Sunday, October 21, 2012

What to do, what to do

I used to weigh 260lbs. I used to be fat and unhappy and lost. But then I met Shaun, and I fell in love, and I started to get my shit together. I got a job I liked, in my field, that paid more than I'd ever made in my life. Shaun and I moved in together. I started Weight Watchers.

I lost almost 100lbs with Weight Watchers. It took two years, but I did it. I took up running, yoga, cooking.

Then I got lost again. A few things happened -- at work, and in my personal life -- and I felt like I didn't know who I was anymore. So I went back to who I used to be. I went back to what I knew best: food.

I've gained over 60lbs in the last two years. I don't know if I've ever come right out and said that. Sixty pounds. That's a lot. I'm creepy ever so steadily back up to where I was.

This weekend, my back went out. That hasn't happened to me in years, not since I was at my heaviest. Now I'm hopped up on Naproxin and codeine and my hands have the burnt rubber taste from handling a hot water bottle. I can barely go to the bathroom. It hurts to laugh.

I am, to put it plainly, miserable. Not just about my back, but about everything. I'm so sad that I gained all this weight back. Sad, and disappointed, and embarrassed.

I want to do something about it -- if for no other reason than I detest being immobolized like this.

But I don't know what to do. I really don't.

This year I discovered the Whole30, and paleo eating in general. In a lot of ways, I love it. When I'm on it, I'm ON IT. I feel good and unobsessive. But I find it incredibly -- nearly impossible -- to stick to for any sustained length of time. And the second I go off it, I become a MONSTER. I lost 11lbs the last  time I did a Whole30 -- great, right? Well, what I didn't mention is that I gained TWENTY pounds over the next two months. I went CRAZY eating all the sugar and carbs and alcohol I'd been missing.

So even though I like eating the Whole30 way,  on one level, I don't know that it's a sustainable way of life for me.

So the way I see it, I have three options:

  1. Try to get back on track with paleo. Cut out sugar and carbs. 
  2. Go back to Weight Watchers. Either use the current program, or the previous program (the one I know worked for me.)
  3. Straight-up calorie counting. I can focus on trying to keep carbs low, too, if that helps, but, similarly to WW, this would be mean nothing was totally off limits -- just within limits. 

So my question for you guys: What would you do? What should I do?

I feel so lost again, like I don't know which way is up. Of course, that might be the codeine talking. But seriously: help?


  1. Are you the type of person that needs to be accountable to someone? As in are you going to be more successful if you have to be accountable to someone.As in weighing in front of someone on a weekly basis?
    Or do you think you can be successful on your own?
    I have lost over 100lbs on WW and the one thing that hasn't made me gain weight is that even thought I am a lifetime member I weigh in every single week. I take the good,bad,ugly on the scale. So when I weigh and I am up, I am admit to myself what I did wrong and I can do better for next week.
    Remember you want to learn how to keep the weight off. You don't just want a quick fix. You want to learn from mistakes and learn how to be successful at weight loss.

    1. Thanks Sarah -- those are all good points! I did appreciate the accountability of WW when I first started, but I also found it got problematic towards the end, when it was natural for my weight loss to slow -- I felt FINE about my progress, but I constantly felt judged by the ladies weighing me in.

      You've definitely given me some things to think about though -- thanks for your comment!

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your back, Andrea. My back used to go out occasionally, starting in my mid-thirties. But since I started doing yoga once a week it has never done so again. That's the most tangible reward I have for the yoga, and why I keep doing it.

    I've gained back more than the 15 pounds I lost in the glory days of the BLBE2, and I'm carrying it in a less attractive way. So I'm definitely not in the position to give advice to anyone!

    1. Thanks Julie!! Haha, you know, I'd totally forgotten about BLBE!! Ah, memories. :) Those WERE the glory days, weren't they??

      Also, I hear you on the weight going back in far less flattering positions. What is UP with that?? As if it wasn't depressing enough to gain weight back...

  3. I completely feel your pain. Before I got pregnant I put on weight that I was actively trying to get off. Even now I find myself bigger than I should be and I have put on more weight during my first trimester than I should have.

    I would go along the route of calorie counting to start. You can incorporate your paleo eating and still have wine and those foods that need to be a part of your life.

    Keep blogging! I love reading what you write.

    1. Thanks Allie! I know my TO girls always get where I'm coming from. :) I'm definitely considering the calorie-counting route -- like you said, some foods just need to be a part of your life!!

      I will definitely keep blogging through this -- in fact, of everything I've done for weight loss in my life, blogging has been at the core of my success. Thanks for commenting! :)

  4. I sent an email to your rocketdreams account!

  5. Andrea,

    This post resonated with me very much. I have dropped and gained the same weight multiple times over the last ten years. Over the last few months I've lost it again and am at that tricky place where I start to feel good and start to slack off. I have tried many diets including weight watchers but I don't love the idea of attending weigh-ins for the rest of my life. I eventually want to get to a place where eating and exercise feel more natural and balanced for me. This to me is the only way maintenance will feel right and be long-lasting.

    What I have found works the best for me is calorie counting and really paying attention to how my body reacts to what I am eating. Based on these reactions I try to make food choices that I both enjoy mentally and that make me feel healthy and well physically. So perhaps go down that road. Combine the best parts of all three options and focus on feeling well and less on the losing of weight (this is advice that even I still find hard to take, though I know it is the best option).

    And for now, rest rest rest! I hope your back feels better soon.