Don’t you love when life gets busy and you forgot to post your blog until the title doesn’t make sense?
When I had my eye on the ball of marathon training, I took my eye OFF of the ball in terms of weight maintenance and have regained – to the tune of weighing 222 pounds at a recent doctor’s appointment. I won’t lie, I did a lot of wallowing in self-disgust when I crossed 200 pounds again after promising myself I would never go back there. You know what that wallowing got me? Another 20 pounds. Sigh. Enough of that. Time to put on my big-girl panties and deal with this. In addition to the weight gain, my blood pressure was 140/93 at my neurosurgery appointment last week. NOT good. I had high blood pressure for several years before I lost weight. I don’t want to go back there.
Self-disgust is over. Time to own it (and tell you guys) and move forward. I’ve been tracking in Weight Watchers again and re-reading the Beck Diet, which I found really helpful the first time I did this. I thought it might be good for those of you who’ve never read this book (which I highly recommend!) to go through the exercises in the book week by week for a little while, as I’m working through them myself.
The book embraces cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to dealing with eating habits, rather than any specific diet. It focuses a lot on the mental aspect of weight loss, which was crucial to my success in first losing weight and in keeping it off for so long. I think once I re-lose this time (and I will!), I may need to make a deal with myself to re-read this book once a year to reinforce these habits!
So, week one gets you ready. First, you write down your why. Actually write it down (the Beck approach is big on the act of writing things down so you can re-read them). I did this early on when I first lost weight and looked at the list over and over. I even updated the list when I was in maintenance. I haven’t thought of that list in ages, which might be why I’ve regained. I wrote a new list last week, in the book where I keep all of my other essential lists. We’ll talk more about my new list later, but it’s definitely a powerful exercise if you’ve never actually thought about WHY you want to lose weight.
You also pick a diet. Beck doesn’t recommend any specific diet – just that you choose your diet AND your back up diet, for if the first one “fails” (ie you can’t follow it or don’t like it or whatever). I really like that you have to think of your plan B from the beginning. You learn a lot about what you can and can’t really follow when you actually try to change your eating habits. For now, to get back into the groove of tracking and eating better, I’m starting with Simply Filling from Weight Watchers (more here). If I don’t start to lose on this plan, I’ll go back to traditional WW. I’m just tracking in the app now, but know I should go back to meetings as well. The accountability of the weekly “public” weigh in was very helpful for me in the past and I should probably go again.
A couple of other steps in week one include sitting down to eat and slowing down to notice your food. I really need to work on this because right now, I only manage that at dinner. Breakfast and lunch are always rushed affairs on work days, without necessarily sitting and definitely without any slowing to notice my food.
My favorite step from week one is give yourself credit. It is so easy to get into this loop of focusing on all the things we’ve done wrong without noticing what we do right. Know where that gets you? Nowhere good. Yes, I’m no longer looking like that joyous first half marathon picture I see every time Facebook shows me a “your ad here” preview for the blog’s Facebook page. I did not appreciate that body nearly enough while I had it! I’m still healthier than I used to be and I’m making more and more good choices every day. I need to keep looking for those little “gold star” moments to keep my motivation up.
Hopefully, between working on my mental game, tracking with Weight Watchers again and being honest with you all here (seriously powerful to share with the world at large!), I’ll get back to the point where I’m more comfortable with my clothes and with my body. In the meantime, I’m going to appreciate every good choice I make.
How do you give yourself credit for doing well?