I just read this awesome blog over at Attune Foods titled “Eat less… Move more” which perfectly explains why it is so difficult for some to drop weight, and why so many people start gaining weight again even after they have said “Never again!” 3 times before and still gained it all back and then some.
I know I am one of those people. I remember the last time I was on my weight loss journey. I got confident about my journey. I remember looking at myself after dropping 40 pounds, and feeling good. And saying “I don’t know how I ever gained all this weight. Never. Never ever again.”
Then, I lost my apartment complex gym because we bought a house, and despite all my good intentions to keep walking the dog, I failed to do that as well. Then we got engaged and were planning a wedding. And even then, I went and bought a gym membership and got back into it again a few months before my wedding. I spent several months in a good place. But then the wedding was over, and I started doing photography on the weekends and making excuses why I just couldn’t get the gym. I used my gym membership for 4 months, and then just stopped. And once I stopped that good habit, I started back up with all the old bad habits. Slipping over to the grocery store during my lunch break and picking up a bag of peanut butter m&ms and a frapp from Starbucks and maybe a piece of coffee cake. Too much sugar, no exercise and very little good, healthy food. Coming home every single night and editing instead of taking the dog out for a walk. So almost immediately I gained all of that weight back, plus some.
And then I started blaming it on my health. Saying that there HAD to be something wrong with me because I gained ALL that weight SO QUICK. Well, there was something wrong. A few things wrong. I have an insulin issue. My body regulates based on the amount of exercise I do and what my sugar intake is. And if I stop what I am doing, my body isn’t regulated anymore. So I end up gaining weight back at a faster rate than most people do. And even though this could be a great way for me to be discouraged, this isn’t the reason I gain the weight back. Honestly, it is just something that I can easily blame.
But the biggest problem is not that my body does what it does naturally, it is that I get lazy. I start thinking “okay, I’ve put in all this work, I DESERVE a break.” Which would be fine, if my break was for 15 minutes during a run, or a day during a crazy busy week. But for me, if I give myself an inch, I take a mile. I look at my “break” the same way I look at my “moderated sugar intake”. Oh, it is okay if I have a bag of M&M’s this week!” When in reality, I know that if I buy a bag, I get addicted and I keep eating. Then I buy another bag. And another. If I have more than one latte a week, I make excuses to have one day every day. “Oh, I didn’t sleep well, so I really NEED coffee today.” Well, that would be fine if I was just getting a coffee, but even when I go for the tall skinny vanilla latte, my sugar intake is more than what it needs to be. I can’t justify the skinny every day the way I would justify it once a week.
So I MUST build boundaries for myself. I MUST give myself a gym schedule that I can’t exuse myself from. I MUST give myself boundaries on foods. And I have to remember that my gym time and my running time is my ME time, and to take great advantage of that. If I am not taking advantage of that time, I am taking advantage of myself.
One of my boundaries is that I won’t talk about my process in a negative way, nor will I demean myself, whether it be my past self, my present self, or my future self. Which includes the “Never again” phrase. I feel like I am setting myself up for failure with it. Why would I make a statement like that, when I know how difficult this process is already? And seriously… Never again WHAT? Never again will I sabbotage my process? False. But do I now have ways to help myself in moving past those sabbotaging thoughts and actions? Yes. Never again will I be fat? What is fat? What if I get down to 125 pounds and decide THAT is too fat? And my mind set is this NEVER AGAIN. Will it breed resentment if I get pregnant and gain 30 pounds? Will I start doing unhealthy things because I am upset about that weight gain because I gave myself this horrible statement?
No. I just won’t do it this time. I refuse to negate all of the hard work I am putting in just because I don’t want to relapse. Instead of saying NEVER AGAIN, goal setting seems to be a much better way to stay on track and motivated. NEVER is not a goal deadline. But today… today is. Tomorrow is. A week. A month. Something to work for, rather than to work against.
It goes against EVER SINGLE PART OF MY BEING to go with the flow instead of against the grain. But sometimes… You just have to fall in to the process and find out where it takes you.. but it sure it good to carry some survival rope along with you for good measure.
So my parting words today, since I seem to be rambling.. It is okay to be afraid of the process, but you still need to give in, not give up. Because as long as you educate yourself along the way through your experiences, you will find your way through. Your journey has every opportunity to be a thing of beauty.