April 24th, 2013
by Jodi · Filed Under: Nutrition
I’m not sayin’ I’m upset or anything but I’m definitely spitting while talking today!
(On side note, I used to wear my hair like this but what a beast of a hairstyle to keep up! UGH!)
You are not general public. Period. Do not forget that as I go through this series because I have to constantly remind women of this who venture into the land of clean eating. Once you get to a certain body fat (I will qualify this in a later post), none of the diet rules pertain to you anymore; you have now entered into the clean zone. Why do I bother to say this? Because much of what I am going to say is going to seem counterintuitive to what you know is out there or it is going to seem like I am making it up because I have nothing better to do with my laptop keyboard. Another reason is that there is very little research on this—if any at all—because no one studies the lean community. (When’s the last time you saw a study that said, “Lean Girl Struggles to Lose 10 Pounds to Get Back to Pubescent Weight”? Don’t wait around for it.) Studies are done on the obese (and by companies who want to push a product or an agenda) and you cannot extrapolate their results to you because they live in *excess* and you live in a constant famine. Hormonally, you are a very different woman and depending on how much you lost, your body may not be happy about it.
The number one question rolling through our minds is always ‘how did this happen?’ Although the answer is quite obvious, as you lift your face out of a bag of Lindt chocolate truffles, it really isn’t that clear cut. First, you never ate Lindt truffles before you lost the weight so now why the obsession? Second, it’s more than the fact that you like them—you’d sell your first child on the black market for them–and if you don’t have kids, you’ll sell a niece or a nephew because it is all about the [insert food here] right now! Where did that intensity come from? Third, you are not pounding them down in outrageous amounts. Yes, it is more than you should be having but it’s only once a week or even less so why the extreme weight gain? And lastly, why aren’t you doing anything about it? Why is it that the more you try to stop, the more you eat?
Before I can get into the details of what it looks like the STA (second time around), it is imperative that we define just who we are talking about for this series. Yesterday I gave you 4 possible scenarios as to what constitutes the STA, today we are going to tackle scenario #3. Let’s assume that you have just done a 12 to 16 week diet. You lost anywhere between 12 to 15 pounds. You lost it either easily or quickly—or both. Let’s also assume that you ended at a weight that you have not been at for a long, long time. And that you threw out all your clothes at the larger size because you swear you “will never be there again”. OY! Now that we have all that established I ask again…what happened?
1. You lost too much too soon. Honestly, saying it that way is sort of inaccurate because what really matters is not how fast you lost it but how extreme you had to go to lose it but for this blog post, it’ll do. Losing that much weight that fast causes your body to go into “oh heck no” mode and it begins to fight you but not like it does if this was for an event, this is a different fight. It is more akin to a scale creep than a scale leap. Because you are not losing this for a show or an event, your cortisol levels will not be sky high since you are not anticipating anything. Therefore, you notice that although you crave sweets, it is not an all consuming vacuum like it once had been but the fight to stay at that weight is there and you feel it. Your body wants to go back to where it was and that desire of your body depends on how long you were there.
2. You didn’t own the weight. This picks up where I just left off: you have to be at that weight for at least 3 months before you can truly say that that is now your new weight. And let me be even more real here: you really have to be at that weight for at least 6 to 9 months before you can breathe a sigh of relief. This does not, by any means, mean that you have to keep up with the level of dieting that you were doing to get there but it does mean that you need to be extra vigilant for a while.
3. You bounced out of diet mode instead of easing out. I see this a lot. It was an inconvenience in the first place to diet, it is an even bigger inconvenience to keep it going. Making the time for the gym, keeping up with the dieting, being a nuisance at events that you had to go to. When it was all said and done, you couldn’t wait to be “normal”! Not to mention, life got hectic so you had to cut a few days here and there off of your normal gym time as well as a few weddings happened and so on. You woke up one day and just said fahghettaboudit. And you did.
4. You didn’t deal with the issue that made you gain in the first place. I’ll admit…this is a tough one without first adding a qualifier. Let’s assume that you have dieted before and this “new you” has happened in your lifetime already. In fact, over the course of 5 years, it has happened a few times but this time is the best you have ever looked. In light of this, we can honestly say that you haven’t dealt with the issue that keeps causing you to self sabotage and gain the weight back. Dieting is exhausting and every time you gain the weight back, you care less and less about doing it again. Not only that, but you begin to “live” in diet mode and that is debilitating.
5. You live in diet mode. You should have seen this one coming just from the way I ended that last sentence. At some point this gets old. We never know when it is going to hit but when it does, watch out! This is sheer rebellion, ladies. “I am tired of being on a diet”. However, you are not on a diet any more but your mind is! You perpetually live in restriction. Even if all you are doing is eating clean, in your mind you’re on a diet. So many of us have ritualistically embraced the concept of eating clean: Tupperware, cooking ahead, no processed food and so on because we joined the clean community in hopes of changing our physiques. But over time, we need to shift from this being a means to an end to this being a way of living in our minds, hearts and actions. I guarantee you that most of you believe that you have because you have lived this life for so long but I am telling you just from talking to you that you have not. You have “accepted” the ritual as your reality but deep down, you long for the old way of living of eating [name your food of choice here] and make do with the new way of living. This is why when you are left on your own in front of a buffet for five minutes, you cut up like a clown at a Big Apple Circus premier. We will talk more about this.
6. You really don’t care. What?! Did I just say that you really don’t care after you paraded yourself around the gym like a float from the Macy’s Day Parade? Yup. I did. And look me in the eyes and tell me differently…I dare you. Hairy eyeball ‘n’ all. Talk about a real let down dropping 12 pounds, looking awesome, loving the way you feel and realizing that your significant other is still a pain in the butt, your siblings are all still dysfunctional, your job is still demanding and you still don’t have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of. Why flippin’ bother? You thought it would solve all your problems. Now you’re the star of Facebook but you still have to collate all the pages of the 2013 Budget Review at your firm. Fun.
Those are 3 technical mistakes and 3 emotional mistakes that we make that cause us to go from glory to gory in all of a few months. Next up is what it looks like when you are actually dieting because it is very different from what you expect and it can drive you bananas (although I hope not on a no starch day because that wouldn’t be cool.
See you tomorrow! Woop woop!