Thursday, March 13, 2014

One size does not fit

I've been stepping on the scales regularly for the last few months.  I've been quite disappointed because I haven't lost a darn pound.  Those scales flicker between three numbers  231, 232 and 233.  Not numbers I like to see.  I want to see numbers much much lower than that.  I'm eating right  Seriously.  Look at my food journal, I eat well within my caloric budget.  I'm exercising.  So what's the dealio.

The problem?  Eating 'right' is not enough.  I KNOW where my calorie count has to be in order for me to lose. A number without calculating exercise in....the down and dirty number.   I've been eating 200-300 calories over that every day.  I tell myself that it's ok because I'm exercising so in reality I've paid the debt for those extra calories with my exercise.  My food journal (mfp) shows that I am operating in the black because it adds those earned exercise calories in, so I should be losing weight.  However, as sad as it is.....that is NOT how my body works!  I know this, yet I persist in trying to follow what everyone else says when they say "eat your earned exercise calories"  Heck, I've had people get downright rude, pushy and 'know it all' on my comments telling me to eat those earned calories that if I don't I"m starving myself.  Basically telling me that I'm stupid and don't know what I'm doing.

Well......that doesn't work for me!   I know it.  I've known it for quite some time.....years in fact.   I've known it since the stretch of time where I lost 135 pounds.    IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME!  Not if I want to lose weight.  I have to stay within my budget.....without my added exercise calories.

The good news??????  Yes, there IS good news!  I know exactly what I need to do to maintain once I get to my goal.......simple add in a few hundred calories.  :-)

Weight loss is not a one size fits all venture.  What works for me, may not work for another person.  I have a friend that I met through Weight Watchers.  She always looked at me and said "it makes me sad for you that you can't eat your activity points"  You see, she was able to eat hers and still lose, and she couldn't fathom living without those additional eating points in her daily diet.  That worked for her, but through talking with me and watching me and yes, looking at my journals and such, she came to the conclusion that no, I can't eat them.  We are two people that have had success....but have had to follow quite divergent rules.    The concept is the same, but each of us have a different set of rules that we must follow.

Here is where I struggle.  I have had so many people come up to me and tell me I'm doing it wrong.  "Honey, I worry about you....because you are doing this or that.  I do it this way".  or  "Someday you'll figure it out and then you will just take off with your efforts".   Talk like that is negative and destructive.    There are one or two people that are constantly after me in that way. I tend to HATE when they decide to impart their wisdom upon me because it's always done in a superior manner.  It's always done as the 'magical cure'.

It's self destructive in a few ways.

1.  It lowers  self esteem.
               * We don't need someone to tell me that simply because we eat wheat/glutton that we are a fat                           hog and will  remain a fat hog until we jump on the glutton ban bandwagon. (ok, maybe not                           those exact words..but you get the point)
               * Negativity breeds negativity and that hurts the self esteem.  Being negative about my plan simply                     because it doesn't mesh with yours is not negates and diminishes every step I've                      taken to make me a better me.  "OH honey, you are just doing it all wrong and I worry about                       you because you are just not eating enough food"  Seriously?   You get this from a single blog                        post?  Did you ever think to ask if I my doctor was aware of my method and calorie intake?                          (he is).  Did you ever think to ask how this correlated with he weight watchers plan?   OH my, I                   eat the  same amount of calories that I would if I were counting WW points.   If I rattled off my                     points  that I ate, I wouldn't get any negativity.  I  know...because I counted points for years on                     this   blog, and yes, every once in a while I pull out the weight watchers material to see how my                     daily food intake matches up!
2.  It makes one veer off course onto paths that have proven to not work for them.  It distracts one from their focus on their plan.
              *"Honey, you have to eat your earned exercise calories"   Why?  What expert are you?  Yet I listen                 and eat them....and here I am three months into the new year and I've not lost a single pound!  I've                 not eaten crazy.  But on a consistent basis I've eaten my exercise calories...or at least a few                           hundred of them.  And look at the results.

Enough is enough!  I'm following the plan that I KNOW works for me.

I just caution anyone reading this post.  Consider your words carefully.  Being a know it all may be fun, but it can do a LOT of harm.   Impart the knowledge you gained from your experience, but don't do it in a way that makes it sound like the one and only way.  If someone likes the knowledge that you have imparted in a non harmful way, they will contact you or make it clear that they want to know more.  But just remember, your experience is YOUR experience.  The other persons experience is their experience.  Two totally separate and individual things. Don't belittle those who are taking a different route!

Yes, I know that this blog post has the potential to lose me readership.  First of all, it's my blog and I'll say what I want to say.  Secondly, this subject has been brewing inside me for quite sometime and it was time I cut lose and said what I needed to say.


timothy said...

now you KNOW I KNOW everything, but i'll keep my observations to myself ;)> and just be whats needed a cheerleader, go mary fran go mary fran you can do it, you got it.....WOO HOO! WOOT! WOOT! lolol I totally get what you're saying and I HATE it when I feel like doin that to others because it sucks and I shall not be that person!

Unknown said...

I agree with you... i see it as you have to find whats right for you.... Im on ww and never eat my activity points.
i personally couldn't get on with myfitnesspal but if it works for you do it... do whats right and what you find works and be healthy.

Melissa said...

No one knows what it takes for YOU to succeed better than YOU! I have the same issue--I can work out and be on a great routine there, but if I'm not sticking to a strict (before exercise calories) budget, I don't loose! I'm having a tough time getting back onto that track, so I can totally relate. GO YOU!

Kelly said...

ohmylanta - Amen! So much of weight loss is mental as well as physical, and everyone is so different. What works long term for you may be totally different than what works for me. Plus we are all different ages and have differing biochemistry, etc.
Thanks for the post, Mary Fran!

Tricia Coniglio said...

I love how educated your post is! I especially agree with being careful on the advice and or tips that are given because everybody is different.

There is 'standard' that gets applied but if it does not work for an individual it has to be customized to that person.

I am glad that you are aware of what does and does not work for you and I excited to hear about your journey!