Sunday, May 31, 2015

Setbacks and lessons

You might have noticed that I haven't written in about a week. I have a pattern with this blogging thing, though, don't I?
  • When I'm doing well, feeling strong, I write
  • When I forget how important eating properly is for my long-term health, I disappear
Sometimes I disappear when I'm not on a hiatus from healthy living, too, but most of the time when I'm not actively writing, on some level it's because I don't want to shine a light on the way I'm living.

No shocker then that last week wasn't my best ever in terms of my commitment to improving my physical and mental health. It started when I weighed in on Sunday morning, after a week of absolutely perfect adherence to the super-strict first week of South Beach, to find that I'd gained half a pound. Seriously? I didn't eat a single piece of fruit, nothing processed, no flour, minimal sugar, and I stayed within my caloric limits, too, every single day, even when it was tough. And still I gained. To say that I was upset would be an understatement.

I told myself that I would take this little setback as a sign that I needed to "lean in" - recommit and go after it even stronger for the second week. I told myself it was probably just water weight and that another on-plan week would take that half pound and more off of my abdomen. I told myself all of that and then I spent that day plus five more on an emotional eating bender; if there was a starchy carb within a mile, I stuffed it in my mouth. Not my best week ever, to be sure.

At the end of the second day of doing this, I noticed how horrible I felt - not just emotionally but also physically: bloated, stomach ache, no energy. Noticing it didn't stop me, though, at least not until Friday night after work when I stopped to evaluate where I was and where I wanted to be.

By the time I left for my Weight Watchers meeting early Saturday morning, I realized that my body's reaction to my poor food choices was actually a gift because it's further motivation for making changes. If I'd never had a six day food bender, I'd never have realized it because it took forsaking all of those sugar, starch, and carbohydrate-laden foods for a week and cleaning out my system for me to appreciate how yucky they make me feel.

So this morning, during a conversation with my Weight Watchers coach, I committed to writing up my Losing List - reasons why I want to lose these last 20 pounds - so that I stay focused on why this is important to me in the long run (instead of solely focusing on the short-term gratification of sugary treats.

Why I want to lose weight:
  1. to keep my diabetes under tight control, avoiding complications;
  2. to avoid feeling bloated and nauseated from processed foods;
  3. a smaller body makes practicing yoga and running easier;
  4. I want my clothes to fit properly again;
  5. to have a healthy level of body fat (25% or lower);
  6. to inspire people around me to make their own positive changes.
The actual, physical list is handwritten and will travel with me throughout the next week and beyond. Will this magically keep me from turning to food when I'm tired, angry, or sad? Probably not, but I'm hoping that by reading it regularly I'll at least be mindful of what I'm trading off if I choose to eat starchy carbohydrates and refined sugar.

2 comments:

That Girl said...

Setbacks are hard, but everyone has them.

Susan Wakefield said...

When you get on the scale and see a # you didn't expect to see based on what you've been doing - and you're not happy! - please remember that day-to-day (even week-to-week) fluctuations are normal and might not represent your "true" weight. I weigh myself every morning after peeing and before drinking any water (I figure that's the closest to a "control" situation as possible). My weight fluctuates between 99 - 103 lbs. That's a pretty large percentage! So for someone who weighs more, applying that percentage could mean a variation of 5 or more lbs., right? So that half pound likely meant NOTHING.