Sunday, March 28, 2010
Not too long ago I blogged about being in the doldrums and searching for my motivation. I shared the funny but true story about my husband helping to bring it back. The truth is, I DID spend time reading blogs, re-reading The Spark, and visiting friends pages and I really think it was a culmination of all those efforts that got me mentally back on track.
Now one thing I discovered back when I first started on my weight loss journey is that while making a commitment to yourself is an important first step, carrying on through with it can be quite another story. If only all it took was deciding you really want to be thin, we'd all be thin!
The first thing I did was get back on the scale. You know I ended my affair with the scale a while back and I found that I was using that as an excuse not to get back on it and face the proverbial music. However, there is a difference between sensible weighing in and a daily obsession with it.
Turns out my "little funk" and subsequent foray into the land of cheeseburgers, cheese nachos, and cheesecake cost me SEVEN POUNDS!
I swear, I can never figure out how it can take me seven WEEKS to lose seven pounds, but only TWO weeks to put them back on!
Next thing was to analyze my calories in and calories out. Obviously, cheeseburgers et al are NOT healthy choices. I didn't have to look too far to figure out that what I was eating was wrong. Yes, I understand the whole concept of moderation and not depriving yourself. BUT, I know me. There is no such thing as a few fries. I don't count out 15 tortilla chips and I certainly don't drizzle the cheese sauce - I ladle it on.
Where the analysis came in is WHY was I eating like that. Was it really loss of motivation? Could my determination of the last 5 years go out the window THAT quickly?
I wasn't tracking my intake because when I'm eating all wrong, I don't take the time to look up each and every thing I put in my mouth. It not only is overwhelming, but I'm actually ashamed to see it in black and white.
Working from memory, I went day by day and analyzed where I was when I lost control and what were the circumstances --
One day I forgot my lunch. Left the house with it sitting on my counter. Why? I was rushing because I was running late. Because? I had stayed up late the night before and I was tired and drifted back to sleep for a few minutes. So that meant ordering lunch to be delivered. Did I order wisely? No because most deliveries take a minimum order and that meant asking around the office for volunteers. No problem there except the usuals whom eat out everyday don't exactly eat at healthy places.
One night I got home late from the Y where I work out after work. I was tired, my DH had a cold and had taken a much deserved nap after work and didn't start supper, so we went out to eat and I wanted something fast. Why was I late from the Y? I got out of work late and I chatted with friends after working out. Those things happen.
I decided that I needed to keep a healthy frozen dinner in the freezer at work with my name on it, along with a carton of sugar free applesauce, so if I forget my lunch again, I don't have to order out. Oh and I need to get into bed earlier so I'm not so tired that I can't get right out of bed in the morning.
I also need to keep lean sandwich materials on hand at home and maybe a can of healthier soup or some healthy frozen leftovers so if I'm delayed after the Y, I've got options. If we do end up going out, It can be somewhere like Applebees and DH can order me something off the healthy choices. I'm not even looking at the menu!
Lastly I looked at my exercise. I give myself kudos for being a consistent exerciser. Even when feeling blah about it, I kept going 5-6 days a week. BUT, and this is a big but, I have been in quite a comfortable routine with my exercise. I might read a magazine and ride the bike 30 minutes tops on a low resistance. I might "run". I even convinced myself I was doing "intervals" by running a little, walking a lot. Before Christmas I was running a solid 30 minutes. Granted I was sick most of January and part of February, but instead of working my time back up, I was still taking it easy.
So I decided to turn on the heat a little. Yesterday I ran and I pushed myself. No it wasn't a solid thirty minutes but it was run fifteen, walk five, run ten. Then I went to the bike and did another thirty on a resistance that made me work! Today I rode the bike for 60 minutes on that same resistance. No reading material. I was pumping too hard and sweating too much, so I half way watched TV along with the clock thinking how much longer?!?
Once I was done, my legs felt like jelly but I felt GREAT!
I discovered something. When I exercise like that, it seems that controlling my eating is much easier. First of all, I just wasn't as hungry and secondly after burning all those calories, I wasn't going to eat them right back on!
I've been thinking all day about all of this. Do I want to keep this intensity going just for seven pounds? I look good enough seven pounds heavier. My clothes still fit OK. The answer though, really lies in how I feel. When I eat unhealthy I don't have energy. I feel bloated, gassy, tired, and mentally sluggish. I don't feel like exercising. It gets to be one big vicious cycle!
I picked my goal weight because even though it takes more personal effort to maintain it, I feel SO MUCH BETTER when I make that effort. A pound or two fluctuation doesn't make an appreciable difference, but more then that and I can tell a huge difference.
For right now, the word moderation is not in my vocabulary. I'm the original "if you give me an inch, I'll take a mile" kind of dieter. I'll have to be fairly strict until I'm back to goal. THEN if I can keep challenging myself in my workouts, I can treat myself occasionally with a usually off limits food. But only when I feel in control and CAN be moderate.
So there you have it folks. Next time you feel like you are struggling take some time to do a little self analysis. First get your head back in the game, then analyze what it's going to take to get where you want to be. Break out of those vicious cycles we set up for ourselves.
What's holding YOU back?