Friday, March 20, 2015

"You Did It Once, You Can Do It Again!".... Right?

Sometimes I'm really amazed at how I lost 50 pounds in the span of around 8 months in 2010. I'm still the same person I was a few years ago, but at the same time so many things are different. I keep telling myself this time around that "Hey! You did this once before and you were awesome! You can do it all again!"

 Well, if only it was that simple.

The truth that I've realized is that past success doesn't guarentee I'll be successful this time. And that just replicating what I did last time will work this time. 5 years is a long time, especially when you're a 20-something and things change quickly. I was just starting a new job, I had never really made any attempts to lose weight before that, and I was starting an entirely new lifestyle as a full time employee living on my own and in a new area. It was really that so many things were changing, why not add in being healthy to all of that. And it worked amazingly well! But a key component of that was being able to give my weight loss effort almost all of my attention and time. I didn't have a boyfriend, I wasn't taking grad classes once or twice a week at night, I didn't socialize as much since I was new to the area and didn't know many people. It was a completely different set of challenges. And I managed to conquer them. But it was basically by being a diet hermit (as I've coined the phrase). I didn't really eat out, so it wasn't an issue to make healthy food at home. I still thought craft beer tasted funny so I didn't drink it. And I wasn't spending large portions of my time staying at someone elses's apartment where I don't have my usual snacks or exercise time.
So I've come to realize that I can't just "redo" what I did 5 years ago.
I think that's an issue a lot of us who are restarting are facing. Everyone thinks "you did it once, it shouldn't be that hard!" But a lot of times the reason we gained back weight is because our lives are different. Now I have a work schedule were I'm working for 7 days straight and getting off on Monday and Tuesday instead of every other weekend. I'm in grad school where I don't get one night a week to eat a normal dinner or workout. And I have my boyfriend, where I spend many of my weekends over there and his health habits don't line up with mine most of the time. And we go out and drink beer and I generally don't workout over there. So I can't just lock myself away for the next 6 months and do this all over again. I have to make it work with the hand I'm dealt now.
The last week and a half has been focused on all the little things I can do to be successful. I've been much more conscious about choosing food at restaurants, budgeting for the calories (i.e. working out that day to "earn" it), and limiting myself to 2 beers. I've been bringing breakfast, lunch, and snacks to work so I'm not tempted to eat something unhealthy. And most importantly, I've made time for exercise instead of excuses! Working on the weekend isn't always a bad thing, I have time in between satellite passes or after they're complete (usually around noon) to workout at the office gym in the building. It's nice because no one is there. Or I can run on the trail next to work. If I have the day off, I can head ot the gym or fit in a workout at home. And of course, logging on MFP has always been part of hte equation then and now.

The moral of this post is that I totally understand how frustrating it is to hear "you did it once, you can do it again!"  Even I was kicking myself and saying the same thing. Why the heck not?! But it really takes looking at your situation now and adapting. I'd love to have that time back 5 years ago when I could focus 100% on all this, but it's not realisitic. A lot of you have had a kid, gotten married, changed jobs, had an unfortunate life event... and you can't just do everything over again. But we can make it work. I'm hoping all these little things I'm changing add up. So far I'm down about 3 pounds from the day I said I'd had enough, which was 10 days ago. Probably water, but if I hadn't made that change then I would have been worse off. I just have to keep reminding myself that it won't take overnight and that I won't get there if I get defeated now. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Absence Make the Waist Grow Wider

So 6 months off from MFP is not a good idea. It's a terrible idea in fact. I took the one major component of my weight loss success and maintenance and I slacked. And where did that get me? 200 lbs. Yep, it needs to be written out (and bolded) because I swore to the high heavens I would NEVER EVER see that number on a scale again (barring pregnancy or something). And now I have. And I HATE IT. I know I did this to myself. Every single lazy and bad choice I made where I could have done better led to this. Every day I skipped logging because I was too lazy to look something up or I just didn't care how many calories went in and out. And now my clothes don't fit, I'm wasting money on new pants, and I feel like sh*t. Honestly, I wake up every morning kicking myself for not doing better and I've let it really get to me. I switched to a new postion at work, let working every other weekend mess up my schedule, and that only made things worse. I was already being lazy and that only gave me yet another excuse.

So, now what? I've admitted I got myself to this point. Now do something about it! I know I have stuff coming up in my life where I don't want me weight holding me back. I'm still dating my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years, so I'm anticipating that progressing to the point where I need to look amazing in a beautiful white dress ;-) Not to mention at other people's life events, the beach, etc... I want to walk up a few flights of stairs and not be winded at the top. I really want my entire closet back!! It's not that every single item of clothing doesn't fit, it's just that I looked 10 times better it all of it. I really want my Lilly Pulitzer dress to fit again!!! Plus I'm wasting a ton of money eating out when I can easily bring lunch or cook a healthy dinner. This past week was slightly weird circumstances (getting snowed into a hotel down the street from work for 2 days so I could get there in the snow storm, the joys of being an essential employee). 

So I need some rules.
- GYM! I have an awesome gym and there's no excuse not to get there. I'm shooting for 4 days a week at a minimum. I have grad class one night a week, so that leaves the other 4 evenings. On the weekends, there must be some activity (getting up and exploring with my bf or walking or helping with condo rehabbing) or an actual workout if I have to work that weekend. My work has a gym, I can go in between satelllite passes to workout for an hour.
- FOOD! The junk nibbling has to stop. I keep buying crap that I nibble on and it just adds up to hundreds of extra calories. From now on it's healthy and filling meals and snacks. MFP logging will keep me in check and make sure I'm getting enough protein in there, otherwise I'll default to bad carbs. 
- STRENGTH! It's been months since I ventured downstairs at my gym to the weights and strength machines. That was definitely a part of my sucess to build up some muscle and endurance. Not just slacking on the Crossramp machine.
- RUNNING! Ah yes, my nemesis. Even when I was in super awesome shape, I wasn't that great. But it was a workout. And it pushes me like no other kind of exercise can. So I need to hit the treadmill at the gym or the running trail right next to my offie building. I can easily run on the trail on the weekends instead of using the office gym. I might look for a 5K to run in May, although I'd only have 2-ish months to prepare from being really out of shape. I never stopped going to the gym, but my cardio endurance isn't great right now.

So, now that I've laid it all out on the table, I need to stick to it this time. I really can't keep going like this wallowing in my own self loathing. I can get myself out of this, but some things have to change. NOW!