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A weight loss journey is like a roller-coaster, there are many ups and downs and sometimes even full 360s. It's a never-ending journey if you want to maintain your weight loss. I have gotten a little lax in the past few months. Life has definitely gotten in the way but I have been an active participant. I recognized that it was time to recommit and get back on track.
When I started on this final weight loss journey my original weight goal was 164 pounds (I'm 5'8″), which is the highest weight that puts me in a “normal” BMI range. My lowest weight I've tracked on this journey has been 158 pounds. Over the past 6 months I have been within the same 10-12 pound range, between 158 and 170 pounds. My personal goal is 150 pounds. My “stretch” goal is 140. I haven't seen either of those two weights in many years. I am now determined to see both.
Figuring out how to get back on track
It's very easy to say, “oh I'll get back on track, that's no problem”. In reality, it's not easy and it takes a lot of effort. In the past I would plan out my entire week ahead of time. Right now I'm planning day to day, and sometimes meal to meal. I know I need to do this so whatever it takes to get me there, I am doing it. There are a LOT of self pep talks going on. I know how to do this. I have done this before. So why is it so hard to get back on track?
Life is not without stress. If it was, everything would be a lot easier. Unfortunately that is not the case. I have found that I lose track of myself because I'm focusing on everything and everyone but me and putting myself and my needs last. I get to the end of the day and realize I haven't done the things I wanted to do for me. Everybody else is happy but I'm left exhausted. A lot of things have changed in my house. The biggest change is that my son no longer takes naps on the weekend. I lived for those naps because that's when I would get my exercise in. Now he's awake all day and I feel like I have no time for me.
While I point to that change as the reason, I know it's just an excuse. If I really want to exercise I need to find and make the time to do so. I could get up early (although that's always been a tough one for me) or simply designate time after work as exercise time. I'm reflecting on the past few months to identify what has been holding me back and I've come up with the following:
- We have been doing a major home renovation since January and it was just completed mid-July. During those 7 months the entire house was in chaos with everything out of place. Half of the house was unusable because of the renovation. I know that I don't do well with chaos and need organization. This has taken a toll on me.
- I've been doing the bulk of childcare lately, or so it feels like, and have very little “me” time. I am not good at asking for help because I think I should be able to do it all. I then get resentful when I do have to do it all which I know isn't fair. It's my own fault and I need to work on asking for help.
- My father passed away and I've been spending a lot of time and emotional energy dealing with that life event. Since I got the news I've been in “take care of everybody” mode and not spent the time I need to deal with my own grief and loss. I didn't realize how much of a toll it had taken on me.
Taking that First Step
When I initially started on this final weight loss journey, I just started. One day I decided I'm going to do it. There was no pre-planning, no menu prep, I just started Weight Watchers. And after 6 months of floundering, that is exactly how I started recommitting to the journey – I just (re)started Weight Watchers. I began with breakfast, ate what I normally do, tracked it, then thought about lunch when it was time. For dinner and snacks I did the same thing. I did that for several days, each time taking it a meal at a time. I'm starting to think ahead a little bit to dinners, but more from the viewpoint of what might I need to pick up from the store to stay on track. It is working for me and I'm sticking with it.
Recommitting to Me
Since recommitting to the journey, each day has gotten a little bit easier than the last. I'm planning day by day, that's how much I can manage without overwhelming myself. I would love to be able to say I have the next few weeks planned out but I don't. I'm handling myself with kid gloves, trying not to do anything that makes me throw up my hands in frustration and say forget it. I recognize my mindset is vulnerable and I need to get back in the habit of tracking and planning gradually. If I try to jump back in full-force it will overwhelm me and I'll quit. For now I'm recognizing my limits and adapting accordingly.
To make things a little easier I'm relying on old favorites in terms of food. I'm cooking the things I love and find satisfying. I'm including as many of my favorite foods as I can so as to not feel deprived. I've been winging it for the past 6 months and it's difficult to accept that I now need to restrain myself again. Like anything it's a process no matter where you are on your journey. Acknowledging where you are and accepting your own limitations at any given time is key to long-term success. Never take on more than you can handle even if that means planning meal by meal. Instead of putting pressure on yourself to be some superwoman or what you think other people want you to be, look inward and put your own needs and limitations first.
P.S. Do you want to see the exact menus I used to get back on track? Download three days of meal plans – including never before published recipes – for free below!