I've spent the last few months discouraged and embarrassed.
It has been increasing apparent how important consistent logging and positive feedback is for me and how quickly I slip when I don’t maintain the constant vigilance on a healthy lifestyle. I’m starting to come to terms with it and also recognizing the boon that I receive from SparkPeople. I’ve received notes, comments and goodies from several of you over the last few months and although I didn’t acknowledge them at the time, they meant the world to me.
They came at pivotal moments and have helped bring me back here today.
To explain why I am back, the lessons I’ve learned and the goals that I have set for the future, it may be helpful to start about 21 months ago. At that time, I had lost about 60 pounds and hoped to drop an additional 25 pounds. I had run a half marathon and overall felt great! SparkPeople was critical in getting me to that point. I made wonderful friends on this site and I loved celebrating their wins with them and sharing my wins as well. I decided to go back to school for a master’s degree while maintaining my full time employment as an engineer.
My retraction didn’t happen immediately or suddenly, but this was the point in time that I started making small decisions that over time accumulated to a large weight gain. First, I decided that I didn’t have time to be a co-leader in the 30 somethings with 50-99 lbs to lose team. I found a new leader who has really been a blessing to the team. That was a good decision for me at the time and not one that I regret making.
Subsequently I decided to not renew my gym membership. My employer provides membership to a gym, but it isn’t a very good gym. The equipment is often out of order and there aren’t enough working machines for most people. The gym that I purchased membership at has better machines, an indoor track and a lap pool. However, I decided that I would save money and just use the company sponsored gym. That was a bad decision for me personally. I think that purchasing a membership helped guilt me into using it regularly. I didn’t want the money to go to waste so I made sure that I went regularly. I found it a lot easier to come up with excuses not to go when I switched to the free gym. At one time I was religiously hitting the gym 6 days a week for at least 60 minutes a day. As school work increased, that dropped off to a few times a week or less.
Another bad decision that I made was to stop logging my food consumption on a daily basis. I had accustomed myself to eating healthy meals and it wasn’t a challenge to hit my calorie consumption target nearly every day. I had good habits and didn’t foresee any changes to those. I consciously decided to stop logging and didn’t think that it would have any affect. For quite a while it didn’t, but eventually the lack of accountability meant that I could slip here or there. Eventually my occasional slipping increased in frequency and now I’m back to eating poorly on a fairly regular basis.
Lastly, my sleep patterns have been in the toilet. I’m not sure how I could have maintained good sleep habits, but it is something that I look forward to reclaiming. Between a full time job and homework from a master’s program it was difficult to find adequate time for sleep. Graduation is Friday,
so I’m hopeful that a regular sleep routine is back in my future.
Having recognized the bad decisions I made, I want to identify my weak areas and set goals to return to my previous level of healthy habits and avoid any relapses.
• Log into SparkPeople daily. I get a lot of energy and motivation from seeing and celebrating the successes of my friends. Get involved in team challenges.
• Track my food intake every day. This only takes 15 minutes or so, but assures that I am not slipping back into poor choices.
• Go to the gym daily. I’ve purchased a new gym membership and started back today. Hopefully the financial expense will keep me desiring to go regularly.
• Go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30 every night.
So I’m back. I’m slightly embarrassed at the ground I’ve lost, but I’m committed to start again. I’m blessed to have such wonderful spark friends and look forward to celebrating milestones with you all in the future!