I’ve just heard about this story, I’m not American so it hadn’t shown up in my news over the years, about a man named David Smith who, at his heaviest, weighed 650lbs. He had gone public with his weight struggle and asked for help. He managed to lose 400lbs and has since re-gained over 250 of those pounds and is now close to 500lbs.
You can watch the 5 min video from NBC Today here on the Huffington Post.
I have to say, my heart goes out to him. The struggle to maintain is so much harder. In the video he says some very poignant/important things: that when he became thin and a good looking guy that it blew his mind away and he didn’t know how to deal with it. He didn’t know how to cope. He also said: As much as you work on the outside, you have to work on the inside, because if your foundation isn’t built up you’ll just crumble down.
I do think food addiction and the resulting obesity is like any other addiction (alcohol, smoking, drugs etc.), but I would say the struggle to maintain is even harder because unlike drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol, you can’t live without eating. Going cold turkey doesn’t work here.
If you don’t change/address the inside, what leads you to eat and why then it will come back. Also, if you do not give yourself time to get used to your new body, who you now are, then I think the likelihood of regaining is exponentially increased. I truly believe that people underestimate just how vastly different life is when you are obese versus a weight in the healthy range. When you lose a significant amount of weight EVERY SINGLE FACET of life changes and it takes a lot of time to get used to it, to accept it, to not judge or berate yourself for past choices, and to move forward without falling back on past habits. If you don’t give yourself the time to get used to the new you, it’s easier to let the weight & habits come back because you won’t see the change.
Whenever I get frustrated at the speed (or lack thereof) of my weight loss, or my 6-months in the 160s. I have to think about this. What’s the alternative? For me it is better to maintain, to go at it slowly now then to rush things. I still have my struggles, I am still getting used to the new person in the mirror, but each day, week, month it gets easier.
A recent NSV (non-scale victory) for me is that I’m starting to be able to go into a clothing store and pick out clothes that will fit me. My spatial sense of my body is starting to catch up with my actual body. I bought a couple dresses at a garage sale last month without trying them on first (they were $2, can you blame me?!) and they both fit when I brought them home. For me, this is a HUGE step forward.
I truly hope he can get his life on track as he says. The 250lb+ gain in 2 years will have done more damage to his internal organs. I wish him strength.