Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Get Tired

I am sometimes accused of being too rigid in my weight maintenance habits. I never know quite how to respond to that. The fact is, I AM pretty regimented in the way I eat and exercise. As I’ve noted before, I tend to eat the same things every day and generally plan meals, even meals out, ahead of time. Same with exercise. I do best when I stick to a pre-determined schedule – certain days walking and other days running, following routes I’ve developed based on time or distance goals. If you’re wondering why I do this it’s because for most of my life I was quite laid back about my health habits; the result of that laissez-faire approach was that I weighed a whopping 250 pounds by my late forties!

Every now and then (as in the recent past) I let go of this rigidity. That’s not because I magically attain super-weight-maintainer powers, allowing me to relax around food and exercise with impunity – it’s because I get tired. Of all the non-stop explaining. Why I’m not eating the pasta (because it causes immediate weight gain). Why I’m not available on Saturday morning (because it interferes with my weekly long run). Why whatever it is that everyone else wants to do doesn’t work for me (because I’m too set in my ways). Eventually I get to the point where I say, OK, I give up, cut me a slice of the cake, and then a very predictable thing happens. I gain weight. I’m dealing with ten pounds of “I give up weight” right now.

When I wax poetic about the kind of environment needed to support me in maintaining my weight loss, this is what I mean. I’m not shunning personal responsibility for my diet and lifestyle, not merely kvetching about the daily assault of mega-calorie, high-fat, sugar-laden foods. I’m making a plea for more understanding, for the simple recognition that there are things I need to do to manage my weight and the odds I will do those things go up exponentially when I follow a regular, even rigid, routine. The odds also improve when I don’t have to constantly defend my choices.

What I’ve learned over the last several years is that if I’m to be successful in keeping off the weight I lost, I need to be as unyielding as the reality of obesity. Other people may have flexibility; I don’t. Other people might be able to enjoy a measure of spontaneity; I can’t. Unless I want to risk weighing 250 pounds again, which I don’t.

And that’s just the way it is.

2 comments:

  1. When you write it out like that, is sounds like you are taking about sabotogers? Who tries to do this to you?

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  2. I'm not talking about sabotage. It has to do with how most people I know eat. What seems to be "normal" is lots of bread, pasta, potatoes, and sweets. These foods are everywhere and when I try to eat the way I need to eat, it can be awkward, especially at holidays or other special events. I've also noticed that most people I know see exercise as something you do occasionally. For me, it has to be around an hour every day and making that work can be difficult, especially at a time like now when I am putting in extra hours at work. I guess what I am trying to say is that the environment seems designed to promote failure not success in keeping weight off.

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