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Vacation!

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One More Weight Post.

As promised yesterday, here are a few more weighty (hah!) or so thoughts, and a bit of background.

As I child, I was normal-weight, and fairly active. All during school, I stayed at normal weight, with fluctuations between summer and winter; but I started getting heavier and heavier with the reduced activity and different eating habits that came with moving away from home and studying.

Over the years that followed, my weight went up, and up, and up – and due to a lot of diet myths that I had bought into, taking them as facts, I never believed that I could do anything against this.

I lost a good bit of weight when I went on a three week trip during my PhD study time, looking at textiles in Scandinavia and Finland; I also lost some weight when I had to deal with food intolerances and was trying to find out what I could eat, and what did not sit well. However, after these stints, I inevitably returned to my old eating habits, and the consequence was, of course, that I gained back the weight I had lost.

The turning point came in January 2016, when a friend pointed me to the book “Fettlogik überwinden” (which, by the way, has come out in English recently; it is called “Conquering Fat Logic” and published by Scribe). You can read more about this in the post from January 2016, if it interests you. It took me from January to June to get down from a BMI of almost 39 to the upper edge of normal, BMI 25, and another few months to lose the remaining few kilos and reach my goal weight – that happened in September.

So… you already know that I still have to keep an eye on what I eat, and how much. This can be irksome, and I’d prefer to live in a rainbow-coloured wonderland where I can just have all the chocolate that I want and eat whatever and not pay attention and still be slim, and strong, and healthy. Who wouldn’t? However, I’ve come to the conclusion that this will never happen for me, and it is probably not going to happen with most people. (I have a friend who has to watch what he eats closely, because otherwise he’ll eat too little, which is no better than eating too much.)

For a good while, I was sort of annoyed about this need to pay attention, but fairly recently, I realised that this is kind of a nutty thing to be. I have to pay attention to spend my time wisely, too, after all – every single day. There’s only so many hours in a day, and if I get sidetracked too much and dawdle on random internet sites, I am going to get into trouble with the rest of my plans. I’ve never seen this as an annoying unfair thing, though. Budgeting my time wisely, or my money wisely, or my calories wisely – they are very similar to each other, and while I may have dreams about having inexhaustible amounts of time and money, I have never seen not having them as unfair, much in contrast to not having inexhaustible eating capabilities. Weird, right?

Realising that weirdness has helped me to mostly come to terms with that – I might still grumble quietly about not having enough calorie budget, but more in a way of how I grumble about not having enough money to spend on fancy things that I don’t really need.

Another thing that I recently realised is that, in one way of looking at it, I am actually… a diet failure.

You probably have read, and heard, about this “95% of diets fail, because people gain back weight afterwards”, right? Well. Technically, I am also falling in that category… because I am, today, about 2 kg above the weight from the end of my diet. Which makes me someone who re-gained weight after finishing… if you do a survey that only asks about gain, and not about how much. (There were a few occasions during the last three years when I had re-gained a little bit more, by the way, but I was able to cut back for a while again, returning to tracking calories, and got it under control once more.)

If you ask me, though, I’ll tell you that I would consider gaining back a little bit of what I have lost is not making me a failure at all. And even if I would have re-gained some more – how many people manage to stop smoking on their very first try? How often do you fall off a bicycle when you are learning how to ride? How many knitters never have to rip back a bit, or a lot, because things did not turn out to be the correct gauge, or the correct fit after all?

Is that a reason to just give up before you even start? Of course not. Learning something is rarely easy all the way through – but it’s always worth the effort, and finding out how to eat the right amount for what you are, and do, and want to be, is a kind of learning, too. It gets easier over time. It is easier if you have support. There will be days when it seems like nothing budges, but there will also be days when things suddenly feel in the flow. Whatever you do – don’t give up on your goals. Go for it. If you fail – try again. Sometimes it just takes a lot of small steps, but every little step in the right direction brings you closer – and at least you won’t have to wonder about what could have happened if you hadn’t given up.

Here you go. Ramble over – now this blog will go back to its more usual topics!

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2 Responses to One More Weight Post.

  1. Heather says:

    The most important question:
    How do you feel?

    Everything else is negotiable!

    • Katrin says:

      Fine, actually. Most of the time, not all, being a normal human being. But these days, the “not feeling fine” is not coming from lugging around too much weight – so no weight-related “not feeling fine” anymore, which is a huge difference for me.
      Makes more space for all the other issues one can have, such as too much perfectionism. Or trying to do too many things at once, and then feeling stressed out about it! ; )

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