The Giving Up, The Getting Back

Fifteen months ago, I gave up all caffeine but my morning coffee.  It was supposed to help my sleep, help me get off the sleep meds I take every night in order to get a mere five hours of sleep.  If I was lucky, I was getting that.  Many nights it was closer to 4. It was also supposed to help me lose weight.

I gave up eating processed foods three years ago.  No HFCS, cooking everything from scratch when I could, reading labels on the things I still used as shortcuts.  This was supposed to reduce the inflammation in my joints, and help me lose weight.

I gave up canned vegetables, except for tomatoes or things I canned myself.  I cook either fresh or frozen veggies, or eat them raw.  This was supposed to give me better nutrition, and help me lose weight.

I gave up margarine and and other weird fats (like “canola” oil).  We ate real butter, and I used olive oil to cook almost everything.  This was supposed to give me some artery-cleaning and help me lose weight.

I gave up “instant” foods like store-bought cookies, minute rice, white long-grain rice, noodles/rice and sauce mixes, canned cream of whatever soups, frozen dinners or family meals, and canned soups.  Instead I cook real meat that I bread myself if I want, make my own pasta sauce, use a hand-made mix for making a cream of whatever soup, and buy nothing that is fully prepared just waiting for me to cook it.  I know what all the ingredients are and there are no crazy preservatives or chemicals that I can’t pronounce.  This was to get the junk out of my body, and make it easier for me to lose weight.

I started eating salad for lunch almost every day.  I make the salad myself from real lettuce (not iceberg), cucumbers, tomatoes, and sometimes half an avocado.  I switched from big name-brand dressings to dressings I made myself from whole ingredients, or carefully read labels of the dressings I bought, which were most often vinaigrette or at least non-creamy.  No nasty ingredients are allowed on my salads.  This was to help keep my bowels running nicely, and to help me lose weight.

I took up bike riding and Zumba.  I grunted through the exercises, groaned as I peddled my oversized body up hills.  This was supposed to give me better heart function, stronger knees, and, again, help me lose weight.

My knees are better than they’ve ever been.  I climb stairs like a teenager.  I don’t fatigue easily, and I feel better overall.  There aren’t too many chores I’m not willing to take on – digging in the garden, toting things around, mowing the grass, etc.  I feel well enough to do all of that.  I don’t miss oreos, cheap ice cream, McDonald’s, ten-minute Lipton Noodles and Sauce, etc.  I’m happy that I feel better, and I like to cook, so having to take extra effort to cook doesn’t bother me.

But I have not lost a single pound.  Not one.  I am no thinner.  I am no less heavy.  Eating all the right things, I should be 12 pounds.  Maybe 14 pounds accounting for my height. :)  But no.  I’m still at my over-300-p0und mark, and no matter what I’ve done, this does not change.

I feel like I was sold a bill of goods.  I do know people that have lost weight and kept it off, but those people seem rare indeed.  Does weight matter?  If I’m feeling better and eating the right things and have no obvious health problems, then am I okay anyway?  My brain says no.  My brain says I need to lose weight.  My brain says I will never make it to retirement unless I do.

But how do I make this happen?  I don’t want to be thin.  I have no desire to be thin.  But I’d like to be 50 pounds lighter.  How the heck do I get there?  I’m already doing all the right things, according to the experts.  This is an ongoing frustration for me.

This has been a long winter.  It promises to keep being what it is this year – cold with a lot of precipitation.  I haven’t been able to bike.  My schedule doesn’t allow my Zumba classes.  And all this combines to make me feel worse about myself, even though I feel fine, and there has been no change in my physical appearance or ability to do what I want to do.

Ugh.  I always feel fattest in winter.  At least all the cookies I made for Christmas are now gone.  Such a temptation having those around!

One Response to “The Giving Up, The Getting Back”

  1. Ilene says on :

    Hi there, just found your blog, been reading a few of your posts, seems like we might be kindred spirits in a lot of ways.

    I too, have cut out many things in an effort to finally get control of my weight. I am turning 70 next year and have been a “yo-yo dieter” all my adult life. Rather than make this a long comment, I’d invite you to my blog, scroll down to where categories are listed and click on the “Weight Loss” category. There are four posts that will come up, scroll down and read the oldest first, and that will get you up to speed.

    I wonder if you are sensitive to sugar in all it’s forms like I am. Sugar makes me crave, and increases my appetite. It takes me three days to get off sugar and detox. After that, things are better. I’m also wondering if the reason why you haven’t lost pounds is because you’ve replaced fat with muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat so if you haven’t gained but you feel stronger, you have, actually, lost fat. It sounds like you have been working very, very hard. Another thing is that maybe you are retaining fluids. Think of fat cells (which, unfortunately, may shrink but they never go away once we have formed them) as cells of a honeycomb. When you burn the fat that’s stored in these cells, the cells fill with water. Water is heavier than fat. So again, if you haven’t gained, you’ve probably lost. (LOL) Don’t give up. Hugs, Ilene (RockWhisperer)