Monday, February 22, 2010

Losing slowly = letting your mind catch up?

So, my weigh in this week was unexciting. I didn't gain, sending me into a temper tantrum like the previous week. I didn't lose a huge amount either. I lost exactly 1 pound. I must admit that I found it a little disappointing. It's not that I think 1 pound is a bad amount to lose; rather, I just was hoping that I would lose what I had gained last week plus some.

Now, having said that, I'm happy with the loss. It means the scale is moving in the right direction and it means the weight will come off... eventually. I still have at least 55 pounds to lose, so at this rate, it will take just over a year more.

I've lost weight before. The other times I lost weight, I lost it relatively quickly. Last time I dropped 55 pounds in about 5 months. The time before that, I dropped 40 pounds in about 3.5 months.

I started gaining it back shortly after.

Most people have heard that when you lose it quickly, you gain it back quickly and easily. Having regained my weight (and then some) twice before, I'm focused on figuring out why I've gained it back. I can't afford to be in a position of needing to lose 75-80 pounds a few years from now. I need to get my head around the reasons I gained it back and change them. I don't think it's a simple, one answer solution, so it's something I will explore repeatedly. Having said that, I have one theory as to why I've gained it back.

I lost the weight so quickly, my mind never had a chance to catch up with my body.

Losing weight is motivating. It's exciting. You're constantly getting positive reinforcement as you see the numbers on the scale go down. Maintaining your weight can be rather anti-climatic. If you lose your weight quickly, like I did, you never really lost the momentum. When you hit a point of maintenance, you get tired of watching what you eat, tired of avoiding the "bad" foods, and you just want a break.

Now, I'm theorizing here, since I haven't lost the weight slowly yet.

If you lose the weight slowly, you have more time for the habits that got you there to be ingrained. You've likely hit a couple roadblocks or plateaus. It hasn't always been exciting and you've kept it up anyways. When you hit a point of maintenance, it isn't anti-climatic because quite frankly, the weight loss has already been anti-climatic.

Now, I don't know how quickly or slowly the weight will continue to come off. I do know that my journey is far from over. It also doesn't end when I've dropped the last excess pound.

Now, as promised, my first progress picture. Here is me after losing 10 pounds.
And here is my before picture.

If I'm honest, I don't see a big difference yet. Granted, I'm wearing more fitted clothing in the before picture and baggier clothing in the progress picture. I will admit that my clothes feel a bit better. I haven't gone down a size, but the pants that were getting tight and uncomfortable are now fitting me well. Perhaps the difference will become more obvious at 20 pounds.


  1. I do see a notable difference with the 10 pound weight loss. Imagine how those pants will fit after the 20 lb mark! You are doing terrific. It is easy to get frustrated and want to see the scale moving faster, but the way you are doing it-with a healthy approach-is the surest way to see results.

  2. I see a difference, especially in your face and neck!
    I think losing slowly is the way to go, for the exact reasons that you expressed. It gives you time to learn new habits.
    Keep up the great work!