Trying to lose weight during the holidays can be stressful and like you’re rolling a huge boulder uphill. Even when I was trying to lose 100 pounds, I never put too much pressure on myself to lose during the Thanksgiving-Christmas time period. My goal has always been just to maintain through the holidays and then get back to losing after that. It’s worked for years for me.
This year was no different. I knew I wouldn’t lose so I just tried not to gain back what I had already lost. January came and I was back on track. But then comes my birthday and that is a setback sometimes! I do indulge more for my birthday. The above photo of the tweet? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way! Well screw it, it’s my birthday and then it’s Valentine’s Day and then….yeah yeah yeah. Excuses!
This time I decided to go back to what I’ve done in the past (at various times of the year) and take one extra step: no alcohol for the month (except for my birthday weekend). So that glass of wine or two I have Friday and Saturday nights is on the back burner until February, maybe longer. We’ll see!
I weighed myself for the first time since right before Christmas. After getting back from Hawaii I was a bit lazy (for about a month) and then got my act together enough to lose 3 pounds of the 10 I’d gained on my honeymoon. Then the holidays came and I gained that 3 pounds back.
As of early January, I now officially have 13 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-engagement weight. About 10 of those pounds were pre-wedding stress/honeymoon/holiday weight. So 13 pounds. That’s better than the 20 I had in my mind before stepping on the scale but still. I will be happy to AT THE VERY LEAST, lose 8 pounds and get back under my GOAL WEIGHT. That would be the best feeling in the world.
I talked about this in a previous post but the mentality of LOSING WEIGHT versus MAINTAINING WEIGHT is very, very different. It’s a different mindset and I fully admit that I had not gotten into the losing mindset until now.
I feel like in some ways maintenance is a lot easier. I didn’t have to restrict. I could be “fuzzy” on some of my calorie counting and portions and rarely saw a drastic gain on the scale. That was my reality for 6+ years. I’d FORGOTTEN just how hard it is to be in “losing” mode. Losing mentality is all about portions. Accurate calorie counting. Denying myself MOST (not all) treats I want. (Back to that moderation thing…) Restricting my calorie intake. The truth is I haven’t been in the loser mode. I’ve been often eating back the calories I burn in the gym, instead of creating a deficit–which is how to lose weight.
I really appreciate all the supportive comments on a recent post. Here were just a few:
Jamie said: “You are not alone! I am right there with you. I lost 100 lbs and over the last 6 months have gained 15 lbs. The journey ahead of losing that weight seems much more daunting than the 100 I lost before. Yeah, go figure! I’m learning how to navigate through this next part of my journey and I agree it is a slippery slope that once you start gaining it is so easy to continue.”
Jane said: “I tooted my horn and preened when I lost 220 pounds. When I gained back 15 I was silent and fearful, perhaps afraid I would become the person who ‘gained it all back’ ? I don’t know what would happen. Then I gained back a few more pounds. I labeled myself a failure and beat myself without mercy. I hid. I lied, I hurt in silence. It didn’t help me lose a single one of the regained pounds. Losing 200 pounds without surgery or medication is nothing short of miraculous. I am a miracle in progress. You are a miracle, too. Stay positive and stay honest. You will get past this.”
There were so many great comments. It sounds like a lot of people could relate to the struggle I was going through. Several of you had great suggestions that I already knew but needed the reminder. Limiting liquid calories is easy to do–not fun, but easy. Staying clear of packaged foods is a huge one. I tend to fall back on the Lean Cuisine type meals because that’s what I did for so long to lose weight (and it worked). You go back to what worked before. But if that isn’t working anymore, it’s time to shake things up.
So this is what I’ve been doing for the last month or so:
1) No alcohol (except for my birthday weekend).
2) Limiting sugar intake.
3) I changed the settings on My Fitness Pal to lose 1.5 pounds a week, which reduced my calories a lot. My base calories each day at 1510.
4) I am trying to create a deficit of calories every day (i.e. not eating back all the calories I burned in the gym). I eat some of them back but I am trying to keep at least 200+ leftover each day. Rest days are difficult!
5) So far the fitness aspect has remained the same. I’m still taking a break from the Warrior Room. I’m focusing on swimming, yoga, running, and some weight lifting to keep the strength in my glutes that are keeping the runner’s knee at bay.
Sounds pretty reasonable, right? After I got back from my birthday weekend I immediately got back on track and was doing really well! The only bummer was Friday nights. After a long week, I’m tired, I’m burned out, I want a glass of a wine. So far I am abstaining and while I can do it, I don’t enjoy denying myself my 1 or 2 glasses on the weekend!
Making the mental shift was HUGE for me. For the last 4 months I just hadn’t made that switch in my head. I was struggling a lot; I was feeling deprived; I was RESISTING the “diet” with all my might. And I failed. But once I had this “click” in my head that I was going back to loser mode instead of maintenance mode, it all got easier.
I weighed in on 1/16/15 and lost 2 pounds! I stayed on track for most of January and the start of February. I did have a few slip-ups here and there but hopefully when I weigh in this week I won’t see damage done to that previous loss!