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.