I’ve outlined this post in my head many times over the past few days, and there’s no good way to say it (unless you support me, which I’m afraid few will).
I’ve sought out help with my weight loss from an endocrinologist.
This follows my Looking Back post from the other day. I’ve been feeling worse and worse lately. My shin splints really got me down and have left me unable to do much in the way of exercise, I’ve only lost a pound or two over the past month or so, I’m constantly exhausted…my personal life is pretty much crumbling. To put it simply, I’ve lost control over a lot of things, and my weight is at the center of everything.
Looking at those pictures of myself was the final nail in the coffin. Remembering how happy I was then and comparing it to how miserable I am now really put me in such a huge funk. I remembered that one of the physicians from the practice I had gone to years ago had broken off and started her own program , so I asked Mom what she thought about it, and she enthusiastically suggested I go back.
I mentioned this in my Looking Back post, about how I went on this program and lost weight but gained it all back. When I did it the first time my Junior and Senior years of high school, I then went away to college before I tapered off the “weight loss” plan into the “maintenance” plan (why I didn’t go through that phase, I have no idea…I don’t remember much about the first time I did it). I went from eating a higher-protein, lower-carb diet prepared by my mother to living right next to a dining hall and dating a guy who ate pretty much whatever he wanted. I hadn’t taken control of my own outcome…I was passively participating and taking it as a “get out of jail free” card. I hadn’t learned the skills necessary to feed myself and exercise properly in the real world – I was like some of the Amish kids during their Rumspringa – I just went apeshit with indulgence because I was “free” and didn’t think about consequences. Then I sank into a depression, broke up with Dude 1.0, and gained even more weight.
The second time I did it, I used it as a get-the-ball-rolling sort of thing. I did it for just a few months in 2005 when I was on break from college and doing an internship here at home in Columbia. The same thing happened – I didn’t plan well and didn’t follow the plan through. I lost a bunch of weight, went back to school for the fall semester my Senior year, and started dating Dude 2.0 who introduced me to the world of beer and gourmet food. I wasn’t serious about it this second time, either. I was looking for a quick fix, wasn’t prepping my own meals, didn’t understand how big a deal this was, etc. I gained it all back and a helluva lot more during grad school, a time in my life shrouded in a terrible depression, which I’m truly thankful to have gotten out of alive.
So that leaves me here. I’ve lost 20 pounds with the help of Weight Watchers and my blogging friends over the past year and a half. My highest weight was around 270, and I’m just now at 250ish. None of my public health classes, nutrition classes, psychology and sociology classes, even behavior change classes in college OR the classes I’ve taken outside of school taught me the skills necessary to maintain weight. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” You can listen to lectures, study all you can, take tests, but that doesn’t mean information is internalized. Through practice and trial-and-error over the past year or so, I’ve gotten damned good at maintaining my weight, and was lucky enough to lose a little bit. However, I’m driven by success and haven’t been very successful at losing weight on my own.
That’s why I’m hoping that this 3rd time under the care of an endocrinologist will help and ultimately lead to my success. She’s closely monitoring my thyroid medication and blood chemistry to make sure nothing is amiss, and I’m on a special diet to jump start my metabolism and keep the fires burning, so to speak (I even had an EKG done yesterday to make sure my ticker is ticking properly). This time, it’s all my responsibility. I’m preparing my meals, I’m remembering to take my vitamins, I’m scheduling appointments and driving my own ass there. I’m in charge, and I’m not passively taking orders. This is in my hands now, which is one of the single most important factors to succeeding in changing behaviors (that, and having support from others ).
I’m excited and hopeful and confident about this journey. The only things keeping me from being wholeheartedly thrilled are 1) I’ll have to follow a low-carb diet, which means I’ll have to start eating meat again which I’m not happy about, and 2) you guys.
I know some people will see this as an easy way out, and if you all knew how much I’ve wrestled with this lately, maybe you’d understand how hard a decision it was to give this another shot. I’m not telling many people I’m doing this, but the few I’ve told have been supportive. My biggest fear is that people see me as a hypocrite because I’m turning to a specialized program and that I’m going to be eating meat again (which is the biggest deal to me). I was telling one of my best friends about it, explaining how I’m worried people will see me as a coward for taking the “easy way out,” and she said “no, the easy way out would be liposuction or gastric bypass. What you’re doing is still very hard.” I’ve been open and honest with you guys about everything, for better or worse, and I owe it to you to explain where I am right now, especially because my blogging life will change for awhile.
I thought about closing down the blog or even suspending it for awhile, but having an outlet and counting you all as friends has made too much of an impact on me. I wouldn’t be as confident as I am now without you all. I still need support, and I can still offer it to others. I’m going to keep blogging, but for awhile I might not have pictures of food, etc. I’m not going to go into detail just yet about what all my plan involves, but it’s pretty boring and pictures of it would put you all to sleep.
It sucks that this came at an inopportune time – right smack in the middle of Vegan Week (hosted by amazing ladies extraordinaire Michelle and Katy) and right before the Eat-Everything-in-Sight holidays, but it’s probably a blessing in disguise. I mentioned how I’m often an all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinker (again, for better or worse), so being on a stringent plan will help me get through the holidays without trying to justify all the extra junk I usually eat.
So, there I am. I might lose favor with some of you, but I’m being selfish at the moment and taking an opportunity while I can. I really hope you guys will continue to follow me and allow me to be a part of your journeys…that sounds so cheesy and stupid, but I really mean it. The blogosphere is a big part of my life, and I need to stay in it.
Thanks for reading.