You Don't Understand & I Can't Explain - POSTED ON: Feb 10, 2018
It is difficult to communicate the Realities of Long-Term-Weight-Loss-Maintenance. I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.
I am a Reduced-Obese person who has been successfully maintaining a large weight-loss for more than 13 years, which is a very long time. For the past 7 years here at DietHobby I’ve been demonstrating my involvement with that maintenance process.
One idea that seems to be uniquely my own was the choice to consider Dieting as an ongoing Hobby, and I’ve written a lot about that already. In fact, I’ve written a great deal about most of the Dieting issues that interest me. I’ve posted hundreds of articles, pictures, videos which are all still here, indexed and available for review Individually, in the Blog Archives, in the Blog Categories, and also under specific Section Headers. See the Contents Directory for more details.
Just like there are different stages of Dieting, there are different stages of Maintenance.
Unless you’ve actually spent a lengthy amount of time on one or more Diets, you cannot truly UNDERSTAND the experience of Dieting.
Understanding Maintenance also requires ACTUAL LONG-TERM EXPERIENCE of being personally involved with the Maintenance process.
In all this time, I have not personally run across any other “reduced-obese” person who has lost from a “super-obese” BMI, down to a “normal” BMI and has been successfully maintaining that weight loss for 10 or more years. Not in person, not diet-book authors, and not online. And yet I’ve been diligently searching for quite a long time.
People who are NOT involved with dieting … either on a diet or planning to be on one… are seldom interested in receiving extensive information about the benefits or pitfalls of dieting, let alone the maintenance issues that occur after successfully dieting.
Most of the people who ARE involved in the process of dieting, focus on their weight-loss goals; hope for an easy “maintenance”; and don’t want to face potential maintenance issues until after they cross their goal “Finish Line”.
The task of Maintenance during the first few years immediately after a large weight-loss is usually more difficult than most dieters expected, and the last thing new MAINTAINERS want to hear is that the process is not going to get any easier … and that, in fact, it will probably become MORE difficult as time goes on.
So… I’ve learned that most people NOT dieting don’t want to hear about the realties of long-term Maintenance.
Most People ON diets don’t want to hear about the realities of long-term Maintenance.
Most People WITHIN the first, second, or third year of reaching their weight-goal don’t want to hear about the realities of long-term Maintenance.
It is difficult to find a successful dieter who, after many years of morbid obesity, has been maintaining a “normal” BMI for more than three consecutive years. Such people are rare and therefore almost impossible to find and connect with. This sometimes causes me to feel very alone.
Posting here at this DietHobby website is a part of my personal dieting hobby. DietHobby is an online Scrapbook of information that I find to be personally interesting and helpful. For more than 13 years, as part of my dieting hobby I’ve involved myself with various online diet forums, and one of the main reasons I created this DietHobby website was so that I could easily explain myself in depth when participating in various discussions by using links to helpful articles that I had previously researched and written.
Over time I’ve discovered that doing this isn’t as simple or as helpful as I expected. Various forum members (usually those who were not involved in the original discussion) sometimes erroneously considered my linked articles in DietHobby to be “spam”, and objected to them.
Members who were involved in discussions with me often ignored the links, or chose to read only a few highlights of an article which caused them to miss the point entirely.
I’ve had many years of involvement with numerous diet groups and online forums, and at present, most of the time I find that involving myself in forum discussions results in a lot of repetition about issues that I no longer find interesting or personally helpful to me. This past year I’ve been reducing my engagement in that sort of activity, and expect that I will continue doing so in the future.
My dieting hobby appears to be working, in that I am still successfully maintaining a very large weight-loss. I plan to continue on …working to restrict my food intake while logging it all into a computer journal; tracking my calories and weights; experimenting with various diets; reading books and articles; following the various online posts that I find personally interesting or helpful; and posting here in DietHobby whenever I wish to do so.
Although I expect to greatly reduce my VISIBLE online forum involvement in general, I plan to stay personally available to interested members here at the DietHobby website, through posts, comments, and private messages.
At age 72 I am becoming more and more weary of the entire maintenance process, however, I plan to continue on with it as long as I am able to do so.
Many of you have followed me and my progress for a very long time, and I will continue to occasionally provide updated personal information here at DietHobby.
Today’s post will be included in the BLOG CATEGORY, Status Updates, which exists to make it easier for those who follow me to watch how things evolve as time passes. I recently ran a diet experiment from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and will soon be doing a Status Update post about that.
Although Today I am feeling very alone here in long-term maintenance, I do appreciate and value each and every DietHobby member and visitor, no matter what your current dieting status might or might not be.
Originially posted on 9/4/17. Bumped up for new viewers.
Freedom and Calorie Counting - POSTED ON: Feb 09, 2018
ongoing choice is
to count calories because I find it far less difficult than trying to stick to a restrictive diet that tells me exactly when and/or what to eat.
Part of my dieting hobby involves experimentation with various diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, including those eating methods which call themselves non-diets.
However, even when I experiment with other specific diet plans which don’t involve calorie counting, I continue to count and record my calories.
For the past 10 (13+) years, I’ve used a computer food journal to track my calories, and I do that all day, every day, no matter what number the day’s total calories turns out to be.
If any substance goes into my body, it goes into my computer food log. Accuracy or lack of accuracy is always an issue when counting calories, but I do my ultimate best to weigh, measure, and record consistently and accurately, and I am willing to trust that my personal best efforts are good enough.
After having successfully completed more than 3800 consecutive days of counting calories, I feel qualified to say that it is possible for a person to establish an enjoyable, ongoing calorie counting habit.
Some of the Benefits of Counting Calories are:
I have Freedom of Choice.
I am free to choose the food I eat. I know that good food exists and I feel comfortable seeking it out without guilt. I base my food choices on what I need and want, keeping moderation in mind, and the needs of my health as well.
I don't believe in depriving myself, but I take responsibility for my body, allowing it to enjoy the pleasure of taste, as well as proper nutrition. I know that there's no such thing as bad food unless of course it has spoiled, tastes bad, or doesn't otherwise live up to my expectations.
I am Absolved From Allegiance to Others.
I am not beholden to a book, a piece of paper, or a meal delivery service. I am also not tied to a celebrity trainer, DVD, medical professional, or specific diet such as low-carb, high-protein, low-fat, or high-fat to reach or maintain a healthy weight. I no longer blame, nor do I need, others for my own personal food choices.
My loyalty is to my health and well-being, so I matter most when it comes to what I choose to eat. I seek out assistance, help, and support, to inform my decisions, but I have no guilt or shame for not following others’ advice …or even my own advice 100% of the time.
I am a Self-Governing Body.
I have the power to change my eating habits if I desire to, and I take steps that feed my ability to regulate my food intake. I set up checks and balances in my life to ensure that my lifestyle is an environment that sustains my healthy eating habits. I consistently look for ways to improve on my own food choices and take the initiative in cultivating new ways to eat.
I don’t accept what others say is healthy for me. I am thorough in making sure that what I eat, and how I eat, is up to my standards regardless of what menus, the news media, or others say. By choosing food according to my own caloric needs, taste preferences, and nutritional needs, I am a self-governing body.
NOTE: Originally posted March 30, 2015. Bumped up for new viewers.
I have had More than Enough - POSTED ON: Jan 27, 2018
My Preferences Matter - POSTED ON: Jan 16, 2018
Research indicates that 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight within 5 years.
I am a “reduced obese” person who has been maintaining my body at or near a “normal” BMI for the past 12+ consecutive years, so I am one of the 5% who has maintained their weight loss for more than 5 years.
Long-term Maintenance of my very large Weight-Loss requires me to Diet continually. By this I do NOT mean that I “Yo-Yo Diet”. I mean that I must CONSISTENTLY Diet. Minute-after-minute, hour-after-hour, day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after year.
I am not, … nor will I ever become, … a “normal” eater who can effortlessly maintain a “normal” weight. Even after all these years of consistent weight-loss maintenance, I've found that as a "reduced obese" person, I must fight my body continually in order to keep it from taking me up back into morbid obesity.
Basically, I engage in ongoing calorie restriction. Over the years I’ve chosen to experiment with a variety of diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, and diets-that-claim-not-to-be-diets. However, every one of these eating variations involves restricting calories in one way or another.
I log all of my daily food in a computer journal, and keep an eye on my calorie intake.
Generally, I follow some basic eating guidelines which tend to give me freedom from specific diet rules, in the following ways.
My preferences matter. I get to say what I like and what I don’t, and I can’t be wrong.
I manage my eating in a flexible way, similar to the way I budget my money, — not spending an absolute set amount every day, but keeping an eye on the bottom line.
Financially, I live within my means. Although I don’t track every single purchase, I do look at price tags, comparison shop, and have a general idea of whether I can afford something.
I do the same with eating,
… paying attention to:
▪ The energy value (i.e. calories) in the foods I eat, or think about eating;
▪ My own energy needs (i.e. calorie burn);
▪ The health effects of certain foods (i.e. I have some protein every day; avoid foods that upset my stomach; etc.)
In this way I am able to make wiser decisions about which, and how much, food is appropriate for me and why. I choose to eat the foods I love in small amounts, while I choose to do without the foods that I don’t love or need as much.
As a grown-up, I understand that Living Life involves a multitude of basic ongoing tasks.
▪ I have to shower or bathe frequently if I want my body to be clean.
▪ I have to keep up with my laundry if I want to wear clean clothing.
▪ I have to perform various household tasks if I want to live in a clean house.
▪ I have to keep putting fuel in my car, if I want to drive places.
▪ I have to pay my utility bills if I want access to water, electricity, gas, and garbage removal.
▪ I have to diet if I want to maintain my body at a size which is considered to be “normal” in our culture.
Dieting consistently to Maintain my Weight-loss is simply one of those basic ongoing tasks.
Status Update - January 2018 - POSTED ON: Jan 05, 2018
“Where the rubber hits the road” refers to the Moment of Truth of something.
The point at which the Theory is put into Practice.
The point in a Process where there are Challenges, Issues, or Problems.
Most people understand that the process of Dieting to achieve a large weight-loss is difficult. However, Long-term Maintenance of a large-weight loss is the real Point in the process of Dieting where the rubber hits the road.
26 years ago, (Dec. 1992) my weight was 271 lbs. I’m 5’0” tall, so that’s a 52.9 BMI = Stage 4 obesity = Super-obese. After an open RNY gastric bypass which allows 100% of all calorie intake to still be absorbed, I lost down to 161 pounds, which is a 31.4 BMI = Stage 1 obesity, and maintained near there for a couple of years.
But then my weight began creeping up, and it became necessary for me to start dieting again to avoid a rapid regain. 10 years later, I was dieting to maintain my weight in the 190s, which is a 37 to 38 BMI = Stage 2 = Severe obesity, near the top border between Stages 2 & 3 = Morbid obesity.
DietHobby’s “ABOUT ME” section provides a summary of my weight history details. BLOG CATEGORIES, Status Updates contains many articles that share an ongoing record of my weight and calorie numbers.
13+ years ago (Sept. 2004) I began logging ALL of my daily food intake into a computer food journal which provides me with a calorie count; and I used a scale daily to see my early morning weight, unclothed, immediately after urination, which I recorded immediately. The chart below is a compilation of that data.
13 Years of Weight-Loss and Maintenance
The chart above shows my total daily calorie amount for an entire individual year, averaged out. It also shows my total daily weight amount for an entire individual year, averaged out, and my corresponding BMI. It also includes the lowest recorded weight for each individual year.
This chart demonstrates that during the 16 month weight-loss phase, my body behaved just as one would expect. My calorie average of around 1,200, led to a large weight-loss.
During the first two years of my maintenance phase, my body also behaved as one would expect. A calorie average of around 1,400 resulted in a stable weight-maintenance.
However, during the third year of my maintenance phase the situation changed, and a new Pattern emerged. I started re-gaining a bit of weight each year, even though I kept lowering my calories.
This pattern of an upward-weight-creep, despite consistent-very-low-calorie-intake, feels precarious. My Maintenance path has now narrowed to a point where sometimes I feel like I’m walking a tightrope, struggling to keep my balance in order to avoid falling all the way back into morbid obesity.
I’m growing weary of living at the place where the Rubber Hits the Road. This is my current Reality, and the Truth about how maintenance is going for me at the start of 2018.
Many of my previous status update articles discuss details about my weight history, my food and dieting involvement, as well as specifics of this situation. For more detailed information about my current situation, see my recent status update: “Why Is This Happening? - October 2017” which goes into great depth about this issue, and provides many links to relevant articles posted here in DietHobby.
May 01, 2018 DietHobby: A Digital Scrapbook. 2000+ Blogs and 500+ Videos in DietHobby reflect my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all, and I address many ways-of-eating whenever they become interesting or applicable to me.
Jan 01, 2018 DietHobby is my Personal Blog Website. DietHobby sells nothing; posts no advertisements; accepts no contributions. It does not recommend or endorse any specific diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, supplements, foods, products, activities, or memberships.
May 01, 2017 DietHobby is Mobile-Friendly. Technical changes! It is now easier to view DietHobby on iPhones and other mobile devices.