The NY Times recently ran an article
about weight loss, and what happens to the body's metabolism.
I do not wish to reprint the entire article (it's a bit long), but the gist of it is something that I have suspected for a long time - a lot of weight loss changes you, no matter how much you exercise, how slowly or quickly you lose, what your age is, what your gender is, how much water you drink, whether the planets are aligned, etc.
Essentially, lose a lot of weight (and I have lost over 130 pounds so fall into that category readily), and get a slower metabolism. And then you have to live on even fewer calories.
It is not just, fewer calories in, more exercise in and, magic! You lose weight. At least it isn't with big-time weight losers (yep, that's me, and others here, BTW). Instead, we may lose, and even lose a lot, and then our bodies decide to sabotage our efforts.
Right now, I weigh about 213 or so (I used to be 346; my weight loss pictures are on my Facebook page for anyone to see). I eat 1600 - 1800 calories per day. I do about 20 minutes of weight training in the morning (50 lb. weights). I walk a good half an hour or more every weekday, and a good hour and a half each day on most weekends. I don't drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. I drink eleven. I watch my salt, I don't overdo fat or carbs and I rarely touch alcohol or any form of junk food. I make my own meals most days, and during the week, unless we go out to lunch (once per week, to Chinatown), I am vegan until sundown. I ran ten 5K races last year, one more than the prior year.
Given all of that, I should be losing weight like a house on fire. I am not.
Instead, last year, I gained 8 pounds. And that was a victory, for the previous year, I gained a good 20 or so.
According to the article, my body now has less of a need for calories. If I had been 213 pounds or so without dieting (e. g. on my way up and not on my way down), my caloric needs would be greater. There is something (not understood yet, of course, damn) which essentially robs me of a normal metabolism. As Green Witch noted here
, she weighs a good 65 pounds less than I do and would, most likely, lose weight on my regimen (I absolutely believe her).
On this topic
, my own struggles are out there, as are Joe Nation's, ossobucco's and others - and there are other big-time weight losers on A2K, like mac11 (I miss her!). For those of you who tell us to just have a cookie already, or that we are starving ourselves, or that a little self-control (surely we must be cheating, or lying or lazy or otherwise morally corrupt and bankrupt in our ways!), I tell you to read this article and think about what you are saying.
For this is a battle and, regardless of your support and your kindness it is, ultimately, a rather lonely one.
Let's talk about the article.