Where I've been and where I'm going...
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I don't know if anyone will even read this. (It's pretty long-winded even for me!) but whether anyone ever reads it or not, I know I needed to write it for myself. Here goes...
It's been two years since I started my weight loss journey, and a year and a half since I had adjustable gastric band surgery. The first year went well - I lost 90 pounds (including pre-surgery weight loss). By Christmas 2009 I was at my lowest weight, 185. I was feeling good - maybe even a little cocky. (sylphinprogress - I threw that one in there for you!) I let myself go a little. "It's the holidays," I reasoned. "I deserve a reward for all my hard work. It won't really hurt anything. I'll get back on track after New Years."
Well, even though I thought I had everything under control - that my Band had me in check - I gained 10 pounds over the holidays, and I couldn't seem to get back on track. We faced a lot of challenges in 2010 (I know many families did) - almost insurmountable debt leaving us on the brink of foreclosure and bankruptcy (we cashed in retirement savings to save ourselves) having an adjustable upside down mortgage and still not knowing if we'll be able to keep our house, my husband lost his job (unemployed for 10 months now) which left me working 60-70 hours a week between 3 jobs to make ends meet, parenting two teenage boys with all kinds of emotional outbursts and discipline issues...blah, blah, blah
So, what did I do? I used my "horrible" circumstances to make excuses and let myself go completely..."It's too hard. I'm too busy. I don't have time. This is just a short-term crisis we need to get through. I'll take care of myself and my weight when our situation improves." Poor me! I ate whatever I wanted (crutching on convenience foods and sugar), sat on my butt almost nonstop (all of my jobs are on the computer) and maybe worst of all, disconnected myself from Spark People. At first I felt a relief wash over me, like a burden had been lifted, but I knew that was a false sense of relief, like a little kid whose parents just left him home alone and he knows he can raid the cookie jar, jump on the bed, stay up late, and watch forbidden things on TV because no one is looking.
So, 2011 finds me having re-gained 40 pounds. That's a bitter pill to swallow. I have done a lot of soul-searching and what I realized is that 2010 was the perfect "all or nothing" sabotage. (Who would have thought that old ugly giant would rear its ugly head again. SAD!) These circumstances I'm living through may not be a short-term crisis - this just may be my new "normal" and I better stop waiting for life to line up the way I'd like it to and provide me the perfect environment for losing weight, BECAUSE IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN! Time to stop making excuses and start taking back control. I can choose to make healthy choices in spite of my circumstaces.
So I'm back on track now. I actually started on 12/31 - I wanted to salvage one day in 2010 so I could end the year on a positive note.
I am learning how mportant "sustainable" changes are. My health habits need to be manageable for the long run - especially when life gets crazy. I need to have a "minimum standard" that I can default to that will still keep me moving forward, so I don't ever give up entirely again.
So here is my sustainability plan for 2011:
1) Staying connected to Spark People weekly. Before my "crash" I had been pushing myself to do more than I could manage with everything else in my life, and instead of scaling back to a manageable amount, I dropped out completely. (there's that all or nothing theme again) I know I need this for my personal accountability. I cannot read every blog, reply to every post, track every bit of food I eat or goal I have set, etc., because that just isn't realistic with the time I have available. But I can take a balanced approach and make a difference with the time I do have, and give myself permission to not worry about the rest.
2) Fitness: Get a minimum of 10 minutes of activity in every day, and more on the days there is time. Go to the gym 12 times a month. (Thank you to my company who is now providing a Frequent Fitness benefit for 12 gym visits a month - that's a movitvation!)
3) Eating healthy: Choosing natural, whole foods. Focusing on protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy - minimize sugar and processed/refined foods. No tracking calories, but generally being mindful of the nutrition I am taking in. Managing portions. I'm also considering another fill, as I do not notice much restriction.
4) Relationships: Make an effort to hug my kids and my husband more, to listen more attentatively and genuinely, to speak kind words, and do little random acts of kindness. Most importantly, to connect with my Creator and thank Him daily for my many blessings.
Well, there it is in a nutshell...from a pretty big nut!