 minutes straight! That's like ASTOUNDING for me... lol. The plan I am doing for that is the Couch to 5K plan : http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml ... you think it will kill you.... but it won't I figured.... if they can run on the Biggest Loser at 250+ pounds, then heck, I could do it! And I did

I'm also eating much healthier, although I started that for my son. He's very hyper and I put it down a lot to his diet so we're a preservative and additive free family here now! I'm cooking all the meals we eat in the family and I'd bake my own bread if I didn't SUCK at it... There's a forum here about eating a natural diet. I can't remember where it is or what it's called, but I'm sure someone who has been around longer than me can point you in the right direction!!!

Also, I've just started the Paul McKenna "I can make you thin" plan. He's also got a show on TLC about it and it's all about changing the way you think about food so basically you eat like a thin person. You sit down and savour every bite of your food and you recognise your triggers more... when you're full.. etc. etc. A friend who has been up and down and up and down in her weight started this last week as everything else was failing for her as she CANNOT count calories and she lost 7.8 lbs in a week. Now, a lot of that is probably water weight, but she didn't COUNT anything. She ate what she wanted ... including Pizza and Chinese... (OMG!)... and she lost weight. She has me inspired to give it a go... http://www.mckenna.com/ ...

Oh, I'm plugging everything tonight... lol...

Welcome back! Sorry I rambled...
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #3
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Welcome back! I might suggest the Super Foods RX books. They are really all about eating whole foods, and no artificial sweeteners.
The SuperFoods Rx meal plan book has a weight loss plan in it which is quite sensible.

For exercise, just use what you have. Start small, pop in the one mile tape and do it. See how you feel. You might find that is enough for now, or be maybe you need the 2 mile the next time.

It's all about one small step at a time. Make some plans of what foods you are going to eat tomorrow and make it your goal to stick to your plan, not necessarily trying to lose weight.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
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In this time, too, I've gotten into the fat/body acceptance movement. I've come to love my body in a way that I certainly didn't when I was obsessed with weight loss. I've come to realize that fat isn't evil, and I don't have to lose weight just because I'm fat. I don't owe weight loss to myself, nor anyone else. I can be healthy at this weight.
Please don't allow yourself to be fooled into believing that fat does not equal bad health. Many, many times it does. Obesity has been linked:

type 2 diabetes
coronary heart disease and stroke
metabolic syndrome
certain types of cancer
sleep apnea
osteoarthritis
gallbladder disease
fatty liver disease
pregnancy complications

When I was younger, my obesity was a vanity issue. As I've gotten older, my obesity is a major health concern especially as research has shown an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancers in obese women. My Mom passed away from ovarian cancer. My knees hurt...a lot. I snore, badly. I have a strong history of diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension in my family.

IMO, the fat acceptance movement of the 80's did a big dis-service to all of us. Its okay to accept yourself as a wonderful creation even with the excess extra fat....because we are beautiful. But, it's not okay to accept the fat. This stuff can kill us and we should be doing everything in our power to maintain and improve our health for our future and the future of our loved ones.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:25 PM   #5
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Boy can I relate!!

I've been on this yo-yo roller coaster ride since I was probably 8 or 9 as well. When I would manage to lose weight, it was by being a food ****. Then I would completely fall off the wagon; never having learned moderation or portion control.

I did come to the conclusion that I have an issue with deprivation. I'm not sure how it started, or why it started. I also am obsessed with food, but I think I'm making progress. Although, I ultimately plan to lose weight, I have been really working on moderation and portions in the past month. I don't know how much weight I've lost, but even my husband noticed that my stomach has gone down quite a bit. Plus my clothes are not as snug and I'm sleeping better. I started exercising about a week ago.

About a year and a half ago, I posted here regularly for about 2 or 3 months. I was killing myself to stick to my low carb and killing myself to always top myself exercising. If I missed a day, I would double my exercise the next day. I'm not going to do that to myself anymore. I'm not going to let a cookie ruin my day either. However, I do plan to make changes to my lifestyle that I want to stick with; even after I get to my ideal clothes size.

I don't know if what I have to say will be a great help to you or not, but I'm willing to post daily while we get our acts together. I can't say that I plan to cut out any food, except for fried foods. Foods that I have cut way, way back on are dairy, red meat, simple sugars and bread (except flat pita bread).
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:29 PM   #6
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Hi there Kashi

How about scheduling in a work out tomorrow? Just one video. Or maybe you'd like to drink all of your water? Just for the day. Eat all your fruits & veggies? Start small. Start recognizing your body's wants and needs again. You might even want to track a few days worth of food just to get into the habit. Any small step in the right direction is a step closer to where you want to be. Keep on posting & best of success!!!
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:29 PM   #7
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Ahhh..... I'm going to get into trouble here.... lol....

There was a documentary recently I was watching, which I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called, that said pretty much all of the health risks linked with obesity were actually linked to body fat around the organs. People who are thin and who do not exercise (like my husband) and who have a little fat around their middle are more at risk of health problems than a healthy fat person who has no fat around their organs.

Examples being ... Sumo Wrestlers. They are fat, but they are fit.... and they are healthy.

*runs and hides*
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MamaToTomAndAlex View Post
Ahhh..... I'm going to get into trouble here.... lol....

There was a documentary recently I was watching, which I cannot for the life of me remember what it was called, that said pretty much all of the health risks linked with obesity were actually linked to body fat around the organs.
No reason to hide. This is absolutely true. I think the main problem is the majority of obese people don't exercise intensely for several hours a day and don't eat only healthy diets. Therefore, for us, obesity = health problems. Sumo wrestlers are atheletes who have strenous workouts and eat a very high calorie level of healthy foods. How many of us can say that we do the same? For me, I know that I would not be this large if I ate only healthy foods and worked out for hours a day. I'm not sure I could physically eat enough healthy calories to maintain this weight!
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:42 PM   #9
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It makes perfect sense. At least once a year, I hear someone on television discussing obesity issues, and Shaquille Oneal's name will come up. Then you wonder, "Is he fat, or just a huge, musclebound athlete?"
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:08 PM   #10
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Thanks for the welcome and advice, everyone! It's all very, very appreciated.

GirlyGirlSebas, as MamaToTomAndAlex said, the health problems that are linked to obesity are mostly linked to a certain "type" of obesity, and lots of obese people fit the marks. Lots of obese people don't regularly exercise, nor do they eat healthy. The thing is: lots of thin people don't regularly exercise, nor do they eat healthy. Some research has shown that fat people eat comparably to thin people. It's also important to note that correlation doesn't mean causation; thin people get sick too.

I think the most salient point is that fatness is often linked to genetics. There's no "fat gene" per se, but there are certainly genetic pre-dispositions for fatness. And if those genetic pre-dispositions for fatness are often accompanied by genetic pre-dispositions for certain cancers and type II diabetes, well... that's unfortunate. I'm not saying people should be absolved of responsibility for their health; personally, I'm at my current weight because I stopped eating healthy and stopped exercising, and I got to my former highest weight because I was an emotional eater as a child. But, that said, I think the biggest health problem right now isn't the "obesity epidemic", it's the "anti-obesity epidemic". We're so afraid of fat, so obsessed with not being fat. Eating disorders are so prevalent that a healthy attitude towards food is rare. I think 'accepting the fat' is the only remedy for this. Accepting doesn't mean 'giving up on losing weight' or 'resigning oneself to being fat', it means realizing that one can be fully satisfied and happy just as they are. Health is my ultimate goal, not weight loss, and too often they are conflated because people mistake the correlation for causation. For me, getting healthy means getting in shape again, and eating better, and that will likely yield weight loss. But at 210lbs, I was fit and energetic and healthy-of-body. Even while fat! Can you believe it?

I know I can lose weight while hating myself/my body; I lost 60lbs, during which time I cringed at the sight of my naked body. Now I'm fatter than I've been in years, and I look at myself naked every night with a smile on my face. If I got in shape the same way I was a year and a half ago without losing a pound, I'd be ecstatic. But that process generally leads to weight loss, and that's fine too. In my opinion, it's the fear that "fat will kill us!" that is most detrimental. If you are healthy, and by that I mean you eat a nutritious, whole, complex diet, and you keep your body in motion, the chances are absolutely miniscule that your autopsy will list "fatness" as the cause of death.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:54 PM   #11
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Health is my ultimate goal, not weight loss, and too often they are conflated because people mistake the correlation for causation. For me, getting healthy means getting in shape again, and eating better, and that will likely yield weight loss. But at 210lbs, I was fit and energetic and healthy-of-body. Even while fat! Can you believe it?
All I can tell you is that being obese for most of your life does catch up with you. I felt just fine until I reached 40...then, it was just one thing after another. But, I am behind you 100% on your journey to better health and I can't wait to hear your NSV stories and watch you meet your goals. Better health is my ultimate goal as well.

But, I still consider fat as my arch enemy.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:46 AM   #12
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Hahahah I loved reading your post. Esp. the hibernating gusto. =D

Good for you for picking back up. I think you're on an awesome path. It's so hard connecting all the parts between the mental and physical. I'm going the whole foods route as well. I think it's the only way to go.

Shoot, you'll get your active body back in no time at all. I know you're insanely busy, but try throwing in a 1 mile WATP every morning. That's just a fifteen minute commitment. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TIME FOR YOU! Hahaha, sorry, I love Leslie. I interject her quotes at least once an hour.

If you're looking for new, small tactics, one thing that has helped me is a self hypnosis/meditation on weight loss. So many things about overeating are brain programming issues. I've started eating less and I've had wayyyyyyyyyy fewer cravings than I've ever had before, and I think it has all to do with the fact that I listen to my meditation tape every night as I'm falling asleep. It's been helpful connecting my eating back to being hungry. I'm just thinking about things that you can work slyly into your tight schedule. (If you want to check out an mp3, PM me.)

I'm all for fat acceptance. After being on this board for a while, I've come to believe that how you think about fat depends on your personality and what it does for you. It's as subjective as any dietary tactic. Some people can find their motivation and drive by making fat their enemy. Others can't.

For me, hating fat or being afraid of what-have-you-obesity-induced-ailment pretty much annihilates my motivation. I would not be able to be healthy if I was constantly fighting my fat. Because it IS part of my body. I got this way by hating my body. The worst days I've had so far -- the days when I wanted to give up and stuff my face into a bag of Fritos -- were the days when I fixated on how gross and fat and horrible I was. The days that I don't fixate on it, I love my body and treat it well and exercise quite happily.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:42 AM   #13
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Hey!

This is an interesting discussion. I don't think it does anyone any good to hate themselves or their body because of fat. I think the culture we live in is obsessed with thin, thin, thin--and IMO that's sick, sick, sick! We are all precious human beings, regardless of our size.

That said--let me relate my own experience. I was not a person who worried much about fitting an "attractive" cultural ideal. I never wanted to lose weight to fit some arbitrary clothing size, for example. And there were periods of my life when I exercised daily and did martial arts and was basically pretty fit--for an overweight person. And then for awhile I was pretty fit for an obese person... But the thing is, it gets harder and harder, as Rhonda pointed out, to stay fit and obese--especially as you get older. So, my weight kept increasing.

I discovered that exercise alone was not enough to lose weight. Kashi, you may discover that this is the case as well--if not, then all the better for you. But I really believe that to lose weight, food has to be restricted in SOME way. Calories, points, fats, carbs... some sort of strategy to limit intake at the same time seems necessary.

Soooo, I would, for awhile, try to "eat better" in some kind of half-baked, vague way. Then, my work would get busy or something else would come up (like going to school) and the plans would go out the window!

Well, things like these, namely exercise and eating right, cannot depend on how life is going. They have to be like brushing your teeth. You don't skip it because you have an exam... (I hope! )

So I got heavier and heavier, until I could no longer pretend I was fit. One day I just had to conclude that even though I was supposed to love myself for what I am, the fact is: I was fat, obesity is dangerous, I didn't like it, and it wasn't going to go away on its own.

Kashi, I'm glad that you are happy with your body! And I applaud your strategy of getting fit. That is definitely a good thing to do. I also hope, though, that if you ever figure "Darn it! This fat has to go!" that you won't let some ideal of "fat acceptance" stand in your way.

I wish you lots of luck!

Jay
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:26 AM   #14
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I'm pretty new here, but wanted to say hi!

I just did the 1 mile Walk Away the Pounds this morning! 20 minutes is totally worth it!

Good luck on your journey to better health!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:55 AM   #15
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I so relate to your crazy shedule. Fortunately, mine is not always insane, but there are times when it is really tough to squeeze anything into my day besides work and family obligations. But - one of the most important things I have learned is that eating well and exercising makes me more productive. Please, take this in the spirit it's meant. "I don't have time" is just a way to excuse your choice not to exercise. If it was a high enough priority in your life, you would figure out a way to work it in. Wake up your hibernating gusto, find a way to work in some extra movement, and recognize that someone who is not healthy will lose a lot more productive time than someone who is healthy. You can do it - you just need to figure out how and why.
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