How I answer the question “What will you do if you gain all your weight back?”

Many people who lose weight through dieting end up gaining it back, like a yo-yo.

“What will you do if you gain all your weight back?”

That is a question that I’m sure many people who have lost a substantial amount of weight have been asked a time or two. I suppose it’s an innocent inquiry and not meant to cause any uneasiness, but it does… just a bit.

When I think of gaining back all 162 pounds of the weight I lost, a wave of anxiety rushes through my body in an instant. The thought of trying to maneuver my former 300-pound body around is scary, especially knowing that I’m 11 years older now. It was difficult before, I can’t imagine how it would feel today.

The other thought that instantly enters my mind is my health. At the current time I feel fabulous and have no health concerns. But if I gained back all my weight, I would be morbidly obese once again.

I have no desire to be a middle-aged, morbidly obese woman again. Why would I ever want to worry about increasing my risk of getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis or arthritis? I don’t want to increase my risk for any of those health issues… it’s extremely unsettling to think about, again.

The worst thought of all is the chance of death from obesity. I don’t like to think about it, but it happens; in fact, the death of a morbidly obese relative was the turning point in my life. When Shirley passed away in her early 40’s due to issues caused by her weight, it frightened me — a lot.

And then there are all the other aspects of my old life that I could never go back to: the embarrassment that I caused for each one of my family members, the inability to find clothes that fit, the low self-esteem that affected my entire outlook on life, the lack of energy and so much more. Do I want to return to that kind of life? Never!

In all honesty, I don’t ever want the thought of becoming morbidly obese to enter my mind again. I haven’t forgotten what the obese life feels like, and I doubt I ever will.

That is one of the primary reasons why I know I’m not going to gain all my weight back. The other reason is often surprising to many people. I know I’m not going to gain all my weight back because I lost my weight without dieting.

Diets had always made me gain weight; basically, dieting is why I became morbidly obese in the first place. The 162 pounds I lost was due to a change in my lifestyle. I did not dread the changes and I did not feel the restrictions that all diets seem to include. When I made the decision to start exercising, I knew that I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it. Walking was the only exercise I could do daily without too much effort and it allowed me to exercise anywhere, without embarrassment.

So if you happen to be one of those people who have asked me “What will you do if you gain all your weight back?” please understand my simple yet very sincere reply: “I won’t.” And, yes, I truly mean that!

Have you lost a lot of weight? How do you manage to keep it off?

Photo by Steve Kay

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