Yeah, Rabbit, Mel was wise to put the brakes on my enthusiasm for weight lifting.
Muscle building is a wonderful thing for all the reasons that she cites BUT it's not going to buy us the ability to eat the way we used to OR the way other people eat. We're always going to have to eat thoughtfully and moderately and limit our calories, no matter how hard we hit it in the gym. I'm thankful for whatever additional calories my ten pounds of added muscle will burn in a day, even if they're oatmeal calories (
- I LOVE oatmeal, with a little Splenda and cinnamon - but I digress ...
I've been thinking and thinking about what all this means since Thursday, when I went to the lecture. I've decided that I'm both relieved and a little frightened by the news. I'm relieved because this knowledge about lowered metabolic rates following weight loss makes so much sense and lets me, at least, feel like I'm not
a freak if I'm still weighing and measuring food, writing it down, and doing all the things that I know are necessary to keep the weight off for life. But it's a little daunting to know that we have to outwit a biological system perfectly designed to make us regain our lost weight.
But - and this is important! - I want everyone to go back and re-read Karen's (MrsJim's) post. Like she says - this is the hand of cards we've been dealt. OK, now we know precisely where we stand metabolically after weight loss. So what? So long as we all have free will - so long as we're the ones making the decisions about what to eat and whether to exercise - we can CHOOSE to be healthy and strong and fit. We know it can be done - we know that weight loss can be maintained for years and years and years (look at Karen!) - and I dare say every one of us knows exactly what to do to maintain our losses.
My fear is that this info is going to discourage people from trying to lose weight or maintain. Knowing how our bodies work doesn't change anything - weight loss (even massive weight loss!) is possible and do-able for everyone and totally worth the effort! Regardless of the effort it takes to maintain (and like Karen says, it becomes almost effortless as living maintenance becomes an lifestyle - it DOES get easier over time!), losing the weight has been the BEST thing I have ever done for myself in my life! I've never been happier and I've never been healthier. I feel proud of myself, I feel good about myself, and for the first time ever in my life, I like looking in a mirror.
All simply priceless. And a heck of a lot more rewarding that mindlessly stuffing food in my face.
Only good and positive changes come from getting rid of all those pounds of fat, I - and all the maintainers here - can assure you. Bottom line - no, it's not easy but it's so
worth the effort!