Shallow Breathing, Part 2 (2 years later)

I’ve gained and lost more pounds than I can count – and I’m only in my early 30s! That said, I’ve always compared weight loss to shallow breathing. I can do it, and I can maintain it, if 100% of my focus is diverted to it.

If my energies need to be diverted elsewhere, to my job, my family, academics, etc., and I for a moment settle into eating until I’m satiated, I gain 20-40 pounds. This makes my normally high activity level more unmanageable and compounds a modest weight gain further.

After my most recent loss of about 90 pounds, I’ve figured out that I burn somewhere around 600 calories per day less than my fitbit (and SP calculators) tell me I do. So what should be a two-pound loss per week turns into a one-pound loss per week. For me, right now, that’s enough; but in the past, I’ve gotten frustrated and quit because I don’t see progress.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll need to plan and weigh all my food for the rest of my life. That’s not what my friends need to do, and it’s not what I’d prefer to do. But it’s what I need to do to not be where I was.

It’s not mindless eating, as I’m always aware of how many calories I’m eating. It’s not unrealistic goals, as the doctors always tell me I need to lose more to be healthy. It’s that my body always seems to want me to be much heavier than is healthy.

I know more about nutrition, calories and weight loss than any of my average-size friends and colleagues. I’m always amazed how little some of them know about calories and macronutrient values of the foods they eat every day.

I can crunch numbers all day long; but the truth of the matter is that humans weren’t supposed to have to create a spreadsheet to nourish themselves. I eat mostly whole foods, and only lean meats. My coworkers are constantly amazed by my self control; and I don’t go home and binge at night. But sometimes I think what’s the point, if I always have to fight with what makes me comfortable?

I guess I’m doomed to a life of shallow breathing. I’m not happy about it, but I guess it’s better than not breathing at all.

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