Thursday, September 8, 2011

Five Steps Forward, Two Steps Back...Then 5 MORE Steps Forward

Good Morning!  I was excited when my alarm buzzed this am. Fall is almost here and it's my favorite time of year.  I get up very early in the morning to give myself time to begin my day before the morning routine starts.  There was a time when I would roll out of bed 30 seconds prior to waking up the children for school, and i found myself feeling sluggish and not as happy and peppy when helping them get ready for the day, because i too was still trying to wake up.

If someone asked me two years ago how long it would take me to lose my weight and i said over a year, I probably would of never started.  My reaction probably would have been grabbing the closest bag of lays potato chips and onion dip.  I would have felt defeated before I ever started.  However, looking over the last year and a half I have truly appreciated that the journey was not a fast one.  The Saying, "Five Steps Forward, Two Steps Back"  describes my weight loss well.  I lost weight in 10 lb increments.  For those that have more or less to lose, that number may be different.  I took my goal 10lbs at a time.  It was all I could wrap my head around.  I would work very very hard in the gym each time I went to insure i wasn't waisting my precious time there, and that stayed constant.  I wanted to make sure I never got out of the routine.  But...eating was my battle and the kitchen my battlefield.

Some eat when they are happy, some eat when they are sad, I like to eat FOR BOTH EMOTIONS AND IN BIG PORTIONS!  Food is what brings so many friends and families together.  Growing up, my family would have Sunday Dinner around the table and sit and laugh for HOURS after a meal.  In my husband's family, his mother and all of his sisters love to cook--so the kitchen is where everyone gathers while each person adds her "spice" to the meal.  When you see an old friend and want to catch up...IT'S USUALLY DONE OVER A MEAL.  You don't say to them, "Hey, let's meet up for a brisk 5 mile walk so we can talk."  No!  I will venture to say it goes something like, "Hey, let's do lunch or dinner so we can talk."  What would a child's birthday party be without Pizza?  What would a football game time be without snacks?  What would baseball be without the hot dog and nachos?..... I hope you see where I am going. 

We are learning a new way to live and to adapt to our daily eating habits.  This is why it is so important to look ahead on your calendar and decide what it is that you are willing to do.  The time to decide to not eat those nachos or that double cheeseburger is not when it's placed in front of you when you are so hungry you could eat an elephant.  To have success, you must plan ahead!! 

This is why there are different eating levels (1 and 2).  You don't want to undo all your hard work by having an eating fest after 6 weeks of clean Level 1 eating.  However, your body and mind may need a break.  When you drop to Level 2 to regroup you will be able to maintain that hard work through exercise and  better eating choices still 80% of the time.  For some, you may still lose at that time.  Taking a free meal, or a free day in Level 2 and allowing more fruit consumption or pasta and bread (in a controlled amount)  may help you not get burned out, and it will make you more likely to make this a lifestyle change.  

The scale may do a little creep of 1-3 lbs at this time.  It is important that you don't allow that number to go any higher than that.  After you regroup and rededicate yourself to the battle, it will be time to leave Level 2 and go back to Level 1 and take it a few steps further towards your goal.  It's more important to pay closer attention to the scale while on Level 2 then on Level 1.  Make the goal that once you get below a certain increment, you will never see the scale tip that high again.  For example... If your weight has just dropped below 150 or is teetering at 149ish... that would not be a good time to come off Level 1 and go to Level 2.  Wait until you have reached 147.  Once you have dropped out of the 150's or 160's ... or even 250's-300's... make the goal to not get back to that set of numbers.  YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS!!  The scale will fluctuate, and it's important to realize that.  But if you think about it in regards to FIVE STEPS FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK you will not be as hard on yourself.

Find the positives in the journey.  DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET DISCOURAGED!  By taking the time to lose the weight and staying focused on creating new habits, you are making those lbs stay off forever.  The idea of the quick fix will set you up every time.  You didn't gain the excess over night, nor will you lose it that quickly and keep it off.  You must realize SELF DISCIPLINE MUST BE ACHIEVED, IT WILL NOT BE EASY, BUT THE REWARDS WILL PAY OFF 10x MORE THAN THE WORK YOU HAVE PUT FORTH.  Your self confidence will grow, you will be a more pleasant individual to be around, your goals will be set higher and THE WORLD WILL BE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS!


*You know you are a mother of boys when you notice your 4 yr old is outside doing circus tricks on his bike and you yell for him to "HOLD THAT POSE SO I CAN GET MY CAMERA!!"