acceptance?

I joined this site 4 years ago with the goal of wearing a bikini on my 50th birthday. I did, getting down to about 137 lbs. Once I reached my goal my husband begged me to eat & not count calories saying he would rather I be fat & happy then skinny & bitchy because I was starving & obsessed all the time. On my weight loss journey I was conscious that all the counting was triggering my anorexia. I had a problem in college & only weighed about 105 lbs. While losing weight there were days when I would consume less then 900 calories & I was making myself nuts, not to mention that such a low calorie intake is unhealthy. Again I recognized the issue but can't seem to find a balance middle ground between keeping track & going overboard.

So here I am 53 years old, 5 ft 6.5 inches tall and 158.8 pounds. My weight seems to hover around 158 without effort on my part. Unfortunately that puts my BMI at 25.2, which is 0.3 into the overweight category according to the NIH.

My downfall remains too much wine & not enough exercise.

At some point do I just need to accept that 158 is my new "normal"?

Replies

  • briscogun
    briscogun Posts: 1,077 Member
    Yeah what @SuzySunshine99 said.

    Given your history, maybe just set a small goal, like 5 lbs? That’ll get you back out of the “overweight” BMI, then you can reassess.

    I’m guessing you aren’t happy at the 158 hence the post, so maybe just do a little loss for now?
  • Strudders67
    Strudders67 Posts: 959 Member
    Could you add a little more exercise? Even a half hour brisk walk a day?
  • brittanystebbins95
    brittanystebbins95 Posts: 559 Member
    BMI is just a guideline, it doesn't take muscle into account.
    Look at my profile picture. Do I look overweight to you? If we're going by BMI charts, I fall into the overweight category.
    And my husband, I'll use him for example. He's huge, almost all muscle, built like a tank. But he's got a little extra, maybe 30 ish pounds of fat on top of it. He weighs about 290 lbs. He went to the doctor and got into an argument with the nurse, because she told him that "according to my BMI chart, you're obese."
    He said, "Where?! Overweight, I understand, but do I look obese to you? You just told me my blood pressure and everything was perfect."
    "But, sir, the chart..."

    According to the chart, my much taller, much more muscular husband should weigh closer to what I weigh.

    It's literally a load of crap.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/bmi-is-bogus-best-way-to-tell-if-youre-a-healthy-weight-2016-9
  • pink_mint
    pink_mint Posts: 102 Member
    edited April 2020
    I can relate to what you've said here and I too would say that being a hair into the overweight range is totally worth it if mental health is that much better.

    I remember, pre-kids, in my 20s, when I was at the lower end of the healthy BMI, had a thigh gap for goodness sake. I was really quite thin. And I was fixated on needing to lose 10 lbs. Fast forward I really am quite overweight ("class 1" obese actually) now but the disordered tendencies are still there. Now it's in the form of struggling with shame and disgust with myself, horrifyied at being in a photo to the point that unless I lose weight my kids won't even know what I looked like when they grow up.

    Finding a balance between physical and mental health is not easy but important. Some have mentioned counseling/ therapy. I'm in therapy. Not just for food/ body image issues but it is helping me dig into the reasons under things and have grace with myself. Finding counselor you connect with is priceless.

    Edited to add: body type is very much a thing too. I can be in the low end of the overweight range and not look overweight. Just something to consider 🌻
  • I don’t claim to have any answers but finding peace with my body was key for me. In and out of therapy and a lot of thinking about how I respond to stress helped me. And trying to be happy with the body I have and what it can do rather than what it looks like.

    Being ‘starving and obsessed’ doesn’t sound like a happy place to be. You shouldn’t be starving to maintain weight so maybe have a think about that first.
  • Trish1c
    Trish1c Posts: 546 Member
    Thank you all so much for being supportive! I was expecting to come back to this thread -- which I have been avoiding -- to be bashed for not working hard enough.

    I put my fitbit back on but it's more of a slug bit, telling me how little I move. I am trying to walk every day but that doesn't always happen. I live in a HIGH Covid-19 area so that is affecting everything & I stress bake. I'm at least logging again. The #s aren't terrible. Generally I'm under 2000 calories per day even with the wine but I know I need to be closer to 1200 to lose. Food has never been my issue. I really don't eat that much.

    Part of the problem is I'm afraid to go to the local fresh vegetable market & I have a scarcity mentality over all of this. I'm making more casseroles for dinner to stretch the food supply. None of this is particularly rational; it's just what is going on in my warped brain. When I was being good, we ate a lot cleaner -- fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast, yogurt for lunch, a piece of fruit or a Fiber One bar (don't judge I need the fiber) for the afternoon snack & grilled protein with vegetables for dinner. I can't go to the store that often because I have panic attacks about being around people. . . so I make casseroles & bake. Lots & lots of carbs. :(

    I have been in & out of therapy for 30 years. I tackled some of my biggest problems so I was released about 2 years ago. Stressing about my weight & my perfectionism issues (which is a huge thing with anorexics) are sort of the high class / not so serious problems. I'm actually proud of myself for recognizing them & practicing some of the techniques I learned to manage some of this. I have never been good at balance. I know if I can cut out the booze & move more I should be able to drop 10 pounds without a ton of effort but right now with all the fear & stress, that is not easy.

    All of you helped me to at least recognize that I will be OK.
  • Maxxitt
    Maxxitt Posts: 1,282 Member
    edited May 2020
    I think you are moving in a healthy direction overall - you have a lot of insight into how your thinking works, and this pandemic has caused lots of us to "revert" to very old coping strategies. Maybe tackling the booze (extra calories) with a harm-reduction method would be helpful. I don't know how you get to the markets and grocery stores, etc, but getting off public transportation a bit ahead of where you usually would, or parking in the back of the lot if you are driving, will add to your daily activity in a way that may not seem so daunting as intentional walking. You'll get through this :)

    Edited to add - I went through a BMI website that was research based and geared to an older population, and calculated the health benefit of losing 15# from my frame (same height/weight as you) and the result was .... no health benefit. I can't find the site now but if I do, I'll post back.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,825 Member
    Trish1c wrote: »
    Thank you all so much for being supportive! I was expecting to come back to this thread -- which I have been avoiding -- to be bashed for not working hard enough.

    I put my fitbit back on but it's more of a slug bit, telling me how little I move. I am trying to walk every day but that doesn't always happen. I live in a HIGH Covid-19 area so that is affecting everything & I stress bake. I'm at least logging again. The #s aren't terrible. Generally I'm under 2000 calories per day even with the wine but I know I need to be closer to 1200 to lose. Food has never been my issue. I really don't eat that much.

    There's a huge gulf between 2000 and 1200 - like a pound and a half a week gulf! (Personally, as someone just a little shorter/lighter than you (5'5", 131ish), though admittedly a mysteriously good li'l ol' calorie burner, I'd maintain at something around 2000 net calories while isolating at home, but lose weight at a pretty good clip (maybe too fast, in fact) at 1200 net.)

    Can you experiment, to find a calorie level that's just a couple of hundred calories below maintenance calories, then try to hit that level more days than not, while exceeding the maintenance number only rarely? Having done something similar recently myself, I think that can be moderately painless. Patience, and a weight-trending app, are pretty important tools in such an effort, because slow loss shows up over multi-weeks to months, and then only in the trend. You don't get that quick "wahoo!" reward on the scale, but it's progress. (It's also outstanding practice for maintenance, BTW.)
    Part of the problem is I'm afraid to go to the local fresh vegetable market & I have a scarcity mentality over all of this. I'm making more casseroles for dinner to stretch the food supply. None of this is particularly rational; it's just what is going on in my warped brain. When I was being good, we ate a lot cleaner -- fresh fruit smoothies for breakfast, yogurt for lunch, a piece of fruit or a Fiber One bar (don't judge I need the fiber) for the afternoon snack & grilled protein with vegetables for dinner. I can't go to the store that often because I have panic attacks about being around people. . . so I make casseroles & bake. Lots & lots of carbs. :(

    Frozen veggies are healthy, too: In some cases moreso than fresh, because they're quick-frozen with their antioxidant content near peak. They aren't as yum-o-licious in all the same prep modes, but they're pretty darned good in something like a casserole, stew, soup. Some are even kind of OK canned, too, or in those shelf-stable sealed packs - it's the texture-yum that suffers more than the nutrition, but again . . . if in casseroles, texture may not much matter. And then there are long-storage fresh veg, like most of the root veggies, Winter squash, etc.

    And speaking of casseroles and baking: Can you shift the casseroles toward a higher fraction of (frozen/canned/long-storage veg, maybe consider higher protein pasta or grain, and that sort of thing, to sharpen up nutrition (plus maybe satiety, to affect portioning) while still exercising those cooking impulses? Would this be a good time to learn more about all the many techniques for "lightening" mains and baked goods, to experiment with keeping them enjoyable to make/eat, still comfort food, but a little less calorie dense?

    I'm troubled by the "when I'm being good" rhetoric, frankly. You're at a reasonably healthy weight, so that's good. You'd like to weigh a bit less, also good. I don't know how your overall nutrition is, but it can certainly be fine while eating casseroles and even reasonable portions of baked goods (plus some wine). Really, the issue mainly seems to be calorie level.

    In general, I think "clean eating" is a red herring, not nessarily a bad thing, but strictly speaking it's tangent to both nutrition and calorie intake.

    I can get good overall nutrition "eating clean", or bad overall nutrition "eating clean", because good overall nutrition is about getting the right levels of macronutrients, micronutrients, and fiber from the totality of one's eating. (I can also get reasonable overall nutrition eating remarkably "unclean", by most common definitions of the term "clean".) The nutrition part is more important than the "clean" part.

    Similarly, I can get too many, just right, or too few calories "eating clean". (Personally, I ate mostly whole foods, got good overall nutrition, and was vegetarian for 45+ years . . . while getting fat, then obese, becoming (!) an obese athlete but staying obese, then thin again, and now staying thin for 4+ years since - not much difference in what I ate (including wine ;) ) then or now, just different portions and proportions, primarily.

    Perhaps there's a way of eating where you can enjoy what you eat, get good nutrition, have some wine, and still attain/maintain your weight at the goal you choose?

    I understand that some people have weight goals or desired lifestyles that absolutely don't allow those things to balance . . . but I strongly suspect that many could do it, with some study and attention. Somehow, a ridiculously hedonistic person like me did. ;)

    And you're saying that you're actually very close to that balance point, too - Sailrabbit says your TDEE at sedentary at your current weight is in the 1600-1700ish range, whereas at 137 it'd be 1500-1600ish. That's like half a serving of peanut butter difference, in calories. If you're now maintaining 158 around 2000, the implication is that you could maintain 137 only a little below that. So, we'd be talking about finding the equivalent of a tablespoon of oil/butter daily, to maintain at one vs. the other. That's really not huge.

    Maybe it wouldn't work for you, but consider this kind of "gradually remodel your eating" strategy:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10636388/free-customized-personal-weight-loss-eating-plan-not-spam-or-mlm/p1

    As a personal footnote, the "being good"/"being bad" dichotomy, about food & eating, is one of my personal hot-buttons. IMO, it's a false dichotomy. It seems to imply that getting fat is a sin, and we need to expiate that sin by suffering (at an extreme, eating food we don't enjoy, doing exercise that's miserable and exhausting, feeling hungry or deprived). In reality IMO, it's a matter of finding a good balance between current pleasure in eating/activity, and achieving a weight that lets us be happy and healthy for many years to come . . . balancing the needs of current me, with the needs of future me, is how I think about it.

    I know you've said you're not good at balance, but perhaps like other skills, that one can be refined with practice.
    I have been in & out of therapy for 30 years. I tackled some of my biggest problems so I was released about 2 years ago. Stressing about my weight & my perfectionism issues (which is a huge thing with anorexics) are sort of the high class / not so serious problems. I'm actually proud of myself for recognizing them & practicing some of the techniques I learned to manage some of this. I have never been good at balance. I know if I can cut out the booze & move more I should be able to drop 10 pounds without a ton of effort but right now with all the fear & stress, that is not easy.

    All of you helped me to at least recognize that I will be OK.

    Perhaps there are some options in there, where you don't need to cut out all the booze (unless you want to) and slowly drop some pounds with a couple of ounces of effort?

    I hear what you're saying about fear and stress, though. One way of increasing our sense of mastery and agency is turning that stress-energy toward goals, perhaps.

    You can find a path. And you're definitely going to be OK, either way. :flowerforyou: Best wishes!