Ok… Confession time.
After reaching my goal of losing 100 lbs, I decided I was done with the weight loss portion of my fitness odyssey. I’m 5’8″, size 4. I don’t want to get any thinner than that. I know that’s downright un-American, but I grew up idolizing women shaped like Marilyn Monroe and 1940’s pin-up girls. I don’t want to be a size zero. I want to keep my curves.
So, I began to ease out of my calorie deficit. I added a little extra peanut butter here, a little cheese there.
Much to my surprise (after battling for every single pound lost along the way) I kept losing weight! I lost 4 pounds over two weeks – pounds I never intended to lose! I even began drafting a blog post titled “Stop the ride! I wanna get off!”
This turned out to be a very dangerous situation.
I figured I could eat and drink significantly more than I originally thought.
Woohoo! Hooray! Oh, how I’ve missed the deliciousness.
Around the same time, I came down with a nasty case of bronchitis. I had to give the workouts a rest due to a pesky inability to breathe.
I was secretly thrilled.
I’m always willing to do the hard work, but I do adore a good excuse to put the hard work aside.
To top it all off, it’s the holiday season. I hosted a cookie exchange, for goodness sake! I stocked the bar (mint chocolate martinis, anyone?) and served mountains of sugary treats. I attended lots of holiday parties.
I nibbled and I sipped. A lot.
No problem, I told myself. It’s ok to add extra calories because I’m trying to stop losing weight! In fact, I wouldn’t even mind gaining those 4 lbs back.
I’m sure you can figure out where this is going.
In the last 10 days of December, I gained SEVEN POUNDS! In 10 days!!
Cue a long string of very unladylike expletives.
I had a minor panic attack. What if this was just the bottom of the yo-yo?? What if I’ve thrown all of my hard work away and now it’s destined to all come back?!
I HAVE FAILED! WAAAAAAAAAH!!
But, after completing a few breathing exercises, I remembered: I know how to manage my weight. I am a member of Team Fitness. I just have to get off the bench and back on the field.
I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and went to the doctor to get meds for my bronchitis. Back to working out every day.
It was also a good reminder: The ability to consume more than 1500 calories per day doesn’t mean I can stop paying close attention to intake.
I had to step away from the cocktails. Ten days of holiday parties had reminded me of my affection for gin & tonics… and vodka martinis… and white wine.
I enjoy my cocktails as much as the next girl, but I enjoy my fitness more.
I must admit, I didn’t want to post this confessional until I was officially, solidly back on the wagon.
I put off coming back until I could share the good news that it’s ok to fall off the wagon a little bit (even if it makes you kick yourself. Repeatedly. Hard.) as long as you get back into the groove as soon as you possibly can.
I’ve already taken 2 of the 7 lbs back off, and I’m no longer terrified of the yo-yo. I know the formula. I have the knowledge and the power. I just have to keep applying it.
Don’t expect perfection from yourself, but take it from me: Fitness is a lifelong process. If you don’t commit to your own forever, the backslide will begin the moment you decide you’re done.
It’s not about a diet. It’s about a lifestyle change.
GOAL: A lifetime of healthy choices.
Your healthy lifestyle will probably go off the rails from time to time. It’s up to you to decide – Is it just a slip? How fast can you pick yourself back up?
Your goals are still ahead of you. Remind yourself of them and get back to work.