All or nothing.
It's an attitude that many folks in North America have, especially when it comes to weight loss. It's why so many of us fail at losing weight and even more so at keeping it off. We've all been there at the beginning, gung ho attitude, strict as hell with our diets and pushing pushing pushing our limits in the gym. How long does that usually last? A week? Two? Maybe a month? You do so well, pushing yourself, getting used to being uncomfortable at the gym, eating perfectly healthily and counting those calories, carbs and fats. The weight just melts off you as it is wont to do at the beginning of any weight loss regimen.
And then something happens.
Maybe its a plateau, maybe its a birthday party, or just a weekend at the cottage or a dinner out. You eat way too much, or haven't worked out and you ditch the diet or workout regimen and sliiiiiiiiiiide all the way back into despair and Twinkies. The scale begins its inevitable creep back up, up, up and your self esteem sinks down, down, down. The feelings of failure and ineptitude just wash over you and you realize that once more, you've failed.
I've been guilty of this more often than not.
When I started on this journey, I just gave-er. I was all into it, and was so strict with my diet and of course the pounds seemed to melt off. Then I hit a plateau after I had lost 20lbs. I felt crushed. I knew a plateau would occur, I just didn't think it would happen so quickly considering how much weight I had to lose yet. I was furious with my body thinking "How DARE you plateau on me so soon! We have SOOO much to lose, and here you are working against me already?!" And of course, I was furious with myself. I had begun to slide a bit on my diet, eating a bit more than I should...and that bit more was always of something sweet and totally not healthy.
As most of you know, actually probably all of you since you most likely got here through facebook, I post about my losses and not losses on facebook. Its a bit of an accountability thing, but even more so for the cheering squad I have in my corner. Honestly, I couldn't have stuck with this without all your support...it helps to keep me focussed and on target, so Thank You.
Anyways, I had posted that I was disappointed with my plateau and got so many responses telling me to stay focused and to not give up. There were also a few of you who reminded me that I had just dropped 20lbs off my body and well, honestly, my body needed some time to adjust to that. It made sense, especially when my partner, Dave, showed me a picture online that depicted just how much 10lbs of fat was. Its quite a bit...and I had just lost two of them! I stuck on target, and then started losing weight again just a bit more slowly than before. Instead of 4-5lbs a week, I was dropping a modest but healthy 2lbs. Thats to say nothing of the crazy amount of muscle I had shredded on my bod.
I also started being a bit more forgiving with myself. If I had a bad day calorie wise, I didn't give up. I just started looking forward, never back. A bad day is a bad day and we all have those. I'm allowed to slip, I'm allowed to mess up, and when I realize and acknowledge that I have done so, I dig in my heels and start climbing back up. If there's one thing I've learned about myself, its that I'm extremely tenacious.
This time its different.
I know I can't keep eating the way I was eating. Its not healthy nor is it sustainable. I've also realized that I *can* have that piece of cake or french fry. I just can't eat as much as I sometimes would like to. That's okay. There's also a wealth of different kinds of foods out there. I'm pretty adventurous (except where seafood is concerned) so I'll try almost anything once. Realizing how my food affects the functions of my body has been my biggest step forward. An only slightly smaller one is discovering a joy of exercise. The more I can do, the better I feel.
I can feel the cold wind against my face as I whiz down the slopes on a snowboard already!
Coming up next time....
...dealing with the realization that I'm a Compulsive Overeater, and my relationship with food.