Let’s talk about weight, Baby

So, I’ve lost 30 lbs (15 kilos) in the past year. And, I have managed to keep it off (*happy dance* ^^) But, actually saying I lost it “in the past year” is very inaccurate. I actually lost most of the weight in a very short span of time. I’d say it was about two months. I can hear all of those weight/diet/exercise gurus having an aneurysm right now. But, just hold up a second and hear me out first. (photos at the end, btw)

It’s been about a year and a half since I lost the weight, and it really wasn’t my choice to lose it. It was my body’s choice…or my head’s. It depends on how you look at it. It turns out that anxiety makes me eat, but extreme anxiety has the opposite effect on me. I lose my appetite, and I actually get extremely nauseated. My weight loss was triggered by a severe case of anxiety which I was actually trying to hide from everyone (this never really works, by the way).  Anyways, I just could NOT eat. Food disgusted me. All I could stomach was fresh vegetables with lemon juice, water and maybe bread. However, since I was trying to hide it from everyone, I forced myself to eat other things.

Let me inject a little background info before I go any further. I’ve had weight issues since I was 10 years old. I know the exact moment it happened, too. It was the day the elementary school nurse told my sister that she was overweight. This is what I heard “Your sister is overweight and so are you. You know must eat like an overweight person.” So, I did, but I wasn’t overweight at the time. I was raised to have and do everything that my sister did. Obviously, when I heard my sister had a weight problem, my little brain assumed that I had one, too. Before, this latest weight loss, I had already lost around 70 pounds.

Now back to the topic.

For many days, I assumed that the anxiety would dissipate,  and I would go back to eating “normally”. It didn’t happen. It took weeks for the nausea to subside. I would have gladly stopped eating to keep the anxiety at bay. But, I never lost sight of the fact that I HAD to eat. If I didn’t, I would die. And, the biggest problem was that I would get hungry – true hunger pangs – and very frequently. So, I couldn’t ignore them. I decided to implemented a plan to face both problems – the hunger and the anxiety. I ate about a yogurt-sized container of food about every two hours or whenever I was hungry. Yes, that meant that I would eat about eight times a day. Once my stomach was satisfied, I would stop. If not, I would get very anxious.

After just a few weeks, I was noticeably thinner. Around this time, I decided to start therapy again. By the time the nausea had disappeared completely, I was so used to my eating routine that I couldn’t eat more. I was still losing weight quite quickly. That kind of bothered me, so I made an effort to increase my portions. I mean, I wasn’t crazy. I knew that losing weight that fast was not healthy. Did you read the part where I said that I had had weight issues from the time I was 10? Over the years, I had become an expert on eating, exercising and weight loss.

Even though I did not have a very pleasant experience with my weight loss, the lessons I have learned do make up for it. And here they are:

Here is where I add a disclaimer. I am not advocating this lifestyle or way of losing weight. I am merely stating my opinions based on my personal experience. 

It’s extremely easy to lose weight and very hard to gain it

What did she say? She must be crazy!

I couldn’t believe it myself, but this is absolutely true. If it weren’t, I would not have been able to lose weight so quickly. And, I proved the gaining weight part a few months ago when I spent about a week (every meal) eating much more than I had been eating. No weight gain. None. Do you know what that means, my fellow fatties? That means that we’ve been working our bodies EXTREMELY hard to be overweight…not just a day or week, but every single hour for every single day for years!

The hard part about losing weight is believing in your heart that it’s possible and, thereby, letting go of all the emotional baggage that comes with overeating.

It is not necessary to exercise to lose weight

Once again, you heard me right. Before losing weight, I would walk an average of 1.5 to 2 hours per day. I didn’t lose a pound. During my weight loss, I didn’t leave my house. I didn’t even do one minute of exercise. Have you seen the picture with an apple carved with abs? The caption says, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym”. Amen! Eating right keeps your slim, exercising keeps you fit. In fact, I tend to think that exercising sabotages weight loss, but that’s just me.

Skinny foods are stupid

There is no reason to eat “skinny foods.” Once my nausea had subsided, I ate anything I wanted to eat: ice cream, chocolate, meats, paté, bread, cheese, but I maintained my portion size. The key here is portion control, people. Say it with me: portion…control.

I actually look at it this way: you can eat the same bulk, just not in one sitting. Split your lunch in two. Eat one part for lunch and the other for your snack. Believe me, you’ll run out of day before you run out of food, and you will still feel full.

The key to being “skinny” is eating when you are hungry and stopping when you no longer are. You will soon realize that a smaller amount of food will satisfy you. And always remember that when you get hungry, you can eat again. Happy days!

Fat is the place where all of your emotions end up

OMG, this is the worst part. When you lose weight, your emotions will come up to the surface. Now, you have to deal with them without eating them back down. Find someone you can talk to, blog about it, post it on Facebook, cry, meditate. There are many healthy ways to deal with the emotions you’ll feel. Find something that works for you and stick to it. My anxiety was my partner, but I don’t recommend that SOB.

Don’t cry victory until after 1 year

The other day, my sister asked me when I had started putting my physical needs for food before before my emotional ones. “A few months, right?” she asked. Wrong. It takes over a year. For me, it was about 14 or 15 months. Before then, I could have easily switched over to my old eating habits.

*****I don’t have many full body pictures. I found some, though. No one has seen the first one, but in the spirit of full disclosure, here it is:

I was almost at my heaviest back then. I think I had lost about 10 pounds

I was almost at my heaviest back then. I think I had lost about 10 pounds

weightloss face

Wow, my eyes even look bigger because I have less face!

And there it is. If you have any thoughts on this subject, I’d love to hear them ^.^. ‘Til later…

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