Thursday, February 12, 2009

Getting Out of the Rut

As I mentioned before, I think lots of us are, or have been, stuck in a rut. You know what I mean: you want to lose weight, you have all the best intentions, but you just keep spinning your wheels. Stuck in a rut... just like a car stuck in the mud. And just like that car spinning its wheels in the mud, the thing we need most to get out of the rut is traction. Traction and momentum.

Every time I slip up, I learn. I'm no expert, but this is how I see it. When we are stuck in the rut of either overeating or binge eating, in order to stop spinning our wheels we need some grab. I think of the times I've gotten my car stuck in mud or snow. What do you do to get free? Well, I was told to throw sand, dirt, or cat litter under the wheels to get some traction. And then, you gas it. You go forward a little, maybe even rock back and forth a few times, but then gas it and DON'T LET UP or you slip right back. Keep going, get momentum on top of that grip, and your car goes forward out of the rut.

My traction is accountability. When I stop ignoring the volumes of food I am eating and FACE it... write it down... confess it... then it makes me stop and think. It's not just about tastes and textures and escaping emotions anymore. It becomes reality: I am eating too much. I have to grab on (which is where support comes in... not that I am calling you guys kitty litter) and then give it some gas. One good day, then another good day, and another... until I've GOT a grip and the momentum carries me forward, out of the rut and onto the weight-loss highway.

It's working so far. Today looked like this:

Breakfast: Chai tea with skim milk and agave nectar, homemade breakfast burrito (Egg beaters, salsa, spinach, turkey sausage, light cheese on a Carb Balance tortilla), a Clementine, and some hot lemon green tea.

Then I took my daughter to gymnastics. I usually end up VERY hungry afterwards because we stay through lunch. In the past, we always went to Arby's or Sonic for burgers and fries afterwards. But I've been trying to pack some healthy snacks instead.

Snack: Clif Nectar bar (Lemon Vanilla Cashew) and 1/4 c Cracklin Oat Bran

Well, needless to say THAT did not tide me over for long. I should have brought string cheese and an apple, too. Lesson learned. Anyway, then we went shopping and by the time we got to the checkout I was losing it. And do you know what they had on a HUGE display at the checkout? BAGS of Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Hearts!!! OMG. I went into a daze imagining buying a bag of those, crazily tearing through the pink wrappers and chowing down on them in the car. "I could just have THAT for lunch and eat a salad for dinner to make up for it..." But then I snapped out of it and bought a 5-calorie green tea soda instead and headed home. Sipping the soda in the car made me feel more in control (although I sorely wanted Sonic or even Olive Garden). When I got home around 2, I made:

Lunch: half sandwich (loads of romaine, turkey breast, and dill pickles on one slice of whole wheat bread with a wedge of Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese and mustard, with some baby carrots and raw cauliflower and 3T hummus.

After that, I felt great. I saw the sun peek out for JUST a few seconds so I flew out the door and walked again for a good 15 minutes. It was fairly overcast and very cold but I walked at a good pace and enjoyed it. When I got home, I noticed all the seed pods that had fallen from the tree in the front yard, so I grabbed a rake and went to work. I got about half of them raked up in 10 minutes (and raking is a HECK of a workout!) Then came in for some water.

I haven't made dinner yet, but I am thinking ravioli or something and a ton of veggies. I have eaten 981 calories so far and drank 8 glasses of water. After dinner, I'll lift weights and bike. I'll update on Twitter when I do (you can follow me on Twitter to see my menus and workouts that aren't posted here, or just look on the sidebar of this blog).

I know I am not home free yet. I have to watch it. But I can feel the momentum taking me forward. If you're struggling please think about what your traction would be. Would it help to post your menus on a blog or support forum, or report to a friend or spouse each night? The first day IS the hardest. After the momentum builds, it gets easier. And I feel happier than I have in awhile. Here's to no more spinning wheels.

23 comments:

Heather said...

very very true! I have been in that rut, and out of it, and back in, and out of it, so many times. but what usually gets me out of those ruts is just sticking to what I know. sure, it is good advice to shake things up a bit, but on the other hand, if you have something that works for you and you know works for you, then just keep doing it and let it get you to where you need to be.

Lady Downsize! said...

Hi Lyn, I too have been in a rut. This past week's weigh-in was a real downfall for me. I gained a single pound, but my thought process was soured by it in a big way. Accountability is really what I need, because in many aspects I feel isolated in this journey. The hardest part about doing this is being alone. My own drive has been faltering, but I am pulling myself out of the ravine I've fallen in.

VeeGettingHealthy said...

I struggle every minute of every day. My every thought is of food, meals, menu planning, cheating, gardening fresh produce, and so forth. So you can imagine, its a constant process. Of course, I'm still in the first month of my life-change. Vee

Rhonda said...

thanks for these posts on ruts,momentum,traction,etc, I needed that!

Rachel said...

I really appreciate how open you're being about these past few days! It's inspiring and so helpful for me, and I'm sure it is for everyone else too.

Lee said...

WTG resisting those Reeses's Hearts!

Ron said...

Glad you started taking healthy snacks with you.... I have to have some healthy food in the car all the time. Since I eat 6-8 times a day... when I do get hungry... I better have something healthy close by or I will eat junk!

Lindsay said...

today my traction was something i read on your blog I while back. I had to make my husband a treat for his work potluck tomorrow (so unhealthy) and KNEW this would happen: when the cake batter was made I started having some of it. After the cake was in the pan I started using a spoon to lick the bowl..I was sick of it (because I ate too much) and I thought of you literally squeezing McD's burgers in your fingers that you had bought but decided you didn't need. As quick as I could I put the bowl in the sink and sprayed with water: looks gross now and I stopped eating the batter. Still mad at myself but better than it could have been eh? Thanks for the traction.

Ria said...

Love the analogy. Keep up the great work!

moonduster said...

Yay! One good day WILL lead to another and before you even realize it, you'll be shedding those pounds again and feeling terrific about it!

Nina said...

Accountability is the single biggest thing that gets me out of a rut and keeps me out of a rut... and posting food and food pics seems to be actually getting me out of a VERY long rut. It's been fantastic traction.

evy said...

Your great mood and the palpable joy in your post is a joy to behold.

You had me grinning, when you talked about rushing to get your walk in, When you spotted that, ever so elusive, these days, sun.
living in europe, I so understand, how the sun is a scarcity these days.
Well done on getting yourself back on track again.
we are all rooting for you.

Meg said...

Wow! I don't know if I would have had the same self control you showed in the face of those Reese's cups! Way to go.

I'm with you right now trying to get out of that rut. Here's to all of us gunning the gas!

-Meg

athenaintraining said...

Great post - I also wrote this in my journal a little bit ago. That sometimes you have to rock back and forth a little bit until you get some momentum going. I often remind myself that smokers take 5-8 times to quit, so I can't give up on myself either and just have to keep trying.

Tina said...

Wow Lyn you're doing great! Keep that forward momentum and you won't get stuck.

Lucrecia said...

I was reading along, agreeing - then got to Cracklin Oat Bran and came to a screaching halt. I can't find that around here anymore! I thought they stopped making it!

Baby steps! you are doing great!

Big Girl said...

Getting out of the ruts are so dang hard. But, one good decision after another will all add up to good days, then good weeks and so forth. Keep stringing those little victories together.

seesaraheat said...

What a great, inspiring post! I like how you compare it to a stuck car spinning the wheels. Even as a person who is in weight maintenance now, I constantly get stuck in ruts, either with eating or exercise and I end up gaining a few pounds. But then I snap out of it and get back to what I'm supposed to do and everything evens out. It is amazing how much better you feel too, I'm so glad for you!

Christie said...

Awesome! I always come away from a visit to your blog motivated. Today is no exception. Thanks for the visual aid about getting out of a rut by using traction. (Track-tion -- as in tracking what I eat.) Thanks for sharing your successes!

bbubblyb said...

Good post Lyn and way to go on resisting those reese hearts (they tempt me too). Way to go on taking a snack too. I keep a can of nuts in the van and that always helps me.

new*me said...

great day! Baking sent me into a bit of a mini splurge today but I think I'll be okay :)

ani pesto said...

Great post. I've been in that rut plenty but I never thought of it in those terms, so obvious really you need traction (funny then that it hadn't occurred to me hehe).

Hanlie said...

Great analogy! You are so right.

This year there seems to be much more energy and resolve among us, especially the ones who've been around a while. We really are learning - from our mistakes and experiences, but also from one another. Yes, we still stumble, but we ourselves up much quicker and we find solutions. It's all very encouraging, and of course, success breeds excitement, which breeds more success.

Loved this post!