Weight Loss Support - Lost 70+ pounds...and FURIOUS!




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lovelykumquat
07-07-2011, 07:39 PM
Hi everyone! Before I start ranting, I should thank all of you for your support. Someone always seems to post about the exact thing I'm struggling with, so I've never felt the need to post before...until now.

I'm 23 years old and never been a "normal" weight. I was raised by a doctor and a health nut, so we always had healthy, nutritious food. I learned about nutrition early and never even tried sugary soft drinks until I went to school. It should have been perfect.

Well, actually, my health was always fantastic, I was always active and my weight never stopped me (I got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do at over 200 pounds)...physically, that is. I was always self conscious and hated myself for not being normal. I was teased not only in school, but by strangers on the street as well.

I finally ended the string of unsuccessful diets about two years ago by calorie counting. I lost the first 30 lbs, then maintained for a few months, then lost the rest last spring/summer. My commute alone involves walking for 40-60 minutes and I have an active job, so I've been able to maintain without thinking much about it.

I thought I'd be so happy at this weight, and I was, but lately I feel like I'm still not "normal"...I guess it doesn't help that I live in Japan now...But still, what's the point of losing all that weight if I'm still kind of fat, right? Especially since as far as I know I'm still a few pounds overweight (I don't own a scale, but my measurements are the same). So, for the past few months I've been trying to lose a bit more, but it just won't budge. Not only that, but instead of losing, I just get tired and run down. Even though I never used to get sick (once a year at most), I've had a bad cold more or less every month, and was almost hospitalized for an ear infection (which I've never had before, not even as a child). I feel so unhealthy.

I feel like I have to choose between health and the appearance of health (fat=bad, thin=good). I always knew I was on the large side (strong, muscular, and healthy, but gains weight easily) but I didn't expect to have this problem while still in the overweight category. Before I moved from the US, my doctor warned me not to lose more weight, that BMI is flawed and that I should maintain...but I still don't feel successful.

I'm mad! It's so frustrating to lose so much weight and know that when people look at me, they think of me as a failure. I suppose I could wear a sign around my neck with my before and after pictures...;)

I'm not really sure what I'm asking...I guess I want to know if body types exist or if I'm looking for excuses. Do some people just have a point where they can't seem to lose anymore?

Any input is appreciated!


ish
07-07-2011, 07:52 PM
You may be getting sick because you're living abroad. I never got sick until I moved to Asia, but now I come down with a cold almost monthly. Your immune system just isn't used to the cold bugs here.

Also, do you think you're comparing yourself too harshly to the slim japanese women around you. I know as a foreigner you can feel hyper-criticized, I`ve felt self conscious too. You can be healthy and overweight or unhealthy and thin. It's totally up to you! Of course you can lose more weight if you want to, but do you want to? You don't need a sing around your neck, just some more confidence!

berryblondeboys
07-07-2011, 08:02 PM
Have to agree with the "new bugs" thing. Even from moving from one part of the US to another I got sick and my poor MIL and husband got almost all the little kid viruses from our kids because the strains in Europe were different enough that they didn't have immunity. So the getting sick thing doesn't seem to apply to the weight issue.

However, 160 at 5'4" could be just fine or it could be too heavy. Have you ever had a fat analysis done? that's the only way to really know (and even that can be flawed).


Lovely
07-07-2011, 08:10 PM
..But still, what's the point of losing all that weight if I'm still kind of fat, right?
Especially since as far as I know I'm still a few pounds overweight (I don't own a scale, but my measurements are the same). So, for the past few months I've been trying to lose a bit more, but it just won't budge. Not only that, but instead of losing, I just get tired and run down. Even though I never used to get sick (once a year at most), I've had a bad cold more or less every month, and was almost hospitalized for an ear infection (which I've never had before, not even as a child). I feel so unhealthy.

I feel like I have to choose between health and the appearance of health (fat=bad, thin=good). I always knew I was on the large side (strong, muscular, and healthy, but gains weight easily) but I didn't expect to have this problem while still in the overweight category. Before I moved from the US, my doctor warned me not to lose more weight, that BMI is flawed and that I should maintain...but I still don't feel successful.

I'm mad! It's so frustrating to lose so much weight and know that when people look at me, they think of me as a failure. I suppose I could wear a sign around my neck with my before and after pictures...;)

I'm not really sure what I'm asking...I guess I want to know if body types exist or if I'm looking for excuses. Do some people just have a point where they can't seem to lose anymore?

Any input is appreciated!

I'm assuming that you logically realize that at some point the number on the scale doesn't matter. Body shape and fitness are the end goal.

As an extreme example, there are weight lifters and body builders whose BMIs are well into obesity... but they are incredibly fit. The number on the scale does not show anything other than weight. And weight is not the only indicator of health.

You're active, you move often, you've lost excess weight. What is going to make you happy? A number? Then sharpie that number on the scale so you can see it each day, and focus on keeping your measurements the same, keeping active daily, and eating healthfully as you have been.

Maintain, keep up your good habits, and when you return to you doctor after your stay in Japan have him check all your blood work to make sure you're in tip top shape.

Don't assume what others are thinking when they see you. We live in our own skins, so it's easy to get lost in them and over-analyze how we look and how others see us.

Weight isn't everything. There ARE such things as different body shapes! Humans were never meant to look exactly the same. Take a picture of yourself. Cut off the head. (I know that sounds weird, but seriously.) Now, have a non-critical look at the shape of the body you see in that picture.

ShanIAm
07-07-2011, 08:19 PM
Yup, I get it. I am happy happy happy with how I look when I am at work and see all those people who remember me at almost 200 pounds. (I lost 10 before I really started my journey at 184). But the minute I am in a place filled with strangers who can't see those before and after pics, I still feel fat. I know I still have 10 more pounds to lose so I hope my outlook will be different then. My point is, I understand how furious you must be considering the fact you thought you were done.

So I think it's time for you to pull out those old pics of yourself for YOU. Do side by sides. Remember back to when you started and how you felt and embrace how you feel today! And if you want to lose a little more weight then just do it in 5 pound increments. It won't seem like such a task.

And do you think that maybe being in a new country could be contributing to your illnesses? Perhaps your immune system is not used to the differences around you? I'm not a doctor --- just a theory! ;)

starfishkitty
07-07-2011, 08:46 PM
I feel you.

People are constantly commenting on how awesome I look after losing all the weight that I have, but then I look in the mirror on bad days (like today, actually) and see how my body IS smaller.... but its a smaller VERSION of itself, not some slim, sleek version I'd like to see. It's still got the rolls, still got the weird pear shape, etc etc. And then I just feel frustrated as all get out because then what the heck?? After 85lbs, I STILL don't feel thin?! Dang.

But then I realize my health is probably the best its ever been, I'm considered "normal" by all those around me..... and I have come a long, long way. And still I criticize myself and am not happy.... *sigh* :(

And really, you should too. Unfortunately, you are in the land of tiny, adorable people who rarely put on weight. Like someone said above, you need to quit comparing yourself to them! And, as for the health thing... when I was in Asia last year, healthy otherwise or not, I can tell you I felt sicker and GOT sicker in general all the time. Yet here at home, I haven't gotten sick in YEARS. There's so many more people in Asia.... more pollution, more bugs we don't have, food problems, etc..... all stuff we here on the otherside never deal with. And every single time I go back.... I literally feel sick again (I visit once a year, for a month, cos my boyfriend lives in Asia right now) every single TIME.

JessLess
07-07-2011, 08:50 PM
In my opinion, it's harder for some people to work on their self image than to lose weight, but in the end, it will make one feel a lot better. Maybe the way you see yourself is still catching up to how you look now?

lovelykumquat
07-07-2011, 09:04 PM
Thank you everyone for your quick replies!

I didn't even think of the germs being different here. I guess I just connected the run-down feeling that I associate with restricting calories and being sick. At least that's one less thing to worry about.

I guess I should have mentioned that I have a bit of a history of disordered eating and body image. For example, I would never think of someone wearing a size 6-8 in H&M as fat, I can't help but think of myself in that way (my profile is out of date, but I don't know my weight so I can't change it). So even though I can trade clothes with my friends who weigh 20 lbs less than me, I still look at the number on the scale and decide that I must just be in denial. I guess I just don't know when I can finally decide that I'm not fat anymore, so I cling to numbers like they're absolute.

I think that's the main reason why my doctor told me not to lose more. She's of the opinion that measurements are more of an indicator of health than BMI, and that mine are good. Her main concern was that for me to be comfortably in the healthy BMI range that I'd have to lose some muscle and that would have a negative effect on my health later on.

I suppose I'm just having a bout of culture shock? I guess going from wearing a small/medium in the states to a L/LL here just by getting on a plane is finally getting to me.

Lovely
07-07-2011, 09:50 PM
I suppose I'm just having a bout of culture shock? I guess going from wearing a small/medium in the states to a L/LL here just by getting on a plane is finally getting to me.

That definitely isn't helping, I'm sure. Sizes are just like numbers on the scale. The measurements of the pants can be the same, but for one designer they're a size 2 and another they're a size 10.

Same for countries! If the clothes fit nicely, and you feel good in them, that's all that matters.

Artgirl23
07-07-2011, 10:00 PM
Your commute involves walking for 40-60 minutes!?!

Ma'am, you are healthly! And absolutely amazing.

krampus
07-07-2011, 10:04 PM
Sure do. I'm stuck at 130. My 130 is probably the same as your 160, **** if I know where my bones are and I'm definitely carrying around extra fat everywhere. There is something keeping me here and I can't figure out what it is, but I haven't successfully managed to keep it off for any length of time.

But dude you lost 70+ lbs, and you can always see your own "before" pictures in your head. Please don't lose sight of that! In losing those pounds you gained health and are way closer to goal. Don't let Japan get to you, just look at the way they walk - uchimata ain't cute. Where are you, btw? I'm headed back to USA on the 31st of the month but living in rural Fukuoka.

xty
07-07-2011, 11:36 PM
I think especially if you have been heavier all your life, it can very very challenging to be able to correctly perceive the right bodyweight you want to be at for goal.

BMI is very flawed, and weight is only one useful dimension. I find a combo of body fat% + measurements the best way to internalize my size.

But truthfully, even at 121lbs, 17% body fat (which is borderline underweight by most standards) and a pretty darn good looking set of arms (I actually got "guns" comments, lol).....I wasnt 100% convinced I shouldnt be a few lbs lighter!

And although 150lbs was for a decade my lowest weight, ballooning back up to it after being 121 feels as big as I remember 200lbs feeling before...so odd how our brains remember things incorrectly.

If you prefer comfortable maintenance, that is a fine decision. However, you may indeed want to be a little bit lower weight...and while I certainly cant be sure, at your height and weight you dont sound close to UNDERweight, so you should be able to lose. Low energy can be due to the approach to weight loss. Maybe try a different plan and make sure to cover your bases with water, protein and lots of veggies so you dont miss vitamins .

ValRock
07-08-2011, 01:02 AM
Where in Japan are you living? I became very ill before I finally left... the current situation is scary and could be causing your health problems. I hope you feel better soon.

kaplods
07-08-2011, 01:45 AM
I think it's really easy to get caught up in numbers. The closest I've come to thin-ness was 155 lbs at 16. I had worked really, really hard to lose 70 lbs, and my goal weight was supposed to be 150. No matter what I did, I couldn't lose those last 5 lbs. Then my doctor told me he wanted me to lose 15 lbs, not just 5, and lowered my goal weight to 140.


I was absolutely devasted. I thought it meant that I was still hugely fat, and if I couldn't get to 150 lbs, getting to 140 lbs was hopeless. I felt doomed to be fat forever, so I stopped dieting and said "screw it, I'f I'm going to be fat anyway, I might as well get to eat whatever I want."

Stupid! In my defense, I was only 16 or 17 - but I didn't learn from my mistake. I felt this way with every diet. When the weight loss got so tough that I wasn't sure whether I could lose more weight, so I'd decide that if being fat was inevitable, it didn't matter HOW fat I was, and i might as well get to eat whatever I wanted.

If I had only had the mindset I do now, I could have at least maintained that 155 lb weight (heck even 225 lbs would have been very different than ending up at 394 lbs, because I didn't see what a difference there was between "still a little fat," and "OMG, how did you ever manage to get this big, fat."

I've changed that outlook. Now, I have decided that I may not be able to lose a single pound more than I already have - and if that's the case, so be it. It doesn't mean that I shouldn't maintain my weightloss, even if it's imperfect. Being 393 was better than being 394. Being 392 was better than being 393. EVERY pound matters, so I've vowed to keep off every pound I can, and try to lose just one more.

When I think "I can't lose one more," my next thought is no longer "then I might as well binge like a steamshovel," it's "well, if I can't lose any more, I can at least keep off what I've lost."

That "one pound at a time" and "every pound counts," really keeps me on track, like nothing else ever has. My life (even if I never lose another pound) is much better at my current weight than it was at my highest. Sure a lot of people are starting at my current weight, but then again there are people who would be happy to be my weight, if it meant they could walk again (or whatever).

Being perfect may be impossible, but doing the best you can has it's own rewards. I've gained so much in the last 91 lbs that I don't want to go back. Even if I can't go forward, going back would only make things terribly worse.

I think it's important to remember that there aren't too choices - thin and fat, your ideal weight and the fattest weight you can achieve. The rewards aren't black and white either. I started at 394 lbs, and I don't have to wait until I reach 135 lbs to reap any benefits. I benefited with the first pound. After only 30 lbs, my sleep apnea disappeared and I didn't have to sleep with a machine blowing air up my nose at night.

The less you have to lose, the less obvious the benefits to weight loss - but they're still there. You'll live longer and feel and look better, even if you don't get to the weight you'ld like to be.

Even though I'm still humongously fat, if I had a choice between this weight and my highest, I would still pick smaller, humongously fat - over larger humongously fat (and I'd be even happier with obese, but not morbidly obese - and happier with overweight but not obese - and even happier with healthy weight but not slender).

You don't have to reach perfection to be better off than you were even a few heavier.

Mishflynn
07-08-2011, 02:58 AM
echo what the others have said....... but can we see some p?ics?

Chubbykins
07-08-2011, 04:17 AM
Is our weight causing you any trouble besides what you think about yourself?
Do you have kissing thighs that chafe, or a double chin, or bingo wings that rub your sides? If you have physical discomfort at your weight I'd suggest you go to your nutritionist or gp, get him to find you your ideal caloric intake and follow it. It might take years to lose those last few pounds, but it will be easy.

If your discomfort is only psychological I don't think you need a diet but a self-esteem and self-worth boost. You have to actively become your own parent for a while and pat yourself on the back, get clothes you wanted, visit the beach. If you let yourself you will realise that unless you are a threat nobody really cares about something as little as a few pounds overweight. And if you are a threat it means they consider you beautiful/charming enough to threaten them :) win win situation.

BetterLikeMel
07-08-2011, 06:13 AM
A few people have mentioned the body fat percentage, and there's a website that you can do a very general check on.

It's a UK based website, and so I don't know whether it'll work to do the tests. You basically need to measure your waist, hips, wrist and forearm, height and weight and it tells you what your rough body fat percentage is.

From this, it tells me mine's 28% which is high-end but healthy for a woman. It means that although you're overweight (in my case, 30lbs overweight!), I'm actually in reasonably good physical shape.
FYI, my BMI is 29 which is almost obese :mad:

http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/myhealthchecker/

berryblondeboys
07-08-2011, 08:30 AM
A few people have mentioned the body fat percentage, and there's a website that you can do a very general check on.

It's a UK based website, and so I don't know whether it'll work to do the tests. You basically need to measure your waist, hips, wrist and forearm, height and weight and it tells you what your rough body fat percentage is.

From this, it tells me mine's 28% which is high-end but healthy for a woman. It means that although you're overweight (in my case, 30lbs overweight!), I'm actually in reasonably good physical shape.
FYI, my BMI is 29 which is almost obese :mad:

http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/myhealthchecker/

Interesting. it put me at 27% body fat. My body monitor scale bounces around between 27-33%.

What it DOES mean is that I'm on the right track and that yes, indeed, I am getting healthier. Which I can verify by not needing blood pressure meds any more, not having high cholesterol and having my blood sugars in check. Plus, in general just feeling great!

DCHound
07-08-2011, 08:37 AM
I guess I should have mentioned that I have a bit of a history of disordered eating and body image. For example, I would never think of someone wearing a size 6-8 in H&M as fat, I can't help but think of myself in that way (my profile is out of date, but I don't know my weight so I can't change it). So even though I can trade clothes with my friends who weigh 20 lbs less than me, I still look at the number on the scale and decide that I must just be in denial. I guess I just don't know when I can finally decide that I'm not fat anymore, so I cling to numbers like they're absolute.

Ding ding ding ding ding.

Can I recommend a book for you to read? I bought one off A M A Z O N for about $3 used. It's called Think Yourself Thin. It's not a diet, it's a mental focus thing. I think it might help. :)

Stopfat
07-08-2011, 12:02 PM
The lower your body weight, the less calories you need (not considering activity level). So it can get frustrating to lose weight when you have less weight to lose, because you should net at least 1200 calories a day. Ultimately, you can't lose weight as fast as when you weighed more.

You might consider weight lifting--it might make you feel healthier, and it could help you raise your metabolism and turn the fat into muscle.

Losing weight isn't everything. I used to be really small, but the amount of work it took me to stay that way was more than I got out of it. Weight isn't the ultimate indicator of happiness--although being overweight can certainly make obstacles for happiness. I am trying to find a diet that I can slowly lose weight, which isn't too rigid or demanding.