I don’t know about any other fellow lifetime yo-yoers but I think one of my biggest problems, certainly since my 30’s to now is that I’ve never arrived at a point where I’m slim or within my prescribed BMI healthy zones (between 9 and 12 stones for me). I’ve said before that I weigh heavy anyway my whole family does. I have an extremely slim, sedentary size 8 sister who never falls below 11 stones on the scales. I don’t much go for BMI anyway but that’s another story.
But whatever, if I’ve been 17 stones (238lbs) and dropped to 14 (196lbs) I’ve felt great. I’ve found it easier to buy clothes, because I always have a fitness programme along with my ‘diet’ I’m fitter, more active and because my ‘diet’ always involves lots of vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables I’m feeling better in myself, better hair, nails, skin and I’m taking better care of myself. So even though I’m still technically obese I don’t feel it. I feel amazing. So I feel that the diet is done.
If I’ve been 19 stones (266lbs) and dropped to 15 stones (210lbs) the same has applied and I could go on but you’re getting the idea.
So what is the effect and consequence of this state of apparent satisfaction?
Well the first one is obvious, I start to eat and drink things which I’ve missed, which I’ve deprived myself as I’ve crashed those pounds off in a couple of months. Because of this my exercise isn’t as easy or as fun and so it starts to dwindle. Because of these two things I start to regain the weight.
But something else happens with me and I’ve only just thought about it. I never get slim so I never feel slim so I never act slim and so getting fat again isn’t such a big deal.I’m never in a slim mindset, I’m in a less fat mindset.
I’m finding this difficult to put into words but I’ll keep trying.
So I’m fat, I get to a point where I’m not AS fat but still fat, I still wear elasticated clothes, I still wear baggy tops, I still shop in plus size departments. I feel great and probably look great BUT I’m still fat. So when the pounds start to come back on, the clothes still fit for a while, they’re stretchy after all, people don’t notice* so much so I don’t have to put up with comments shaming me back to lose the weight again.
*it’s amazing how many people notice you lose weight but don’t notice you gain it again.Even my most ardent critic the mother, it takes a good 20lb regain before she even begins to comment.
Believe me there is a world of difference in terms of appearance if a 126lb (9 stone) person gains 14lb compared to an 18 stone person doing the same. It’s visible on them. Clothes which button or zip won’t fit. There will be obvious triggers to shout out, “Stop! You need to eat healthy again because these skinny jeans are not going to hold out for much longer if you don’t”. Your stylish but none the less elasticated waist, comfortable stretch jersey pants are not going to shout out the same message, they are just going to give a little more and let you grow.
I really believe that for me, one of my key problems has been this failure to reach a point where I’m not fat. If I’m always fat then what does it matter if I get a little fatter? Do you understand what I mean here, that I never get out of the fat frame of mind and when you’re in the fat frame of mind anything fat goes.
This is another difference for me this time, I’m not going to settle for being more comfortable, more active, more happy, more visually appealing, for having more choice with clothing, I’m not even going to settle when I’m slim and everything in my wardrobe has a button waist with a zip and every suit jacket I own has a button or buttons which I can comfortably fasten and every blouse is tailored, I’m never going to settle because what I’m doing now is sustainable for life and if it’s making me lose weight (which I hope it is, weigh in tomorrow) then it’s good for me and has some scope to include a treat now and then and to do like slim people do and not feel bad about that because it’s done in moderation. I want to feel my button creaking and my waistband being uncomfortable so it warns me to do something now. I don’t want a stretchy skirt that says “OK go on, another cake won’t hurt I’m flexible I can accommodate that, oh and another and another there’s plenty more fabric where this came from”.
I’ve often asked myself why men appear to be so much more successful at weight loss than women, I’ve seen them come and go at Slimming clubs and keep weight off forever (I know some of them don’t but in my experience the majority do) and I can’t help but wonder today if sometimes it’s not because of that button and zip trouser thing they have going on.
It’s not so easy for a guy to find elasticated options (other than sweats which let’s face it are not suitable for every activity a guy undertakes or for every occasion) and most guys I know who lose weight always zone in on their waist size not so much their weight. Usually their target is a jeans waist size and so when they get to that 30 or 32 inch pair of jeans and have discarded sizes 34, 36 and 38 they are at goal and they are quickly reminded when those jeans start to pinch that they need to do something fast or they’ll be climbing back up.
I know we are all different and there is some generalisation here but I really do believe this has been one of my key problems. If only the yo yo could reach the full extent of its string (one way or another whichever way you look at it), it might just snap or snag and be broken at last.