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Archive for February, 2010

Twenty-five weeks of the 20-lb struggle and I have been sitting here on the plateau for eight of those weeks. First it was Halloween, then it was parties, then it was family dinners, then it was Christmas cookies, then it was New Year’s Eve, then it was too cold, then I was too busy, then it was too much work. As you can see from my chart I am     s-l-o-w-l-y inching my way back to the pinnacle I reached in week 17. Still haven’t gotten there though.

So what’s going on? I have some ideas.

Idea #1: The nearer your destination the more you keep slip-sliding away. Let me explain. When I started the 20 lb struggle I could get all the motivation I needed in order to make changes in my eating patterns and behavior by looking in the mirror. Looking at myself standing there naked with my fat rolls staring back at me was so horrifying that losing my appetite was usually not a problem. Lose the appetite and you can lose the weight.

But after I lost about 10-lbs. I looked a lot better.  I bought new, smaller clothes.  Looking in the mirror was not as horrifying as it had been previously. The closer you get to your weight loss goal the more difficult it may be to find the motivation you need to go all the way.

Idea #2: Putting the brakes on diet momentum makes the journey more difficult.  Coming to a full stop adds the burden of inertia to forward movement. In other words, it is easier to maintain diet momentum once you are already rolling, than to kick start it again after a full stop. There are lots of reasons for diet inertia, but let’s just say that once you fall off a wagon it can take a while to get your ass off the ground and hop back on again.

Idea #3: If I don’t make it happen it won’t happen. I’ve been waiting for a miracle.  I’ve been waiting for the scale to show imporvment even though I am not putting in 100%. It is difficult to get going again.  It is difficult to find the motivation to make the sacrifices that Ineed to make.  It isn’t easy to find the motivation to help me push forward. But if I don’t do it, nothing will change.

Idea #4: Although losing weight is an important goal, it may not be the only one that deserves my attention. I also need to nurture other important areas of my life, like work, family, friends, celebrations, etc.

My dog, Snickers, whines and cries when I talk on the phone around 7:00 pm.  Why? That is the time we usually snuggle on the couch and watch TV. When my attention is diverted elsewhere he lets me know about it!  And when my attention is diverted elsewhere, my scale let me know about it, too!

Am I feeling blue because this is proving to be more of a struggle than I anticipated? Not really.  Even though I am having trouble losing weight I still feel good about three important things.

First: I have lost a significant amount of weight and I think I look pretty good.

Second: I am maintaining my weight which means that I am not reverting to my previous unhealthy habits.

Third: I am feeling healthier and more energetic than I did before I embarked on the 20-lb struggle.

So, how’s the view from the plateau? Pretty good, but certainly not perfect. What I see from the plateau is “room for improvement.”

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Sliding down the slippery slope is easy.  Picking yourself up and getting back on the road is a lot more difficult. Several people have asked me why I haven’t been writing the blog lately.  First the good news. No, I haven’t gained back all the weight I lost. I haven’t been soothing myself with cheesecake and chocolate and ice cream ( although that really sounds good). I haven’t forgotten entirely about my exercise regime (although that sounds good, too).

Now the bad news. I did gain a few pounds during the holidays. Now the really bad news.  I never anticipated just how difficult it would be to get back on track.  Afterall, I was feeling great! I loved going shopping to buy new clothes in a smaller size.  My health was improving, my energy level was improving and my looks were improving.  Why wouldn’t I want to get right back there???

I have wonderful friends who have been helping me think up excuses for my lack of will.  “It has been so cold.  You are craving comfort food to keep you warm.” Since I live in Florida the cold has not been as awful as it has been in other areas around the country. Still, it is difficult to keep the house warm. I lost electricity for 2 days and couldn’t even drink a cup of hot tea at home! According to the “cold-weather” hypothesis I will snap right back on track as soon as the sunny and warm Florida weather returns.

Other friends have offered the “you need a break” theory.  “You can’t be good all the time.  Sometimes you need a break from perfection to be human and live a little.” This theory suggests that restricting my diet and forcing myself to exercise is just too rigid a regime to last for very long. Such an oppressive regime must be toppled.  Mission accomplished! Now all I have to do is set up a more humane, yet effective regime. 

It took me 18 weeks to lose 16 pounds.  That was a struggle. It took me one week to gain two pounds. That was easy. For the pst six weeks I have plateaued.  I have not gained.  I have not lost. Have I lost my mojo?  Have I lost my willpower?  Have I lost my motivation?  Have I lost  sight of my goal?

Why haven’t I been posting on this blog? The reason is that I have been afraid to answer these questions.

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