Sunday, November 27, 2011

NOT Waiting til January 1st

I really enjoyed reading all the comments on my last post asking about whether you are waiting til New Years or not. I wanted to share my own thoughts as well.

I have a strong inclination over the years to "wait." Wait until tomorrow because today is already screwed, wait until Monday because it is a fresh new week, wait until after that birthday in a couple of weeks or that holiday or that party I am going to because I don't want to get started and then mess up. Wait until January first because I don't want to get on plan and then back off for Christmas cookies or ham or potatoes or fudge. Actually, the honest reason was to wait until January first so I can make 20 kinds of cookies and eat as much as I want and drink lots of eggnog and overeat Christmas dinner and buy lots of those "special" Christmas candies as stocking stuffers and eat half of what I purchased myself. That inclination kept me from losing weight for a decade. That inclination is still there.

I had a great plan for my Thanksgiving meal but things didn't go quite as planned, I never got the mashed cauliflower made and the salad dressing had more sugar in it than I thought and my dinner ended up being over what I'd planned in the carb and calorie area. And the next day the leftovers bugged me and then I started thinking, maybe I should take a "blog break" and wait to "re-start" on January first.

That thought only lasted a few minutes, though. I knew I didn't want to go that route. I knew that "blog break" and "re-start" translated to "go off the deep end and eat anything I want for five weeks and end up 20 pounds heavier on January 1st." I knew it was a counterproductive desire, and I knew I had to tell myself no. I also knew that in the past, waiting is *exactly* what I would have done and probably what a lot of other people do. I always thought it seemed stupid to start a diet or lifestyle change right before a holiday. But you know, it is never stupid to take good care of your body.

The very next day I was back to enjoying my Medifast hot cocoa in the morning. It has been really hard to get it completely back together. I kept trying though. I also kept slipping up and eating things that are not on plan. And when I got on the scale this morning, I was sad.

It has been so hard to get back under 200 pounds. I still am not there. I took a look at my weight loss chart for the last year and it made me get tears in my eyes. I would never get back over 200 pounds. Not after all that work. I would never regain the weight. Not after feeling 'normal' for the first time in 20 years. I would never give up that victory. Yet here I am, still battling to get back under 200.

I am NOT waiting til January first. I am working on my health to the best of my ability today and every single day. Every time I re-lose pounds, it takes longer. The pounds are harder to get off. But I am not going to just keep gaining for 5 weeks. Yes, there are FIVE WEEKS until January first. You can do a lot of good, or a lot of damage in five weeks. Right?

My goal is to get under 200 by January first. If it takes all fives weeks to get there, so be it.


beerab said...

You know, I'm enjoying myself, but I still check my weight on the scale, I still choose healthier choices overall, etc. My goal is to just maintain during the holidays (losing would be nice as well though). I enjoyed my Thanksgiving very much and a few days later I'm back to the same weight I was before Thanksgiving, so to me enjoying that slice of pumpkin pie (omg it was heaven) was worth it. Taking a break doesn't mean go crazy IMO :)

401sue said...

AMEN! sista~ I'm in.

Kyle Gershman said...

I've had the same 1/1 starts as many before, but I realized that I was only cheating myself out of a life I needed to be living. As my favorite movie quote goes..."Either Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying."

Karen said...

Good for you. You are right,Lyn. Start now, 5 weeks could = 10 pounds down. That's a lot, not just the scale, but clothes, emotions, enjoying the fam and the pup, etc.

Food sobriety is a packet or street legal lean and green meal away.

You are worth it!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for not hiding, Lynn. For me, that's much of the battle - not sneak eating. I know for each of us, the journey is different. But getting back in the saddle and treating eating each day as a new day. I keep trying to think that this is something that I'm not "going off" in 5 months, this is life. It's scary.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I could just copy this post and paste it on my own blog. Would save time since I did the exact same thing at Thanksgiving, had the same unreasonable reasonings, then came to the same conclusion and goal.

While I'd like to start January 1 at 186 (Where I was on Jan 1 this year--which was a gain that I was annoyed and embarrassed by at the time), my absolute goal is to be under 200 pounds. Again.

I have to say, that I am rather pleased to have hauled myself back on track by Saturday rather than waiting...and eating.

We're doing better. And we're going to get this thing done.


Anonymous said...

dear lyn, i've seen a LOT of suffering result from restrictive weight-loss dieting (more precisely: from repeated attempts to eat in ways that are NOT sustainable over a lifetime.) the treatment literature on BED indicates that restriction typically leads to binges--sooner or later--if you have BED. it's also possible that repeated attempts to restrict may be a factor in developing BED.

it's possible that you might lose very slowly or not at all, at least for awhile, if you adopt a more normalized food intake, such as 1800 to 2000 calories (for someone of your height). you could also greatly increase your chances of actually RECOVERING from BED, a process which in itself might significantly improve your health (both physical and mental).

you've mentioned that your doctor approves of you current weight loss plan, but does he/she realize that you have a very long history of BED? (and, thus, has he/she explained how restricting--as opposed to more normalized eating--will at some point almost ALWAYS result in a return to binge eating?...for reasons related to physiological changes, not simply for reasons related to psychological issues.)

lyn, i thought for a long time before expressing this perspective (position) to you. it is NOT a popular concept because it lacks the high drama of restrictive dieting (and all that entails), it makes assumptions about the increased normalization of eating (which many believe also perpetuates overly "restrictive" eating), and the process encourages one to examine (much more closely and carefully) the difficult/painful issues related to: 1) our very human tendency to pursue/maintain tight control (even when that's not possible) and 2) our normal inclination to avoid experiencing painful feelings (such as powerlessness, loss, and so forth.)

normalizing eating behaviors (a process different from restriction, in my view) takes the focus off of food/eating and returns the focus to getting on with one's LIFE, learning a variety of ways to live with life's many struggles and pleasures without continuing to frame one's life mostly in terms of one's struggle about eating.

one of the dangers i see, resulting from repeated attempts at restriction: you may gradually train yourself to see your life primarily through the lens of food restriction--in other words, through a narrow and distorted lens that prevents you from experiencing some (other) vital aspects of life.

i suppose people tend to see things as either/or: either one learns to live with restriction or one returns to binge eating (or compulsive overeating).

i believe there are healthier alternatives.

i hope i'm not being hurtful or critical here. i can't help but wonder how your experiences might have been different during this past year if, for example, instead of focusing on dropping pounds by restricting, you had focused on normalizing your eating behaviors (learning and practicing more sustainable ways to nourish your body while also looking after your emotional needs).

two very different blogs that show examples of a normalizing concept include: "The Weight It Is" (by Sarah) and "Screaming Fat Girl".

the Health at Every Size approach may have some helpful wisdom to offer, too, in terms of learning to increase your normalization of eating behaviors (especially while recovering from BED.)

best wishes for improved health and happiness. (((hugs)))

lisa~sunshine said...

Great Job Lynn at not hiding and starting right away.. It's nice to see what everyone is saying in your comments and how some of us are attempting to still set nice goals now.. when things are the hardest..
I really do love your blog..

Jennneil said...

Your strength and your honesty increase my motivation.
Thank you.

Tony said...

Well I put on like 5 pounds in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, so 5 weeks could be very damaging. 5 whole weeks gives you plenty of time to make some fabulous progress as well!

Miz said...

and get there you WILL.

Christina said...

I just wanted to thank you for being courageous enough for putting into words what so many of us feel.

I started at 271, lost 20 pounds on South Beach and then got "stuck" for a year. You inspired me to try Medifast and I'm now chasing 220. Your blog is so encouraging to me, and I love seeing your familiar "face" on the Medifast boards.

Anyway, I slipped up a little on Thanksgiving and have been battling with the left-overs all weekend. This morning they go in the trash!

that TOPS lady said...

You can ROCK these next 5 weeks.-- do it! Stay motivated, keep blogging, keep doing the things you know work and you can be under 200 by Jan. 1st! What an awesome present to yourself!

Anonymous said...

What if every bite of MF and every thought of denial of the psychological issues that contribute to our disordered thinking are making us less and less likely to ever be a healthy, peace-filled individual? What if a "weight goal" is really a smoke screen for dealing with a whole, complete, fearless examination of a life lived as a distraction?

Erika said...

You know, losing weight is mostly what you eat, and not necessarily the amount of exercise you do (I know you know this, like everyone here!) That being said, what has your activity been like these past few weeks/months? I know that joining a gym can be expensive and sometimes the day gets away from you, but what about upping your activity? You can borrow exercise DVD's from the library or find routines for free on the internet ... I used to make excuses all the time, but I still found myself plopped in front of the TV or reading for hours. I use my gym at work regularly but on days when it's freezing or getting in early/staying late isn't in the cards I'll do quick bursts of cardio throughout the day. You might just need something to jumpstart your metabolism!

Kimberly said...

Lyn, I am (still) right there with you! I got on the scale after a week long trip for Thanksgiving and saw 212.5 - yikes! This morning was 210.5... and my goal is also to get to 200 by Jan 1st. I had promised myself I would never be over 200 again... and yet, here I am. We can do it!

My 5 1/2 year old daughter told me two boys in her kindergarten class called me fat. It felt awful. I need to get healthy for myself and my family - as do you!

Mary said...

I am not waiting either. I started back today - mainly because I am fearful for my health and need to get it together. I lost some weight and then gained half back. It sucks, but it is what it is. I exercised already today and I am tracking my food again.

Thank you for sharing your struggles.

Anonymous said...

I know personally it is so hard to "go back to normal" after any sort of holiday or slip-up, but it can be done. It's just kind of hellish the first week or so, as I'm sure you know. :( it's worth it, however, and I know you know that too!

Lyn said...

Thanks all for the thoughtful and helpful comments! I appreciate the support and I do consider your suggestions. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn!

As someone who is a recovering chronic binger and also someone who was successful short and long term on MF, I wanted to share the perspective that MF can be an effective tool in losing weight, maintaining your weight and reducing the binging behavior.

For me, the fact that if I stayed on plan and therefore wasn't able to binge, I had to find new coping mechanisms. I know have a whole bag of tricks to use instead of the constant binge. I tried a million diets and plans and the restriction of MF is what helped me face, recover and deal with my binging. Of course, if you don't stay on plan, MF can easily be able to cycle you from binge to restriction. How much you give to the program is up to you, like any plan.

3+ years later and still maintaining my weight, I am so thankful for MF, not just for the weight loss but for the lessons it taught me about my dysfunctional relationship with food.

Tammy said...

I had gotten up to 350 (my highest)..last year, I FINALLY got under 300 lbs. Said I would NEVER let myself get over 300 lbs again. Well here I am!:( I'm around 315 now. So I have to lose these 16 lbs AGAIN, just to get below 300 again!!:( It's so frustrating and I'm disgusted with myself. If I get heavier than this..well I just couldn't deal with it. So hoping that doesnt' happen.