Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fanatic vs. Normal

Today I read a lot of blogs.  I was at work at 9 am, and I pretty much was done working by 3.  So I started reading blogs.

Very few people post every day like Vickie.  I'd read all of my favorite blogs' recent posts, so I went and found some new ones, too.

Pasta Queen had a new post yesterday, on accepting herself at the weight she is (I think I read on another post that she's about 50 pounds heavier than she was at her thinnest) and not being so bat-shit crazy about food like she was a few years ago. It's a really good blog post, and I'm happy that's she's happy.  But....

She says, "I have often wondered if someone who’s lost a ton of weight has to become a fitness and health fanatic for the rest of their life to keep it off, or if they can just integrate it into a normal part of the life that is not any more or less important than other things in their life."  

I think "fanatic" is too strong a word, but I think "normal part of life" isn't enough. 

For someone who was closing in on morbidly obese (at 220 pounds post pregnancy, that would be me), I can't see myself in maintenance mode and having food and exercise be "any more or less important than other things in life."  For me, to be successful at keeping weight off (at least at this point in my life, and certainly when I was at my goal weight three years ago) it has to be MORE important than everything else in my life.

Because everything else in my life is influenced by what I weigh.

So why would I expect that the forces behind my weight--food and exercise--should take anything less than being the number one priority? 

I'm not saying that life has to be All Diet, All Exercise, All the Time.  But, a "normal" life in our country in this century doesn't allow most of us to just coast through and stay thin.  We have to plan our meals.  We have to set aside time to exercise.  We have to pay attention to our bodies, our minds, our emotions.  And yes, it takes up a helluva lot of time.  If you do it right.

Even when I'm gaining weight, a disproportionate amount of my mental and physical energy is spent on food and my body.  Just not in a healthy way.

I want to get on the fanatical side of healthy living.  I think that would be a good thing, indeed.

I read a ton of posts from Lynn at Lynn's Weigh.  Oh my, what richness lies there.  I can't wait to read more.


Cindy...154 said...

I could use a little more fanatic right now. I am coasting but not too far. If I don't make eating less and exercising more a priority, it doesn't happen. So glad to read your post. I am reading blogs tonight to get back into the groove..Thanks!!

Kara said...

For me, the fitness isn't a choice, it's how I live. I can't imagine not working out, that would be such a punishment!

As far as eating, eh, I just eat whatever I can whip up during nap time :)

Vickie said...

(this is all in my opinion)

It just plain becomes easier with practice - if we let it and do not fight it.

Yes, in the beginning it is like a full time job. The be all and end all.

Part of this is because we have so darned much to UNLEARN, and part is because of the anxiety ditching old cope mechanisms renders forth, and part of it is just plain channeling our inner drama queens.

As we learn and work through the inner stuff (if we let ourselves grow), it all calms.

you are absolutely right - THE FOCUS HAS TO STAY. But maintaining focus becomes easier. It is like learning to ride a bike. Hard as anything in the beginning, later can just hop on and go, but the same skills and balance are there.

I keep my focus by blogging. My Sunday 'what I did this week' brings my exercise to my attention. my daily posts show me what is on my mind and illustrate trends and remind me of appointments and what I need to share with my therapist.

By the time we get to goal, if we have been practicing, and paying attention, we have learned a lot.

Cooking becomes second nature. We can shop without a chart and a calculator (I had to take my husband with me for months as I tried to figure out numbers). Have a good standard shopping list. Know portions, know percentages, know recipes, know positons in exercise, etc, etc, etc.

We get our taste buds turned around and they adjust to real food and proper portions.

we take care of medical issues.

we clean out our closets and clear away the clutter.

we find our own boundaries.

all of that counts for a lot and helps with maintenance.

the food and the fat are just the parts we can see.