Yo-Yo No Mo’

My name is Karen and I am a (reforming) yo-yo dieter.  And today is National Yo-Yo Day.  Really.  There is such a thing.

In honor of this dubious holiday, I thought I’d put on my (over) thinking cap and reflect back on my years of weight ups and downs and my vast experience as a serial dieter who has spent way too much time stuck on this crazy rollercoaster ride.

But then I changed my mind.  As I looked back at the stats (I’d at some point compiled) that show my weight each January since 1999.  As I stared at the color-coded chart, courtesy of my husband, that clearly illustrated the many jagged gains and losses for the past decade.  It doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.  My weight has gone up.  My weight has gone down.  And up.  And down.  Over and over and over again.  Sometimes up higher or down lower; sometimes varied by a much lesser amount.  But rarely stable for any long period of time.

I can see the dip that reflects my successful stint on Weight Watchers when I reached “lifetime.”  I can see the uptick that followed, when I stopped going and stopped counting points and stopped following the plan.  I can see the dip when I first tried The South Beach Diet.  And the subsequent regain when I struggled failed to maintain.  And the dips the subsequent two or three (or more) times on South Beach.  (Always great for losing; rarely, for me, as with anything, great for maintaining.)

I can see a trend that in most years I, like so many of you, gradually lost beginning in January with new resolutions firmly in place.  And then, unlike so many of you, reversed that trend beginning late summer as I once again experienced the slippery slope of regain through the fall and into the holiday eating season.

I was consistent in my inconsistency.

Ah, the irony that my father, in his youth, was an actual yo-yo champion.  Clearly I am a yo-yo champion of a different sort.

And, yes, as some of you know, even in the past (almost) two and a half years of blogging (about what I thought would be the end to this insanity), I have experienced more downs and ups.  But, I am happy that I can at least say that the ups have been less and less and less.

And now my yo-yo bounces by only a few pounds.  Which, if I am being honest with myself, isn’t a yo-yo at all but is, dare I say it, normal.

I’d like to declare that my yo-yo days are over.  I think they are.  Really, I do.  Because I can also say that I think I have FINALLY learned enough from my many years of “dieting” and regaining that I can rewrite my script going forward.  What have I learned? (You may ask.)  Well, that’s a long post for another day.  But the bottom-line is…  that if I eat what I used to eat… I will weigh what I used to weigh.  And no “weigh” do I want to do that again!

Photo credit: [TammieKaye]

Side note:  I’m in Pennsylvania all week, helping my son move into his new apartment.  (Yes, my third road trip in as many months.)  Not sure how much internet access I’ll have so you probably won’t see me around the blogworld.  But I couldn’t resist setting this post up in advance; it’s not often one has such a unique holiday to celebrate:)



Filed under dieting, history (my past)

18 responses to “Yo-Yo No Mo’

  1. Phooey! I wanted to see the chart!

    How much did you used to yo-yo before you implemented operation noyoyo?

    I think your bottom line sez it all. Sometimes I try to convince myself that I can eat all I want and not gain weight. There is virtue in your daily reporting and graphing your weight.

    Mr. Munchberry would love to provide a graphic depiction of my weight. I would of course request it be presented to me in the form of a pie chart.

  2. Miz

    now you have me ruminating on the notion you were CONSISTENT IN YER INCONSISTENCY…

  3. I’d like to think that over the past year plus some, I’ve had a part in encouraging you along the way. I know you’ve certainly been that for me. Pretty neat that I’m reaching goal about the same time you are declaring victory over yo-yoing (like my new word??). Now we can begin a different sort of encouragement as we learn to STAY in these new phases.

  4. I guess the key is for the ups and downs of the yo-yo to get smaller and smaller over time. Since I lost weight 4 years ago I’ve had some yo-yo-ing too.

    I had a trainer help me with the initial weight loss. Since then it’s been an ongoing process on my own to refine how I need to eat to “maintain”. I think a bit of yo-yo is how I am learning.

    I’ve since had definitive proof that I race better when I am leaner so now the pressure is on me to stay lean for that. It’s not easy but helps to have a clear reason for it. Post-race season is tough then especially with the holidays. I expect some “yo”

  5. Ewa

    It is quite a journey, isn’t it? To stay lean takes a lot of discipline, which I lack. 😦
    I am curious as to what you have learned so write your next post soon.

  6. Congratulations!! I very much agree that they key is for the gains to become smaller over time, not to say, “I will stay at XXX and never gain another ounce.” For me it’s like saying, “I’ll never binge eat again.” Instead, I know that time and awareness will take care of it.

  7. Hey, national yo-yo day just happens to be my birthday…haha. 🙂 I’m a closet yo-yo’er (?) when it comes to weight gain although I don’t really go on diets. It’s just the darned sweets (particularly cake). have a great time in PA!

  8. I agree with Karen A. Trying to stay at one precise weight is maddening. Good for you for getting it under control!

  9. I can hear your peace with food and games (yoyoing) loud and clear. This post reminds me a little of a recent one by Roni – about eschewing numbers (on the scale, calories, carbs, meals…) in favor of sanity. How I hope to be on that same path!

  10. You’re dad was a yo-yo champ? That’s great… in the right kind of yo’yo way. I think everyone one spends years going up and down, I think it’s just about minimizing the the amount you go up and down… and you got that! To be perfectly one size the rest of your life is impossible because perfection is impossible!

  11. Your dad was awesome! (I have 98.6 on my IPod 🙂 ).

    Hooray on the nomoyoyo. It is normal. I think accepting that takes away the excuse that you’ve blown it and might as well continue to overeat. Instead you eat a bit more here and thus eat a bit less there.

  12. Hi Karen! Love this post & love the learning thru the years! Yes, it is a journey & for me, it always will be because my life & I have changed as well. I saw a quote to day that reminded me of your last statement. It said: You control what you body looks like.

    HUGS! I hope life & the job & all that are treating you well!!!

  13. Congrats on your success Karen! There really isn’t anything easy about this journey when you get right down to it. It’s hard work and maintaining is so difficult for some of us. But at least we don’t give up and we keep trying new things in an attempt to have success.

    I have a record of my weight off and on over the past 6 years or so. You can see what happens when I was under a lot of stress – yes, that would be weight gain. Yo – yo dieting over and over again.

    Keep on keepin on.

  14. That sounds very normal to me. I was smiling as I read your post.

    Another road trip? Have fun!

  15. Karen, I love that you have put the yo-yoing behind you and you sound so resolute – it’s great! Also pragmatic (like the ‘eat less, move more’ mantra!).

    Hope the move goes well!


  16. Jan

    For you to declare the end of yo-yo’ing – I mean, call yourself “normal” – wow! Congratulations!

    I remember my Mom being unhappy with her weight and the ups and downs until the very day that she died. No weigh/way do I want to follow her in footsteps. My goal is to reach a certain waist size and hold it, scale be damned.

  17. that if I eat what I used to eat… I will weigh what I used to weigh

    I like that!

  18. Yep, I would say you licked this one, too. Good for you! So now you are the new normal…

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