Sometimes, Diets and Exercise Do NOT Work

If you have found this post perhaps you are sitting there frantically searching the internet for what you could possibly be doing wrong.  Your diet is controlled.  You are a beast at the gym.  You are NOT losing weight.  You might even be GAINING weight.

Please feel this loving hug as I say I have been right where you are.  I have been there for over twelve years.  I understand how frustrating it is to know without a doubt you are doing the “right” things and not getting the “right” results.

However, those feelings were stirred again yesterday by the following comment to a Facebook post to a doctor’s timeline:

“Drugs or surgery aren’t going to fix what your body is telling you…exercise and eating right will….but if that’s too hard you can continue to abuse yourself I guess.”

I have to admit I typed out a rabid response.

“…abuse yourself…”

Oh hell no!

My very comment to my doctor is no one sees the care and attention I give my body.  I know people look at me and think I look this way on purpose.  I am not necessarily blaming anyone for thinking that because it is not that big of an assumption.

We are taught calories in, calories out.  If there is a deficit we lose weight, if there is a surplus we gain weight and if there is a balance we maintain weight.

Personally, I run about a 500 calorie deficit daily.  Sometimes I gain weight, sometimes I stay the same, and every once in a while my body gives up a pound just to screw with me–at least that is what it really feels like.

Then, I backspaced most of the comment only leaving the specific response to the doctor’s question.

If this person really believes that, then she cannot possible understand our struggle.

About 14 years ago I was working with a woman at a Curves for Women fitness center who said during a training meeting, “I don’t see what the problem is…I just have to think about losing five pounds and I do.”

As I read that comment, I remembered that young woman and her ignorance too.

Since then I have thought about all the times my doctors did not believe me.  I thought about the tears, the mental anguish, the confusion.  But I also thought about the determination and about how even when facing what feels like the most stubborn body on the planet I did not just throw in the towel, sit on the couch, and eat bon bons all day.

Nope.

That is not me and it is not you either.

We are tough chickies and dudes.

We know our journey better than anyone else.

We know how hard we have worked.

We know how few results we have had.

We know we have tried.

We also know we have failed.

That is the second time I have written about failing in the short time I have been chronically this journey and it is still uncomfortable for me to look at that word.

I failed.

For twelve years, I did my best.  For twelve years, I have felt bad about myself, beat myself up and have gotten to the point that whenever I eat something there is a little voice inside of me who says, “Don’t do that…it’s going straight to your ass and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

You see surgery has been off the table for me that whole time.

I have watched a couple of friends go through it and I have watched dozens of friends lose weight the “normal” way.  I wanted to be normal so a long time ago I crossed surgery off the list.

My current doctor suggested it a year ago.  I was so furious with him.

Two weeks ago, I apologized for all my evil thoughts about what an ass I thought he was.  The truth is he is a great practitioner and a really caring, compassionate person.

About a month ago, I let myself say “What if surgery is the thing my body needs?”

I mean she’s obviously confused.  She obviously missed memo about how to regulate body weight.  I have given her all the help I can.

I failed.

For the first time, I have been able to accept it was not “my” failure.

For the first time, I can say this is so far beyond my capacity as the owner of this body.

For the first time, I have been willing to look at surgery as a tool for success and NOT evidence of “my” failure.

Sometimes diets and exercise is not the answer.

Sometimes the only “abuse” I have given my body is my previous unwillingness to consider ALL weight loss options including surgery.

Sometimes, I can be a little stubborn.

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