Well, if anyone is still reading this, you probably noticed that I dropped off in September. Well, I’m back plus a little more of me – 9 pounds more to be exact. Yep, that’s what happens when I stop blogging and get busy with planning a wedding, a wedding, a honeymoon, a few holidays, and a few days out of town surrounded by lots of delectable goodies. During that time I also haven’t been reading many blogs or commenting on them, but I that will change soon. And I’ll be back to blogging regularly as well! Also, in keeping with the title of my blog “Journey to Goal,” I’ll be including some information about a few other goals not directly related to my healthy living goals. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know you’re still around.
A Few Reflections on 2009
I was looking back through my old spreadsheets and as of this morning, I weigh 7.1 pounds more than I did at the beginning of 2009, despite my great efforts to lose weight. Sobering. And I am down a mere 6.9 pounds from my all time high, which is where I was when I began this blog in September of 08. Again – sobering. However, rather than dwelling on all the negatives, I thought I would mention some positive things this year:
- First should be the most obvious: I got married!
- Did very well in the financial arena – kept track of every dollar spent (without it seeming like a big chore), paid off some student loans, paid cash for my wedding, and have a nice house fund established. I would say the biggest improvement in this area compared to the previous year was how easy it was and that I took several long breaks from couponing, deal-seeking and still stayed within a good budget.
- In spite of my overall weight gain for the year, I joined a Biggest Loser competition in May, was on fire with my weight loss then, and won (over $100!!)
- I worked out more times than in any other year.
- I made some great strides in going a little more “public” with my weight loss efforts – as in being able to talk to others (who weren’t struggling with their weight) some about my efforts without feeling like I was going to die of embarrassment. I also made some progress in not feeling guilty about spending a lot of time on my healthy living goals – preparing healthy meals, working out, blogging, and reading other blogs for encouragement.
Now, I also have a few regrets from 2009, namely being that I didn’t actually lose weight! (And there’s a couple other non weight related things I wish I had done differently as well.) That begs the obvious question, what should I do now.
I have thought and thought and thought about this question. Where should I could from here? I have tried and tried and tried in many different ways and with many different plans to lose weight over the past 13 years (since I was 13), and clearly have not been ultimately successful. So what should I do differently? Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve tried a thousand different approaches and tips and tricks. Nor do I think the answer lies in find the right weight loss approach. I know the facts of weight loss – create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories and burning more calories. Simple enough. Clearly, that’s not the problem. And I know it’s not even about finding the best way to accomplish that (although some ways are certainly better than others or more suited to me than others). And, trust me, I’ve tried about a thousand different methods of weight loss, from the more drastic to the very sensible. Here are some of the things I’ve tried:
- Simply eating as little as I possibly could (when I was much younger) with no calorie counting and being hungry all the time – obviously not at all healthy and I wouldn’t do that now
- Going on a complete fast (water only) for twenty-one consecutive days
- Going to WW meetings by myself
- Going to WW meetings with a friend
- Keeping my weight loss efforts to myself
- Having weight loss buddies to keep me accountable and sharing my efforts with those that were close to me
- Low Carb dieting
- Strict calorie counting
- More intuitive eating w/o counting calories or points or anything like that
- Completely avoiding sweets (my biggest weakness) for several weeks
- Blogging every day
- Rewarding myself for goals met
- Weighing daily
- Weighing every few weeks
- Joining contests
- Elaborate systems of tracking my goals
- Allowing myself treats daily to try and help not crave them
Anyway, you get the idea. I go to the point a couple times this past year where I just feel like I was at the end of my rope. I just didn’t know what else I could possibly do. I really want to lose weight. Losing weight would be good for me and those around me. I feel so, so much better when I am eating well and exercising. I know what to do. There are no great obstacles in my life that should prevent me from succeeding. So why don’t I? This word might be a little taboo in the weight loss world, but I can’t think of another word – I don’t consistently exercise “self-control” in the food/exercise arena. Now there are a thousand reasons why that might be, but the fact is I do not control my eating and exercising consistently. There’s really no other way to say it. I mean, when I’m not hungry and I go to the vending machine and get a candy bar when I know I shouldn’t and when I know it will only derail my efforts to lose weight, what else can that be called? The funny thing is, I can exercise a lot of “self-control” in other areas of my life – why not this one? Financially, for instance, I could go out and buy a lot of things that I really like and would enjoy, and I could even justify many of those purchases, but I don’t do that. I know that would be in conflict with other financial goals that are more important, so I just don’t. Why can’t I apply the same principles to my weight loss efforts? And I can and have be really on fire for a few weeks at a time – even as much as 2-3 months, but it never lasts. What can I do to make it last? To actually contionuously be making progress in losing weight (or even maintaining) even if it’s slow. And where should I go from here? I know the answer lies in my attitude – in making good choices even when I feel like I won’t succeed or in learning how to more consistently feel like I will succeed. In getting rid of the stupid all-or-nothing perfectionistic attitude that has been with me for 13 years no matter how clearly I recognize it and no matter how hard I try to rid myself of it. How do you change those attitudes that are so deeply engrained in your mind? I guess I just band-aid them rather than truly changing them.
Sorry to end on such a depressing note, but I’m out of time. I will write tomorrow with more upbeat news about my new (or not so new) plan.