Thursday, October 23, 2008

Men vs Women: A Fat Story

Sometimes I am SO jealous of men. Seriously. My darling hubby and I have been dieting together. Okay, dieting isn't the right word. We are making changes in what we eat...reducing portions, selecting more healthy foods and he's eating fast food quite a bit less.

We are both exercising. He goes for a walk during the day at work, I go to the gym 3-4 days a week. I do two Pilates classes and lift weights and do aerobics exercises at the gym.

He just walks and shovels a bit less greasy fast food into his mouth. I work my ASS off and bring my breakfast and lunch to work every day. Typical breakfast/lunch at work consists of yogurt with fresh fruit, an apple, 1/2 cup bran cereal with flax and a PB&J sandwich on whole wheat bread. Sometimes I'll toss in one of those fat-free cups of chocolate pudding.

After two weeks he has lost SEVEN pounds. I've lost half a pound. What the heck?

For him, weight loss is easy. For me, it's a constant battle. I work hard to lose very little, then get depressed because I'm trying so hard to lose and can't. I eat when I get depressed, see the cycle? So when I get depressed, I gain more weight, try to take it off again, get depressed AGAIN when the results are pathetic. Of course, I always end up gaining more than I lose.

Earlier this week he invited me to go to lunch with him, at a pizza place. I declined. He asked again, really trying to get me to go. He couldn't understand why I was saying no. I think I got through to him when I finally said: "Honey, I have to work three times as hard and eat five times LESS than you to lose even half what you do. Pizza is NOT on my list of okay food."

But he'll never really understand because it is so easy for him to lose it. He will never understand how depressed and discouraged I get.

I've battled my weight my entire life. For those who can look at someone who's overweight and say "just eat less," you have no idea how hard it can be. I eat less. A lot less. I exercise more. I really put a lot of effort into it then get very discouraged by the absolute lack of results. And no, I don't expect results in a few weeks. This is months and months of lackluster results.

I've had really, really good results in the past, but maintaining the loss is very difficult. It slowly creeps back up. At one point I was working out for nearly two hours every day six days a week for more than a year, sometimes working out twice a day, plus riding and doing a lot of heavy lifting, digging, moving type of work around the barn and at home. After I hit that weight loss plateau I started getting more and more discouraged. I tried ramping up the exercise and cutting out even more food, but the scale refused to budge. You can only live on egg whites, tuna, apples, carrots, raw peas and protein shakes for so long before you feel like you are starving to death.

So, I gave up. I just stopped going to the gym. I stopped watching what I ate. What was the point anyway? I couldn't live the rest of my life starving myself and working out like a fiend.

I've had the thyroid tested. Nothing wrong there. I had my metabolism tested and as expected, it's very inefficient and extremely sluggish. I don't know how to change that.

I'm at the point where I just don't know what to do any more.

And that's depressing.


Wendy said...

OH, I know it's so unfair! Seems like I have to eat salads constantly to keep off any weight loss and stay away from all those carbs I love. Ugh. And aging doesn't help!

Sona said...

You sound like a classic thyroid patient - ignore the "normal" test results.

Go to Stop The Thyroid website and read. You will find yourself in those pages.

If you have a "sluggish" metabolism you NEED to read about Adrenals and learn, learn, learn.

Trust me - I have been there!

Anonymous said...

look around here - you may get some more ideas...

I wouldn't mind having a metabolism that works. My brother can keep the weight off by doing nothing. Makes me sick, it does!!!

- Mr Owl

Jim Thomsen said...


My struggle mirrors yours in a lot of ways. I was whip-thin until my early 30s, and then my metabolism suddenly ground to a halt. I got a little more3 sedentary in my daily life ... and WHAM! Next thing I knew, I'd packed on thirty pounds.

Since then, I've gone through the same diet-exercise-depression cycle you've gone through, many, many times.

What's the answer? I dunno. Except I keep slogging on. One thing that's helped beat the self-defeating blues is to keep my mind occupied while I work out and walk — I download audiobooks to my iPod and let the story carry me away from how hard I'm physically working for an hour or so. (If you're anything like me, working out is doubly tough because of the hell you put yourself in your own mind about how hard your body is aching and hurting.)

I'm with you, my friend. Every cringe-inducing step of the way.

Nancy R said...

I think that's the rule for men in general, and it DOES suck.

What about moving toward a more South Beach type menu, where you increase your protein? I know oatmeal is healthier for me, but I maintain my weight much better if I begin the day with eggs, ham and cheese (no bread, even though we have 100% whole wheat). I have fewer migraines too.