I’m not proud of this fact. Actually I’m really, really, really pissed off about it because it’s my fault. I dropped the ball. Me. First by not watching what I ate, then progressively eating more and more, followed by not working out. The resulting weight gain shouldn’t be a surprise but it’s still a disappointment. Worse, the blame lands solely at my feet. And you know how I deal with my emotions, especially bad ones, I eat them.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I’ve been on a diet roller coaster for most of my adult life. It’s annoying, frustrating and real big pain in the ass. It’s deeply unfair that you gotta work so damn hard to lose a pound but it’s takes ZERO effort to gain seven pounds.
I AM ANGRY. MAD. SAD. And ready to rumble.
How My Get Healthy Journey Went Sidewise
And I’m over it now. Because I don’t want to rant, I want results. These means I can’t revert back to old Tanya who would give up. Pout and whine and play for your sympathy. Nope, don’t want it. I know what I did wrong. It falls into 3 categories.
I Was Too Aggressive
I intentionally went low carb because my carb addiction was pretty overwhelming and I needed to reset the amount of carbs I ate to a reasonable, healthy amount versus as much as I could stuff in my face. Seriously, that’s how I ate my carbs. And it worked. I reduced my carb intake without morphing into a raging beast and I lost weight. Woo-hoo! But I kept my carb intake too low for too long, particularly since it’s not my intent to ban pasta or potatoes or bread or fruits or starchy veggies forever, but to simply be mindful about the amounts I ate. Because I only allowed an extremely limited amount of carbs, I went a little crazy and couldn’t stop eating them when I did.
Lesson Learned: Slower weight loss is okay, if it means that you can actually do it long-term and reach your goal. And, you know, learn sustainable healthy eating habits.
I Stopped Paying Attention
Up until Christmas I diligently tracked everything: my weight, measurements, calories and fat intake. It was a pain but it worked. After Christmas, I stopped. First, it was because I was sick then … no reason … I just didn’t do it. No, that’s a lie. The initial reason was laziness, plain and simple, and eventually I realized my weight loss was turning into weight gain, but I didn’t want to see the facts. I wanted it to be fake news. Thus, I ignored the obvious, which stressed me out because my brain and heart knew the truth, so I just inhaled more food and stopped exercising consistently.
Lesson Learned: Tracking IS a pain. But it works. Do it.
I Have Self-Sabotage Tendencies
The above two are pretty common problems and fairly easy to remedy but this is the tough one for me. I place unrealistic expectations around being healthy and fit that my brain knows are distorted but I still believe. And it scares me. Because I was seeing great success; because my goal was coming into reach; because I don’t always believe I deserve happiness, I screw up intentionally so my life stays the same — where I am comfortable but not necessarily happy. Like undermining my get healthy efforts by ignoring the obvious: my body telling me to not put that food in my mouth because I wasn’t hungry but bored. Or lonely. Or just scared and anxious. This must stop but honestly I’m not sure how to do it, yet.
Lesson Learned: Stop avoiding doing the work around my self-sabotage tendencies. It won’t go away on its own.
But I’m also, Really, Really, Really Proud of Myself Too
Say whaaaaat? How can I be proud? Well, I am. I am proud because all the previous times I shrugged as the pounds started to creep back on and did nothing about it. This time, I’m not waiting until my weight gain exceeds the amount of weight I lost (happened all the previous times, sadly) but I’m taking care of business now. Today.
- I’m going low-carb for three weeks. To reset my carb intake. Sigh.
- I’m going to increase my carb intake after three weeks, still limiting the amount of bread, pasta and potatoes but adding more veggies and fruits.
- I’m going to schedule cheat meals (1-2 per month) because I do better with them. But a meal versus even a day or a weekend. I struggle harder to get back on track the longer I indulge myself.
- I’m going to get back on a consistent workout schedule.
- I’m going to have to find some help to deal with the self-sabotage issues because I don’t think I can solve the problem myself.
I’ve done this before and can do it again. And I will keep doing it until I get it done.
What’s helped you get back on track when you’ve gotten off goal?
kathy @ more coffee less talky says
so here are my thoughts: i eat potatoes. lots of them without any adverse reaction. i’m not saying eat 8 potatoes but potatoes in my books are ok and not bad for you. these are grown naturally so if you can grow/harvest them, you can eat them. what i dont like are processed stuff – breads, pastas etc. i differentiate between grains and carbs – grains are the breads/pasta..processed aka not good for you. carbs are in everything we eat – vegetables, fruits etc. the difference is if they’re processed or whole and things like potatoes, things we grow/harvest are whole.
even on my weight loss journey, i ate potatoes – as much as i wanted without weighing or tracking and that didn’t affect my progress because when you cut out grains, you actually enable your body to *feel* hungry. there’s a protein in grains that suppresses the “i’m full!” receptor in your brain so i never overate because when i was full, i was FULL and had zero desire to eat more. of course, you still have to portion control since you can still over eat on healthy foods but cutting out grains was a game changer for me.
you can do this. do what works for you! dont beat yourself up, just climb back on and keep at it.
That’s a great point about potatoes and I did feel a difference when I cut back on the bread and pasta. Like I said, I kept it too low carb for too long, so when I ate some bread or pasta, I liked it a little too much. Plus, when I didn’t immediately see an adverse affect, I kept pushing the limit! But moderation is what I want to do because I can get obsessive if I tell myself I can’t have something. I still want to keep my bread/pasta intake low but not completely off limits too. And long-term, I definitely don’t want to worry about eating a beet or an apple! Because let’s get real: I didn’t fat from eating too many apples!
Tonya@Budget and the Beach says
I agree with tracking. It IS a royal pain in the butt but it does seem to work. Sorry thing didn’t quite go as planned. 🙁
I know, right? Why does what works have to be so dang hard. Honestly, I thought because I had tracked diligently for a long time that I would be able to mentally keep track … and no. I’m bummed that it’s 7 pounds weight gain versus 7 pounds weight loss but I am glad that I’m also choosing to do something about it now, which I have not done previously when the weight crept back up.
You’ve got this, Tanya! You’re so self aware and I think that’s a HUGE quality in major lifestyle overhauls. It’s ok to slip a little while you’re climbing that goal mountain. Just stand back up and keep climbing! Good luck!! You’re inspirational!
Thanks for the support, Audrey. It means a lot to me! Many times in the past, I’ve stuck my head in the sand, but I really do want to get fit and healthy and don’t want to go back to where I was. Slip-ups do happen, all the time. It’s really what you do after a slip-up or fall that matters. Something I constantly remind myself.
It is a good thing that you realized that you went off track but stopped the train from plunging off the mountain, you know what I mean? YOU GOT THIS!!!! 🙂 #teamtanya
I know exactly what you mean, Mackenzie. Because previously I always plunged off that mountain when the weight came back. This time, I’m going to do this differently! Thanks for your support, Mackenzie! I appreciate it so much!
Nancy @ NY Foodie Family says
Do not beat yourself up over this! You are aware of what you’ve done and how you can change and I think that’s huge! I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon big time but I’m so happy that I made myself go to the gym the other day. I’m starting to eat healthier now that the holidays are over. Just whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself! You got this Tanya!
Thanks, Nancy! I do think the fact that I’m acknowledging my mistake and doing something about will make a huge difference. In the past, I just pretended the weight gain wasn’t happening. 😀 It’s so dang easy to fall off the wagon when it comes to exercising and eating healthy. It’s deeply unfair that so much yummy stuff is bad for you! I know when I exercise consistently it tends to be easier to eat healthy because I don’t really enjoy working out so I don’t want my effort to be nothing. It’s when I stop exercising that my eating gets really, really bad!
Rebecca Jo says
Ohhhhh my friend, how I feel this post. I have gained back ALL of the 40 lbs I lost 2 years ago & I’m so super pissed off by it, it’s ridiculous. But saying all that, I’m in need to get back on the train & go in the right direction myself… again. It’s all about never giving up, right? Staying SUPER aware. We got this!
Oh Rebecca. I’m sorry to hear that but I can relate because that is what always happened to me in the past too. I’d lose weight and regain back And more. It is about never giving up and forgiving yourself and getting back on track. We definitely got this!
Good for you, Tanya. I’ve been in a weight loss program through my local hospital for over a year now and while I’ve lost a good amount of weight, I’m a bit stuck right now and I keep going up and down with a few pounds. It’s nothing crazy, but I KNOW it could get out of hand if I don’t really start working on it again. I’m going to have to try and drink more water, watch what I eat more and figure out new healthy recipes. and of course…get moving more. As for your last program, self-sabotaging. I wish I had tips for that. The only advice I can say is to find things to distract you instead of eating – reading, journaling, getting out of the house, etc.
Thanks, Lauren! And congratulations to you too on your weight loss! It’s not easy but it is worth it. I just need to get focused again and I know the pounds will come off again. And yes, I most definitely need to find things to do when I get those “hunger” moments too.