Monday, 16 February 2009

Talking Fat #7: More Calories Part 1

**This is another split entry**

Pic: Europe 2004**

This “dieting” thing has gone on far longer than I ever expected. As mentioned, I had seriously underestimated my starting weight. An ordeal that I expected to be over within ten months, has now dragged into month fifteen. I anticipate that I still have another five (plus) months to go. The deceptive part, is that even if I am “finished” in six months, I am not truly finished. This is a permanent lifestyle change; six months down the road I will have to start worrying about maintaining the weight loss – not just about how to kick start it.

The problem with weight loss for the clinically obese, is that there is always a substantial risk that the weight will pack back on. I don’t really understand the reasons for this. It is almost like our bodies suddenly became programmed to store additional fat; as soon as the opportunity materializes, our bodies become highly opportunistic. The larger problem is that the weight gain is never equivalent to the loss; it is usually accompanied by an additional 50 or more pounds. I have already realized that I have sluggish metabolism – at 30, a woman’s metabolism declines even more – so in 2 years my metabolism will clinically dead.

Unfortunately I have been down this road before. As a teenager I was fat – after my dad died of an apparent heart attack (he was obese, with high blood pressure), I had a wake up call. During my last two years of high-school, I went through a substantial period of weight loss, just by cleaning up my eating habits and working out constantly. I think I was more hardcore back then – cleaning up my eating habits was actually a literal period of starvation. I started this present ordeal by cutting back to 1000 calories a day. In high school I was eating far less than that on a daily basis. I worked out a lot, and it became a sickness. I really had no idea what I was doing, but it worked (or so I thought). The weight was pouring off, and I was finally getting the body that I had wanted. I didn’t matter how I did it, just as long as I got it done. Let’s face it though – 13 years ago, I don’t think we knew as much about eating healthy as we do now. Most people really did believe that low calorie diets were the only way to loose weight. That’s why the mentality is so engrained in us now.

At around the same time I knew several others who were going through the same ordeal. I had a co-worker who was using Weight Watchers, a friend who was using weight loss pills, another friend who was using starvation…and so it goes…It was all about getting to the end goal the fastest way possible. We each considered it healthier to be thin, with little consideration as to the unhealthy ways that we were achieving our goals.

Now here is the thing: we all gained our weight back. And then some…

None of us considered the long term aspects of weight loss. Basically speaking, which ever method you use to loose weight, is the method that you will use for the rest of your life in order to maintain that weight loss. Maybe there is a point at which you can splurge for prolonged periods; maybe your body does hit homeostasis after awhile; mine never did.

This is one of my biggest fears; I wake up daily with that gnawing fear of weight gain. I would love to go back to the freedom with which I used to eat. I would love to not work out tomorrow and maybe the next. Or get up in the morning, and not have to plan out my caloric intake for the day. Oh, and I would love to not feel guilty if I decide to not work out, or eat chocolate....TBC...

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