May 31, 2004

back on track

Itís been a while since I've written about weight loss, hasnít it? Thereís a reason for that. Yes, the obvious one. After I quit Weight Watcherís, I fell off the wagon but good. I feel no guilt, though perhaps a bit of chagrin. I had an intensive March, a busy April, and a stressful May. I didnít have the emotional wherewithal to be careful about what I ate and conscientious about how much exercise I got.

I do think itís possible to lose weight when youíve got a lot going on in your life; I lost ten pounds around the time Damian was diagnosed (on purpose, I should add), though I quickly regained it plus some. But it is harder. Weight loss is like a job. Not a full time job, thankfully, or nobody would do it, but itís an extra commitment. Time to plan your meals, to figure out how to organize your life differently, to shop with more focus and attention, time to exercise enough to lose the weight and firm the body. Itís self-sustaining at a certain point: the endorphins make the exercise become its own reward, healthy food makes you feel better and gives you more energy, the compliments and the way you fit into your clothes give you the positive reinforcement to continue.

But then something throws you off track. And once youíre off, it takes nearly as much willpower to get back on as it did to start in the first place. Iíve tried a few times over the past few months but in a half-hearted, canít-I-get-away-without-a-food-log? sort of way. And of course I couldnít. And of course I didnít. I still felt greedy, felt deprived at the very idea of not being able to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I wasnít ready. But somethingís shifted lately, and itís not just that my jeans are a little too snug now. Itís the same thing that happened just before I started on Weight Watcherís last July. Iíve been eating the same indulgent way but not enjoying it as much. It felt like almost a duty. Like a habit of thinking. I Must Eat Sweet, Rich Food. I Must Be Decadent. Itís almost as if something changes inside, that greedy needy part of my brain finally releases me and I can turn back into a weight-watching careful person. I like this woman, the one who sweats hard every day and who takes pleasure, not just in the weight loss, but in the way she feels along the way, in control and powerful.

I believe now that I need breaks. When losing weight starts to feel like an annoying chore, itís time to stop. When it feels like something I miss for my own self-image and sense of well-being, itís time to start again.

I ate twenty one pointsí worth of food today. I also did twenty two minutes on the Nordic Track. Iím ready again.

Posted by Tamar at May 31, 2004 10:39 PM

It's funny you should post this right now, because I have also been 'off the wagon' for the past few months - starting with a trip to the States in Feb-March, after which I was sure I would just get right back on it...

But, you are so right. It is a commitment, and it does take some time and thinking, as well as motivation. And right now I am studying and have not been able to get myself together. But, three weeks to go till I hand in my last paper. And after that, I think I will be able to focus again.

Posted by: Kay at June 1, 2004 04:07 AM

I lost 40 lbs on WW last year and managed to gain it all back during a stressful time. Ick! I'm also back on the program now- although not nearly as enthusiastically as I was last year.

Ah, well.

Posted by: Ambre at June 2, 2004 02:03 PM