Yo Yo "Moi"

There's two sides to every story...This is mine

There is much to say about yo-yo diets; the ups and downs on the scale are not always negative.

What! Positive things can be said about weight gain? – hard to believe, you must be thinking she must be crazy for thinking that positives are associated with gaining back the weight.

I want to share with you some thoughts about weight loss and weight gain. First let’s talk about the losses; of course I will speak about my own journey which I call the Yo Yo “Moi”

From 2007-2008 I lost over 70 lbs by following #Weightwatchers, it was a great feeling to get on the scale every week and see it going down and down and down. I also joined Curves and eventually ended up getting a personal trainer and following a strict diet and exercise routine to keep losing the weight and gain muscle.

The truth is after a big weight loss you don’t miraculously look like a model and I was left with a panel dangling uncomfortably at the bottom of my abdomen. I underwent a #panniculectomy which is a procedure that works to remove the loose, hanging fat and skin that commonly develops after an individual has lost a significant amount of weight.

Following the surgery I was ecstatic to look in the mirror, they had me wrapped tightly with a body corset and I spent six weeks recovering. The excitement soon wore off when I developed complications due to my body’s reaction to trauma brought on by the auto-immune disorder I have called #antiphospholipid syndrome.

The biggest change after the surgery was the #gastrointestinal manifestations'.

It triggered food reactions and caused me to have trouble going for a bowel movement. I'm not sugar-coating this because I feel it's important to know that a huge weight loss can cause problems.

When I went back to the doctor, he said the surgery could not have caused these issues…I did not have them prior to the surgery? Only later did I research the auto-immune disorder and found that the issues I was having were due to my body’s response to the surgery.

My stomach never felt full again and my colon never felt empty. All of a sudden the food I was eating with Weight Watcher’s didn't agree with me. I saw a #Nutritionist and a #Naturopath both of whom advised me of a possible milk allergy and there was more... I had trouble digesting wheat, chicken and green vegetables. These were all the foods I was eating on #Weightwatchers so now what!

I slowly gained back the weight trying to find a balance with foods that would not cause the huge distress I was experiencing and suddenly I was up 40 lbs.

My mood changed drastically, needless to say I was discouraged that all the hard work I had done was in vain.

Anyone who has followed a diet can relate to the discouragement you feel when the weight comes back. Your clothes are too tight and people look at you differently instead of being amazed at the changes you made they try to avoid mentioning your weight gain.

In 2011 I tried again to lose weight, although looking back I never stopped trying I picked up all the products recommended by #Dr. Oz or magazines and I must say I got a bit obsessed with losing it. I ended losing about 20 lbs and once again I was thrilled but just as quickly as it went off it came back and the stomach and colon issues persisted.

By this point you are probably wondering why I referred to #yo-yo diets as not always being negative well guess what I am going to show you some positives and hopefully like me it will motivate you not to stop trying.

My clothes became too tight so I went shopping and picked up some new outfits that were more becoming (a reason to shop).
I've discovered, planned and invested in finding the key formula for me as opposed to store bought or fabricated diets that cater to masses rather than individuals.

My chest is bigger and way more voluptuous and I am making it the focal point of my attire when I go out.

I am warmer; losing a big amount of body fat can cause you to feel colder, at this time of year it's a nice feeling to feel warm.

I have something to focus on; I need to be preoccupied and if I was at my goal weight I wouldn't have anything to work on.

I get to meet, inspire and be inspired by others who face similar circumstances. It's a great topic of conversation.

Finding a formula that works for you and that is sustainable is the key not only to losing but keeping the weight off. Rushing to get the number down on the scale can have repercussions, your focus should be on enjoying life and finding things that give you the chance to have fun and exercise.

Having a goal to look at things positively whether you are up or down on the scale allows you to stop beating yourself up and It gives you an opportunity to try new things: Belly Dancing, Boxing, Salsa, Pilates, Yoga just to name a few. You can also discover new places and interests that you can walk or bike too within your city.

This morning I stopped to grab a coffee at #Second Cup and chatted with John (I see him every morning on my way to the subway) he sits by the front window just typing away on his laptop.

I mentioned my blog and discussed with him the title of today's post. John informed me of a Music Garden located on the Toronto Waterfront that was designed by internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, in collaboration with landscape architects from the City of Toronto's Parks and Recreation department. http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/thewaterfront/parks/musicgarden.cfm, it has been around for ten years and I had no idea it even existed.

It is a community gathering place and here is a link to a book explaining the process of designing it: https://torontoparksandtrees.org/music-garden.

One of my goals this year is rather than focusing on weight loss and weight gain (Yo Yo "Moi" I am going to look at adding balance, enlightenment, community interaction and fun to my life.

Let me know if you have experienced yo yo “moi” and if I've inspired you to do things differently

You Can Comment or read more of my stories at www.gailsforum.com