I’ve been thinking on this article about why diets always fail in the long run. I’m, clearly, in the very tiny minority in that I’ve kept a large portion of the weight I lost off, however I think that over time I’ve been trending towards the larger majority.
I say that because I cannot for all that is good and great in this world, keep myself at my initial goal weight. I know, crazy, right? I lost 200 pounds, and I can’t manage to stay at my lowest weight ever for the rest of my life. It actually took my last round of liquid dieting (Optifast, to be precise) the really drive home for me that I will not ever be maintaining my “goal” weight.
What I really learned through the Optifast experience was that I could get to that weight, I could probably maintain – if I’m willing to live on a starvation diet forever.
No. I won’t do it.
My life is worth more than that. My time and my energy and my happiness are worth more than that.
Some of the things that chap my hide are that a normal person who never had to lose 200 pounds can eat so many more calories to maintain my goal weight than I could. To maintain that weight I’d have to average about 1300 calories a day (I know this from trial and error). That is not quite starvation, but if I went over one day I’d have to cut back by the same amount the next. Dinner out on Monday? Tuesday I’d get 800 calories. And that, my friends, is a starvation diet.
Every time I go to MyFitnessPal I get reminded that a normal person, with a normal metabolism, could eat 1950 calories at my current weight and lose. Not me. I’m targeting 1600 calories a day right now to maintain. That is a hard reality to swallow. So I target 1600, and some days I stay under, and some days I eat out with friends and have a cocktail because my life is worth more than that. I’m unwilling to spend the rest of my life hungry and exhausted just to be skinny.
Anyway, what I’m doing now is eating clean, exercising 4-6 days a week, and not weighing myself. Because it doesn’t matter. Whatever number comes up is irrelevant because I’m doing the best I can on food and exercise. I’ll weigh what I weigh, doing the best I can to eat healthily and exercise hard most days. And damn, I look good and feel good, isn’t that all anybody could ask for?