Thursday, June 12, 2014

I've been behaving like a kid playing with a balloon

I got to thinking about the last few years for me. While I've always yo-yoed a bit with weight, I was at a pretty steady high weight for a long time (which is bad of course).  My highest weight ever was 275 back in 2001. It can down to 265 and pretty much stayed there with some fluctuations for about 10 years.

When we moved to Maryland, the move itself got me to 255 - which I stayed at that weight all year. It actually started to give me hope that I could lose weight and keep it off as I was going down little by little and maintaining those losses. BUT... it was really little by little.

Then, I got the "you are going to die if you don't change your life around" message. OK, it wasn't said, but I'm not stupid. So, I started to lose weight. So, when I started out at 255 I was like a fully blown up balloon.

I worked steadily down to 165 with very, very few hiccups down the road of 18 months. I had very little left to lose, if any. I was like a deflated balloon.

Then I started to blow up again, but not a lot - and stayed there for about a year. And then, I totally lost it and blew almost all the way back up to where I was 3.5 years ago - up to 243. So, looking like a mostly full balloon again.

Now I'm releasing the air in the balloon and again, letting it slowly deflate. (Hopefully for good).

It's like this image, but going in reverse order - or I guess if you start from before I gained weight, it's me going forward and backward through the different stages of the balloon being inflated and then deflated.

But, you know how balloons work. Before you blow them up, they look like this:

But, once all the air has left the balloon and it gets deflated, it looks like this:

It never goes back to the same small shape and size. ESPECIALLY the more you blow it up or the more you keep it at a big size for a long time OR blow it up and deflate it over and over again. Basically, the elasticity gets worn out. Our bodies are like that too. I "probably" won't look as good with this weight loss as I did with the previous one because of the big gain and also because of my age - 44. It's not keeping me from doing this as it's not about looks, but health. It's just a fact of life.

I'm like a balloon. And right now I'm about half way blown up or said more optimistically, about half way deflated as I'm on the losing trend, not gaining.


  1. You know that was one of those things that freaked me out during my last bout of weight loss from 165-170 down to 145. I looked deflated and wrinkly as I had lost significant subcutaneous fat. My bras were half empty, my thighs had a gap, my upper arms were crepey. Not surprising, given that I have fairly in elastic skin to begin with, had been 270 pounds, and had four children. But it messed with my brain it ways I couldn't even identify at the time. I thought I had it down, after so much time losing and maintaining. I was good. I had a system. I'd dealt with my demons. And I'd still say most of that is true, but it never ends or completely goes away. I lost the ability for a few months to feel myself in and manage my health and I paid for it with a huge regain. Some was hormonal with this pregnancy at 150, and now I'm up to 172 shockingly early (it's mostly hormonal and my husband keeps joking about twins, but some of it is that residual I-don't-care at the end of the day, too). It's been very sobering and helped me feel myself in again, so I can lose some of this excess fat and grow another healthy baby.

    I'd like to say for this next losing phase, postpartum, that I'm ready to see 150 or 145 again. It looked gooooood on me! But truthfully anything below 160 was comfortable for the rest of my life and that's my goal right now. It's a process, I can't ever lose sight of that. And neither can you. Whether we're deflated balloons and regaining maintainers or not, it's NEVER too late as long as we breathe, to get this under control and keep trying. We might stumble or fall, but quitting entirely isn't an option when husbands and children depend on us.

    I'm cheering for you, you're doing SO well lately and the weight is just melting off. But even when it gets hard and even when the final results aren't what you pictured in your mind, remember how far you've come and don't let it defeat you. The wrinkles are manageable, the deflated tummy and breasts can be dealt with or lived with. And we can't ever hang up our hats and say we're done without consequences. Such is the life of a maintainer ;)

  2. Insightful as always Taryl. And yes, it's odd. Even with this huge, huge, huge regain I had. I knew I was still "in it", just out of control. I knew I would relose it. I knew I would get back to it, but for some reason, I just couldn't then and there. I guess this is healthier than the last time I LOST it as then, back in 1997, I quite literally said, "I will never, ever diet again because it bruises the ego too much to regain and I just got bigger and I fear I will continue to get bigger with yo-yoing." And, I didn't diet ever again until 2011 when I got a health wake-up call.

    And you are so right - we will be fighting those demons for life. Everyone has something to battle - for me it's my eating. For others it's shopping, or smoking, or list another vice. Very few of us go through life unscathed by demons.