Man, it's 4:40 AM here in Miami and I am not at all sleepy. I finally caved and took Sudafed today, two doses, one mid-afternoon, one at 11 PM. My respiratory passages are clearer, for sure, but I'm not getting Zzzzzzs.
I watched the reunion Biggest Loser show. Hubby watched part with me and said, "Seems like the ones who keep it off are the ones who make diet/exercise a mission, either with charity work or have endorsements that motivate them to stay thinner." Yep. Looks that way. There seems to be something in the ones who manage to mostly maintain that keeps the exercise-diet fire going in their bellies in the months and years after leaving the TBL ranch.
It was a bit disheartening, a bit "yeah, expected it", a bit scary, a bit sad to see the winners of seasons past (except for Michelle A, and wonder why she didn't show up) file in. The heaviest being the one who won the first season, Ryan, who is back up to about 300 lbs. Then Matt Hoover, he's looking quite porky again, though nowhere as big as his first days on the show. And so forth. The most recent losers were the slimmest. Ali Vincent has made a career of fitness post TBL, so I don't understand why she was wearing that ungainly, loose outfit that made her look bigger than she is.
I wonder if the more recent winners were looking at the first two winners and thinking, "Oh-oh, I do not want that to happen to me!"
But the truth is, very few, very very very very very few weight LOSERS become weight loss MAINTAINERS. Regain is a huge, huge issue. Whether it's diet. Whether it's gastric bypass. Whether it's lap band. Whether it's VLCD or Clean Diet or Atkins or South Beach or Weight Watchers or eDiets...regain is far far far more common than maintain. I've seen varying figures, but none are encouraging. Maybe 5 percent keep it off. Some say 2%. I don't know who's right, but saying the 95% who lose then go on to regain is depressing as shit.
I have been following the blog of a person who inspired me, a person who lost more than 100 lbs and looked faboo. That person is way off the wagon now and though weigh-ins are no longer updated, there has already been some recorded regain. It hurts to see it. Hurts cause, well, it could be a snapshot of any of us in the future. Lose....to regain.
Ryan. Matt. Suzy. Erik......you...me? Could we become Big Losers who turn into Big Regainers? The stats say yes.
Which is why I read books NOW on how to maintain. May seem nuts, but I bought two of them, and I read them along with diet cookbooks, diet motivational books, scientific books on causes and treatments of overeating and so forth. I want to look ahead with hope. I want to be one of the 2 or 5 percent who keep it off. So I read about those who maintain and how they do it.
Guess what. It's as hard as losing. In some ways harder, in some easier, but it's still hard. It still requires vigilance and discipline and not caving and not giving up.
Some of you are thinking, "Well, first I gotta lose it. It's a moot point if it's not gone first. Then worry about maintenance."
I don't think so. I think that understanding that the struggle never ends, that there isn't a skinny rainbow waiting with a pot of "always thin" gold and a fairy godmother to boink our disordered eating and cravings away with her wand. Not gonna happen. Some people do have a major switch flipped and lose and never regain and just do it and we marvel. They are not the majority.
For anyone thinking losing it is the battle, I think the TBL reunion show is a wake-up call. No. It's gonna still be hard. This does not end. Which is why Allan's challenges encouraging us to eat at goal weight caloric level are a great help. It shows us what must be, what MUST be, like it or not.
So, this Thanksgiving, I'm not pigging out. And if I do--no, I'm just not gonna. I choose not to. Well, if I make it to the dinner, given I can't sleep and am ill.
I am thankful that I am able to learn new habits and that I have this opportunity. I'm thankful that I can hope to be in the golden minority. I choose to have faith, because if we don't believe we CAN do it, then we won't. So, even if it's blind faith, faith against the numbers, faith against the stark reality, I choose to believe it's possible and I can do it.
I choose to focus on the fact that some folks on TBL kept it off and stayed alert and on top of their eating. Some succeed. SOME MAKE IT. Let's learn from the ones who do it year in and year out. They have something to teach us about discipline, changed habits, and sacrifice.
And that the grind never ends, so find a passion for it.
Be thankful for food, but be thankful for the ability not to have too much of it, not even on holidays.
Blessings on you all this Thanksgiving. God has been gracious and good to this country that brims with so much that is positive even in an economic downturn and time of war. Remember to thank Him for all the blessings on your table, in your heart and mind, around you in your loved ones, and out there in this cosmos. Pray for those who are less blessed.
If you have pretty good health, if you can normally breathe freely or walk unhindered or see and hear without impediment, be thankful. If you have a solid roof over your head and someone in your life who gives a damn about you, be thankful. If you have a job, be thankful. If you have people to help you if you do NOT have a job, be thankful. If you could afford a ham or turkey or tofurkey or whatever it is that is your piece de resistance, be thankful.
Thank you, Lord, for your graces and mercies and blessings.
Gracias....te doy gracias, mi Dios...