Monday, February 18, 2008

Week 157 - Starting year 4

1.6lb gain.

Not the most auspicious start to my 4th year of healthy eating, and a reminder that this is a lifestyle, and never was a short-term diet.

This past year has essentially been one of maintenance. I am in fact about 4lbs heavier than I was 12 months ago, but given that it has been an extreme year emotionally, and my default reaction to stress is still to want to stuff my face, then not have put on more weight is actually quite an achievement.

The medical establishment has decided that the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is the right one, which means upping my activity levels as a way of losing further weight is not a good idea. My energy has to be balanced and I have to avoid boom-and-bust style activity.

However, after 6 months of playing around with different kinds of anti-depressants at different dosages, my Depression is now finally under control. This doesn't mean I don't get stressed and don't what to stuff my face, only that I don't get walloped by extreme feelings out of the blue with no warning anymore, so that's one thing less to have to fight against.

One other thing that occured to me this morning was that my wife and I had taken our eyes off the future. When we set out on our quest, we had a clear vision of happier, healthier selves to focus on and help us fight some of the worst cravings.

But with various crises this year, especially the CFS, we have been treading water where the future is concerned. To mix analogies, we have been constantly firefighting and have had precious little time to look at the direction we wanted to go.

The upshot of this is when faced with, say, a buttery scone, the reaction has been "Do I have this scone or not? - I feel lousy, I really want it so I'm going to have it" rather than "Do I have this scone and satisfy a short term desire, or not have it and so take a further step towards a happier, healthier future?"

When stuck in the present, long term goals and aspirations fail to be any part of your armoury.

Of course I was most of the way through a buttery scone (with jam) in the cafe with my wife when I this occured to me...

Still, it was a valuable insight.

Here's to a happier, healthier future. Let's celebrate by not having a cake :)

Starting Weight: 19st 9lb - 275lbs
Current Weight: 13st 0.8lb - 182.08lbs
Body fat: 25.5%
Total Weight Loss: 92.2lbs


Sayre said...

Kim - I think it is amazing that you have maintained as well as you have with the challenges that you have been facing. CFS is a very real diagnosis and difficult to deal with - especially when you don't know that it is the problem. I'm glad the depression is better and that the meds are finally balanced. It's frustrating when it seems to take so long.

Now that you know what you are dealing with, it IS time to look to the future. A buttery scone here and there isn't going to kill you - it's learning to not do it everyday that makes having one possible every now and then. And I think you maybe enjoy it more now than you did when you could stuff several down at once whenever you thought of it.

You said it yourself. This is a journey. When you take the final step, you die. So enjoy the journey - the once in a while side trips - and take as long as you need to to reach your destination.

Half Man said...

Four years is a great achievement. I can't imagine doing what you are doing with the CFS. You are still analyzing the what's and why's of your eating choices. When you stop caring, that is dangerous. Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration.

Kim Ayres said...

Sayre - when you're fully on track, you can have a buttery scone and it has virtually no impact - you can still lose 1/2 lb in a week. However, when you take your eye off the ball, you think miscount the number of little treats you have through the week, thinking each one can be absorbed. Of course they add up and you end up a pound or 2 heavier

Half Man - I've not done 4 years yet, only 3. I'm just beginning my 4th.

But yes, I keep analyzing because ultimately this is not a battle against food, it's a battle against my cravings and emotional responses. As Sayre (above) will tell you from her martial arts experience - the ultimate fear is not of the opponent, but of your own perceived failings.

size8jeans said...

I'm about to start my fourth year, too. I just passed my 4 year exercise anniversary, and my "healthy eating" anniversary is coming up at the end of March. You've done great and shown that you truly made a lifestyle change. :)

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks, and congratulations on your anniversaries :)

Fat Lazy Guy said...

I'm totally with you on the short term/long term deal (as you know).

And congratulations on starting your 4th year of healthy living!

BryGuy said...

Kim - I'm sorry to hear about the CFS, but I'm glad you were able to finally put a name on the problem and are able to work around/with it now.

As for the depression/medication I completely understand your struggle in this regard as I've been struggling with this one for years.

Your honesty and sincerity are an inspiration to us all.

Kim Ayres said...

FLG - thanks :)

BryGuy/Sir Squishy - now I've finally got the right levels of ADs I can't stress enough how much better I feel on that front. Yes I'm still upset about the CFS, but I'm not emotionally crippled by it in the way that I would have been.

You spend so much time fighting the depression that you forget what it feels like not to have it.

It reminds me of a saying a heard again recently- "Happiness is achieved by banging your head against a brick wall - and then stopping..."

ArleneWKW said...

I am glad for you that you've been able to get the depression under control with the proper meds. Figuring that out can be a very difficult process as you've found out. Re. the CFS, you make an interesting point about avoiding boom and bust activity levels. Even though I don't have that condition, I've never been a high energy person and that's something that resonates with me. Finally, WOW!!! Beginning your 4th year of healthful eating is a MAJOR success.

On another subject, I very much appreciate your comment to my most recent post. It is truly wonderful and encouraging to know that you and a few other people have continued to check my blog through my 6 week absence. Thank you for being there.

Kim Ayres said...

Hi Arlene - good to see you're still about. Thanks for your support :)