I’ve read that some 95% of people regain their lost weight and many gain even more than what they originally lost. Weight loss has two sides: mental and physical. Most people *think* they have the mental aspect down, but when shit hits the fan there is no telling what happens.
Weight loss is probably more mental than physical at the end of the day. They say maintenance is way harder than actually losing. And now I get that. I knew how to change my body, but not my mind. I attributed my weight loss to my Nazi like regime and training. I learned how to take it off, but not keep it off. I was so busy trying to see a specific number that I didn’t really worry about anything else.
“…while I had figured out the *physical* part of weight loss, I hadn’t figured out the *mental* part yet so I didn’t know how to cope but am in a MUCH better place right now.” Jill Grun over at Year of the Phoenix (fantastic blog!) posted that on her Facebook.
DING DING DING! She hit the nail on the head and all I could exclaim was “AMEN HALLELUJAH!”
I was so damn wrong about my weight loss. I thought I’d NEVER gain the weight back. Nope, not me. I had this weight loss thing down pat. Well, then shit hit the fan, and I was found many a time with my head in my hands just sobbing and saying, “But this wasn’t suppose to be me.”
I’ve certainly gone through the 5 stages of grief with my regain:
- Denial and Isolation – I did a really good job of that refusing to accept that I’d regained 40lbs. I managed to steer clear of actually sharing my weight here, on SMF, and I also became the queen of yoga pants and all things comfy and non form fitting.
- Anger – This wasn’t suppose to be me. Pure fury about it. I was SO angry at myself for letting this happen. I felt like I’d wasted years and what was the point. I had so much anger in me. Then the car accident and Physical Therapy only added to it. And then I had the brilliant mindset of, Well, fuck it. I’ll make shitty choices all around. Bring on the flip side of 20/80 eating where I was 20% clean and 80% junk. Boy, I sure showed myself.
- Bargaining – If only I’d had some will power. If only I’d have gone to the gym. If only I didn’t eat my emotions. If only I’d coped better. If only, if only, if only and then onto, If I don’t eat any carbs I’ll lose the weight. If I start eating 1200 calories, cut the carbs and exercise 6 days a week I’ll lose the weight. If I lose the weight, I’ll be able to get pregnant again. And on and on and on….
- Depression – Well, I’m done. This will never get better. I’ll never lose the weight again. I’m destined to be fat and miserable. I hate my body. I hate myself. That was all outward. And then it turned inward, where I was just miserably sad and felt very alone.
- Acceptance – And then I slowly transitioned into accepting it all. I’ve gained some weight back, but I’ve also gained some insight. I’ve slowly come to peace with my regain and have realized that I want to be healthy, not a number. That I want to like me again, and not due to a number. That I am going to be fine. That yes, I gained some weight back, but I also learned a hell of a lot from it.
It’s been a week since I destroyed my scale. And it’s the healthiest decision I’ve ever made regarding my weight loss.
Here’s why. In 7 days without a scale my routine didn’t change, but my mentality did. I actually liked myself. I still got up 4 out of 7 days and went to the gym and enjoyed what I was doing. I still ate 17/21 meals exceptionally clean – which means my 80/20 goal was spot on. I woke up every morning feeling guilt free and not worried about what the scale would tell me to feel about myself that day.
My new goal weight isn’t a number or a size. My new goal weight is to just be active, eat well and be happy.
Regain is hard — I love your new attitude though!!
Good goddess, I had NEVER thought about the five stages of grief this way but I totally went through them, too.
Good for you! You can do this!
I am SO GLAD you destroyed that scale. Still impressed by that, AND you haven’t bought a new one AND idk how often you think about it, but hopefully not a lot. Even BUYING that scale was a huge ordeal because it had to have all your exact specs (not unlike your FitBit ahem!), so I still can’t believe you did it.
You’re rocking a stronger body and mind! Get it boo!
I completely agree. The mindset and motivations behind the behaviors are what make the difference in the long run.
When I was unsuccessfully trying to lose weight I was trying all these rigid unrealistic diets. But then I would binge after a week or two. I was trying to change myself out of shame. But that mentality didn’t work for me.
I’ve noticed that nearly every single person (including myself) that have successfully lost weight and stayed fit had a “flip the switch” moment. Where all of a sudden the mindset shifts to a healthier and more “lights on” mentality. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what it is, how it works or how to trigger it (it seems to differ for each person)… but I think for many people things have to get pretty messy for that to happen.
When I was losing weight I didn’t have a scale at home, but I would weigh myself at the gym every week or so. I think this was a good balance for me because I had the numbers to hold myself accountable and not make excuses… but I didn’t weigh myself to the point of obscessive tunnel-vision focus where I was so results driven that it went against the whole point of why I was losing weight in the first place.