Saturday, November 16, 2013
...can be a real bitch sometimes.
I keep having to adjust my weightloss goal due to plateaus, and every time, I adjust it to the *closest* to my original goal that Sparkpeople will allow me. I think 'Oh, and I'll just do a bit of extra exercise and I'll catch up' - even though I *know* this only works so far. It gets me trapped in places where I'm exercising like a crazy person or under-eating, both of which ultimately hamper my goals. And yet I've done it a few times over the past year.
Over the past year, I've made more progress towards a healthy weight than I have in decades, far more than I ever expected to see. But once it started coming off, I got greedy. I fixated on achieving a certain point as though then I could point to it and say 'there, I did it, are you happy now?' I desperately wanted to have lost 100 pounds by the end of 2013. (Although in the back of my head, I *really* wanted to lose 108 and get down to a healthy BMI. Still by the end of the year - as though that arbitrary calendar milestone was the key. Not the achievement itself.)
Today at my weigh-in, my weight didn't shift at all, and I was so disappointed. I'd been working hard, I'd been tracking ... I felt robbed, again. I blamed my boss and the staff lunch we'd all had. I blamed myself for not working out hard enough last weekend, even though I had a fantastic weekend, really enjoyed myself, and made great progress towards another major goal of mine. There may even have been some frustrated tears ....
And then I remembered how damn far I've come in the past year. How much more I know about nutrition and health. How instead of being the one pulled reluctantly off the couch I'm now the one suggesting a walk to my friends. How I go to the gym every morning before sunrise because I want to be stronger ... and I decided to suck it up, face reality, and stop crying about it.
I thought about the next 6 weeks, realistically. My birthday. My best friend's birthday and the birthday of another close friend. The whole Yule season, with its staff parties, family gatherings, bake sales, and all the other roadblocks to healthy eating. The days when I won't be able to fit in the gym, or it'll be closed. The trip my best friend and I are planning to take to Orlando.... Almost all of these are things I should enjoy, moments to savour with friends and family - or unavoidable obligations - and I didn't want to be begrudging every bite or bemoaning every lost moment.
So I've adjusted my goal for the end of the year once again, but this time it's to accommodate a much slower weightloss goal. (Slightly less than a pound a week ... not quite a maintenance diet, but it looks far more comfortable and achievable.) And I adjusted my fitness tracker calories burned to assume I go to the gym one day less a week, because that's far more likely than the alternative. And I breathed a sigh of relief.
Do I still want to lose the total 108? Not even a question, but there was no healthy way I was really going to lose 30 pounds in the next 6 weeks (or even the 18 that was my 'adjusted goal'). Can I ramp back up in January instead? Obviously, yes.
I need to get back into my early mindset, where the goal was - IS - to establish a good quality of life. If I'm too busy losing weight to enjoy celebrations with my friends, then I'm not doing that. Throughout the holiday season, I'll still be tracking, still be exercising, and I'll still use the tools I've learned through Sparkpeople to make the healthiest decisions possible. But I think that, for me, the next six weeks are going to be maintenance, small loss, rather than 'DO IT NOW".
Hopefully, a bit of a rest from the pressure will mean renewed energy in the new year.