Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Introducing the Final Number

As I wrote yesterday, when will it be time to weigh the amount I consider is IT?, the single stop on the scale where the Alleluia chorus begins to play and I hear God whisper (as he looks at the number from over my shoulder) "It is Good."

What should I weigh? Should I weigh less than I do now or should I maintain my current weight loss and be happy here, today?  Am I happy at this weight. The answer is no. At my height, I can afford to lose more pounds but not so much that I will be unhealthy if I ever get to have surgery to remove the excess skin.

With all respect to the people who believe otherwise, using the BMI scale does not yield a a valid number for everyone equally. According to the BMI chart I would not be underweight unless I weigh under 109 pounds. My doctor assures me that with my frame at 5'4" I would be close to death at that 109 pounds, not barely underweight. Seriously? Someone with severe body distortion issues must have determined these numbers. According to the BMI scale I would be overweight at 145 pounds. That does not take into account the 8 to 12 pounds that will reasonably come off with surgery and should not count against me today. So let's say the skin is only 8 pounds. That means I 'could' weigh 148 pounds - (adding 8 pounds to the 140 of the high/normal range on the BMI chart). I can be happy with that.

I have been steady at 170 for a long time. Why haven't I lost this final 22 pounds?  Am I holding on to this weight subconsciously? Why would I hold pounds intentionally? When it is worth holding on to  weight over and above a healthy weight? Worth should read  “good reason.” Is there a good reason? Can there be a good reason, beyond a medical condition? 

Scary Thinking Revealed: I have a fear that if I reach "IT" and ever get cancer I will not have enough weight to help me survive the treatments. Now I've heard that many of the treatments available today include medications so that people do not get sick and loose so much weight, so I guess that excuse to stay where I am is dashed to bits. I do not need to hide in these last pounds so why are they still here? 

If there isn't a good reason, it must be a food reason.

Ouch. Am I holding on to too much food in my daily plan of eating? Is my food more than my body requires?

Ouch again. 

In maintaining weight loss of over 200 pounds for a few years, I have lived in this smaller body long enough that whole groups of people that now know me never knew me as obese. While maintaining I have asked doctors, mentors and friends about losing more weight. I keep getting these comments: 'don't risk what you already have by trying to lose more.' 'You don't control your weight, God does; and my all-time favorite: "You are already too skinny." However, there have been a couple of people who know me better than most and whose opinions I respect, who have asked me if I am done losing or if I am trying to drop more weight and that they support my choice either way. Now that I have named the unnameable number on the scale perhaps it is time to weigh in and make a decision.

It is time to let go of the final pounds. The IT number on my scale is 148. When I hit that number the angels can sing and I will let go of any more weight loss. 148 is reasonable and if I can never afford  surgery to remove my excess skin I will still be done with taking off pounds.

Well, that wasn't so bad after all. The number is no longer a scary unknown. Now that I have a number I can develop an action plan to reach it.



bbubblyb said...

I went through the same thought process when I was deciding on a "final" number. The number I chose was for no other reason than it marked 200 lbs from my highest weight. It is 24 lbs higher than the top number for my height on the bmi chart. But I'm ok with that. I really think the only reason I continue to want to lose a few more lbs is because I think I should, not that I'm unhappy with where I am.

As for the loose stuff, after my first surgery another blogger told me that most people that have stuff cut off generally go back to the same weight they were before having skin removed and darn if she wasn't correct. But I really believe that was more a mental thing for me because I was comfortable with the number on the scale. As for now, after the second surgery I am finding myself struggling to get back to my "final" number and it is scary for me but I know I will get there.

Anyway, sorry to make my comment about me. I think whatever "final" number you pick it needs to be where you feel comfortable mentally as well as physically. Plus it needs to be a number that you know you can maintain.

Good luck reaching your "final" number though in everyone's eyes you are already a huge success.

I'm glad we crossed paths :)

Jane Cartelli said...

I am glad you commented about you. We all learn so much from each other's experiences. Thank you for sharing yours.

I am actually amazed that I did not stop and consider the the number from my top weight. 148 is three pounds short of a 240 weight loss. I am so glad I set the IT without thought to my highest weight- otherwise (knowing me) I would have pushed it down, down, down to 135 so that I could say the total loss was 250 lbs. I do not want to play that game in my head anymore.


BrendaKaye said...

Congratulations on such an amazing weight loss already! Your journey and maintenance are very inspiring...especially for a yo-yo dieting queen like me.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your finish line #. I love reading your blog.

Jane Cartelli said...

Together we can get better.

Anonymous: Thank you. I wish I knew your name. :-)

Anonymous said...

I guess one question is - what happens at 148? How important is 148 and why? Can you lose say - 5 pounds and reassess? Will it be OK if you had a range and what will happen mentally if you lose and cannot maintain, but can go back to 170. Or somewhere in the range. See what I am saying?

No stressing hard over it, just consider your options in the fullest awareness possible.

Friends. All those comments gave me a cramp in my eyes from over rolling them.

Surgery. IF you want it and are desperately unhappy with excess skin, but you have limits on budgets - You COULD think about what part is most upsetting or what two parts and then see what each costs to remove and repair. Weigh that against the importance to you. Then you may find a way to make it happen. Just a thought.

Whatever you do to yourself, do in love for yourself.

Very interesting post BTW. AAAAs usual.

Vickie said...

Just saying - it will be interesting to see how helpful the bmi chart to you is in the end. what your feelings are later. sometimes we have different viewpoints in the end. time will tell. when I looked at your numbers, 140lbs (for example you used) put you in the upper part of normal range and 20lbs less than that put you in the lower part of normal. That doesn't seem weird to me. Not saying you want to be in lower range of normal. just saying, 140/148lbs (I agree about just taking 8 lbs off mentally for skin) seems like a good number and the chart supports that.

Jane Cartelli said...

First things first. I have lost the weight one pound at a time and I am keeping the pounds off one day at a time so I think I need to see how this works one day at a time and one pound at a time, cause that formula is gold.

If I do lose these pounds 170 would not be a weight to go back to if I struggled and could not maintain a lower weight. I cannot think that way or I will always find an excuse - I know myself.

I realize that is why I am currently at this weight. It is safe and comfortable. I get the satisfaction of keeping off the 200+ pounds and the kudos that come with it. I get to look good but still packing a few pounds.

On the other hand, if I cannot maintain the loss without losing my sanity I will completely accept the help and guidance of others. I cannot stay well in a vacuum.

Time and experience will tell how my outlook fares in the efforts to come. I may end up raving about the virtues of the BMI chart - or I may just end up stark raving mad. :-)


Anonymous said...

I like one day and one pound at a time. That is mostly manageable.

About the BMI chart. If the doc sez it is bunk for you and that makes sense to you well then there is your answer.

The chart is a guideline, not the darn bible.

E. Jane said...

This is the age-old question for weight losers--when to stop and what should the number be. I once lost enought weight to reach 127 pounds, and promptly gained it back. For that reason, I no longer think of that weight as my goal--in fact it scares me. I remember that I got a lot of attention when I was at that weight, and I didn't really like it. I am a bit of an introvert, and I think I was so uncomfortable that I started packing on the pounds again just to hide.

With a new weight loss, I will have to deal with a goal weight in the future, but being older now it may be easier. Nevertheless, I don't plan to go lower than 140 (the top of my bmi range). At 5'3" it's healthy, much less than I weigh now, allows me to wear almost any type of clothing, and I feel comfortable in my own skin. The bmi chart is not always the best measure of a person's health and looks. We get to choose where we want to be. I think you made a good decision.

Lisa said...

This is a GREAT topic! I've wondered about this in the am I *REALLY* struggling to lose those "last few pounds" or am I at the weight I am supposed to be?

I've determined that I'm currently the lowest my body will ever get and be healthy. I'm 31, 5'5 and weigh 144 pounds. I can fluctuate a few pounds either way but my body seems to rest at this weight.

I exercise, I eat well, and I splurge. So clearly I'm doing something right and I'm just going to be at this weight. :) I am okay with that!

Cenandra said...

I hear you there! Good luck and I hope you reach your goal weight!

Jane Cartelli said...

Munchie- Thanks for the friends comment! I laughed at the idea of getting cramps in the eyes from rolling them at the comments of others. I am going to have to remember that one. LOL

E. Jane - Thank you! I think the decision is sound today. I would be thinking in terms of inches instead of pounds now except that I cannot do what I want with the inches while I have the excess skin. I may always have it, so I want to drop the pounds. I am not setting a goal date. I am not going to binge on exercise or starve myself or try a funky new cleansing program (yuck).

Lisa - I think you are awesome in what you do and it is obviously working well for you. By the way, as much as a love you, I hate you because you are only 31. I hope you understand. LOL!

Sheri - And if not, at least I can land among the other healthy numbers.