Turning a Setback Into a Comeback

riseIn my quest to be healthier, I have experienced a setback. After ending weekly meetings with my nutrition counselor in March of 2012, I was ready to continue my journey on my own, a step I knew I needed to take. Yet instead of finally reaching that magical number of 100 lbs. lost, I found myself up twenty-something pounds by the end of the year.

I can give you 100 reasons why I added the extra lbs., but I think the bottom line is this: I took my eye off of the ball . After two years of planning every bite, I was ready to be a little more spontaneous. After two years of cooking on Sundays, I was ready to take a few more Sunday naps. After two years of maneuvering potential food traps, I was ready to catch my breath.

In addition, I fell back into the “I’ll start again tomorrow” habit. If you read this blog, you know exactly what I mean. Ooh, I haven’t had chocolate mint ice cream in so long. I’ll have some today and start fresh tomorrow. No wait, I’ll start on Sunday since that’s the official start of the week.  Or should I start on Monday?  Yes, Monday.  Monday is really the official start of the week since I go back to work on Monday. (Enter Monday morning, and it’s a staff meeting. The boss brought bags of half-off Easter candy.)  Well great, it’s Monday morning and I just ate enough pink M&M’s to choke an Easter chick.  I can’t get a fresh start today!  Since my day is ruined I will eat everything in sight to get it out of my system so that I can be ready to start fresh tomorrow morning….or should I wait until next Sunday? Or even next Monday, since that’s the first day of the month. (We’re all giggling now because it sounds so stupid, yet most of us have been there at least once.)

I do need to say that, aside from my week in New York City, I didn’t fall to far off of the clean eating bandwagon. There were only a few times in nine months that I went through a drive-thru, ate French fries and/or ate processed food with reckless abandon. More than sins of commission, mine were sins of omission — in a word, veggies. That, with larger portions of healthier food, really threw me off. I also continued working with my trainer, Danny, and exercising, but experienced the same sins of omission: sleeping in on Mondays because it’s so hard to readjust my sleeping schedule, not visiting the hotel gym when traveling, leaving my pedometer at home. And while the slip-ups may have been “small’ in the scheme of things, they added up to big problem, twenty-something lbs. worth of them.

I ended 2012 heavier, frustrated and discouraged. I figured I had two choices: I could dust myself off and move forward or sit and be mad with myself, which never helped anything. I avoided making sweeping resolutions for the New Year, but spent that week evaluating where I had gone astray and how I could find my way again. I thought about what worked so well when I was meeting weekly with Traci and decided to:

  • Take it one week at a time, making and achieving small goals and building on that success. This week’s goals were  to get at least one serving of vegetables every day and not to eat any candy, which I overdosed on over the holidays.
  • Focus on eating clean and healthy, not counting calories.  While I love the accountability of MyFitnessPal.com, the focus on the calories throws me off of my game. Instead, I am using a personalized food journal I created via Tap Forms.
  • No matter what, get at least 30 minutes of cardio at least five days a week and continue to train with Daniel twice a week. Getting up at 4:24 a.m. to get to the gym isn’t easy, especially on a Monday, but my day is immeasurably better when I do. Life happens, but when I plan ahead, I can generally work around anything.
  • Add some accountability to mix and to channel my inner-Traci. Beginning tomorrow, I will post on the blog my weekly food journal from the week before. The point is for me to be accountable to something and someone, even if no one else reads it. And while I’ll never be Traci, I can incorporate some of her methods; with the weekly blog posts, I’ll celebrate the good things I did, note the areas for improvement and set goals for the coming week.
  • Cook on Sundays and/or plan ahead. My goal is to always have something healthy available and to not get caught without a plan for the following day.

Nothing was more reassuring to me than something I saw yesterday, a picture of me exactly three years ago.

Blog_Three Years

I’m still shocked to see those before pictures, a visual representation of how far I have come. This setback just a small bump in the road on my way to a healthier me.

Now, into the kitchen for my Sunday stock up!

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