Ping-Ponging & Goal Setting
Monday, February 06, 2012
I've been in a funk since the end of December because I keep gaining and losing the same friggin' 4 pounds. I think it started because I had hit a plateau and hadn't really done anything at first to change things up much- I just thought that if I kept doing what I was doing, my body would HAVE to pay attention.
It didn't and I quickly became disheartened. And what do so many of us emotional eaters do when we get upset? We eat, of course!
No matter how illogical and stupid it sounds, I was so upset that I wasn't losing weight that I decided to eat more to make myself feel better. It did NOT come as any shock to me that when I finally decided to check the scale to see what I'd done, that I had gained back 4 of the 70 pounds I had worked so hard to get rid of.
That was the beginning of January. And that pattern has been going on pretty much through all of January. I would exercise and eat within my calories during the week, but I was still so upset that I had "ruined" my 70 pound weight loss that I pretty much ate like crap every weekend and whatever I'd lost during the week was gained back over the weekends. Add some inaccessibility to my gym, some PMS, and confronting some of my low self-esteem issues and you've got the whole month of January spent in a land mine of emotional binges.
This past weekend is the first time that I hadn't actually gained BACK any of the weight I'd lost so I'm actually now just 0.8 pounds shy of being back at my 70 pounds lost milestone. I think I've finally gotten myself out of the funk that caused me to keep overeating and I think I'm finally back on track again.
One thing that really caused more harm than good was setting a goal for this whole year, of getting to my goal weight by the end of the year. I had charted out what I should be losing every week and from pretty much day 1 of this year, I was behind because I was still not losing. Seeing that I kept falling behind that yearly goal was making me feel worse and worse. It was a downward spiral.
I wanted to mention this in case any of you have set long-term goals for yourself as I'm sure most of you have. If you make those goals, make them attainable and adjustable- don't fall into the trap that I did of feeling like a failure just because your numbers aren't showing up at the speed you want them to or that you had planned them to. I even tried to factor in some adjustment time and it still didn't work very well and I'm only 5 weeks into a yearly plan.
I'm still struggling with the forgiveness part, forgiving myself for not hitting the numbers I set up in my stupid spreadsheet. I shouldn't NEED to forgive myself for not matching a mathematical model I made, I shouldn't feel like I've already ruined the whole year by being behind, or feeling like I ruined all my work from last year since I can't technically say I lost 70 pounds anymore.
I need to work on work on forgiveness, obviously. I finally figured that out last week.
It is absolutely true that if your weight is NOT 100% attributed to a health issue, you will have to confront the emotional issues that helped lead to your weight gain in the first place. As my extra weight has come off, it's almost as if this insulating, protective layer has left some underlying issues exposed that have never been dealt with. It's natural that those issues are going to have to be dealt with in order to keep making progress. This is NOT a purely physical process; so much of this weight loss journey is mental and emotional, too.
The lesson I've learned from this is that I need to work on giving myself a break. That it's ok to celebrate my accomplishments so far and let myself make mistakes without feeling like a failure. I have stumbled, I have fallen, I have messed up. That doesn't matter. What DOES matter is that I have gotten up every time and kept going. It's ok to make mistakes as long as it doesn't stop you from continuing on your journey and you learn something from it.