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Saturday, October 05, 2013

I joined Spark People in March 2009 at almost 190 lbs. I set my SP goal at that time to reach 135, figuring that I would be happy fluctuating between 135 and 140. By March 2010, I had lost 50 lbs and broken the 140 mark. I had reached my goal.

Over the next year, I gained a few pounds back, but still managed to stay in the 140s and was happy with the way I looked and felt.

Then I allowed certain stressors to take over my life and I let go of the progress I had made. I stopped paying attention to my eating habits. My weight began to climb. By June 2011, I had climbed back up into the 150s. The last time I dropped below 150 was in early September 2011. By December 2011, I had hit 160. I haven’t dropped back below 150 since, and I’ve been hovering between 155 and 160 for the better part of a year and a half.

Last November, I changed my SP goal to 140, realizing that 135 was too hard to maintain and that I’d be happy fluctuating between 140 and 145. It’s been almost a year, and I haven’t even come close.

I hate the way I feel, and I am not happy.

The stressors are still there. Some of them have been resolved, only to be replaced by new ones. However, I’m not going to address those here. Everyone has stressors. They are a natural part of life. How we respond to them is a choice. I had stressors during that first year of spectacular weight loss and I did not choose to address them by eating. So what changed?

Mostly, I think laziness set in. And complacency. I started making excuses.

“I’m just happy I don’t weigh 190 anymore.”
“I’m in better shape now, so it doesn’t matter so much anymore.”
"What's 10 pounds?"
“My smaller-sized clothes still fit, even if they are a little more snug.”
“I don’t have time.” “I’m tired.” “I’m bored.” “I’m in a bad mood.” “There’s nothing to eat.”

The list is endless, but this is the most insidious, destructive notion of them all: “My weight is down a bit today; I can eat what I want and not worry about tracking.”

The American Heritage Dictionary (yes, I still own one of those) defines sabotage as: “treacherous action to defeat or hinder a cause or an endeavor; deliberate subversion.”

If those thoughts are not treacherous or deliberate or subversive, then I don’t know what is. They most definitely defeat my cause.

The thinking is circular. I hate circular thinking. I’m not happy where I am, so I resolve to change it. I work at it for a day or two, then get lazy, and drop back into my bad habits. Back to square one. And I don’t do it unthinkingly either. I make a deliberate choice, knowing I’ll hate myself for it later. Like the drunk who swears he’ll never drink again while he’s hung over, but the minute he feels better, he’s off to the bottle again.

Deliberate, subversive treachery.

Why do I do this to myself? And how do I stop it?

My usual way of attacking a personal problem is to drop back to basic simplicity. KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. I run into the most trouble when I overthink things. And for me, any thinking about eating is overthinking. So, I need to make a plan – a very simple plan – for attacking not my eating habits themselves, because those are good when I pay attention, but the laziness and complacency that allows me to ignore them, to stop paying attention.

Here we go…. The Plan

1. Make sure my grocery list has the normal healthy food I’m used to eating for good health, not the junk I like to eat when I’m being lazy. Keep temptation out of the house.
2. Track everything. Every day.
3. When the scale does start to move, KEEP GOING. I can’t allow that number to lull me into a lazy way of thinking that “tomorrow I will pay attention.”

If I can stick to The Plan for a month, I know I'll see progress. A month isn't that long. I can stick to anything for a month. Right?

Simple. No more self-sabotage.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I came on this morning looking for inspiration and here it is. I am in exactly the same place.

    Can't elaborate now, but I feel that for those of us with issues around food the scenario you've described is the common one.

    I seem to have a 20lb yoyo and I have ridden it twice since my major weight loss which was from 285 down to 210.

    I am a big believer in tackling the feelings stimulate the over/binge eating in my case. I also believe that knowing and employing healthier choices also is key.

    So onward I shall go with all my people who are dealing with this.
    1557 days ago
    I seriously need to take a clue from you. I dropped off the wagon when I went back to my old job and I'm still off the wagon. I have never gone back up to my original weight or anything, but I'm a good 20 lbs. more than I was just last summer and that's frustrating enough. I have never even made it close to my goal weight....I came within 35 lbs and became complacent and felt like I looked 'alright' so I basically stopped there. Only problem with stopping there is the fact that when you 'stop there' because you feel okay with how you look, even tho you are still not where you originally wanted to be, it leads right to where you say....the laziness and complacency, etc. and the total lack of caring to maintain. And I don't have the kinds of stressors that should seriously derail me, I merely derail myself. LOL Apparently, I am my own worst stressor! hahahahaha....go figure......:)
    1578 days ago
    ooh I think we've all been there

    I personally get discouraged if I don't lose, but if I do then I decide that it's easy so I let my guard down.

    crazy really
    1586 days ago
  • FRECKS96
    Your story is so close to mine! I started in 10/09 at 190, got down to 120, maintained for a year and am currently at 150. I "rededicated" myself last week and have been so disappointed not to see any movement on the scale.

    You're right, so much of my issue is self-sabotage or worrying about other people. Time to focus on us and get it done. We already know what we need to do. It might not be as easy this time, but we have the tools required.

    Good Luck!
    1594 days ago
    Tracking is the biggie...for sure! Great plan!

    We're all in this together and yeesh this season ahead is fraught with SO many "distractions" on top of the holidays let's toss several family members' birthdays too...ugh!

    If it's any consolation even the hugely successful WATERMELLEN has recently ranted:

    1594 days ago
  • PSMITH3841
    There are more than a few of us (a whole lot more than a few) out there that can totally relate to this blog....you already know I am a major offender of this deliberate subversive act! I've had minor success with my latest attempt at getting back on track, but I' admit to being on a very slippery slope....
    I MUST get back to tracking my food and hitting the gym. I have been doing some walking to prepare my body for the upcoming addition of a fitness routine, but every time I think about going to the gym, my brain comes up with numerous, valid (?) excuses not to go.....Self Sabotage at it's best!
    Nothing to do but hang in there and keep on trying...good luck kiddo...we know we can do this, we just need to convince our brain to get with the program...the body will follow!
    emoticon emoticon
    1594 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/7/2013 9:59:54 AM
    Laurie - your blog definitely struck a chord with many people!

    “I’m just happy I don’t weigh ...[200]... anymore.” THIS IS ME
    “I’m in better shape now, so it doesn’t matter so much anymore.” THIS IS ME
    “I don’t have time.” “I’m tired.” “I’m bored.” “I’m in a bad mood.” “There’s nothing to eat.” THIS IS ME
    “My weight is down a bit today; I can eat what I want and not worry about tracking.” THIS IS ME.

    I want to see PROGRESS every week .. I don't care if it is only half a pound (ok, to be honest, I'd like a bit more) -- but as long as their is progress, then I'm on the right path. And, I can't make progress by being complacent ------it's SELF-SABOTAGE!

    1594 days ago
    Wise words. I can certainly, certainly relate. Wishing you success! emoticon emoticon
    1595 days ago
    I read that a smoker that is trying to quit again is more likely to succeed than one that is trying for the first time. I think any change in habit is like that, so you are more likely to get where you want this time. Keep at it.
    1595 days ago
    well said :) paying attention and not being complacent is half the battle right? You just added to my resolve to *not* sleep in to rediculous lengths this week (my own personal form of trechery)
    1595 days ago
    Wow. I relate to self sabotage.

    For me, it's helpful to think, "what am I getting out of self-sabotaging?" For me, I've realized that if I reach my weight loss goals, then I'll need to make new, scarier goals instead of always being focused on weight loss. Staying in the "need to lose weight" phase has become a familiar and therefore safe place for me.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts so well.
    1595 days ago
    For me, your #1 is the critical component to success. Great blog - I am positive you can see this through.
    1595 days ago
    Love how more realistic your goals are!
    1595 days ago
    Laurie I TOTALLY get you on this (as usual lol) KISS is the best plan and I know you an do it - lets get healthy together emoticon
    1595 days ago
    You're an Attorney. You know excuses and circular thinking are no substitute for (and, as you've found, interfere with) facts.
    1596 days ago
    I need to heed your words.
    1596 days ago
  • JANET552
    Keep believing you can do it!
    1596 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    you sure do have a way with words!
    I could have written this post myself, just changed the details a little.
    during BLC break I was just about 2 pounds from my goal weight so how did I react? by cutting back exercise and eating everything I can find. sigh...so instead of losing 2 pounds I gained 2. Solidly maintain those two pounds for the last 3 weeks but that doesn't make me feel every good either!
    I believe this is a solid plan! How about you get the Outlaws help you stay accountable. Post your goals on the thread and then keep us all updated on CICO (cause you can't get that report unless you track), if it isn't already make your tracking public and invite others to take a look (if no one else I know for sure 2-3 of them will come and take a peek). Let us know how we can help you!
    1596 days ago
    I feel ya, sister! My excuses are all around healthy eating. I have the exercise bit down. I made a real change in my mind about why I exercise (to be fit, to be healthy), but I can't seem to make the same mental shift about healthy eating. My excuses are all about "but it's not like I'm eating truly unhealthfully" and "I'm exercising today anyway." UGH.

    I wish you the best of luck!

    1596 days ago
  • CHARLIE215
    Good luck. I do exactly the same thing and still haven't found a way of dealing with it successfully.
    1596 days ago
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