My Progress

Friday, May 14, 2010

A closer look, or, how NOT to give up

I thought it'd be fun to discuss the obvious today: I've had a pretty rocky year. A lot has changed in my life, for sure. Some of those changes have negatively affected my weight loss, some of those changes are my weight loss. I would like to take a moment to look at my weight loss chart from last night and the one I posted a year prior.

Says a lot, doesn't it? My first year of losing weight was pretty smooth. I stalled out through October, but even that month off yielded only a 1 pound gain. From May 3, 2008 to May 9, 2009, I managed to lose a total of 106.2 pounds. During that time, I posted 6 official gains on the scale at my weigh-ins. Those 6 gains added up to a grand total of 10.8 pounds. Not bad. Then we look at the year following that. From May 9, 2009 to May 13, 2010, I managed to lose another 26.6 pounds, bringing my total for the 2 years to 132.8. That's pretty good, but why have things slowed down so much? I lost 4 times that amount of weight in the first 52 weeks. Has my weight loss slowed down as I got closer to goal? I mean, I am only 0.4 away from goal, right?

Seriously, though. I think it's pretty clear what the problem was this past year, but for the sake of throwing brevity out the window and filling this post with lots of statistical, well-illustrated goodness, let's point it out. Literally.

Four times this last year, I've had some pretty crazy gains. In the first year, my biggest gain was 3.6 pounds, which happened over Memorial Day weekend when I spent some time with my friends in Dallas, boozing it up and eating whatever I wanted. I enjoyed myself, I accepted the gain for what it was, I got back on the wagon right away and made that gain disappear (along with 5.4 more pounds) the very next week. Just a few weeks into my second year of weight loss, I hit a snag. I gained 8.2 pounds over the course of two consecutive weigh-ins. It was a pretty sharp kick to the groin, but I pulled up my skivvies and worked that weight back off only to lose focus as it became all too clear to me that my internship was going to be ending in a month and I had absolutely no job prospects on the horizon, in spite of dozens upon dozens of job applications and resume forwards I'd done over the previous 6 months. Not a single callback. So, I did what any weak-willed weight-loser would do. I stopped giving a shit about my eating, I stopped working out and I started falling back into my old habits.

And why not? I deserved to have a little pity party, didn't I? My internship was half a mile away from Buffalo Wild Wings and they were running their yearly all-you-can-eat wings and fries for 10 bucks from 11a-2p special. I happily munched away at hundreds of points worth of wings, fries, lemonade and ranch dressing in a single sitting as often as three times per week. One day, I remember getting 30 wings, 3 baskets of fries and half a cup of ranch dressing and walking out of the restaurant still craving some sort of sweet to balance out all the salty I'd just eaten. So, I drove across the street to Target and bought a box of Little Debbie swiss cake rolls. I ate half the box on the drive back to work. I shit you not, that day, I ate over 200 points of food (which is somewhere in the range of 10,000 calories).

I guess it's no surprise that by the time I pulled my head out of my ass, tucked my tail between my legs and walked back into my Weight Watchers meeting that the scale gut-punched me 40.2 times over. 40 pounds in 30 days is just... retarded. Seriously. I slogged my way back into eating healthy, working out religiously and tracking both habitually and, in spite of another 12-pound slip a couple of months later, managed to work all of those 40.2 pounds off just before Christmas. I even managed to stay on track over Thanksgiving and pulled out a 7-pound 2-week loss. Hah! I guess I'm not such a fuckup after all... So, fast forward to the end of January and I had reached my lowest weight of all time without a single gain since mid-October. Then, I just fell off the wagon again.

I don't want to go into details of all the horrible deliciocity I was eating, but suffice it to say, I wasn't in a healthy frame of mind. I'd been unemployed for 5 months by then and although I had all the free time in the world, I was just getting burnt out on working out and eating right. I slipped into some fairly self-destructive tendencies and my weight-loss suffered heavily. So that's the last peak there and my biggest break from WW in 2 years. I crawled back into my meeting after finally landing a decent job and finding myself single once again. Something amazing happened. The last time I took only one month off, I'd gained 40 pounds and it took me almost 4 months to work it back off. This time, I'd been off the wagon for twice as long and I'd only gained half as much. Then, I worked off all that gained weight in just over 3 weeks. Moral victory!

This past year has been crazy. I could have thrown in the towel at any one of those 4 massive gains, but I chose to stick it out. Yeah, I only lost a net of 26.6 pounds this year, but considering there were an additional 81 pounds gained in that time, I'd say I've done pretty fucking well.

I wish I could say the massive gains are forever behind me, but my weight fluctuates like the Dow at the mercy of a fat-fingered Citigroup trader. What I can say is that with all this experience, I know I'll never stop. I will get to my final goal of reaching a weight I want to maintain. I'll get there and I'll learn how to keep my life in balance. I'll maintain that weight for the rest of my life. I'll do it because I have the support I need to get it done. I'll do it because I have the drive, the determination and the knowledge that I can do it. I'll do it because I owe it to myself. I'll do it because I deserve it.


Tricia said...

As long as you get up more times than you fall down, you'll succeed. Your total weight loss is like a lesson in that saying. Life isn't perfect, and neither are any of us. But as long as we keep trying, we can make shit happen. And you, sir, are making shit happen.

✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

I'd say you're a winner for sure, Graized!
I admire anyone who keeps getting back up.

I can really relate to your food-fests. I can pack it away too.

Have a great weekend.

Pamela said...

You absolutely WILL do it! I have faith in you! This truly is an excellent post. I'm sending you an e-mail fairly shortly.

Taryl said...

As long as you never stop, you'll beat this. Every good choice, every positive decision you make, will move you closer to your goal. I won't lie - my weight charts have looked like that almost all of 2010 (granted, I have had three trips and a pregnancy!) and it can be disheartening, but it should absolutely be a reminder of how to do better, not discouraging in any way.

Keep at it, we're rooting for you!

bbubblyb said...

Way to go on climbing back to where you want to be. I soooo know what you're talking about too with it all. I'm with you though that we know how to do this so though we may never be just steady on that scale we know how to get back to doing what needs to be done. Glad to see you back. Not sure where the heck I've been for two weeks that I didn't notice, sorry.