It’s All Too Much

Have you ever felt like it’s just all too much? The meal planning. The exercise. The eating good foods. The talking about it. The self examination. The ups. The downs. The gains. The losses.

Is it too much? Is it all too much trouble?

I felt that way sometimes during my journey to lose 150 pounds. It all felt overwhelming at times. I’d get tired of saying no to well meaning friends and relatives. I’d be tired of eating good food and long for an entire bag of peanut M&M’s. I’d get bored with exercising six days a week and long to sit on the couch and stuff my face with tortilla chips smothered in cheddar cheese. I had days like that where I felt like it was just all too much work.

But in spite of all the work and effort losing weight and getting healthy took, I never once gave up. Why not? Because it wasn’t too much work when I compared the work I was putting into getting healthy to the work it took to be obese. Here’s what I mean.

It was work to:

  • climb stairs
  • walk to my mailbox
  • find clothes that fit (not even flattering, just fit)
  • keep up with my personal hygiene
  • get out of bed
  • keep up with my children
  • climb in and out of the car
  • tie my shoes
  • put on pantyhose
  • complete tasks on time
  • lift heavy objects
  • feel good about myself
  • look people in the eye
  • go into new situations
  • visit old friends
  • take long car trips
  • fly on airplanes

Those things were work. Weight loss was easy compared to that list. I realized when I got burned out from the effort of getting healthy that this little bit of effort to plan my meals was a lot easier than walking up stairs. I understood that choosing not to eat the M&M’s was easier than reuniting with old friends who didn’t know I had gotten fat. And I knew that exercising now would be easier than having to use a wheelchair if I kept getting fatter and fatter.

Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s not all too much. It’s just enough.

All your hard work and effort is just right. It’s the perfect way to put the work it takes being overweight behind you, shed your fat suit, and move into the place of health and healing.  So I’d encourage you that if you start to get frustrated and fed up with counting points, or planning healthy meals, or exercising every day to remember how much work it takes to be overweight. What’s really harder?  Diane

41 thoughts on “It’s All Too Much

  1. Yum Yucky says:

    Initially, I put way too much pressure on myself, especially to exercise. It became my first priority, no matter what. And that is not ideal with 4 children.

    My goals were good, but my kamikazie approach was terrible. I didn’t have any balance in my life, I was tired all the time from exercising too much and not eating enough to refuel. This led to more stress and chaos in my home.

    That’s why it was too much for me (in a bad, bad way). Took me a year to get it right. But I did.
    .-= Yum Yucky´s last blog ..Fitness Felon: Bobby "Baby Cakes" O’Neal =-.

  2. Cindy says:

    This is an excellent reminder, Diane! I can remember when I was over 200 pounds sitting on the bed exhausted just from having a shower and getting dressed! I do NOT want to go back there!

    Even when I don’t post a comment I am here reading EVERY morning. A lot of mornings I read your older posts while on the treadmill and the time flies by!

    Hugs & love,
    AKA Dayhiker

  3. vickie says:

    I have always thought that the amount of THINKING that this all takes (in the beginning) is a kind way of distracting US from food. No matter what the food plan/approach – in the beginning it is just plain work – and it helps make the time go quicker – and keeps us safe (from ourselves).

    When I first started – I was not able to do efficient exercise. I didn’t know how to have my brain tell each body part to move. And I spent a lot of time in yoga and pilates classes and walking. And at that time I probably wasn’t burning many calories – mostly what I was doing was learning how to move and keeping myself out of the kitchen and away from drive thru.

    I think that as time goes on and we learn, then the amount of time required goes down – we learn to be more efficient.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Last 20 pounds series – How the pounds are coming off now – it appears to be "evenly" =-.

  4. vickie says:

    And what you wrote is very true. I didn’t realize how hard all that extra weight was on my body until it was gone. At the time it was just the norm and I didn’t realize how many of my health problems were caused by the excess weight. As it came off there were still a few problems left – but then I was able to identify them and figure out how to fix them. In the beginning they were so inter-linked that it was too hard.

    Even down to the last 20, as it has come off, I have been amazed at the differences.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..Last 20 pounds series – How the pounds are coming off now – it appears to be "evenly" =-.

  5. Sara N. says:

    This is 100% true. And you write it in a way that I’ve never really thought about before because I always thought that losing weight was hard. It’s hard, but not as hard as being obese that’s for sure.

    You’ve once again given me something really good to think about.

  6. Monica says:

    I know I say it all the time, but I love this post. It’s so true that it easier to live life at a healthy weight then it is to live life fat. I just have a hard time really staying focused on the weight loss and effort. Slipping back into old habits is something I’m guilty of.

    Will you write on that? Why we slip back into old habits when we KNOW that’s not that we even want to do?

  7. Susan says:

    Oh, I LOVE this post Diane!! One of my pet peeves is when people say they’re “working hard to lose weight.” If weight loss is something you want to maintain for the rest of your life, then you should make sure you don’t have to work hard for it! Otherwise, you’re likely to gain it back once you stop that hard work. Personally, I think it should be just enough, and more importantly, enjoyable!! I love my healthy foods and near-daily workouts. I would never trade them in for my old lifestyle…
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Seasonal Fare =-.

  8. Joanna Sutter says:

    Weight loss isnt’ easy, but it’s worth it!

    And once you start making small steps to food and lifestyle changes they become a part of who you are.

    The leaner and stronger I am the more confident, the more alive, the more energetic I become. I wouldn’t change that for the world!
    .-= Joanna Sutter´s last blog ..Party flavors =-.

  9. Ness says:

    Hi Diane,

    When I read your post i can’t immagine that you were obese once. sometimes if the scale lean igher then 130 lbs after a vacation or bad period where i didnt exercise and ate bad food…i feel i want to avoid people and not do anything with anyone. So i am sure i understand the feeling when u were obese. How that must have felt!!!I am sure being healthy is much easier, you feel good and when you eat good somehow u have more energy and more happiness when you feel thin. Great post.

  10. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    You said it all! Nothing feels as good as healthy!

    I was never obese, just overweight so I still could do sports & things like that BUT the mental was so tough on me! Getting past how horrible I felt about myself makes it all worth while. Yes, I still have strides to make & yes, there are days when I just don’t want to do it BUT the payoff is always good to me & that is what keeps me motivated.. staying fit & healthy is better than down & out! Diane, got to say, you are amazing with how far you have come!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 51´s last blog ..Healthy Snacking =-.

  11. Marcelle says:

    Sometimes those thoughts creep into my head…*Just eat* but I push them aside as I know how terrible I’ll feel should I give in to it.
    I never want to go there again…never…and will do whatever it takes…its so worth being healthy!
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Last Few Days Of Holiday =-.

  12. Robin says:

    It’s easy not to eat badly for me, for the most part. The tough part is the extra effort. The getting to the gym. The getting in the extra veggies…and I love veggies. The protein in each meal. It’s the extra little things that I can’t even seem to remember. Eating good food is easy, it’s the stuff that so far isn’t just natural to me that’s hard.
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..She’s Hiding Here Somewhere =-.

  13. Amy says:

    Thank you for pointing this out! It is so easy to focus on how hard it is to follow a healthy eating and exercise program, but you are so right, the flip side is hard too! I will try to remember this next time I feel frustrated and discouraged (like right now with a sick child).
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Catching up =-.

  14. Leah says:

    Very good reminder! It is easy to feel overwhelmed or want to just settle and be lazy.

    Like one of your items on the list said putting hose on can be hard when heavy. I know that recently I realized it would be pantyhose time again (I’m a dresses with sandals girl for church in warmer weather) and it’s so hard to wear it when I’m heavy. I look forward to shrinking and finding it easier to wear hose.

    Thanks again for a great post. 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..I’m Still Scared Sometimes =-.

  15. Michelle says:

    Wow, Diane. Great post! You are right. It is hard work being overweight! Just getting into my jeans can be a tough job some days! And I have been avoiding a couple of friends because I have gained so much weight. Thanks so much for motivating me to get on my treadmill tonight. I am doing Weight Watchers (with little success so far, but I’m going to keep going!) but I need to start exercising too. Thanks again for the posts. Your blog is wonderful. I also listened to your interview with Sean. Wonderful and motivating!

  16. brenda says:

    What an eye opener! I forgot all the hard work it took when I was obese; tying the shoes was one of the worst things! It wasn’t easy taking a deep breath and trying to SEE what I was doing. One of the lightbulbs that made me realize I had to do something was when my sons teacher wanted to see me and I had to climb a flight (yes, just 1 flight) of stairs the the second story and I was so out of breath (and trying not to seem like I was)….I had forgot those little things.
    .-= brenda´s last blog ..More reason to love blueberries =-.

  17. Janet says:

    I have certainly experienced that feeling in the past, usually not during weight loss because that is full of those weight loss, “highs”… but when I hit maintenance. That feeling that it’s just not fair that I have to go on depriving myself forever, so I just give up. I’ve even managed to convince myself that I wasn’t “meant to be thin”… right before I go on to gain all my weight back! This time feels a little different though, I don’t feel deprived, I still feel good. I am paying more attention to making sure I continue to feel good about the journey…
    .-= Janet´s last blog ..Day 149 – One Month Mainteversary =-.

  18. Laura says:

    I can relate to every single one of those bullet points because that is where I am right now and I feel so tired all the time. Dieting has always felt like a full time job to me, one more thing I have to constantly be focusing on in every aspect (fat, calories, carbs, exercise, too little too much). In the past i likened it to a demanding child that forced you to give it ALL of your attention or it would punish you, or so it seems.

    Yet then when I read your post it put it all into perspective so well once again. Wow. I think I’m going to print this post out to help remind myself just how hard it is remaining obese in hopes of helping me make the right moves in the right direction.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Our Own Little Miracle =-.

  19. suzanne says:

    It’s true, you have to see the end result! And that makes it all worthwhile. I find the closer i get to goal these things are definitely getting easier. Long walk now equal enjoyment not the torture that they used to etc..
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..Thanksgiving update =-.

  20. Tresa says:

    Thanks Diane for the reminders of why I am going to stick with my weight loss plan. I even printed this off and will keep it with me at all times for when tempted to give up!

  21. Hadley says:

    I loved this post! As hard as this journey sometimes is, it’s so much easier, and so much better than the alternative. This is going to be a great thing to remember on the tough days.
    .-= Hadley´s last blog ..The First 100 Days =-.

  22. Tammy says:

    Great perspective Diane…I often tell myself:

    Being fat is hard
    Losing weight is hard
    Choose your hard

    You are correct…losing the weight IS easier than off of those things you listed. After last night’s post, I really need to continuously remind myself of this. Thank you. 🙂
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Ying Yang =-.

  23. DownsizingDoc says:

    Diane – Thanks for the comment on my blog – You are such a great source of inspiration that you just go ahead and use all the words you want! And I’m looking forward to a post from you on the subject on my post.

    Just a quick comment as my lunch hour is over – will swing back and read your post tonight.
    .-= DownsizingDoc´s last blog ..Busy, Struggling, and Hot 100 Goals =-.

  24. Fran says:

    Good post!

    I did stop counting calories because that really was too much. It made me cranky and when I stopped I started losing weight.

    Right now I’m trying to exercise 5 times a week. I don’t always feel like it but I always remember why I’m doing it: because Dutch girl wants to get healthy. I also know that once I’ve reached my goal weight I still have to exercise at least 4 times a week. So I’d better make it a normal part of my life instead of something with a deadline.
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..A day in my life: Tuesday October 13th 2009 =-.

  25. Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie) says:

    Excellent post, as usual, Diane 😉

    In my former life, I too had that skewed perception of reality — The idea that it was “easier to hit the drive-thru than prepare my meals..” that it was “easier to NOT be accountable to myself by journaling my foods and counting calories…” that it was “easier to just roll over and hit the snooze for the eleventeenth time, than to go to the gym and workout for an hour before work…”

    I felt justified in my “poor-me attitude” and bad behavior because, after all, I was singled out for this horrible life with a bad metabolism and fibromyalgia! It wasn’t *my fault* I couldn’t lose weight. It wasn’t *my fault* I craved sugar, yeast, caffeine and white flour. It was downright unfair that I was so cursed.

    Why me? Why did I have such oppressive limitations? Why couldn’t I be “free” to live like “everyone else?” I guess I found the flaw in THAT rationalization, didn’t I?

    Now that I am fit and slim, I understand that I spent all of my adult life living in a self-imposed prison. I wasn’t free at all — that was the dichotemy. I just continued to add brick after brick to my cell until I found myself in a solitary confinement of self-loathing and despair.

    Living a healthy “after life” takes work. I think we’ve all learned that, but we need to be reminded that everything worth having is worth working for, and nothing comes free.

    I guess there really is no such thing as a free lunch — not even FAT-free is truly free, right? 😉

    Thank you for shining a big old spotlight on this subject; it just confirms what I already figured out: I’m not alone in this battle, and that makes it a whole lot easier to fight!
    .-= Cari (aka Gastric Bypass Barbie)´s last blog ..The Love of Costco is the Root of All Evil =-.

  26. Kat says:

    This was a really thought provoking post Diane. I read it earlier and had to think about it a bit. I thought about all of the energy I have wasted on my obesity, the worrying, the shame, the lack of self love, etc. It really is worth it to do all of the things I need to do to get the weight off. Thank you Diane. I learn so much from you and I really appreciate your supportive comments on my blog.

  27. m i c h e l l e says:

    What a wonderful reminder Diane!

    So many mornings I wake up thinking, “Another day of calorie counting, fitting in exercise, resisting temptation … oh, will I ever just get to live normally??!” and I really need to wake up and think, “Another day I don’t have to struggle to fit into my clothes, feel exhausted from plummeting blood sugar levels, feel embarrassed to see friends …”


  28. Lori says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I think that when I was even heavier than what I am now, I had even bigger “battles” with my emotions and self. There was a lot of “hate” involved, and when I’m eating healthy and exercising regularly I do have better self-esteem.

  29. Learning to be less says:

    Wow! Spectacular post. I see those old pics of you and you are such a different person now. Do you feel totally different? Dumb question, I know. How do you lose that weight and not feel completely different?

    How did you pick a goal weight?

  30. Lola says:

    I must be feeling hormonal today because I read this and i swear, I want to cry. I have been feeling so overwhelmed with work, kids, exercise, hubby’s business, bills, finances, food, AAHHHH. I just want to scream and not have to think so much about what we are going to eat or just grab something from a drive through because I don’t feel like cooking.

    But you are right, this would all be so much harder if I kept getting fatter and fatter. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    Thanks for the post.
    .-= Lola´s last blog ..Work =-.

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