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. 

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