Day 20: Get Back on Track
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
In my opinion, I think this is one of the most important days of this book because it can be a 'diet buster' if you don't. Getting back on track puts you right back in the driver's seat where you need and want to be. There is a saying I see around here on SP that is so true, "If you fall down 7 times then you need to get up 8 times." (or something to that effect). I think whatever endeavor you try to undertake in life learning to deal with missed opportunities, slip ups, mindless efforts, etc. the crucial moment of moving forward and not slipping back is you need to 'get back on track'. In order to do this you really can not afford the 'luxury' of feeling sorry for yourself either. Yes, take time to rub your bruises or lick your wounds but the critical part of getting back on track is knowing that no matter how hurt you are (and usually it is more your pride than anything else) you must continue on. This is the mark of a winner and not a quitter. At some point in your weight loss efforts you are going to have to cross the line and refuse (no matter how hard things are or have been) to quit. You only have one option: get back on track.
I would say that this single action is what has allowed me to keep off the weight that I have worked at losing. Quitting is not an option for me. It might have been years ago but now I have only one mindset and that is keep striving toward the finish line. I don't know when exactly I will reach my end goal weight but I do know I won't reach it if I decide to quit at some point. Instead, I sooth my injured pride when I fall off the wagon and then I straighten up and proceed forward determined that I will do my best to learn from my getting off track so I can use this information to help me avoid that happening again.
For example: if I indulged in some of my former favorites, usually what I have heard called, 'sweet fats' (this is usually baked goods), then I know that as soon as I recognize where I am heading I work on getting my mind in the right place so I can cut loose from this indiscretion and get back to where I was before it happened. In the past, I used to under eat if I had overeaten, eat salads as a form of 'bread and water' type 'self-punishment' or over exercise to try to balance the calorie 'sheet'. I stopped doing that. I stopped because I realized that it was really a form of beating myself up and only reinforced that I had made some 'bad' mistakes and ie; I was a 'bad person'. None of that was helpful and most of it perpetuated the very thing I needed to avoid: staying off track because I felt too demoralized to admit defeat at that moment.
The only thing that you can say with a certain degree of certainty about falling off the wagon is that your progress will either be temporarily stalled or slowed down. It does not mean that all of the good choices you made up to that are 'null and void'. Again, this is where those perfectionistic tendencies come into play. As I once heard a WW leader say to our group meeting, " You eat 21 meals a week. One meal will not negate the other 20." In other words, keep your failings in perspective. Do not fall for catastrophizing a 'hiccup'.
Now, I am very careful to not associate with people who do this because I don't want to end up falling back into that trap. When I see or hear someone blowing things up bigger than they need be I listen and remind myself that next week or even next month this all will seem so insignificant especially if I get right back on track that it was hardly worth expending the energy on it. Very few people will remember the details of your weight loss struggles but they will remember your victories and be eager to celebrate them along with you. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how you got somewhere, it just matters that you did!
Again, this is a habit worth cultivating no matter how long it takes. By doing so, you are focusing on the solution rather than the problem and your self-esteem will grow accordingly. You will begin to see yourself as a person who sticks to the task until it is completed. Others will note your determination and single-minded purpose. Most of all, you will become stronger rather than weaker around your former nemesis, food, and that will confirm that no matter what: getting back on track is the 'way to go'.