I’ve been thinking about this blog post, but I haven’t wanted to write it. I’ve tried not to think about it, in fact, but reality hit me square in the face yesterday. I’ve gained weight. More than a few pounds, I’m about 15 pounds higher than where I want to be, what I determined to be my “happy” weight. It has happened slowly, but yesterday I put on a pair of jeans that were too snug in the tummy to wear.
I’ve thought a lot about how this happened, and I can tell you exactly what the issues are:
- After I hit my “goal weight,” I thought I could breathe a little easier. Not be as strict on myself. Treat myself now and then, and maybe lighten up on those leafy greens. Not cooking every weekend for the week ahead.
- While I haven’t had any fast food and very little processed food, I have identified some problem foods: Kashi cereal, ice cream and Pop Chips. On their own, none of these foods are horrible. I just have portion control issues with all three. I’ve moved beyond a handful of Pop Chips, half a cup of ice cream, a small bowl of cereal. While I hate to “ban” any one food from my taste buds, these are foods I need not to have readily available.
- Portion control. I’m still eating well, but am not paying as much attention to how much I’m eating.
- I’ve continued to train twice a week, and I’ve toned up and gotten so much stronger. But I’ve lightened up a little on the cardio. I do 30-45 minutes four times a week, which is admirable, but less than I was doing before.
- I’ve let myself get caught up in the numbers, both calories and weight, when before, I was focusing on eating clean and healthy. Part of this is a result of the online food journal I’m using, My Fitness Pal. It tallies calories in and out, then provides a message that “if every day is like today, you’ll weigh XX in five weeks.” That works great for some folks, but it messes with my head a little.
- I’ve also gotten caught up in the notion of good and bad, black and white. On more than one occasion, I’ve had a treat and instead of moving on, I’ve adopted that dreaded “I’ll do better tomorrow, but since I’ve already blown it, I’ll go ahead and have xxx.”
- As I’ve always known, I’m an emotional eater. I’ve had some external stresses in the last few months, and instead of talking or working them out, I’ve tried hard to stuff them down. That always seems to lead to me also stuffing down food, and even healthy food in large quantities isn’t so healthy. I’ve found a few folks that I can really talk with, and they are helping keep me in check.
In my head, I know that gaining back a little weight, even 15 lbs., is not the end f the world. I have stuck to the tenets of the plan that got me healthy, I just need to tweak it up a little and get back on my game.I’ve already identified what the issues are, I know what to change – easy enough.
Emotionally, it’s a different story. That annoying voice in my head is saying things like “You’re so slack to let this happen” and “LOOOOOSER!” While most of you would may not even notice the gain, I feel like everyone is staring at me, thinking “I knew she wouldn’t keep it off.” I don’t want anyone to see me because I am embarrassed. I didn’t want to blog because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was struggling.
Despite the fact that I felt fat, last night I went to see my former nutrition counselor and friend, Traci, speak to Cardinal Newman basketball players with her mother, a gold medal winner. (Check out her story at bardinginbrazil2016.com.) I didn’t know that while Traci had been offered a basketball scholarship to play at LSU, two high school knee blowouts prevented her from actually playing there. When someone asked how she picked herself back up, she said, “You can either cry about it or pick yourself up by the bootstraps and move on.” She probably doesn’t know that was exactly what I needed to hear, but once again, she was spot on.
I am spending today getting my act back together. Those clothes that have gotten a little snug are going in the back of my closet so they don’t smack me in the face every day. (But I’m not packing them away – I’ll be back in them soon!) I’m making a grocery list and planning next week’s meals. I’m straightening the kitchen so I can cook tomorrow. I’m organizing the studio downstairs so I can work on some projects for an upcoming holiday sale. I’m resisting the urge to shop for things I don’t need to instead plan for the week ahead, get my lists together and tackle things a little more purposefully. I’m also focusing on some self-care this weekend, knowing that before I can be of any use to others, I first have to be right with myself.
Now that I’ve come clean, I’d love your advice! We’re all in this healthy living thing together. Ever had a situation similar to mine? How have you handled it? What helps keep you positive when times are tough? What’s the best way you’ve found to pull yourself up by the bootstraps?