November 07, 2019

A Chat About My Weight (The elephant--haha!--in the room)

A Little Chat About My Weight

(All photos in the post were taken within the past year)

If you haven't noticed, I haven't been writing much about my weight at all on my blog lately. It's not that I'm trying to keep secrets or anything--I've already talked about my weight gain, and how I'm the heaviest I've been in eight (err, nine) years. That's nothing new.

And really, I haven't written much about it because there isn't much to write! I still weight myself occasionally (not every day, like I used to--maybe about once a week). When I write it down in my little calendar book, I don't really think anything except, "Ugh, I really need to do something to drop these extra pounds."

Katie sitting with Phoebe and Joey

Yesterday, after I weighed in, I decided to flip through the book and see how long it's been since I was at my goal weight (or close to it). When I started gaining weight. All of that kind of stuff.

And I noticed the most unbelievable thing.

I have actually been within a five-pound weight range for OVER A YEAR. (Let me just add that this is the info I got from my weight log; so if I happened to mention a lower or higher weight in that time, I'm sorry, it's not intentional. I may have dipped a little higher or lower for a minute).

tea party with Luke

Anyway, when I wrote that post about being the heaviest I've been in eight years (that was in September 2018), I weighed 162. I remember being a little stunned that I'd gotten back up into the 160's. I wasn't proud of it, but I knew it was from emotional eating (and alcohol). I wanted to take it off, but I didn't care so much about the number. I changed my weight goal (without looking back at the post, I want to say 145?).

Throughout the last year, I've given half-hearted attempts at losing the weight, but I just can't seem to get myself into that mindset. It's not that I don't care--I do--it's just that I am not in such a rush and I'm not willing to sell my soul to be thin again.

On a walk

Yesterday, my weight was 166. I going to have to go back and plot my weight for the last year or so on my Happy Scale app so I can see a graph, but I've literally been in a very small weight range for over 12 months now. Who would have thought that was even possible?! I certainly wasn't trying to do that.

Squirrel shirt selfie

Part of me starts to wonder about the theory of "set points" for our bodies (the weight that our body naturally gravitates to, where it's hard to gain or lose from that weight. I always hoped that if that was true, my "set point" would be about 130 ;)  Apparently, my body likes my weight in the mid-160's.

Keep in mind, however, that I hadn't been running more than a couple of times a month until almost six weeks ago, so that may have something to do with my weight staying up. Also, I gave up alcohol (for a year as an experiment--I'm not going to claim that it's permanent yet!) and admittedly, replaced it with comfort food when I'm anxious.

Reading This Naked Mind

Other than the few semi-attempts at losing the weight, I've literally been eating whatever and whenever I want, however much I want, for over a year now. I think if I saw the scale continuing to climb, I would probably make more of an effort. But since the scale isn't really moving, I'm kind of loving that I don't have to count calories.

I'm sure many of you have heard of The F*ck It Diet by Caroline Dooner (Amazon affiliate link). (Also, I despise that title) It's basically the most anti-diet diet that is out there. She writes about how you basically don't have any rules whatsoever--eat what you want, when you want it, how much you want, and fuck everything else. We are not slaves to our weight.

Pure happiness

I love the idea, but I wasn't consciously following that. It made me too scared to gain more weight on top of what I'd already gained. But looking back, that's pretty much how I gained it in the first place! I'd not heard of it at the time, and I wasn't intentionally eating that way, but I just had a "fuck it" attitude and thought I'd worry about my weight later, when I wasn't so stressed.

(Side note: Noah going to the community college has been a big stressor for me. That and Jerry's depression happened around the same time, and I was super worried and stressed. And anxious. Always anxious. I started drinking more to alleviate anxiety, which caused me to eat more and gain weight, and then I made the decision to go a year without alcohol to hopefully find other coping mechanisms for anxiety.)

The stressors haven't gone away, and sometimes I wish that life had a pause button, to allow me to catch up while the world stops. I am still working on finding ways to cope with anxiety (my favorite is still the games I play on Lumosity while I chew ice). Actually, a lot of the things that I do to avoid binge eating also help with anxiety.

There really isn't a point to this post! I just thought it was very interesting that I've maintained my weight for over a year without even trying, and even though it's about 20 pounds more than I'd like, I'm very thankful not to have gained everything back.

mirror selfie

As far as my plans from here? I want to try to lose the weight, but in a different way. I don't want to count calories or make things overly complicated. I know where my problems are--I use food to relieve stress, and of course, it's never salad. Ice cream has been my go-to. I believe that if I made just one change--drastically reduce the ice cream (coupled with my return to running)--I will probably see a noticeable difference on the scale.

post-run on July 4th

Yes, I change my mind about this all the time (hey, I'm bipolar!) but I'm allowed to. I can change my mind as many times as I want. And I am the one that lives with the consequences and who learns from my actions as far as what works and what doesn't.

I'm *starting* to feel little tingles when I think about running again (crazy, I know!) and so after my 3-3-3 running plan is up (3 miles, 3 days a week, for 3 months), I may set a running goal. Maybe a half-marathon or something. I don't care about my finish time (PR's are not on my mind), but it would be nice to work toward something other than my weight.

sweaty summer run


I have to say, the ODDEST thing about all of this is that I haven't had to buy new clothes. When I bought jeans to fit me last year (size 10), I never expected they'd fit me a year later. That's never happened. However, I'm wearing a pair right now. This is madness, I tell you! ;)

wearing jeans


For the Cliff's Notes:

- My weight has stayed within a five pound range for over a year (mid-160's)
- I want to drop 20 pounds, but I'm not in a hurry
- If I do lose weight, it's going to be in a way that I am willing to do FOREVER. Something I've always preached!
- I'm looking forward to continuing with running and I'm hoping I'll set some future running goals once I'm done with my 3-3-3 running plan
- Being "thin" isn't as important to me anymore (maybe it's my age); I really want to be healthy and in shape

I'd like to update on this once in a while. Since I'm not going to be "dieting" or counting calories or anything, I don't know if I'll have anything to update. But if I notice anything changing (especially now that I'm running again), I'll post about it. I feel good about my decisions.

Right now. As for tomorrow, who knows?! hahaha

Here are a few photos of me throughout the last year. Some I hated and didn't post because I felt like I was "too fat". Some I thought were more flattering than others. But you know what? It is what it is. I am who I am. I'm at where I'm at.

With my dad changing the oil in my car

ready to go muskie fishing with Eli

mirror selfie with Estelle and cat pouch sweatshirt

feeding one of the squirrels


35 comments:

  1. What weight gain?! You look super HEALTHY and HAPPY. Iv'e been following you since Open Diary days (lol) It's an accomplishment maintaining weight. Losing it is the "easy" part, because most people look at it as a "diet"--(ugh, hate that word!), but maintenance is for a lifetime and people don't realize that. They just think, "I want to lose x lbs". What about after you lose the weight? You need to incorporate healthy recipes and into your lifestyle to maintain that weight. Can't go back to old habits! Maintenance is way harder, and I speak from experience, I am losing the weight all over again! You are doing an amazing job, don't ever be hard on your self for it!!

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    1. I wish I could say that I was healthy and happy (I'm certainly healthier and happier than I was in the OD days! haha) but I've definitely got some improvement to do. My diet is the hardest thing to change. I want to eat healthier foods (not for weight loss--but for actual health!). But I totally agree--maintenance is a beast. I don't think anyone really understands that until they get there. It's so much harder than it sounds!

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  2. Such a great post. I feel so much like you do. I really do want to lose some weight (about 20 pounds like your goal), but I'm also so focused (and sometimes worried about) other things that take priority. I'll eventually get my sh*t together, or maybe I won't!

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    1. Haha, I agree! We're taught to put ourselves first, but I worry about my family and other things that, like you said, take priority... and that means I can't put myself first. We can just do what feels right for us!

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  3. Set point weight is not backed by scientific research so it really holds no water. You eat as a coping mechanism to deal with anxiety, you abuse food, it's a very common and unhealthy habit. Weight gain is caused by taking in more energy than you are using. It's that simple. If you hate counting calories then try to volume eat - a head of romaine lettuce instead of 2 slices of bread to turn a sandwich into a salad for example. That way you're eating a high volume of food without eating a lot of calories. Don't forget to get enough fat a protein, though, for satiety. Counting calories is very easy and not at all time consuming in my experience. I eat similiar things on a regular basis so a few taps of MyFitnessPal logs it all easily.

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    1. A lack of research doesn't really prove that it's NOT true, either though. It just shows that no one has wanted to fund that particular research. Katie of all people knows a million tricks, facts, and ways to count calories, eat right, and make it work, but as we all know knowledge doesn't guarantee the execution of that knowledge. It's more complicated than that.

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    2. Thank you, Meg! I wasn't even sure how to begin to respond to that ;)

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  4. I love your attitude, and yes, you can change your mind on what you want to do and how you want to do it as often as you want- we all can! You look great and all that matters is how YOU feel about it. :)

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    1. Thank you, Cat, I'm sure I'll change my mind another dozen times about all this, but I feel good about it right now! :)

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  5. I think you look amazing. *hugs*

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  6. Thank you for such a great post! I feel the same way, and I hate counting calories. I get stuck at certain weights and always wondered about the set points. I have just started the 3-3-3 plan after not running for over a year. I am loving it, so thank you for the inspiration! I am on day 347 alcohol free (I started with the 30 day challenge and kept going!) I am realizing that it is so much more important to be healthy than what I think is "thin". You look so fantastic right where you are by the way! I just wanted you to know that you have inspired me and changed my life with a lot of things: running, nutrition, family, etc - I am not sure that you are aware of everyone that you help! I am usually one of the quiet ones! Thanks for what you do and always keep writing!

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    1. Wow, a HUGE congrats on 347 days alcohol free!! I'm at 312, so you're a little ahead of me (and quickly approaching a year!). I'm thrilled for you, regardless of what your reasons were for giving it up. I just know how hard it is to do, and I feel like people who manage to do it deserve the recognition. Great job! And thank you so much for the kind words. <3

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  7. Hi Katie! I read Dr. Traci Mann's book Secret of the Eating Lab. It's a great read and I think it will help you even more. Your current mindset is awesome and I think you've made great leaps without even realizing it. You've maintained your weight for a year! That's HUGE progress! I'm wondering if your previous goal was too low for you? I'm happy for you!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie! I actually read that book a LONG time ago (I think it was right when it was published) but I don't remember anything from it, so you've inspired me to give it another read. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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  8. I just want to say...I love reading your blog! Thanks for continuing to post...even if it's not as often as you used to! It nice to read a blog...that is just plain simple "REAL" life!

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    1. Thank you so much, Shelly! Being "real" isn't always fun to post about, but it's the truth ;)

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  9. You are so much more than the number on the scale - you know yourself, and you are fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I appreciate the kind words--thank you so much! xo

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  10. I'm in the same boat as you. Whether there is science behind it or not, my body definitely gravitates to a weight between 150-160. (I'm 5'8", so that's considered a healthy weight for my height - although at the top of that range). I feel like I look and feel my best at about 140-145, but to maintain that weight I need to be extremely careful about what I eat and drink and exercise daily. I love to work out, but I also love food. So, is it worth it to count every calorie to weigh 10 less pounds?? Not to me. It's taken me a long time to accept that. I do clean up my diet and work out a little harder when the scale creeps up, but I'm learning that as long as my weight is in a healthy range, it's ok to not be obsessive about reaching a specific weight.

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    1. I agree, we definitely have to weigh out whether it's worth it to do what needs to be done in order to maintain a lower weight. I would love to get back to 130 or so, but I know that I am not willing to do what it takes to maintain that weight. So, I'll do what I'm willing to do, and see where that takes me :) It sounds like you've found a sweet spot for yourself, that's awesome!

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    2. 'weigh out' - I love the pun, intended or not! Made me smile. Life can be a struggle but it's always worth it eventually. Saviour the good moments when you see them. Thank you!

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  11. I remember you saying that you found it easier to lose weight when you were hypomanic, so it makes sense that your weight has stayed steady as your bipolar has been better managed. You're focusing on health rather than weight, which I think is a worthy goal. I'm struggling with my weight too, at the moment, and it's always a challenge. Thank you for sharing your experience!

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    1. Thanks, Amy! The hypomania connection hadn't occurred to me when I wrote this post, but you're right--I haven't experienced true hypomania in well over a year, so that makes a lot of sense. If only hypomania didn't have the negative drawbacks making it not worth it ;) As I approach 40, I definitely worry about my health more (staying ahead of it, rather than waiting until something bad happens). I can't believe I started this blog when I was 29! Just a baby, haha.

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  12. Such an excellent and well written post! Honestly, it doesn't matter what any of us here in the comments have to say. It only matters what YOU think! This is your body and your life! You have to do what works for you! Which, by the sounds of, sounds like you're doing a good job of! I think you look amazing and healthy! And I hope all other aspects of your life are happy and healthy as well! <3

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    1. Thank you, Amanda, for always being so kind. I wish I was thrilled with my body at this weight, because it's clearly easy for me to maintain this weight, but I still would like to drop the extra 20 pounds (or even 15) to feel better. I am definitely happy that I've unintentionally maintained this weight for over a year, though! Even at my heaviest, I didn't do that.

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  13. Staying within a 5 pound range is good. I think you look healthy and happy too, and that's important.

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    1. Thank you, Jan! The five pound range was more surprising to me than anything. I have never done that before! And it was completely unintentional.

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  14. I feel the same way! I've comfortably maintained ~180# for over a year with zero exercise and no food tracking. It's hard to see that as an accomplishment, but I definitely feel like it's something to celebrate! I feel squishy, and don't love my body, but there's a certain amount of contentment in knowing that while I'm not perfect, I'm also not gaining weight. P.S. it's so hard to get into exercise feeling like you're starting from very beginning; kudos to you for your running progress! :)

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    1. Thank you, Jenn! Ugh, getting back into exercise feeling like a beginner is SUCH a challenge--and a little disheartening, knowing how hard I worked to get where I was before. But, just like my weight "journey" (I hate that word), I can't expect my running to stay consistent through the years, either. It requires a ton of work!

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  15. Thank you for writing this post! It's funny how much I see my own experience right now in yours; I've maintained my weight (within about 5-7 pounds) over the last year. That weight is 20 pounds heavier than I was at the goal weight I was able to maintain for two years, so of course it isn't where I want to be ideally. After reading your post I have a renewed energy to make small, sustainable changes, just to see what happens!

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    1. I'm so glad that you found some renewed energy and are able to see the good part about maintaining your weight (even if it's higher than you'd like). That's VERY hard to do (for me, at least)! Even if the small, sustainable changes don't get rid of the full 20 pounds, it's a great start and will help you decide what changes are worth it to remove the weight. Thank you for commenting!

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  16. I've been in the same boat! I weigh more than I have now since I lost my 100 lbs, and I've been hovering in the same 5-10 lb range for a year. I'm still 60lbs down, and I've gone through phases of tracking food and dropped a pound or two, but that doesn't stick. This happened once before when I was mid weight loss (and after I got sober, too) and I'm wearing the same clothes I did then. I didn't weigh myself since I was worried about sobriety and not weight, but I can tell obviously by the clothing. I never had a severe sweet tooth until I quit drinking, and it's been 6 years but I still struggle with the sugar! I struggle, too, debating between putting all my focus and energy on being smaller (or selling my soul as you put it). Then I worry about how I'm getting older and how it's going to just get harder to be smaller! I can tell you that the food replacement for booze never really goes away (at least in my case). I ate so many gummy bears before my second wedding last year that I actually GAINED weight before hand. My skinny self would've been so disappointed. Hopefully we'll figure it out someday!!

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    1. Wow--so much to congratulate you on! A huge congrats on losing the weight in the first place, and especially on keeping 60 pounds off--even if you're not at your lowest, just keeping off such a large amount is something to be super proud of. It's so easy to see the gain (as I well know) and forget about how much we've kept off.

      Also, SIX YEARS of sobriety? I am so so so proud of you! I give so much credit to people who are able to maintain sobriety. I never realized just how hard it was to give up alcohol until doing it myself. Sometimes I want wine so badly I can't stand it (and it's always to relieve anxiety), so I understand just how much mental work is involved. I give you so much credit for that. My therapist told me that it's not at all unusual to crave sugar when quitting any sort of substance like alcohol or drugs. I've always had a sweet tooth, obviously, but since quitting alcohol, it's gotten much worse. Even though I've replaced the alcohol with food, it's balanced out as far as my weight goes (and I feel like the alcohol was worse for me). Hopefully I can make some small, lasting changes to reduce the sugar. I just need something to help my anxiety that doesn't involve food or alcohol or pills or anything else like that!

      Anyways, I'm super proud of you--keep doing what you're doing, gummy bears or not ;)

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