Saturday, May 21, 2016

Losing and regaining weight

So there is this lady I know on the internet. She lost over 200 lbs and attributed it to Weight Watchers and dancing.  I followed her as she posted a video of her getting her lifetime membership award at Weight Watchers and as she started to lead a dance class at a local gym.  She was a real inspiration in my own weight loss journey. And she was even featured in a TV story.

That was in 2009 and I saw a recent video of her - she's still dancing and is fit, but she seems to have regained at least 100 lbs or more.  I starred at her, astonished,  because somehow, I guess I thought she would never again, regain.  I do admire her for still getting out there and teaching dancing though.

In truth, damaged metabolisms can happen for all reasons, including too much dieting. Experts have said that, with every diet, our metabolism shrinks down a few hundred calories a day. And those like me, who had tonsillectomies in the 1950's and 1960's often, got damage to the pituitary gland which tends to greatly lower the metabolism. Bottom line, many of us do not have to really overeat, to gain back the weight.  In fact, if we eat the "normal American diet", even on a moderate basis, we can easily regain the weight and then some, as I found out in my numerous attempts to diet.

This time, I have kept off the 106 lbs for over 6 years. How?  I count every calorie that goes into my mouth.  (we joke that "if it goes internal, it goes in the journal").

What is sad, is that no medical provider has ever told me that I might have to count calories for the rest of my life if I wanted to keep off the weight.  Neither did they tell me that some folks become overweight just by eating normally.  (Society's image is, that if a person is fat, it means they do nothing but sit on the couch eating bon-bons and medical providers, many of them, seem to agree with this image).

Is it worth it to me, to count my calories to keep off the weight?  Yes it is to me,  because I am healthier at a BMI of 27 than I was at a BMI of over 40 and I fit in auditorium chairs and other places better and I don't have to have a wardrobe in 3 sizes and I do not get any negative feedback from medical providers... but it's a matter of preference and lifestyle and anyway, I think we should all accept each other for the beautiful humans we are and not quibble about weight or other superficial things.

That being said, I think that medical providers should give better advice on how to lose weight and keep it off (I suspect it usually requires counting calories, measuring and journaling food intake for those of us with pituitary damage or "those genetics") instead of blaming us for being overweight.  Experts say that our size is 60% genetic and there may be some 40 genes involved  (Dr Rudy Leibel, obesity expert for example).  Bottom line - who we are should not be determined by our size!