This past week and a half was full of particularly difficult trials and tribulations. There was family drama, friend drama, a broken down car, dinner plans at un-trackable restaurants, babysitting a picky eater, gym plans falling through, midterms, and the list goes on!
It was difficult to not just say screw it and forget my plan all together. I did cave a few times: There was some popcorn at the movies, a meal I couldn’t figure out how to track at a brewery, and lots of sweet treats while visiting a sick loved one. I did my best to moderate, track as well as I knew how, and make it to the gym because I was stressed rather than avoiding it.
My weight has been fluctuating the past few days between the 196 I caught a glimpse of on Monday, to the 199.5 I was at last night. I’m not super thrilled that I didn’t necessarily lose this week, but I’m also pleased that I didn’t gain given all of the commotion going on.
Someone pointed out to me that food and diet is one of the few things that most of us are fortunate to have some genuine control over. While I was by no means perfect this past week, the important part is that I tried and that I’m not throwing in the towel despite a few minor slip ups. I plan to go into next week with a mindset of taking control of my health and, in turn, my life, rather than letting life take control of me.
While I don’t believe in willpower as a means for success (some psychology study somewhere confirmed this with a well known study involving small children and marshmallows), I do believe that looking forward and having empathy or confidence in your future self can be very motivating.
If I don’t feel like going to the gym, or I feel like making a poor food choice, it has been especially powerful to think about how I will feel emotionally or physically after the fact.
In the past, I have quit after a day or two of trying to, “be healthy,” because I caved in to some type of decadent temptation— however, this time I am trying to avoid my perfectionist tendencies because being perfect at something didn’t make me gain 70lbs, so being perfect isn’t going to make me lose it either.
With all of that said, I do think that it is imperative to be honest and accountable with yourself despite having that balance with self-compassion. I have tracked every. single. thing. I have eaten in the last week, even though some of it has been guilt-ridden and I’ve hated looking at the numbers in front of me on my Weight Watchers app. I know that in the moment it causes me a bit of pain, but in the long run I will look back and have an ultra-successful week to compare to it in the future.
I have tried to keep in mind that I am accountable for my own actions, and that I can’t let difficult circumstances beat me down or disrupt my goals anytime something hard comes up.
While I am trying to avoid emotional eating altogether, a significant part of this last week was my ability to identify it as it was happening. Taking a moment to reflect on why I am doing something did help drive me to make some somewhat healthier decisions (ex: After an emotionally charged day I got popcorn at the movies, but I said no on the butter, and I said heck-no to the sour patch kids that were calling my name).
Tomorrow is my next, ‘weigh in day’,and while I’m not expecting a huge drop in the number I see on the scale, I am confident that I will see a change in it next week.
To end on an ultra-positive note: I ran a whole mile today in about 10 minutes without stopping, which is something I haven’t done in months. I’m hoping to sign up for a 5k in April, and work towards running the 10K Butte to Butte in July.
Horray for self-compassion, self-care, and honesty to keep us all moving forward.
Bye Bye Muffin Top!