Advice from a SparkPeople Motivator who Lapsed

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Swimming is as close to meditation as I ever come. When I do yoga, I watch TV. When I run or Zumba, I listen to music. When I swim, there is only the sound of the water and a line of black tiles stretching out before me. No distractions from my thoughts.

Today I found myself thinking about how far I have come this week, how changed I am from last week when I eked out just two short workouts. This week I am five for five. My abs are burning. My back is tight. But my knees hurt a little less.

Last week, I was eating good-for-me foods, but didn't even bother guessing caloric intake. This week, I have tracked every meal since breakfast Monday morning...and have stayed within my ranges. I have entered one recipe daily into the Spark Recipe Calculator to make tracking easier in the future.

Last week, I was planning to "work up" to working out five days a week. Today, I resolved to start working out twice daily Monday - Friday, because I sit at a desk for eight hours a day and could use the extra kick in my metabolism.

After I thought about how far I had come this week, I started thinking about how far I had fallen (not in a beating-myself-up kind of way, but in a figure-out-what-the-hell-happe
ned-so-it-never-happens-again kind of way). So here are the cold, hard facts Sparkers. The ones no one who has ever back slid ever wants to admit. When I was at my heaviest, I tipped the scales at 300 pounds. That was May 2009. By December 2010, I was down to 219 (though I was sick with the flu at the time, so my real number was probably about 224).

Last Saturday I weighed in at 269. 31 pounds lighter than my heaviest. Props for not regaining ALL my weight and then some. But I did gain 45-50 pounds...pounds I sweated, cried, and bled to lose the first time around!

How did it happen? What would possess me to throw it all away? Well, Sparkers that is not the decision we make. No, what happens is this:

1) Something detours you, delays you, or flat out derails you and you spend time moping about what could have been instead of doing what you can today.

In my case, it was a car accident. OK, so I couldn't run. I couldn't swim laps. I couldn't Zumba. I COULD have taken myself to the pool to tread water for an hour every day. I met a woman today in the pool after I finished my laps and did just that with her. She has a spinal cyst and can barely walk, but she was in that pool treading away for 45 minutes! What do I have to complain about?

Motivator says: What could have been..wasn't! So get out there and make the best of what IS.

2) Once we are derailed (and we know it), we don't want to be reminded of our failure. So we stop reading our fitness magazines, stop logging on to Spark, stop talking to friends and neighbors about our weight loss journey. The thing is, those things remind us why we are on this journey in the first place! In-your-face success stories,workout tips and recipes and well wishing.

Motivator says: KEEP the fitness flash in your face and you will want to get back on track faster than ever! (And if you've really back slid, misery loves company - its good to know you are not alone.)

3) Denial. Yeah, its hard to believe you can deny 50 pounds, but its easy when you do it three pounds at a time. This is what happens. Step on the scale, you 're up by three pounds. Tell yourself "Shouldn't have eaten that burrito last night. Must have been high in sodium; I'm retaining water." And you assure yourself the scale will reflect your true weight again in a few days. When it doesn't, you scold yourself for gaining a few pounds, resolve to "work on it" and then accept the gain. Fast forward a week. Its that time of the month. Step on the scale, up by three pounds. Well of course you are, its that time of the month.... See the cycle? Well, BREAK it!

Motivator says: The scale is up three pounds. Go pick up three pounds (dumbbell or a half gallon of milk) and feel the weight of it in your hands. You gained that! Yeah, maybe it is water weight (this time)...but let's be real.

4) Now you have sooo far to go, getting "back to where you were" seems impossible.

Motivator says: Forget it. There is no "back". There is only forward. And it is no harder to lose 50 pounds (or 150) 3 pounds at a time than it is to deny gaining it.

Now you may be thinking, but didn't she run a 5K last summer? Hasn't she been "back" before? Well, not really. You see, when I trained for the 5K last summer, I really only gave it my all for the first month or so during group training, but I rarely did my "homework" so I fell further and further behind my group. By the end of 5K training, I could barely run 3 continuous miles.

Basically, I did the bare minimum to get by. I did not lose 80 pounds by doing the bare minimum of anything and I do not have a bare minimum work ethic. So I will give it everything I've got this time.

Motivator says: I lost three pounds this week and I feel great.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A very honest look at backsliding. We have to look forward to what we can emoticon do and overcome all the negative thoughts!
    2009 days ago
    Excellent blog!
    2010 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    You did awesome this week! Put the past behind you and keep moving forward!
    2012 days ago
    There is no back, there is only forward - amazing how long it took me to get that concept. I do think this regain and restart phenomena is part of most long term successful stories - congrats on getting back on the horse again - and for your fantastic week!
    2012 days ago
    this is where i am and it is so true. I've been back time after time but only giving the bare minimum. I need a big fat shove into working hard! I still can't get into that gear and i don't know why. it is so frustrating because it really wasn't that hard before!
    2012 days ago
  • ANEWME1313
    Your blog has many points that are true for all of us who have backslid... I try to focus each day on "today is a brand new day, what will I do with it?" :) Congrats on regaining your focus and getting back on track.
    2012 days ago
    I love this. Thank you.
    2013 days ago
    Love this blog!!! Thank you!
    2013 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.