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yet again starting over and hoping it sticks

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Over the past year I've had some pretty big changes happen in my life. Just a few: My hubby and I were blessed to be able to adopt our foster daughter who is now a beautiful toddler, we had to put our blind puppy to sleep, we sold our townhouse and had to move into an apartment for a few months before finding and buying a fixer-upper house that isn't even close to being finished. It's been very busy and a little stressful, but this year has also been pretty great. However, while taking care of the day-to-day of it all, I've seriously neglected my weight loss journey. Practically every week I've said to myself, "next week will be better." 52 weeks later and I have gained back almost every single pound I lost the year before when I first started Sparking. On the one hand I'm disappointed with myself, but on the other I realize that slip-ups happen and that this life long journey isn't going to happen without more effort. Effort that I'm completely capable of giving.

Clearly, what I've been doing lately isn't working for me, so I need to come up with a new plan. If that doesn't work, I'll continue tweaking until I get it right. I can and WILL do this.

My Plan:
~blog at least once a week, every day is even better. even if only to write a few words.
~track food daily, no cheating and no skipping days. not even one.
~don't treat the wknd as time off. starting over every monday is NOT productive
~have healthy snacks on-hand at all times
~create a healthy revolving mealplan for dinners so I don't get bored
~pre-cut and pre-cook common ingredients so there's no excuse for ordering out
~create new rewards/incentives for goals met
~work out daily, even on wknds. no matter how small the workout is. do SOMETHING every single day.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I don't plan on depriving myself. That's not what I mean by 'no cheating.' I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't for myself over the past 2 years and the brutally honest truth is that I take cheat days to the extreme. I'm really committed during the week and then treat the entire wknd as my reward, only to find that I've undone all my hard work by the time Monday rolls around again. I understand what you mean, and how 'no cheating' is generally perceived, but for me, it holds a different meaning and it's what i need to tell myself. For me, it doesn't mean no hamburgers, ice cream, etc, it means I can have those things as long as I fit them into my meals appropriately. It means I can indulge, but can't go overboard. It means cheat meals, or even days, don't last weeks, months, or years. Personally, the truth is, I simply can't refrain from having dessert. Every attempt ends in disaster, so I know that I need to find smaller, healthier portions of the treats that I enjoy and every once in a while mix in a horribly unhealthy, gooey treat.

    I appreciate the care and advice that you shared, and I know it doesn't sound like it on the surface, but your tips are actually the basis of my plan. emoticon
    3142 days ago
    I'm so glad to see you re-committing. Something that might help you is to find out why your previous attempts did not work - analyze it like a military operation, be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Recognize your weak points and develop strategies to overcome them.

    Something I noticed about your blog title was "hopefully." I know this might sound weird, but start eliminating words like
    from your vocabulary. Studies show that fat loss is easier and more successful when people use DEFINITE language and ABSOLUTISM when talking about their goals, their behaviors, and their committment to losing fat. When people say, I AM GOING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN, I'm DOING IT instead of "maybe this time I can hopefully stick to my plan", they lose more fat and keep it off. You have to believe 100% that you are going to be successful this time. You have to know it in your bones. Do not allow any wishy-washy language to come into your head when you think and talk about your goals and your plan. There's no room for maybe and hopefully. You are either doing this, or you're not.

    One other thing - the bit you posted about "no cheating" - I think you'll find that you're setting yourself up for failure there. Having some treats every so often is absolutely normal and absolutely HEALTHY. Denying yourself the foods you love will trigger a binge eventually because you will feel deprived. There should be room in a healthy lifestyle for treats. Are you really planning to go through the rest of your life never eating hamburgers, chocolate cake, and ice cream again?

    I have seen this happen with a lot of my clients - they say they will only eat healthy and will stick to their calories no matter what. That lasts for about a week, maybe two, in unusual cases maybe a month, and then they break. Mentally, you need that time to relax your eating "rules" and to have something you truly enjoy. Declaring certain foods as "off-limits" will only make you want them more. So don't deprive yourself, but save those treats for pre-planned occasions. Operate according to the 80/20 or the 90/10 rule. Eat healthy and in your deficit 80-90% of the time, and enjoy foods you love the other 10-20% of the time.

    Also - staying in calorie deficit for more than about two weeks (sometimes less) depletes your fat burning hormones like leptin and growth hormone in your body. When that happens, it stalls your fat loss because the signals your body is getting is that you're no longer getting enough access to enough food and fat should be saved instead of burned. So how do you get around that?

    By planning "refeeding" days or refeeding meals where you eat whatever you want. You don't pig out, you don't eat yourself sick, but you allow yourself to eat more calories than usual and allow yourself to eat what you want. This brings your fat burning hormones back up to baseline and helps you continue burning fat. Another way of doing it is to come out of deficit for a week and eat at maintenance level, then go back into deficit after the week is over.

    Point is, depriving yourself will lead to a binge and staying in calorie deficit too long will stall your progress. Then you'll get frustrated, give up, and start eating too much of the wrong foods. So have a strategy in place to prevent this kind of thing from happening to you.

    I know this is a lot of unsolicited advice, but I just want to prevent you from making the mistakes that a lot of other people make (including myself) when embarking on a fat loss journey.

    Don't set yourself up for failure before you've begun.
    3142 days ago
    Good for you! emoticon
    3142 days ago
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