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This isn't a diet. This is REAL LIFE.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I had a moment of panic this week...

I am doing really well (6 weeks in), and seeing great progress... but that's always the case at 6 weeks. My natural "willpower" (enthusiasm?) dips after about 2-3 months of a regime. Then I retreat back into old habits (sometimes slowly, sometimes in a giddy rush of horribleness)... and gain the weight back.

I've been telling myself to do this SLOW. I know that's the "right" way to lose weight. But at times, panicky times, it feels like SLOW means I have to be perfect FOREVER. (Not just my usual 3 months.)

Perfection is the enemy. I've been telling myself that. I'm just not sure I believe myself yet.

This is the first time I've fully grasped the "lifestyle change" portion of weight loss. I've read the words, said the words... but this is the first time I'm actually FEELING the words--and they impart some real panic in me. It's the first time the goal hasn't been "lose X pounds by DATE." The goal, is to transform how I live... becoming the person who exercises regularly and eats well. And that's SO MUCH SCARIER than the mental games that it takes to "drop 10 pounds in 2 months."

Because it's, you know, PERMANENT. Like a tattoo.

The wailing in the back of my brain says "you can never eat bread again... ever!" Because, well, in the past, when I've worked to lose weight, I've cut out things that I know are triggers... things that I tend to crave / overeat / want desperately again the next day. Bread. Cheese. Snooty coffee (lattes).

How do I fight back against that desperate, clawing fear of letting some of these things--which are so dear and habitual to me that they feel like "me" (is that stupid?)--go?

Moderation, is one answer. If the "future, skinny" me is going to be happy, she's going to eat bread and cheese, sometimes. So the "current, work-in-progress" me ought to do this too. Not lots. Not often. But enough so that I don't start feeling deprived. After all, this isn't a diet. This is REAL LIFE.

Picking my battles. I probably SHOULD let the lattes go - they're so addictive, and so unhealthy, I need to change my mindset just as I did with soda. They've been a comfort, a routine, a pick-me-up, my go-to "treat" or "reward" for so long... changing this part of me won't be easy. But I also know from experience that the morning latte is often the gateway to getting entirely off track. It's usually my first bad habit to trickle back in, and opens the door to others. I can and will find a healthier substitute. And meanwhile I'll grapple with adjusting my identity to the girl who doesn't go to Starbucks. (Or who has an iced tea.)

Anyway... it MUST be a good sign that this is stirring up so much emotion and even identity issues this time around... I'm guessing that working through these issues in my brain is half the battle. Interesting that they've never come up before during one of my weight loss efforts. Hopefully it's a sign that I'm on the right track toward permanent lifestyle transformation.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks ByYourGrace! Yes... it IS super time consuming. I find that it ends up having to be a "top priority" (I'm not as focused on other hobbies and activities when I'm tracking and cooking and making sure my workout rocks, etc)... I'm with you: Nervous about what happens after that first real barrier crops up. (Kids back in school; who knows.... last summer I sprained a foot! Major hurdle that ended up sidelining me for months.)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I sometimes think I might be a little crazy, how much time I am spending doing (and just thinking about) this stuff. Glad to know you're in the trenches too! emoticon
    1737 days ago
    Ditto! I wasn't always 165 lbs, and over the years I was always doing the same things as far as eating/activity went. The weight just gradually started accumulating post children. Changing NOTHING has not helped me lose weight, therefore if have to change SOMETHING, (ie. my eating habits and activity levels), to lose and maintain for good -- lifestyle change! Seems daunting! I'm just starting back into it again too. The summer is here and I have time to journal and track food, but I am Leary of September arriving when family life and activities kick back into full swing and all the tracking and exercise go by the wayside. That's what happened last September. Frankly this Sparkpeople website is very time consuming for me. More than I'd like it to be. emoticon But I'll do what I can and maybe by then I'll try the quick tracking and set some time boundaries.
    1738 days ago
    Thank you! Always nice to feel like you're not the only one...
    1738 days ago
    Oh boy, I feel your emotions sister. I have been at the point you're at right now, grappling with permanent changes. Unfortunately, the point I'm currently at is just getting started (AGAIN). I don't know why we let these triggers become such mind altering substances which eventually become obsessions. Maybe identifying them as triggers is the reason we do let them become obsessions (?).
    You are six weeks into this - you've got this, keep on, and soon you won't give it another thought!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1738 days ago
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