Starting Over And Believing I Can Do It Again

September 21, 2011

This is a hard post to write.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Jeffpro57

I failed.

In order to move forward I have to acknowledge how much I failed.  Like many a diet blogger, blog silence meant bad news as far as my weight is concerned.

I could try to explain but wouldn’t that just be making excuses?  In the end, I chose to stop doing what I know I need to do to manage my weight.  At first I just kind of stabilized, but a big snowball effect of one bad habit after another got going, and before long I had replaced basically every good habit with a bad one.  And the weight was coming on even faster than the bad habits.

I gained 34 pounds in about 5 months, and I was no where near a healthy weight as the starting point.  I tried starting on dieting several times during that period, but most efforts failed after a few days, or at best two weeks.

I’m now a mom, which brings its own sets of constraints to my life but has also brought a lot of motivation to be healthy and to lose weight again.  As the weight kept creeping up, I felt increasingly unhappy with myself for living my life so out of sync with my values, and for being back in this situation yet again.

Starting Again

That deep disgust with myself was of course what led me to start again yet again.  This time I did it with little fanfare – I did tell my husband that I was starting on a certain day, something he hadn’t heard from me in a while.  As always, the first few days were hard, then as the days went on it got easier again, and little by little a lot of my good habits have come back into my life.  I’ve been back on track for over 3 weeks now, and have made a pretty decent dent in the extra weight.  I’ve been really strict about what I’m eating, and trying to walk a lot for exercise.  It helps to have the baby who needs to get out into the air daily, sometimes we walk and run errands, sometimes we explore the city, sometimes we walk around the park.

Believing I Can Do It – Again

I’ve started over before, and I suspect in my lifetime I’ll fall off again and need to start over again in the future (although, hopefully not 34 pounds worth!). One thing that I think is critical is knowing I can do it.  I know that I stuck to a healthy diet, and a diet that made me slowly lose weight for almost two years.  Sure I had some periods when I went off and regained a little, sure I had quite a few times when I coasted and was “treading weight”, but I know I have a way of eating that I can live happily with once I get myself in the game.

I’ve started over before, I’ve lost these same 34 pounds several times before.  I wish I hadn’t, if I added up all the pounds I’ve lost in my life I’d be easily the negative image of myself.  But those smaller corrections – and a few larger ones like this regain – are real life.  And while I’m mad as hell at myself for letting the weight regain go so long – THIRTY FOUR POUNDS, what was I thinking? I wasn’t even the pregnant one and I gained more in 5 months than is recommended for a whole 9 month pregnancy!  I could keep going with self-flaggelation, but what really matters is that I stopped myself at 34 pounds, instead of letting it become 44, or 54, or some other even scarier number.

These past few weeks of being on track have me in a much better mindset and feeling better about myself.  I’ve been consistently losing, even a little faster than is usual for me.  I’ve been turning down all temptations without any hesitation.  Last week I was even able to enjoy a few bites of treats at one meal and still keep my diet goals in mind, which I think is critical to being in the long-term dieting groove.  Being psycho-rigid and not allowing even the smallest taste to me is not sustainable, and I don’t want to live that way.

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