an all too familiar feeling

8 Aug

Finally sobering up from last week, I spent some time this weekend thinking about what this journey means for me.  The last few days, I’ve been really struggling, feeling sluggish and finding myself tempted by junk that I haven’t had in months.

I have this fear in the back of my mind and recognizing a feeling that is all too familiar.  I have now lost 36.2 pounds, which is a big milestone because as an adult, it is the most I’ve lost at any one time.  In the past, the amount of weight that I’ve lost hasn’t been motivation enough to keep going.  Instead I relapse.  At 36.2 pounds, I am excited, but extremely skeptical and fearful of what happens next.

This skepticism combined with a feeling of not being on top of my game the last few days has really got me concerned.  I’ve learned so much about how to eat better and make better choices over the last few months.  My clothes were fitting better and I was feeling good.  But the last few days, I really feel like I’ve hit a wall.  I feel gross–sort of bloated and stuffed.  Nothing seems to fit right, the scale isn’t moving, and I can feel my motivation waning.  I know I am in dangerous territory.

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about what habits I ignore that are leading up to what feels a lot like a relapse?  I spent the better part of the day thinking about this and believe I’ve identified four things that have led to my failure in the past and are again threatening my progress.

  • Fear of Failure
  • Underestimating Small Decisions
  • Creating Unnecessary Obstacles
  • Losing Focus

Let me explain…

  1. Fear of Failure: At times I am my own worst enemy.  I hold myself back for fear of not doing something perfectly or failing altogether.  As far as this journey, I think my biggest mental block is seeing how far I’ve come.  Instead of seeing 36 pounds as a positive, a part of me sees it as a long way to fall, if for some reason I fail again.  If I had lost 5 pounds and regained it, I would have been bummed, but to regain 36 pounds…I’m not sure if I am prepared for such disappointment.  Rational?  NO.  A real fear? YES.
  2. Underestimating Small Decisions: A big part of this journey for me is not feeling deprived, as this tends to lead to burning out and giving up.  I admit that throughout this journey I’ve made what felt like small, insignificant decisions and ignored the implications.  I’ve decided to occasionally have “a bite of this” or “a bite of that” and then simply went on with life as though those small bites wouldn’t add up.  Looking back on those “insignificant” choices, I wonder if I unknowingly have been reinforcing bad habits and failing to build up the willpower that I need to be successful on this journey.  Now, I don’t think a bite of TB’s ice cream every so often or a little bite of cake here or there would make me regain a lot of weight, but I think it reinforces a nasty habit of not being mindful and treating these “bites” like free food.  I can see how this could easily get out of hand.  A bite today, could easily become three bites, a slice, or a binge tomorrow. Before I allow this to happen, I need to rethink EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth and CLAIM IT!
  3. Creating Unnecessary Obstacles: My last post was about eating home-cooked meals away from home.  I got an interesting comment on this one from reader and fellow blogger, Fit B, saying that she lets people know about her journey so that they can be supportive.  That approach was spot on and would solve the problem, but it was my response that later made me pause.  I responded that I wasn’t ready to tell everyone because I didn’t want people constantly monitoring what I eat.  After I responded, I thought…why IS that?  Is it because I don’t want people to hold me accountable?  I don’t want people to know if I jump or fall off the wagon?  I don’t want to give up that freedom of making bad decisions without being judged—or so I think?  WOW!  This blew my mind.  At the end of the day…I need to hold MYSELF accountable and stop with the excuses.  This is a tough realization.  No, it doesn’t mean I will rush out and post on Facebook that I am on this journey, but it does mean that I need to be aware that I tend to build up walls that I can hide behind.  It is no secret that I need to eat better and lose weight and the fact that I am trying should be applauded, not hidden.  I need to work on getting over this hang up, as it really would make my life easier.
  4. Losing Focus: And finally, my last epiphany is the simple fact that at times I lose focus.  I forget why this journey is so important.  I take my eye off the prize and get distracted.  If I am serious about doing this, I need to remain focused on what drives me to WANT to get better!

Okay, so this post is CRAZY long…my sincere apologies, but I needed to write down these thoughts.  I know I need to face my fears and get to a place where I can accept occasional slip ups.  I need to take ownership of bad choices and need to learn to stop myself before I make an excuse or make life harder than it has to be.  And I desperately need to STAY focused!!

Anyone else out there get to a certain point in weight loss where you hit a wall and begin slipping in the wrong direction?  What do you do to break through and stay focused?

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8 Responses to “an all too familiar feeling”

  1. Dee Dieter August 9, 2010 at 3:51 am #

    Once again, a wonderful post. #3 really hit me hard. I am totally there right now…Umm, yeah, the Unknown Dieter, right? I also just don’t want it to be an issue at all. I just want to eat healthy and be happy. Is that too much to ask? (lol)

    A big congrats on the 36.2 pounds. Please don’t give it up. You’ve lost this much. Just think of what you can do. Keep it up, buddy.

    • oddsagainstme August 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words and support. I’m trying to push past this wall out of the 30s and into the 40s. I know I can do this, just got to keep my focus! I’ll be rooting for you along the way as well!

  2. skinnygene August 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I’m really proud of you! You’ve taken the time to realize what 4 things have led to relapses in the past. In doing so, you’ve given yourself a chance to prevent them from happening in the future.

    Weight loss is HARD, because it’s not just what you eat, but how you think about and experience food. The most challenging part is recognizing your accomplishments and allowing others to praise and celebrate your success. Don’t fear the future, live in the present. Take pride in the actions you’re taking right now, that will create a healthier future.

    You’re doing a fastastic job! I have totally faith in YOU, and the fact that we’ll be seeing those 30s any day now:)!

  3. Fit Bee August 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    I thought I had done this last week being on vacation I began to slack a little bit and not tracking as much as I should have been. But I took out the old fat pictures and I actually put on a pair of old size 16 pants and I told myself “never again”.
    I think its important to recognize early when you begin to doubt yourself or slip up, but the most important is to look ahead to what you are working towards and remind yourself you can do it! Bravo to you for realizing before it got too late and to getting back on track!
    I know together all of us can succeed in meeting our fitness and health goals.

    • oddsagainstme August 9, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

      Raising a big glass of water to that, Fit Bee! We can and will succeed! Cheers! 🙂

  4. Emily August 10, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    An all too familiar feeling….oddsagainstme, you really nailed these oh so common problems on the head! You have done an amazing job identifying these barriers to success that we can all relate too! One thing that I have found to keep motivated is keeping a journal (or blog) and then reflecting on it. You can see the highs and lows of the journey, which can help you maintain your focus! It can also help you realize what you were doing successfully when the scale was going down! Another fun thing to keep handy is a list of all the reasons you want to lose weight, sometimes this helps keep the motivation up as well! Refer back to this list as often as possible!!!
    Keep up the great work! You have come a long way! So proud of you!!!

    • oddsagainstme August 14, 2010 at 5:27 am #

      Thanks Emily! I am blessed to have an amazing team rooting for me! 🙂 What a great suggestion re: keeping the list of reasons why I started this journey in the first place. I sat down and wrote out 24 reasons…I could have gone on forever! I am going to post them on the blog this weekend. I think this will definitely help to keep me on track!

  5. Karen@WaistingTime August 17, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Yes. I have done it over and over again as a yo-yo dieter. The past few months I have really struggled and been going in the wrong direction. This week I have been back on track, finally. What helped this time was making a goal that was a total behavioral change hoping to break my worst eating habits. So I ate only at my kitchen table for a week. What a difference that made for me!

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