Set point (and no this is not about tennis)
I already shared that I have been stuck in a plateau for the past 4 months – nearing on five actually. I also already shared that I have lost weight in the past. I just realized that my plateau makes sense, because I have never lost more than 12 pounds successfully as an adult. I have never stuck with a “diet” long enough to lose more than 12 pounds. It makes sense why my body is putting the breaks on right now. I have reached the 12 pound mark (and kept it off longer than ever before). This is encouraging, because it means I may have reached my new set point. Disclaimer: I’m not a biologist, a physician or a dietician. I just know from experience that my body likes to be at a certain weight to maintain stability, and when I try to deviate from that set point I find it easier to make my way back to it than go below it. (Unfortunately, it is always easy to increase your set point by gaining weight.) I can now take heart in the fact that I have reached a new set point. This also allows me to narrow my focus and buckle down harder to push past this plateau.
Fat cells are not here to help
From the perusing I have done in passing, I did learn that there is a biological reason (obviously) why weight is so easy to gain and so difficult to lose. Here is what I have learned: when you gain weight your body creates more fat cells, and these fat cells might shrink when you lose weight, but they do not disappear. While this may be disheartening to some, for me it is vindicating. I have been beating myself up over not having enough self-control and letting my healthy habits slide in the wake of this plateau. The truth is that I am not imagining how difficult losing this weight is. My body is actively trying to foil my efforts. Anybody who tells you that weight loss is simple is wrong. It might in theory be simple: eat fewer calories, move more. However in practice I am here to tell you that it is NOT EASY. Patience is key here. I’ve read a lot of stories about women who have lost 100 pounds in one year, and God bless them. I am steady trying to lose around half that much weight with incredible difficulty. I have to share this ugly side of weight loss, because I feel like it’s glossed over for the most part. I’m here in the trenches really struggling and waking up every day feeling like a failure. Stay tuned for another post wherein I discuss the psychological and emotional toll my body image issues have wrought upon me.