A while back, I asked if anyone had questions for me. I was searching for something to write about as I’m suffering from a bout of writers block and immediately wanted to respond to this question:
I have been reading your blog about a month now and have felt very inspired. My journey is very similar but I am just getting started on a hopeful 175 pound weight loss. I am about a couple months in, and beginning to see the weight loss stall and come off SLOW, if at all. I really fight the just cave in for this meal/day and start again tomorrow or next week. I have the will power and the commitment to fight this feeling and not give in like I have SO many times before. I hate this feeling and this has been my cycle in the past that I couldn’t ever get out of.
My question is this, have you had these moments and what got you through them?
I want to hug Jennifer right now because I’m feeling exactly as she is feeling right now. I’ve been strong the past several weeks as the scale has not budged. Same weight, every week. Today, I weighed in and was up 5 pounds. 5 pounds! Panic set in. Cue the voices in my head:
- OMG, how could you let this happen?
- Why are you so lazy?
- You’re never going to finish losing this weight
- Look, it’s just all a joke- you’ve gained weight.
- You can’t do this – throw in the towel!
- You are so gross.
Typing those things out now make me feel ridiculous, because they were so fiercely negative and knee-jerk.
In boxing, you’re supposed to keep your stance and protect your face. You have to be agile and quick to adjust. The same is true for a long-term weight loss journey.
The first few weeks of a stall are like weak jabs that knock you around a little, but don’t deter you. You get your hands back in position and keep fighting.
The next couple of weeks are more challenging. You start to get a little loose and sloppy. Your mind tricks you into believing that you can still win even if your defense is down a little.
After that, it’s blow-by-blow, with each meal or workout time feeling like another round in the ring. After getting knocked down by the scale a few times, your weakened state falters even more, and your defense goes down. A jab (larger portions), uppercut (dessert), and cross (missed workouts) later and you’re down.
For people in the mind-set that Jennifer and I are in right now, we can make a choice. Do we jump back up before the count or lie there in defeat?
The difference between success and defeat can often be found in how well we rebound and how we protect ourselves against future punches.
Don’t get me wrong: this whole health/weight loss journey SHOULD NOT always be a fight. There are so many great days, weeks and months where it is pleasant, and dare I say, easy, to progress in. How soon we forget the easy-going, weight-dropping weeks as soon as we’re faced with adversity.
So today, my hands are back up and protecting my face. I don’t know if boxers examine their tape as sports teams do, but I hit the “rewind” on the past 2 weeks to see where I was faltering.
- Workout frequency went from average 5 days/week to 3 days/week
- Calorie creep through a regular “snack” of Starbucks banana nut loaf, which I mistakenly had thought was 290 calories versus the nearly 500 it is. Not that it was good before – white flour and refined sugar are never a good combo for me.
- Calorie creep through less measuring of portions and grabbing nibbles of things here and there: a bite size candy bar from the bowls at work; a handful of tortilla chips from my husbands snacking pile; beer enjoyed at FitBloggin’ local…
My game plan:
- Fully stocked fridge with awesome fresh food
- Pre-prepared lunches for 3 days in advance
- Orthopedist appointment to check out my ankle (which has been an excuse for not doing higher impact activities)
- 1.5 liter bottle of water that travels with me everywhere
- Tightly scheduled days that will hopefully eliminate the “no time to workout” excuse
- Logging all my food (here’s today’s entry)
- Sitting down at the table without distractions for each meal (I was eating on the sofa, tweeting, reading, etc and mindlessly going through meals)
- Mindfulness: Knowing that I CAN do this and that I WILL do this. Look back at previous success and remember that you made it happen
- Continue looking for a Registered Dietician to see if I can refine my eating habits and choices
- Continue my Bikram yoga
- Work on new strength training program
- In bed by 10pm every night
I’m not going to get down on myself or get frustrated. I have the tools, and it’s up to me to use them in a way that will allow me to win.
I hope this helps, Jennifer!