I know that a lot of people out there have asked that question, and there are usually at least a couple of reasons for this final struggle. Yes, I think many of us share at least one reason, but maybe not all. I decided to write this post because one of my main struggles in taking off that last bit of weight is not often talked about. But is it that rare?
First off, losing my “last 10 pounds” would take me to the very high end of the normal BMI (Body Mass Index) range for my height, build and age. Achieving such a weight loss goal would be satisfying to me. I know that many women of all ages often set their weight loss goal well into their mid normal BMI range. I suppose partly so that they are firmly situated as “normal weight” (with wiggle room), and partly because they think an even lower BMI would be more attractive. I would never argue against their goals. Weight goals are an individual thing, but why does the max normal BMI weight appeal well enough to me?
I happen to have a mental illness and take a couple of medications known to be weight unfriendly. I’ve managed to lose a large amount of past medication weight gain, and have found a medication mix that seems weight neutral. [Those of you in the know, this is even with me taking Seroquel XR.] Though I’m still 10 lbs over a normal BMI, I’m sort of satisfied that at 46 years old, I am now no heavier than my heaviest weight at 30 years old, when I was not taking any medications at all. I think that to many fellow people with bipolar disorder, that would seem almost an accomplishment in itself.
The above observation makes me think about what my “weight destiny” really is? The weight that my genes seem to want me to be, ignoring any effects medications have. I look back at the obesity of most of the women in my family, and even my dad and brother (at times) and recognize that I’ve managed to stay among the thinnest in the family for the highest percentage of my life. Yes, there was a time when I was almost obese, but for years now I haven’t been. If I’m no heavier than without medications, could 10 pounds overweight be my weight destiny?
Though many people, particularly women, compare themselves to actresses or models and seem to always think they’re fat, I rather perceive myself as sufficiently trim. Even when I look in the mirror I don’t mind what I see. My mirrors aren’t slimming in any way.
I guess there is a little motivation for me to lose that last 10 pounds. It is my slightly abnormal blood work results. I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides. Not high enough to warrant medication for it, just high enough for my doctor to recommend eating changes. But I am just not up to the challenge. Not just because of satisfaction with where I am, but because of diet fatigue, and also the stress and mood issues I deal with because of my mental illness. Can some of you relate to that?
The temptation to self-medicate with food to relieve my mood issues just seems more attractive than accomplishing the last bit of weight loss. I’m often just tuckered out and yearning for simple pleasures. This makes me say “Hell with the blood work!” I don’t feel I’m on the verge of imminent death from a heart attack. Of course if I was I’d surely improve my ways, but I still feel young enough not to fret on such risks. My blood work hasn’t worsened, so I maintain the status quo.
Occasionally I do find some motivation to diet. I lose maybe three to four pounds. Then the motivation disappears again or the weight loss slows down to a frustrating crawl. Like others, my metabolic rate slows down, and the thought of lowering my caloric intake even more becomes too much of a downer.
I know waiting until I’m forced under the gun to diet is too late. I guess I hope that I’ll get a little mood elevation before then to restart my diet quest. But I think that when/if it does, I still won’t be aiming for Victoria’s Secret swimsuit model. Actually, I’ve been 10 pounds less than I am now. Frankly, at that weight I think I’m pretty hot stuff. Right now “warm stuff” just seems good enough.