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1997 Year-in-Review

April 1997: (Weight: 210 lbs)
I found Gail's Weight Loss Group in March of '97, but didn't actually start attempting my own journal until the month of April. It was my very first attempt at creating a web page. As you may have read in my introduction page, by now I had already had one knee surgery and was preparing for a second knee surgery at the end of the month. My weight at this time had creeped from 136 in Oct '96 to 160 lbs in Dec '96. After my move to CA in January, my weight continued to increase about 10 lbs per month leaving me at 210 lbs when I joined Gail's Weight Loss Group. In a mere 7 months since my knee injury I had gained 74 lbs. My first month with Gail's group didn't bring me much luck. I had my 2nd knee surgery in mid April and was pretty much immobilized the rest of the month.

May 1997: (Weight: 225 lbs)
This was my weight about 3 weeks after my surgery when I had my staples pulled out. I began physical therapy, but still couldn't do much in the way of aerobic exercise. I continued on the cortizone injections and prednisone. The weight just simply kept piling on. I was eating between 1200-1500 calories a day and still gaining 2-3 lbs a week. My depression continued; I had no idea how this weight could ever come off. The harder I tried, the further I seemed to slip from my program. By the end of May, I had topped 230 lbs. I had managed for the last 7 months to hold the weight gain to a minimum of 10 lbs, but this month it was only a 5 lb increase. It didn't raise my spirits though, for I had increased 15 lbs the month before.

June 1997: (Weight: 230 lbs)
This was a hard month for me; my family came to visit from Texas for two weeks. The last time I had seen my family, I had already put on about 30 lbs after reaching my goal weight, but I wasn't really showing the extra weight much. When my parents and sister got off the plane, they looked right passed me, not even recognizing me. My family was so great to not even comment on 70 extra lbs I had since I last saw them 6 months before, but I felt horrible. Ashamed to even face my own family. I had managed to lose 5 lbs the week before they came, by starving myself for almost a week. We had a great visit, but the two weeks they were here we ate everything under the sun. I finished off the month gaining those 5 lbs back, plus a few extra. I just couldn't understand what was happening to me. I had joined a very expensive health club and was going almost every day walking 3 miles on the treadmill, doing a bit of circuit training, and swimming in the pool. Seeing the scale go up did not help my motivation one bit.

July 1997: (Weight: 238 lbs)
A total of 109 lb increase in 9 months. I didn't even gain that much when I was pregnant with my daughter!! I kept thinking it was physically impossible to put on that type of weight so fast. I made an appointment with an Endocrinologist. This is someone who specializes in glandular and metabolic disorders. They ran a battery of tests; blood, urine, and stool samples, cardial and pulmonary testing, and a whole list of others that I wasn't sure what they were looking for! According to the standard BMR (basal metabolic rate) formula, my BMR being completely sedentary should have been 1800 calories. I was gaining weight steadily at a rate of 2-3 lbs per week on 1500 calories. By their calculations my actual BMR was between 500-800 calories per day. The first thing the doctor did was take me off all my steroid medications as well as my depoprovera shot (hormonal birthcontrol). He warned me that it could be almost a year after going off the medications until they were completely out of my system. The doctor also told me to stay away from the phen-fen and very low calorie diets until my metabolism could stabilize a bit. The doctor told me to expect that the weight gain might continue, but with continued exercise and watching the type of foods I ate, it would eventually change. It was interesting to find out how little science actually knows about metabolism. It is one of the medical fields least understood disorder. Eventually they hope to synthetically create a chemical that can alter the metabolism, but right now, there really is no magic pill that can do that. By the middle of July I was up to 244 lbs. I started increasing my exercise and water intake and managed to get down to 239 lbs so I was at least able to say I only had a one pound gain for this month. Technically, it was a 6 lb gain with a 5 lb loss, but I chose to be happy that at least those 6 lbs didn't stay on this month!

August 1997: (Weight: 239 lbs)
August ended up being my "real" sucessful month of being able to actually lose weight. I managed to get as low as 229 lbs by the end of the month; which I hadn't seen in 3 1/2 months. I was starting to have some problems with my relationship with Pat. My depression had continued since moving here, even losing the 10 lbs just didn't seem like enough to pull me out of my blue funk. As hard as I was trying, it just wasn't good enough. I wanted my "old" life back, the way I felt at 135 lbs in a size 7. I was still almost 100 lbs over weight and still above my highest starting weight before I had successfully lost 84 lbs the year before. I was still feeling very insecure about myself. I started thinking there was no way Pat could ever be happy with me looking like this. We were arguing more and more and this female friend of his was really starting to get on my nerves. I had these vibes that she was interested in him as more than a friend and it just started eating away at me. I kept thinking to myself "Why wouldn't he want someone thinner than me?" Even though Pat never gave me any indication that he was interested in her or anyone else besides me, all I could think is "why SHOULDN'T he want someone else?" I decided to take a trip to visit my family in Texas over Labor Day weekend to get away and let the tension around here diffuse a bit.

September 1997: (Weight 229 lbs)
September started out really good with my trip to Dallas, but after I got back I just couldn't seem to get back on track. My family has always "celebrated" every possible occasion with food or going out to eat at special places; this trip was nothing different. Lots of food and laughter, but it made me feel good to be around my family. When I returned to California my exercise dwindled to nothing and since I had just started a new job, fast food at lunch became a daily habit. I didn't even weigh myself the whole month so I don't have any numbers to even give you for this month.

October 1997: (Weight: ??? lbs)
Again here was another month that I just did not bother to even check my diet progress. It was a stressful month with having to change locations and departments after a month of getting settled in, and just did not like the new position I was placed. By the end of the month I had had it and quit my job because I was so unhappy. I think my weight was starting to creep back up again, but was so miserable I just couldn't even bring myself to see the actual numbers on the scale.

November 1997: (Weight: 250 lbs)
Yup, that was the result of my two month absence from weighing myself. I couldn't believe it. The halfway mark to 300 lbs. This month found it really hard to be thankful for much. I was 30 lbs above my all time high weight. I tried Atkin's diet since Gail had such good results from it, I managed to stay on it for 2 days straight and then something would come up and I'd blow it..again. And again, and again. The holidays were coming up and I knew that this was just going to get harder and harder. At the end of the month I bought the "Carbohydrate Addicts Diet" book and liked what I read. Atkins just seemed too restrictive to me, CAD sounded like something I could handle better.

December 1997: (Weight 250 lbs)
I lost and gained the same 2 lbs about 3 times in November. At least I started December at the same weight as November. I started CAD the first week of December and lost 4 lbs. It seemed like maybe I had found the right plan for me. The second week in Dec, I bought a 5 quart container of vanilla ice cream to have with my reward meal every night. BAAAAAAAAAAAAD idea. Every night I woke up at least 2-3 times and had a bowl of ice cream. I'd come to the conclusion that ice cream and Reese's peanut butter cups were two things that I just could NOT have in the house. Moderation was not even a consideration where those two foods are concerned. I'm not sure ice cream and candy bars should even be allowed to be called a food. They spell EVIL for me, nothing but trouble. As the Christmas holiday grew closer, my binges seemed to grow closer and closer and more frequent as well. They say the average person gains 8 lbs during the holidays...I beat that average by 5 lbs and gained 13 in just a month. New Years was just around the corner and I set my Resolutions once again. I was going to put $10 in a savings account for each pound I lost. By the end of my weight loss journey, I would have between $1300 and $1400 saved up for a much deserved new wardrobe that I planned to have once again. I started 1997 at 160 lbs and finished 1997 at 263...103 lbs heavier. The big question was, what could I do differently this time for success after I had already failed dozens of times in the last year?

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