An Australian research team studied people who had lost weight in an effort to understand some of these changes. A year after their initial weight loss:
- A hormone that suppresses hunger and increases metabolism – Leptin – was still lower than normal
- Ghrelin, nicknamed the “hunger hormone,” was about 20 percent higher
- Peptide YY, a hormone associated with hunger suppression was abnormally low
- Participants reported being much more hungry and preoccupied with food then they had prior to losing weight
A year after losing weight these people’s bodies were still biologically different than they had been prior to the weight loss attempt, desperately working to regain the weight – and participants had already regained about 30% of the weight they had lost. One of the study’s authors characterized it as “A coordinated defense mechanism with multiple components all directed toward making us put on weight.”
Okay, so I am down roughly 40 pounds. I bounce around a little, naturally. In fact, have you ever noticed how people talk about weight naturally going up and down (due to water weight, stress, what have you,) when they are losing weight, but once they hit goal they are supposed to stay at that weight forever and ever, amen? As if once you hit that magic number, the scale is never supposed to move up or down from that. Well, guess what? It does.
My goal weight is between 131 and 135. I usually hover between 132 and 135, but I’ve been up and down and all around. However, I don’t care what all these articles say,
I AM NOT GOING BACK.
Do you hear me? I have cut up my Lane Bryant credit card! I donated, sold and gave away my entire wardrobe. I don’t care what it takes, I will not regain that weight back.
Now, I might gain muscle. I’m having a whole lot of fun weight training and building up my strength, and if the size of my shoulders and the number on the scale go up together, I’m all for it. But, that is not regaining my old weight – that’s putting on bad-assery. I’m all about being more of a bad ass.
I’m not saying it is going to be easy. I’ve been in “maintenance mode” since June or so, and I’ve had some ups and downs. Nonetheless, I don’t care what it takes – if I have to constantly up my game, so be it. I’ll do it.
Let me point out that my feelings have nothing to do with anyone else’s weight. There are many, many women out there who are heavier than me who are happy, tough, strong, fit, content, glorious and more. I celebrate them and their awesomeness. This is about me, and I know how different I feel today than I did a year ago. I have more energy, I’m stronger, I have more confidence and I am happier. I’m holding on to that, no matter what the scientists say.
Photo credit: jaqian on flickr