It’s About Time


Since I’m a matter of 1.8 pounds away from 150 pounds as of this morning (148.2 pounds down!), I’ve been thinking about the things that got me here.

Things I’ve learned this time over the last time I lost 140 pounds:

Slower is better for me.

When I lost 140 pounds, before, I lost it relatively fast; the majority of my weight was gone in a year, before it really slowed down, and it took about 18 months total to level out at 140 and stay there for a couple of years. After that couple of years maintenance, it creeped back on pretty quickly. I had a heck of a time keeping my weight within an acceptable range.

My brain really never truly and fully accepted my body’s changes, and because of that, I sabotaged myself without really realizing I was doing it.

I felt like a fraud most of the time — a fat person trying to pass herself off as some closing in on a normal weight. I couldn’t accept that I really was that person that was just overweight instead of morbidly obese. I felt like I had to constantly prove myself; if the scale wasn’t moving, I needed to do adverse things to get it to move. And, wouldn’t you know it, I plateaued and stayed at one point for the better part of two years, and then crashed and burned.

I thought about everything I ate during that time when I was actively losing and when I plateaued — and I still do, but it’s from an entirely different perspective, now. I have a much better idea where my food triggers are, what the consequences will be if I choose to eat something that’s a trigger, where my zones are for losing, and how my body works.

148 pounds of lap dog. Who’s a good boy?!

Before, I convinced myself I could eat more because of the amount of exercise I did; for me, that wasn’t possible, because my metabolism doesn’t forgive calories that way. I overate on protein, thinking I was burning it all up. Not so — the body can and will store overages of protein the same way it stores overages of anything else.

I was also stubborn about things. My brain stubbornly refused to let go of the notion that I should review what I was doing and change my tactics. Instead, I kept spinning my wheels and digging myself into a rut.

Taking weight loss slower has allowed my thinking to evolve along with my body. I’m more willing to try different things to see how they work. I’m more educated on the workings of my own body’s reactions and changes, even though I’m still occasionally surprised. While I still have my fat-brain days, I have a truer idea of both my current abilities and my capabilities.

Letting go of being inflexible has helped immensely.


You can’t exercise yourself thin.

Now, before anyone disagrees with me on this, I do believe that exercise plays a crucial role in overall health. Two people of the same weight look vastly different if one is a couch potato and the other works out on a regular basis; muscle takes up less room than fat, so the more muscular of those two people will appear slimmer. Muscle is also metabolically active, which is a great thing for anyone wanting to manage their weight.

That said, there are a lot of fallacies out there regarding exercise, especially with the advent of shows like The Biggest Loser, which I watched for a couple of seasons, and then stopped because it angered me. I felt it perpetuated the idea that if fat people would only make some effort and stop eating, they’d drop all their weight. That’s only partially true.

On that 140 pound loss, I started early on by walking and adding to the length over time. I started adding strength workouts, and that was good, too. Eventually, I peaked, but kept pushing past that peak to the point where I injured myself, and constantly felt bad. The effort I made didn’t give me results even close to that effort. I over-exercised to the point of exhaustion, as if I were training for some big competition. I spent 90% of the time feeling sore and longing for recovery weeks.

I sacrificed far too much in the hopes that I’d increase my metabolism and lose weight, and ended up doing it entirely wrong — for me.

This time around, I only recently started walking, again — not because I didn’t think it was necessary, but because I needed to lose enough weight to make walking comfortably possible, again. I add a little bit at a time. I can feel myself getting stronger, and I would only call this light to moderate exercise. For me, though, I’ve been able to lose all the weight I did originally without exercise.

Sure, I’m larger right now than back then at the same weight. I’m well aware that I’d look tjommer and be stronger if I were still strength building, but back then, I believed that was the only way for me to maintain my weight — and I’m learning that’s not true at all.

My goals are to increase over time to moderate exercise; enough to generate health benefits without making me long for recovery weeks.

You can certainly change how your body looks with exercise, and I recommend it; but inevitably, it’s what you put in your mouth that makes the biggest difference, and there has to be a happy medium so that my lifestyle is one I enjoy, not dread.


I have nothing to prove.

During that first 140 pound loss, I felt like I had to prove myself. I’m sure a lot of overweight people feel this way, especially if they are obese, because they’ve endured a lifetime of both overt and covert judging regarding the extra weight they carry. When they make the effort to lose weight, they may be afraid to say anything, because others will then think “finally! It’s about time!”

If they fail, then, they feel exposed.

I drew a lot of attention when I lost 140 pounds. People didn’t recognize me because the weight dropped so fast. They were excited for me, but then I’d be asked for constant updates, and the pressure was on. If I couldn’t produce results, I felt like a failure — when what I was really doing was setting myself up for failure. And, of course, I failed. Big surprise, eh?

Big surprise, eh?

This time around, the changes have been slow and I’ve adapted better. I have nothing to prove, except to myself. If people think I should be losing weight faster or doing something differently than what I am, that’s on them, not me. I will get to my goals in my own time, and no one else’s. My accomplishments are for me, not to impress anyone else.

I created this blog to be accountable — both to myself and to those I value, because I’m really good at not being truthful with myself. Knowing the level of transparency expected of me keeps me honest. I admit that I often feel like I’m disappointing folks on the many weeks I don’t report a loss, but that’s my journey; how boring would this be, if I blogged about losing exactly two pounds every week?

As it is, my average loss per week is .75 pounds — that’s an average, and if you’ve been around a while, you know there are plenty of weeks that go by with no loss at all. It’s not a constant. That can be aggravating at times, but being persistent pays off.


The road to success looks more like a drunk on a mule charted it than a nice, flat highway.
My first big weight loss was pretty predictable for the first 100 pounds or so. I dropped weight in steps; I wouldn’t lose anything for three weeks, and then the week before my period, I’d drop 10-15 pounds. Every month. My weight loss graph looked like a staircase.

This time around, I was more than a decade older, past menopause, with other health complications that were finally being treated, but treatment doesn’t mean it’s suddenly easy to lose weight. My weight loss graph looks more like a tilted EKG, these days. I’ll drift up and then down, flat-line (OMG!), and drop again. It jumps around quite a bit and there’s no predictable indicator of anything, really. Trends, perhaps, but nothing I can look at and predict my loss down the road.

It’s taught me patience that I didn’t have before. It’s taught me to look at indicators other than weight loss for signs of success. I know how my clothes fit, for instance, and the variations are easier to tell the more weight I lose.


I should live more in the moment.

Losing the bulk of 140 pounds in a year meant I basically lived in thrift shop clothes so I wouldn’t go broke. Seldom did I find something I just absolutely adored, though. So when I kept smaller clothes and have found myself working my way down through them, now, some of them have been donated before I ever got back into them.

Why? Well, for one thing, they’re a decade or older, and some were just too far out of style to bother, even if I’m not a fashion plate. For another, I want to treat myself better and enjoy every moment, which means I want to like what I wear, what I do, how I spend my time.

I spent far too much time, back then, living a life that would get me to an eventual goal instead of living a life I actually fully enjoyed. I made do, I got by, I did things to move me forward — all well and good, but I denied myself the pure enjoyment of just living.

This journey has been about learning to change while creating a new lifestyle that’s not only manageable but rewarding, as well. I used to live thinking about the future; when I get down to size 10, when I’m thin enough, when I lose enough weight… all those were some distant goal and anything short of that goal was just along the way. Now, I take joy and where I am at this moment, and only a small portion of my day is given over to weight loss; it doesn’t define me the way it once did.

Living in the moment means I can find joy in the things I give my time to, whether it’s just day to day activities, giving myself over to my music, my work, or getting out and having fun. I don’t torture and punish myself in the name of weight loss. And most of all, I do not deprive myself of the things I love and enjoy.


I’m but a few pounds away from 150 pounds down. I initially plotted to lose 200 pounds, and then evaluate at that point where my health is. Here I am, nearly 3/4th of the way there — and while I know there are those that think a nearly four year long weight loss effort seems like a long time to endure, I actually am stunned to be at this point, with the reality that not only have I been successful, but that next 50 pounds is fully and completely in my power to reach.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.