Sep 292014
 

“When you think about quitting,

think about why you started”

-unknown

There are a lot of ways for your diet/fitness/resolution can get derailed. Too many to count. Other people, eating the wrong kinds of food, having unrealistic expectations, etc etc. The list is endless. This post is address just a few of the big ones–the ones I definitely struggled with when I tried to lose 100 pounds. These are universal experiences! I know that every one of my readers can relate to at least one of these. So how do you resist? Or how do you recover?

Hunger

I think this is a common problem with newbie dieters…severe restriction! You wake up one day and decide that’s the day the diet starts so you stop eating or skip meals or severely restrict your food “I’ll just eat salad today!” and then all of a sudden your body rebels because it thinks you’re starving it. Then you binge eat…then you restrict…and the unhealthy cycle continues. Instead, eating WHOLE FOODS and including healthy fats in there will help stretch those calories through the day. Also, eating smaller portions and more frequent meals can help curb those hunger pains that can become overwhelming when not attended to. The reality is, if we starve our bodies, they fight against us and we stop losing weight.

Lazy Tracking

I know I sound like a broken record on this but it’s so key to losing weight and keeping it off…track what you eat, be honest and be ACCOUNTABLE to yourself. It’s easy to over-eat when you don’t really know what you’re eating. That awareness really opens up your eyes. Derailing the diet by not tracking is a big one. I call it food creep. The bites, the nibbles, lying to myself about portion sizes, not accurately tracking what I eat…all those calories add up fast and if you stop losing weight, this is the first place to look. Are you being HONEST in your tracking? Check out some of these posts to help inspire you:

Maintenance 101: Beware of Food Creep

How to Lose Weight – Week Four

How Do You Track?

How I Maintain 110 Pounds Lost

How I Get Back On Track

Toy-Train-Derailed

Boredom

Eating the same foods every single day and doing the same exercises every single day will get old quick. When I was trying to lose 100 pounds I pretty much ate the same thing every day. I had these “egg McMuffin” things I made at home with egg beaters (lower in calories than real eggs), an English muffin and half a slice of cheese.  Lunch was a turkey sandwich with a serving of Wheat Thins. Dinner was a Lean Cuisine and a salad or side dish vegetable. I ate that for like a year. Too much! Now the idea of a turkey sandwich is just revolting to me. So spice up your diet and change up your exercise routine when you start to feel like you are in a rut! And read this post: Married to My Workout.

Giving Up

This journey is going to be a hard one. The weight doesn’t just melt off with zero effort. It takes time, it takes patience–there will be frustrating plateaus and temptations EVERYWHERE. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. If you keep at it, it WILL work. If you don’t believe me, look at this post: Weight Loss Log. It shows my weight loss journey and clearly illustrates just how long it took and how many plateaus I experienced! Here are some more posts:

P is for Plateaus

Busting that Plateau

When The Diet Stops Working

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Weekend Binge

Ugh, this is a hard one! You do SO WELL all week long, then the weekend comes and there’s temptation everywhere. BBQ’s, parties, exhaustion that leads to eating fast food…This is probably the biggest issue for most people trying to lose weight. I have several friends who vow every Monday that they are going to REALLY DO IT THIS TIME. But then the weekend comes and the cycle starts over. Read these two posts for some ideas on how to avoid this trap:

The Weekend Eater

An Excuse to Eat

Final Thoughts

It’s easy for me to say some of these tips and it’s a whole lot harder to actually do them. I definitely struggle with each one of these traps at some point. The thing to focus on is that one screw up doesn’t COMPLETELY DERAIL all your efforts–if you catch it in time. One slip up doesn’t mean I have to give up entirely. One slip up can be fixed the next day with getting back on track. Set backs are natural and (currently experiencing one) it can be so discouraging. Check out these two posts about stopping the set-back cycle:

Yo-Yo Dieting

Stop Dieting!

I hope some of these older posts can inspire some of my readers who might be thinking of quitting. Don’t quit. It will get better. You might be struggling right now, you might be angry with the slow progress or set-backs, but don’t quit. Remember where you started from and why you started this journey. INSPIRE YOURSELF. Be your own success story!

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Aug 112014
 

6 Years

When I think back to when I started my journey to lose 100 pounds, I don’t think I ever thought about the “After.” Not really. I think part of that was that I’d never really been skinny and part of it was that I doubted whether I’d ever reach the “After.” I had a goal in my mind and I naively thought that all my problems would thus be fixed when I was “skinny” and while they weren’t magically improved, there was a lot of improvement in my life. The biggest improvement, obviously, was my health. I was no longer pre-diabetic and I didn’t have high blood pressure. Mission accomplished. But when I was steadily truckin’ along, losing a pound here and a pound there, I couldn’t really see my future as a “skinny” person and now that I’ve kept the weight off for 6 years, I have a hard time picturing myself as I used to be. It’s strange how your reality and perception changes.

Over the years I’ve had ups and downs in my weight. I gained 15 pounds a few years ago and it took a really long time to lose that extra 15 pounds but I did it. Despite the occasional body image issues I still struggle with, my weight has been maintained in the same 4-6 pound range. Sometimes it’s more of a struggle to keep myself in that range. I am no longer naive about weight loss and I KNOW it takes hard work and honesty.

Honesty is the hard part. When you’re obese you’re not honest with yourself, or others, not really. When I was obese I would sneak food,  I’d eat in private, I’d make excuses as to why I wasn’t losing weight, I’d make excuses to other poeple– “No really, I don’t eat that much…I don’t know why I can’t lose weight…”  (Read these posts: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?An Excuse to Eat, and Overcoming Exercise Obstacles.) Once I faced that I was lying about everything and that I hadn’t REALLY tried to lose weight, I had renewed desire to really succeed this time.

I had to change the way I thought about food.

I had to change the way I thought about exercise.

I had to change the way I thought about MYSELF. No more excuses. 

Was it easy? Hell no! There were so so so many plateaus. There were set-backs. There were some very frustrating times where I felt like I was being punished because I couldn’t eat the same things everyone else was eating. Is it easier now that the weight is gone? Nope. It’s still hard. I still have to make an effort. I can’t just let things slide. I will probably always have to count my calories or do some sort of food tracking. I don’t think as a reformed binge-eater I can just stop doing what worked to lose the weight and keep it off and not expect to gain it back. So the hard work continues.

before

Don’t take that as a negative. Sure I’d love to not be AWARE of how many calories are in foods and wouldn’t it be nice to just sit down and binge eat a carton of ice cream? Or half a pizza (or, ahem, a whole pizza) like the old days? But I can’t unlearn that knowledge and I know how my body feels when I eat junk and when I eat good, healthy foods. I dislike that feeling of overeating now and when I go too long without eating fruits and vegetables I feel ill. Most of the time my healthy choices are second nature and I don’t give them any thought. On those times when it does feel like my willpower isn’t as strong as I’d like, I try to cut myself some slack. It’s ok to take a break sometimes.

It’s my 6th year anniversary of reaching goal weight. I’m now at the “After.” It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time I still feel that same giddy joy when I remember that moment when I stepped on the scale and saw GOAL WEIGHT. That feeling is still there and it helps keep me motivate to keep trying when things get rough.

Check out previous year’s anniversary posts here:

My 100 Pound Anniversary

100 Pound Anniversary – 3 Years

100 Pound Anniversary – 4 Years

Another Year Gone By — 5 Years

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Things are changing in my life. Priorities are shifting, goals are changing, but the fact remains: I love my fit life and I will always make myself and my health a priority. It has to be that way. If I’m healthy, my family is healthy. In a little over a month I will be marrying the love of my life. I expect we’ll start discussing family planning in the next year or two and that will most definitely effect my weight loss/maintenance journey. My sincere hope is that I can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life and hopefully pass on my love of healthy living to my future children.

For now, I keep truckin’ along. Another day, another week, another year goes by and I can happily say “I’m at goal weight.” That’s enough for me. Skinny isn’t necessary. I’d rather be healthy and fit.

Thanks for reading all these years!

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