Over the last seven months I have done fairly well in my quest to lose weight. About a week ago, I even hit the 25-pound weight loss mark.
Yee-haw. Whoopie. My joy has been extremely short-lived, because I have since gained back 3-4 pounds.
Despite my very best efforts to avoid the seduction of dieting (restricting my diet in a short-term manner that I would be unlikely to comfortably maintain in the "real world") and instead work on developing long-term healthier lifestyle choices- I have been unsuccessful thus far in developing habits that are able to stand the test of outside factors.
What I mean by this is, I have learned over the last 7 months that whenever I am operating in my normal, day to day "bubble", i.e.- experiencing normal stress levels at home and work, planning/eating my meals in advance at home, keeping track of how many glasses of water I drink each day, not going out to eat at celebratory parties/dinners with friends and family- I am okay. But the minute I venture outside of that bubble into a more unpredictable and uncontrollable enviroment, in this case- high work stress, time-consuming business deals, eating out with friends, sleeping less, business trips with unlimited delicious food- suddenly, I am thrown off. I get so caught up in what I'm doing that without meaning to, I quickly and conveniently disregard all my new "habits" and revert back to the old ones.
I know this is the absolute worst thing I should do, but I need to get it off my chest so I can move on- I feel pathetic whenever this happens. I am so dismayed that I'm 31 years old with everything a girl could ask for, but can't for the f*ing life of me pull away from food. I can summarize my dilemna to this one simple point- I do splendidly well avoiding food, but when faced with it, I crumble.
I make NO excuses for my behavior over the past few weeks. Even as it all unfolded, I was cognizant that for the first time in 7 months, my diet and exercise committment had been dropped from the #1 focus in my life, to #3 or #4. In this case, because I've been stressed, instead of using my downtime at home to relax and refocus (I have learned it is critical to be this way when confronting a serious behavioral addiction), I was instead stressed, tired, and irritable. This set the stage for me to feel "too tired" to give my diet and exercise the priority it deserved and needed. Bottom line- I allowed myself to eat more and exercise less. And for me, this translated into a highly depressing 3-4 pound weight gain.
I am consistently faced with the fact that the simple act of identifying my psychological, chemical (cravings) and environmental triggers are simply half the battle. The other more grueling half is actually conquering them.
If I've learned one thing over the past 7 months, it's to not get frustrated or depressed over a couple of bad days. I refuse to give up and go back to where I was 7 months ago. I have learned to love myself and my life far too much to throw it all away over some f*&^#ing Trader Joe's cinnamon twists or whole wheat pretzels. I refuse to be held hostage by the fear that I'll gain the weight back and hate myself again. As soon as I log off, I'm gonna pick out an exercise DVD and feel the burn. I'm coming back.