So…… things went off the rails fairly quickly this week. I’ve gained 2 pounds back and have been experiencing, what I call, disordered eating. I started off carefully following the plan I’d layed out but when I had a little bump up in weight, I decided to be strict with myself and that’s when things went wrong. I skipped some meals and then ended the week with what I’d call a “mini-binge.” I went to the movies by myself yesterday and ate a small popcorn and an entire package of red licorice. When I came out, I was disgusted with myself and ready to throw in the towel. It was obvious I wasn’t going to make my goal. I knew I was headed to a gain, so I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and had 4 Munchkins. No surprise that this morning’s weigh-in was disappointing.
I feel like I need to examine my approach to goal setting. I’m a great believer in goals. I love New Years when I take a long, careful look at what I’ve accomplished the year before and plan out the year ahead. I’m usually surprised by what I’ve managed to complete and excited about the upcoming year. I think when it comes to weight goals though, I am almost always disappointed. I set a goal this year of weighing 160 lbs by my 60th birthday and have failed miserably. I set a perfectly reasonable goal of losing a small amount (½ to 1 lb) each week and when I didn’t hit those targets the pressure increased. Then I needed to lose 1 to 2 lbs a week and it got harder. Near the end I hit the “why bother” mindset and self-loathing set in. There’s no way to frame this that doesn’t include failure.
What to do next is the question? I’d like to have a positive, happy summer that includes some weight loss in anticipation of a couple of trips I’m planning for September and October. I think having events to focus on may be helpful. I want to work on habits, as opposed to specific numbers on the scale, since it can be so disheartening when I don’t hit those numbers. I do still want to weigh in because accountability is critical to my success. So, which habits have produced results in the past? I believe planning and setting myself up for success are vital to weight loss. I’m going to return to meal planning the week ahead. I used shop for the whole week and prep lunches on Sunday afternoons for each day I’m working. When I have healthy food with me I am far less likely to resort to fast food or grocery store shopping for lunches when I’m hungry. Second, I’m stepping up my exercise strategy. I plan to include 40 minutes of exercise every day and add in 3 to 4 days of more strenuous activity than just walking. I’m thinking of climbing the stairs at our community college at least once and swimming some laps on a couple of days. One of the main reasons I want to slim down before my trips is to ensure I have more energy and am able to hike and walk stairs easily. I hope limiting myself to 2 non-scale related goals and focusing on habits this week will get me back on track. Wish me luck!