Recently I have noticed a few bloggers who have been brave enough to admit that they have regained a little or in some cases a lot of the weight back that they had previously lost. Sometimes when a “successful” blogger (successful in this case = lost lots of weight) slacks off or stops writing altogether, it’s a sign that they have had a regain of some or all of their lost weight. I can almost hear the despair in their voices, along with the shame and humility. It’s not a pretty thing to see someone fall after a big victory.
But I think it’s so great that these bloggers are sharing their failures!! Let me explain why:
Way back in the day, after I had lost a significant amount of weight, I said those famous last words – “I’ll NEVER go back to the way I was before!” And I meant it. I was resolved that I would never, ever let myself slip back into the old patterns that led to my weight gain in the first place. I was adamant!
And then…well, life sometimes gets in the way, or a loved one becomes ill, or unemployment comes knocking on your door…and before you know it you’re right back to square one hauling around all that weight (and more) that you had once fought so hard to lose. So you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get it done again and you lose all that weight!! And you say “I’ll NEVER go back!!” And you mean it.
And then…you can guess what happens. Let me tell you, when I said it, I really did mean it. I didn’t want to go back to being fat. And each time I lost weight (twice I lost more than 25 pounds), I was determined that I would never gain weight again EVER. I think, however, that’s the wrong attitude to have – because we ALWAYS have the possibility to gain weight. It CAN happen, and sometimes it WILL happen (more than once). When I had that attitude of NEVER AGAIN, after a while I would let things slide…just a little…and then maybe a little bit more…and I wasn’t vigilant about keeping up with those habits that led to weight loss. I sort of felt like since I was now a thin person, it wasn’t possible for me to become a fat person again because I HAD DECLARED NEVER AGAIN!! Yeah…it doesn’t work that way. Just ask all the maintainers out there.
Seeing these bloggers share their stories reminds us that there is no “end”. You don’t lose weight and suddenly you’re finished…no, unfortunately there will always be a POSSIBILITY that you will gain the weight back, but that can be a motivator to stay the course. If you are aware of what a possible future looks like, you can work to avoid it. If you don’t believe that future is a possibility, will you be as vigilant?
(Side note: My boss recently had weight loss surgery, and since his surgery just over a month ago, he has lost over 50 pounds. He uttered those famous last words yesterday and it was all I could do to say “but you CAN go back and if you’re not careful, you WILL go back!” Right now, he doesn’t believe that you can gain weight after having WLS, but I know that it can be done. I just encouraged him to keep up with his new habits, but I know that he is the type to push the boundaries of what he can/can’t eat, so it will be interesting to see where he is in three to five years with his weight.)
I think that if we can accept the possibility of regaining lost weight, it can help us feel less shame if/when we do regain. I hate to see these bloggers feeling so awful about themselves and having such a sense of despair. These feelings won’t help them reached their goals, but I completely understand why they feel the way they do. It’s hard to have that brass ring in your hand, and then watch it fall away into the abyss.
So if you come across a blogger who has recently admitted to a weight regain, be extra kind to them; learn from them and adjust your course accordingly.