I know that I've accomplished a lot. I know that I'm healthy. I know that I shouldn't worry about the numbers on the scale as much as I do. But? I do.
I've been having a horrible time with my weight since the beginning of summer. After surgery I gained between 15 and 20 pounds. A great deal of this was fluid retention/swelling following surgery. I'm sure some of it was due to inactivity and eating a little differently than normal. After a couple weeks, as the swelling went down I started losing weight. Soon I was back to my pre-surgery weight, and shortly lost an additional couple pounds. I was glad to finally be on the weight loss road again.
Then something happened.
Here's where I'm going to talk about female issues so if you don't want to hear about them, stop reading.
I went to the pharmacy one day in June to pick up my birth control. When I got there the pharmacist told me that for some reason it was switched from one generic to another. He assured me that it has the same ingredients, so I thought I'd be fine.
In addition to a longer TOM than normal (like two weeks each of the three months I was on it), I was in a horrible mood (worse than usual), had worse cravings and even more of an increased appetite, and gained weight. The main reason I'd gone on birth control in the first place was to help with my TOM and all of the factors that go along with it (mood, being the number one concern). I thought that after the first month maybe I would adjust to it. Nope. I had problems the next two months as well. I spent most of the summer feeling fat and wanting to cry.
I knew that I had a doc appointment coming up in October so in August I decided to stick it out until then. September came and...I was switched back to my other generic. After a month in my system, my TOM was back to being short (shorter than usual at a whopping one day). I wasn't quite as crabby or depressed feeling. I still experienced my typical symptoms, particularly water retention but not nearly as bad, or as long, as when I took the other pill.
I did a little online research and found that others have had similar issues when they were switched from/to the same meds. I also found that others had issues when switched in the opposite way. It goes to show that not all meds are the same for everyone, and that it really is important to work with your physician to find what works for you.
I went to my doc last week and even though things seemed to be back on track, I mentioned it to her anyway. She said that some pills can have the same ingredients but can cause different side effects. I had talked with some nurse friends and my mom and they all thought the same thing that I did... While the pill was "the same" the formulation may have been different and caused different side effects. Apparently we were on the right track. My doc told me that if the pharmacy does that again, to call her right away and she'd try something different. I'm nervous about trying something different because who knows what side effects that med will have. UGH...I just want to get the same stinkin' pill, the one that works for me, every month. Is it really so hard for that to happen?!
Okay, on to my weight...
So I gained about ten pounds (nine, to be exact, but at that point it might as well be ten!) within a short time of starting on that particular pill. It seemed like it was overnight! The scale creeped up, a few pounds at a time. I'd lose a little weight, but one meal out and the sodium alone would make me retain fluid like crazy. I have to believe it has something to do with my hormone levels. I could gain three pounds over a weekend, and then drop it by Tuesday. I was staying the same though. I continued to track my foods. I continued to workout. I added ST. I increased cardio time/calories burn. I changed what I was taking in...I upped it and lowered it. And still, no change.
I've been off of the pill I had a bad experience with for a month now and am hoping that my weight will start going down. I'm tracking everything I eat, and try to stay around 1300 calories a day, no less than 1200. I had lost a couple pounds, stabilized for a week, but then I went out of town last weekend and gained a few back. I really worked my muscles, running a cross country style 5K and then a street 5K like I'm used to. I could feel the difference in my muscles after that first run. In addition to working out, being that I was out of town, I was also eating out. I watched what I ate, and stayed within my calories, but as I know, restaurant foods are fairly high in sodium.... So despite watching my calories in and burning some with my running, and other walking, I came home a couple heavier than I was during the week before. By Tuesday I was back down two pounds... As of today I'm down another two pounds. SO... I'm back to being five pounds heavier than I was on the day I had surgery. I will be happy when I get to that point, and then hope that my loss continues.
Weight is SO frustrating. Sometimes I think I shouldn't worry about it. Or my BMI, which puts me into the "overweight" category. I know that I am still overweight and obviously am working to lose some more weight but BMI annoys me. I hate that it's based only on height and weight. My body fat percentage is lower than it was months ago, which is great! I'm in the healthy range as far as that's concerned. Of course, having had liposuction, that makes sense. I measured my waist so that I could make my Halloween costume accurately and got a smaller waist measurement than whenever I had last measured. Again, with having had surgery (skin removed) that makes sense... When, by the way, did my waist go below 30 inches?! That hardly seems accurate but considering I was around 30-31 prior to surgery, it has to be true. I guess I just look at myself and think I'm bigger around the middle than I actually am. I never thought I'd have 20-something inch waist!!
I've also been struggling lately with my body image. I feel like I should weigh loss; be farther than I am right now. I see so many people who have reached weight loss goals and who talk about how "fat" they were before. These are not people I know. I just see them on Pinterest, My Fitness Pal, or other sites. They were my size, or a little bigger (some even smaller!) in their "before." They drop 50 pounds and are (in my opinion) tiny. Sometimes they whine about gaining a few pounds.... Because obviously 126 is too heavy. Sarcasm. I will admit I do not know their height but unless they're super, super short, I think they're fine at 126. Of course, it is about them and how they feel. My opinion of their weight makes no difference than their opinion of mine. I don't know other factors... Like their height and body fat percentage. They might be shorter and have a higher fat percentage than I do. I work hard, and I like to think I have some good muscle tone going on. I particularly like my calves. Maybe they don't have calves like mine.
Honestly? It doesn't matter. When it comes down to it, this is about me. Not them. I need to change my thinking. Again. This is about me; my issues. Not anyone else. Their journey isn't mine.
I feel like I'd look too thin at 126 pounds. In fact, based on my height, that's underweight. I don't even want to weigh 130. My ultimate awesome weight would be 140 and I feel like that could be pushing it. My current goal weight is not a singular number at all. It's a range. 150-158; 158 being the top of my healthy BMI range. I suppose if I had to choose a specific number I'd go with 155.
My problem is that when I see these people I look at myself and lose sight of my progress. I see someone start at 160, for example, and drop to 130 and it makes me feel a bit like a failure. I think I've been at this weight for so long now that I sometimes forget where I started. It's hard though to embrace the work I've done when I see so many other people writing about being "fat" at my current weight... Or even at my goal weight!! I think I'll be healthy and look good in the 150s. Other people start in the 150s because they're "fat."
It's hard to see people start at a weight that's around my weight drop weight so fast and reach their goals quickly. I know that because I'm farther along in my journey, and I'm not just starting out, it's harder for me to lose. The more you lose and the closer you get to your goal, the more difficult it is to lose weight. Me trying to get smaller than where I am, after having lost so much weight, is a much different situation than someone starting at the same weight.
I know this. I understand it. I still let it frustrate me. It's awful working hard and making changes and not seeing the results I want to see, while other people seem to drop like crazy. I know it's all about perception. I know that we are all different. I just have a hard time feeling like I've done so well when someone else thinks they're a cow when they start at my weight. I look at myself and think maybe I need to work harder. I think that maybe I don't look as good as I think I do. In the past I would see myself as being not as fat as I actually was. Maybe I'm doing that now too?
Sometimes I wonder what's "wrong" with me that I can't seem to lose, despite keeping healthy. I'm continuing to make small changes that will, hopefully, help me reach my ultimate goal. I'm going to change a few more things and hopefully those will help.
I try to stay away from negative thoughts and try not to read things that will make me feel bad. Everyone starts somewhere and everyone finishes somewhere. We are not all the same. If we were, life would be very boring. I have achieved a lot of goals and have worked hard to do so. I need to stay positive and remember this.
Right now I hope to drop 10 pounds by the end of the year. Given that it is the end of October, and where I currently am, I feel like that is a bit of an ambitious goal. I'm going to work hard to reach it and right now I'm not going to say that if I don't reach it that's okay... If I happen to not reach it, I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but I'll keep working. Right now though, 10 is the magic number... The number of pounds I want to work my arse off to achieve. I'm waiting for my efforts to finally pay off and my weight to start dropping again.... As I wait, I'll work. Hard.
Have a great weekend!!