Weight and me…

May be triggering for some people – discussion of my struggles with weight loss…

First off, let me state that I do, medically, need to lose weight. Currently, I’m hovering at the line where one day my scale tells me I’m overfat and the next, a tenth of a pound up, it says obese. The weights I’m going to talk about may sound ridiculous, but keep in mind that I am *short* (5’1″) and also have a naturally light build. My lowest adult weight was in college, when I was walking every day and standing for 8 hours at a stretch for my retail job, and that was a healthy 115 pounds where I still had plenty of curves and you couldn’t see my ribs. So when I tell you I’m currently 158 pounds, understand that on my body that is an unhealthy weight. I’m not bulemic, anorexic, or shooting for an unrealistic target, so please don’t comment assuming I am. Ok? Ok.

So, moving right along…

Last year we got a Tanita scale that talks to the computer and logs weight and composition data. Looking back over that year+, I’m slightly disturbed to see that 158.6 is my minimum. I hit it last year in October, and I’m at it now, and I’ve come close several times, but… that’s my minimum.

Part of that, I think, is because I freak out a little whenever I go over 160, and do better with paying attention to how much I’m eating, and what sort of stuff I’m eating, and drinking enough water. (The scale always says I’m under-hydrated.) I have been over 170 pounds, briefly, and it was extremely unpleasant. Not even my fat pants fit without an elastic to expand the waistline, and my breasts hurt all the time from the extra fat. It freaked me out, and I dropped back down to the 158-163 range fairly quickly, but not below.

Years ago, I set my target weight at 130 pounds. I figured 15 pounds over my college weight was probably reasonable in terms of health and achievability

But… I’ve been working at this (or at least hand-waving at this – my level of commitment varies) for around ten years. Eight years ago, when I got married, I remember my weight being 145, but I don’t think I’ve seen a weight that low on the scale in at least seven years. Trying to lose weight, and instead gaining 15 pounds over the last eight years? Obviously, what I’m doing isn’t working!

The problem, of course, is figuring out what will.

I think my current weight might be a clue, though. Like I said, whenever I bump over 160, I get a little grim about it, and pay close attention until I drop below again. 160 is firmly set in my mind as my maximum allowable weight, supported by both the discomfort I feel when I go much above, and the thought that if I budge on that limit, then in eight more years I’ll weigh 175!

So why not see if I can harness that?

I’m going to scrap the idea of a target weight entirely, and instead focus on this idea of a maximum weight. Currently, it’s 160. I’m going to see if I can reset it to 155.

It’s only five pounds. That should be doable – achievable within a few weeks, or a couple of months at most. Once I hit 155 and manage to stay below it consistently for a month or two – once I feel that it *is* securely set as my mental maximum – I can see about resetting to 150, and so on.

Five pounds… The thing is, even if I never get down to bikini-weight, when you’re overweight there are solid health benefits to being even five pounds lighter. Five pounds will make an obvious difference for my joints, and less obvious but just as important differences for my endocrine and circulatory systems. If I get below and then avoid going above 155 pounds for the rest of my life, I will probably live longer than if I stayed just below 160 – and be healthier too.

So my new goal is simple: get below 155 pounds and stay there.

Let’s see how it goes.

4 Responses to Weight and me…

  • Adam says:

    Good Luck

    • Anthea says:

      Thank you! So far, so good… I’ve still got 3.4 pounds to go, but I’ve been trending down at least…

      I keep reminding myself it’s a marathon, not a sprint… not a perfect metaphor, but useful in some ways.

  • Katie says:

    Did you know that before I lost all the weight, I was almost 200 lbs? And I am the same height as you. These days I hover between 120 and 125, usually.

    I actually do what you’re doing — I have a max weight, and if I weigh myself and go over that, I know it’s time to change something (like not drink so much beer, hah). Mine is 130 at the moment. Though honestly even if I get above 125 I know that I need to modify something, either get more exercise or look at what I’m eating. Once I stop eating crap and moving more, my weight tends to settle to what I think is my base weight (i.e. 120 to 125).

    TLDR: so I fully support your way of thinking, because I do it, too. So does my friend Lily, who has also managed to lose a bunch of weight for similar reasons to yours — high cholesterol and heart issues run in her family, and she knew that by being overweight, she would be at greater risk for that herself.

    • Anthea says:

      Thank you! I knew you were heavier, but didn’t know by how much – you and I are similar builds too.

      Here’s hoping – so far so good. :)

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© 2010 Catherine Wechsler, used with permission. http://cwechsler.zenfolio.com/

© 2010 Catherine Wechsler, used with permission.


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