I've been thinking a lot lately about how I've been stuck and what the issue is. I need to be honest with myself - the issue is that I'm not eating the way I should and know I can. I am not eating horribly, because I am maintaining my loss within 1-3 lbs at any given time. But I am not doing what I could, diet wise, to get the loss going again. Remember back in the beginning, I mentioned how pita chips were a major weakness? Yeah I have been giving in to those at least twice a week. NOT good.
That must change!
So I gave myself a new mini-goal, which is to lose 5 lbs by this time next month. This week I have re-started...in other words, with the same determination I had back in January. My eating has been better (truly) and I have adopted a more regular exercise routine again.
All around me I see people struggling to lose weight. I try to encourage them and I realized that I need to take my own advice. Staying positive is essential if I am going to succeed. I think lately I have been more neutral...kind of like "eh, as long as I'm not gaining...I'll get to it eventually....". Instead I need to think "I can get this going again and I WILL get this going again! I WILL succeed!
Heck, if I truly expect to continue to run 5k's and improve my time, or run a 10k and hopefully a half marathon next June...I better get moving. To be in top condition that includes getting moving physically, mentally and nutritionally.
Another way I see others struggling (in my opinion) is being honest with themselves about the effort they put in and the choices they make. I am guilty of this as well. I understand how hard it is, especially starting out. When I first started exercising, I felt like dying after jogging for 10 seconds. So I would say "I did the best I could" and stop and walk. In reality, what would an extra 5 seconds be? That is what pushing yourself (safely of course) is about and it is what yields the best results. Or saying "I just don't know why I'm not losing any weight" when you are eating 3 bowls of sugary cereal for breakfast every day, chips for a snack, grilled cheese and fries with a side salad drenched in high fat dressing for lunch, a candy bar for a snack, and pizza and ! an apple! for dinner. I mean, you did eat that apple after all...and the salad...that's healthy, isn't it? Um no. It doesn't work like that. I am guilty of that sort of thinking/denial myself, and I think a lot of people are but aren't willing to admit it - even to themselves. Or another good one..."I only ate 900 calories today, why aren't I losing weight?! I'm so healthy!!" Yeah...No. It doesn't work that way either. Weight loss is about the right amount and quality of calories. You can eat too much, or too much of the wrong thing, or too little...all of those will serve to stall your weight loss.
I realize I have come a long ways - losing 45 lbs this past year (the old-fashioned way even) is hard work and it has resulted in a healthier, happier me. I run 5'ks for Pete's sake...I NEVER would have thought that possible. But I still have a long ways to go, and it has been a bummer to know I have so far to go, and be so completely stuck for so long now.
I think in the past, I have downplayed my struggles in this blog. I mention them yes but I think I need to be even more honest about it. How can I deal with something unless I fully admit and understand it? How can I tell others to be honest when I am not even being completely honest myself? I think that a renewed sense of determination along with more honesty will help me. I hope.
Confession - over Thanksgiving break, I gained 5 lbs. FIVE!! I felt disgusting. And disappointed in myself. I know that most people probably do gain a bit during Thanksgiving, but I felt like I should know better. I have worked so hard to lose my weight, why would I set myself back like that just for some pecan pie? (Because trust me, I ate my fair share of that. And it's only like, a billion calories per piece). Luckily, within a week, I lost that weight again without even trying. (A good sign - it shows that I truly can maintain easily without working hard at it, and I am glad to know that in the back of my mind). But the thing is, I lost that weight I had gained and then BAM. A brick wall. WTF? Seriously, WTF?
Ok. So I actually know WTF. I am just not eating the way I need to if I want to lose again. We've established that. So here is my official plan. Written out in all of its formal blog glory:
1. Treadmill 2-3x week, weights 2x a week, other exercise such as Wii boxing, 30 day shred, etc 2x a week. Every couple of days a rest day is required so that my muscles and body have a chance to heal themselves for optimum performance the next time. (I read that, don't I sound smart?)
4. More lean meats
5. Less carbs from sources like bread, pasta, etc.
6. Eating out less, and when we do eat out, making better choices.
7. Less high calorie beverages (fancy coffee and alcoholic beverages like wine coolers are the main offenders for me - instead I can cut down on these things and when I do choose to indulge, stick with more basic coffee, low-fat versions, smaller sizes, and wine instead of Sex on the Beach (just as an example. Sex on the Beach is SO good but I don't even want to know the calories!)
8. Keep my eye on the prize - being able to finish a half marathon next summer, and making my goal weight some day!
Wish me luck. It might be a bumpy ride but let's hope I make it to the other side in one piece!
"There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them."
- Clare Boothe Luce