I Still Have Chronic Obesity (even a year into maintenance . . .)

CaladriaNapea Posts: 140 Member
edited September 2018 in Success Stories
Hello, MFP!

So my one year anniversary for maintaining my 63 pound weight loss was back in August. I meant to post a "woohoo" post, but couldn't think of anything that I hadn't really said back when I originally hit maintenance. However, my husband is gone for work this month, and on Sunday night I went back to poor habits and pulled out my old friend, the tub of ice cream, for comfort. Half a carton of Blue Bell (don't believe the food logs, they only tell the story of my first go with the carton), a couple of days, and a couple of pounds of water weight (and not water weight . . . ) later, I began thinking about what happened.

"Chronic obesity" is a phrase I've heard a number of times, and it has become a critical mindset me in order to help me maintain my weight. When I lost weight back in college, I thought of the weight as gone. But it wasn't. It was lurking. Waiting for me to let my guard down (which I did almost immediately, FYI) and then it sprang back in full force. This time around, I repeatedly make sure to tell myself that the weight may be gone, but the obesity isn't.

I will always be obese.

I will always need to weigh myself daily in order to monitor the trends in my symptoms.

I will always need to count my calories in order to prevent my obesity from gradually building up like in the past.

I will always need to eat mostly fiber-rich, protein-rich foods (and tons of veggies) in order to keep full so that I won't have a relapse.

I will always need to watch for signs of flare-ups (such as the binge-session with the ice cream . . .) and respond accordingly by keeping an even closer eye on my symptoms.

I will always need to exercise in order to allow myself to eat more calories and make it easier to manage my obesity.

I will always need to plan my schedule in order to enable me to keep the routines that hold obesity at bay.

I will always need to count calories, watch what I eat, exercise, watch my weight, plan my schedule, and manage my obesity in the present moment, because I know exactly what will happen if I do not: First, the weight will come back. Then I will gain more weight on top of that. Next, I will develop comorbidities such as Type II obesity (like members of my family), I will have heart attacks far too young (like the same members of my family), and I will be unable to do the things that I love and spend time with the people I love because I will have allowed my disease to control me instead of me controlling it.

But I have an advantage: I know my disease. I know its patterns, its symptoms, its warning signs. I know how to fight it, treat it, and what I need to do every day in order to keep it from returning in full force. I will always be obese. I just strive to never be overweight again.

This mindset helps enormously when I fail (such as last Sunday). Instead of my binge eating reflecting on me failing as a human, I view it as a flare-up. Flare-ups are inevitable with any disease. My job is to prevent them when possible and mitigate the consequences as much as I can. On Sunday night, I did not manage my disease wisely in that moment, but it's okay because I caught myself and I am watching my symptoms (e.g. weight, cravings, unhealthy mindsets) and making sure to ground myself in the routines that I know work to help me manage my obesity. In other words--I am returning to normal. Not the normal that everyone who doesn't have obesity enjoys, but I am returning to my normal. A normal that allows me to live the life God has given me to its fullest. A life that allows me to enjoy life now and later. A normal that I will need to maintain probably until the day I die and begin the life beyond this one.

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and I hit one year of maintenance! Woohoo!


  • booksgiver
    booksgiver Posts: 149 Member
    This is exactly what I needed today!
  • bobbimrn
    bobbimrn Posts: 74 Member
    This is such a helpful way to think about it! Well written. Thank you! & Congrats
  • 12Sarah2015
    12Sarah2015 Posts: 1,126 Member
    I think it is better to see it as a lifestyle change. I've never eaten half a tub of icecream so I can't empathise to that extent but I see it more as learning to eat healthy like the mainstream. Eating around the edges of the shopping centre and not processed food has helped me most over the years. I also think of the sugar eroding teeth, like what happened when I drank coke as a teenager... I'd rather not have another filling:)
  • MsBaz2018
    MsBaz2018 Posts: 365 Member
    edited September 2018
    I always lose weight when I am in a good place in my head and have stability in my life but I have changed jobs and cities where I live like every couple of years in my adult life and never achieved that stability head-wise and weight-wise. Oh I don't binge eat ice cream by the carton. I "just" overall stop exercising (+300 daily cals right there) and overreat a little more and maybe bad food choices. Takes time but weight creeps in.
    Interesting post. I can definitely relate to the chronic obesity mindset
  • Ecosse2018
    Ecosse2018 Posts: 33 Member
    Thank you for that really inspiring post and congratulations on your one year maintenance. I have lost 30 lbs in the past and regained those lbs time and time again. I now realise that I can never eat sugary treats ever again as they are my downfall. I have not eaten anything containing sugar for 10 days, and intend to do that ad infinitum, or I will become a little plump person again.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,114 Member
    I like it! You have to keep doing the things that got you to goal.
  • Rocknut53
    Rocknut53 Posts: 1,795 Member
    Thank you for this inspiring post. I'm thinking I may read it every morning for my daily inspiration. Like you, I lost 60 pounds, unlike you I have relapsed 18-20 pounds after less than a year in maintenance. "Chronic obesity" is a unique way to identify my issues with weight gain and loss, repeatedly. As @seska422 said, it's comparable to a recovered alcoholic.
  • Great_Mazinga
    Great_Mazinga Posts: 202 Member
    OP, I think you are on the right track to maintenance. I know what you're going through. I'm down 111lbs with still more to go. You hit on something about the binge. For me, if I get into some trigger foods, I can be fighting (and mostly losing) cravings all day. For me, those foods can be things like pasta, muffins, donuts, all very starchy or sugary. It looks like you might have a similar issue. Maybe its ice cream for you. I have found better success when I don't bring trigger foods into the house and focus on whole foods and, like you, lots of veggies for fiber and satiety. If you still want ice cream (or other cravings), try getting them away from home, like go to the ice cream shop for a treat. Take a friend/spouse and make it social, so its not JUST about the ice cream.

    Good work, so far. I think your commitment to consistency is key, and will help you in the long term. Something that helps me is to remember that "nothing tastes so good, as feeling good."
  • Vicham76
    Vicham76 Posts: 59 Member
    Thank you for writing such an eloquent and thoughtful post. It is almost as if you were in my head. I am not yet at maintenance but have binged and binged hard, showing me that it could be an easy slip back into my old habits which would take me right back to where i was before.
    I have it in my head that CICO is my life now. I too love the challenge of eating to specific calorie amount and weighing my food/fuel. I take great pride in my daily successes in keeping to my goals. This lifestyle has made me focus more on daily routines which have improved my family life as well. More organization equals less chaos!

    Much continued success.
  • YadaYadaYada64
    YadaYadaYada64 Posts: 50 Member
    Perfectly worded, and I can totally relate. Thanks to years of yo-yo-ing and messing with my metabolism, I’ll never be a “thin person”, even though I am thin (enough 😂). A person who has never been overweight can eat a lot more than a formerly overweight thin person. It’s just a fact, and thankfully can be managed - just as OP described in this great post.