Week 3: How do you keep going when you want to quit?
Today was tough. The scales were up 2 lbs and while I knew what likely caused this, it felt demoralizing nonetheless. Especially after last week’s 6+ lbs loss! Additionally I was also dealing with a lot of work stuff, something I don’t normally do at the weekends but I am launching a new web design course in a couple of weeks and there is sooo much to do for this. I am of course my own boss but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how to put lots of pressure on myself!
Like my anxieties, stress is a huge trigger for me and zoning out with creamy coffees and lots of chocolate and salty snacks (you know how the sweet-salty game goes, right?) is my go-to stress relief method. I was also away from home one night this week and took that as an opportunity to ‘treat myself’ to more calories than my body needed.
So this morning, after the scales, I was in a foul mood.
And I just wanted to throw in the towel and be done with it. “This is clearly not working,” I said to my husband over breakfast “I’ve been here too many times before and I am so fed up with it all. The only reasons I am still remotely interested in weight loss are my crappy sleep and my ankle surgery. Otherwise I would just stay fat and enjoy life!”
Aah, yes. Enjoy life. Without worrying about my weight, or what I eat, or what damage I may, or may not, be doing to my health. Oh, the sweet tempations of FREEDOM. And it’s funny, I started browsing my old blog looking for a recipe and came across a post I wrote in May 2016 about ‘diet anarchy’ and ‘rejecting the system’. I still remember the sense of relief I felt at the time when I released my fear of weight regain and started eating freely whatever I wanted.
I wanted to feel that sense of relief today, so badly.
But then I did something I don’t often do when I am in the middle of a resistance attack: I looked forward and imagined how I would feel in 2-3 months when I was likely to reach the other side of the same loop, still obese and struggling with my weight-related issues and disappointed because I failed yet again to break out of this vicious cycle. I kept on browsing my old blog and looked for entries from 2015 when I was in flow with my program and losing weight and feeling great. And it all came back to me: the sweet sense of freedom that comes from paying attention and feeling grounded in the present moment. The joy of losing the weight - slowly but surely - and feeling so much better in my body and mind.
I’ve been right here many, many times before.
And the experts like to blame it on the diets. Or the scales. But this is not my program’s fault. My Intuitive Dieting approach is sensible and it works. This is my resistance monster rearing its ugly head because it wants me to go back into my comfort bubble where it doesn’t feel threatened. A request I am usually too happy to oblige with.
So what did I do?
I talked to my husband about it. He is kinda in the same boat so was very understanding and we discussed ways to get over this hump and keep going. Never underestimate the power of emotional support from someone who loves and gets you!
I did some meal prep for the week ahead! This is not something I do a lot but I acknowledged that my stress is not going to ease over the next couple of weeks while I work on my new course. In times likes these I don’t often feel like cooking so I asked myself: what would help? Meal prep! That’s why I dug out my old Bircher Müsli recipe that I prepare for the whole week and then I only need to take one portion out of the fridge in the morning, quick and easy. I also made a pot of rice because I love rice bowls and they are easy to make and healthy. We still have a lot of cooked chicken leftovers as well so our protein needs are covered, too.
I felt my resistance and continued doing it anyway. I kept tracking my food and prepared a yummy healthy salad tonight: lots of greens with dried cranberries, feta cheese and chicken, so yummy. I checked my calorie allowance and only had one sleeve of peanut butter cups instead of the three that I really wanted.
I held myself accountable! Walking this journey so publically and creating a whole 12-month program around it is not something I want to just throw away. Plus, I really don’t want to be that person anymore who keeps ‘crying wolf’, only to chuck it all in again. This program is still only a small group but I don’t want to let you guys down, either, plus knowing we are here to support each other helps a lot, too!
I remembered the good things. Like spending time with a good friend this week and riding my bike around the seawall in Vancouver, one of my all-time favorite things to do, even in the winter :)
Week 3 Prompt: How do you stay on track?
What strategies help you when you feel like throwing in the towel? Journal about them and if you want, share them in our group, I’d love to hear what works for you!