June 5, 2014

The Fine Line - Finding balance in weight loss

It's been a while - about seven months, actually - since I sat down to write about my weight loss journey. When I was last here in December, I was at 216. In January I was down to 204 - the lowest weight I've been since junior high school. From there, the scale has climbed back up to 229.8 (I refuse to round up). Now, I could whine about gaining back nearly 26 pounds in five months. In fact, I have felt sorry for myself many times in the past few months. However, this needed to happen, and I'll tell you why. 

When I reached 204 pounds, I was not in a good place. This journey, which began with impressive motivation and determination (really, I'm still not sure where it came from) somehow, around five months in, turned into something unhealthy. I don't know what shifted it from good to bad, but it happened. I was exercising daily, eating clean and healthy (and taking in around 1400-1600 calories per day). I never slipped up, never cheated, had no desire to. I was so proud of myself, and somewhere in there I became obsessed with food and the scale. I kept precise records of what I ate, and got so focused on it that I was eating less and less - some days under 800 calories. If I ate over 800 calories (and I'm not sure why the number was 800 - no clue), the next day I would punish myself. Not intentionally, mind you.  None of this was intentional. I would end up eating even less the next day, subconsciously making up for the extra calories from the day before.  Also, I had begun to weigh myself every single morning, and again, if the scale moved up instead of down, ended up eating less. 

So, at 204 pounds, I was in a dangerous, borderline disorder place in which I could potentially cause myself great harm. My husband had begun to notice my behavior and shared his concerns with me. He suggested that I take a break from everything and just give myself time to relax. I did not want to stop my progress, but realized that I was headed in the wrong direction, so I reluctantly took his advice. At first it was fine, and I allowed myself to indulge in some of the foods I had avoided for six months. But then, as expected, I got too relaxed with eating. I started overeating again, and ate more junk than healthy food.  Surprisingly, I kept up with exercising, because I greatly enjoy it. I also got a job at a local gym, which introduced me to many different types of exercises and machines. So, although I've slowly been putting weight back on, I have maintained my fitness level and see the dangers of letting the weight loss control me. 

I am starting fresh with a new outlook, a new plan and some new support. My cousin, who is currently living at my house and working on her personal trainer license, has agreed to take me on as one of her first clients and will plan out a fitness and nutrition program for me. She will also keep an eye out for any of the behaviors that might mean my previous issues are returning. We are implementing Chris Powell's method of carb cycling, as explained in his book Choose More, Lose More for Life

I have realized that even when attempting to lose weight in healthy ways, it is easy to slip into harmful habits. I feel confident that the accountability of my cousin and my determination to journal about the process on a regular basis will help me stay on the right track mentally and emotionally. I'm excited and hopeful that this time, the journey will remain an uplifting, encouraging process! 

5 comments:

  1. When I was doing weight watchers, I hit a plateau, one I struggled with for quite some time. I found myself in Canadian tire contemplating buying a digital kitchen scale so I could measure my food all the more accurately. I had a light bulb moment and went "holy shit! This is not healthy, this is disordered thinking."

    Since then I've been trying to embrace an HEAS mentality.. I've put about 30 lbs bAck on, which I struggle with sometimes, but on the whole, I feel happier now that I've stopped thinking about every single bit that goes in my mouth.

    I'm glad you were able to recognize that moment as well. Good luck to you.

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