With tears in her eyes, she said to me, “I just can’t do it. I can’t fail again.”
It’s natural to believe that after we have been successful in losing weight, but have put the weight back on again, that we have failed. This is not the case. Weight maintenance is far more difficult than simply losing weight. I remember the moment I had the painful realization that I could never go back to “normal” once I finished the diet. I was in the room with a weight loss patient who was being seen by Dr Muse. As I listened to the things he told this patient, I remember feeling somewhat hopeless for a moment when I realized that my weight problem would never go away. I realized at that moment I had a chronic weight problem, and that I would always have a weight problem. Regardless of how thin I might become, there is still that fat kid inside of me who wants to come out and play. I have come to realize that I can’t depend on my instincts when it comes eating. I am what Dr. Muse classifies as a Satiety Type 4. I am missing 2 of the 3 key satiety signals that allow individuals to feel satisfied for many hours after eating. Because I do get the nausea signal, I rarely allow myself to eat enough food to trigger the nausea in one sitting. The problem is that I love to eat, and so I have become a chronic snacker, starting even at a very young age. The realization that I would never stop having a weight problem was probably the most revealing thing I learned while on my weight loss journey. I was in complete denial about the amount of food I was consuming in a given day. It did not matter that I had already consumed enough calories to meet my caloric needs for the entire day, before lunch. When it was lunchtime, I would always go and keep eating. Learning how to only eat only when I’m actually hungry is still a challenge. I still default to my 3 questions that I ask myself if I’m considering eating something: #1 Are you hungry? #2 Is your stomach growling? and #3 Are you hungry enough to drink your shake? With the help of some major behavior modification, and Phentermine, I have been able to maintain the weight loss achieved thus far for 2 years. I no longer feel hopeless. I have accepted that this will never go away, and most importantly, I can’t do this by myself. I now realize that in order to maintain my weight, I will need to discover a new “normal,” which includes watching what I eat, and taking a pill for the rest of my life.