Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reality: Friend or Foe?

On this fine Sunday morning I've read some very courageous blogging from two of my old-school faves: The Next Hundred Pounds and PastaQueen.

Both are women who have lost tremendous amounts of weight. Both are struggling right now with some regain.

PastaQueen, who lost close to 200 lbs, has regained about 50 lbs. Cindy, the blogger at The Next Hundred Pounds, isn't quite sure how much she has regained, but knows her favorite jeans are very tight.

Each blogger has a different way of dealing with their current reality. PastaQueen's gotten back on the scale, faced the figure, and is now committed to peeling that weight off again.

Cindy's not getting on the scale, but is using her jeans as a measure, and ramping up her already impressive fitness regime to become even more fit (if humanly possible!).

I think either approach is fine -- whatever works for you, keep doing.

What I appreciate from both these bloggers is their honesty, and their willingness to share.

It's very hard to remember that weight control/management is NOT just weight loss. And a regain does not automatically equal failure, a complete loss of control, or an abandonment of good healthy habits.

Sometimes I really think it can be helpful to put the weight loss in a remote corner of your brain and just start living your life -- with all the good habits intact, of course.

I mean, we want to eat light and healthy because it makes us feel good and strong. Even if the scale doesn't drop, aren't there still benefits for us? We want to be fit and supple even if we're not at our "ideal" weight, right? Because then we can go hiking and walking and play soccer with the kids and all those other wonderful gifts of life.

There is so much more to a healthy lifestyle than "just" weight loss.

Of course weight loss is important. Of course we don't want to let any weight gain get out of control.

But a person's got to live! And by that I don't mean stuff one's face -- I mean be happy in a healthy lifestyle, whether the scale cooperates or not.

The funny thing is, that's more of a challenge than many people realize. Everyone thinks weight loss is the hard part, and maintaining is easy.

Sometimes I wonder. Is it?

P.S. Status update: after I wrote this post I went to the gym, did an hour on the elliptical AND 20 minutes on the stairmaster. Got on the scale -- am one pound over my pre-Thanksgiving weight, meaning I've finally lost the 6+ pounds I put on over the end of November and early December.

P.P.S.: Peridot, in answer to your comment question about my eating the other night, I did eat more for dinner than the cottage cheese. I also had yummy cous and beans.


  1. As someone who lost 136 pounds and regained 146 I can tell you losing is easy and maintaining is NOT! If you go to my very first blog post you can see my first before and after pic.

    I also got down to 180 again and back up to 300 so I have done it more than once. Maintaining has always been the hardest part for me. The Cape of Vigilance must be carried at all times once you reach goal. A missed workout here, a slice of cake there and before you know it you are back in the plus sized store. Been there and got the muumuu.

    It is tough and of course no one wants to say anything to you. My colleagues were quite fascinated watching me lose and commented frequently, not a word was spoken as I began to regain...of course it is ultimately my responsibility and it wouldn't have mattered what anyone said.

    I am going to pop by both those blogs and give them some encouragement.

  2. I'm getting close to the time when my maintenance will come into play. I'll have to go over and read those posts. It's got to be tough--but this is the first time I've ever lost a significant amount of weight, so we'll see where it goes. Thanks for the great post!

  3. This is something that sends me into a spiral of panic - I find it SO, SO hard to lose weight anyway that I worry that if I were ever to get to a weight I was happy with, how on earth would I maintain that if it's even HARDER?

    Okay, freaking out now....

    Peridot X
    PS Ha ha! Glad about the couscous and beans!

  4. This is a wonderful post. I have lost and regained a lot of weight in the past. That's why I don't know if what I have lost will stay off now. It's always in the back of my mind. Maintenance is only the beginning of the next phase, not the end.

    Great job on the loss!