Sunday, February 7, 2010
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Well here I am again, wallowing in self-pity. I got on the scale yesterday and saw no progress. As some of you remember I had been sick with a stomach flu, and instantly lost five pounds; of course within three days it was back. All I could tolerate for a whole week after the flu were soft foods like hot cereal, and even though that’s carbs, carbs, and more carbs, I wasn’t trying to restrict calories; I was just struggling to nurture my body in whatever way I could manage. Anyway, the result was that I made almost no progress, weight-wise, over the last two weeks.
I know it’s crazy to beat up on myself, I was sick, and I had to do what I had to do, but when you work so hard and get no reward, it is very discouraging! So what did I do last night? I ate a big chocolate chip cookie, one from the health food store, so it had healthier sweetener, and it was whole grain, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but it definitely felt self-defeating. Now the fact is, I know I need to write in occasional cheats into my food plan, because I otherwise get so resentful, especially if I am not getting the results I am looking for on the scale. I am not perfect, no matter how hard I try to be, so I need to plan for that, and accept it! I can still make forward progress, despite an occasional detour.
And I also realize that I need to get more exercise, that’s always what the experts say, that our bodies have a natural set point for weight, and they go back to it, again and again; and that the only way to change that set point is by increasing the amount of exercise you get on a daily basis. I currently walk two miles a day and do 15-30 minutes of yoga. Compared to nothing, that’s a lot, but I guess, compared to what my body needs, it’s not enough, and of course, that’s very frustrating because I feel like I’m already giving everything I can manage!
I have to keep things in perspective: yes, my weight loss is snail-slow, but it is going in a forward direction consistently, and I have to remember why I started this journey: I was miserable when I was full-throttle in my compulsive behavior toward food. Not only was I into sugar, which was making me crazy (depressed, miserable, sick, angry) but also I felt completely helpless in my feeble attempts to control my addiction. Giving up sugar, and counting calories, so that I force myself to stay within a sane, sensible range, has improved my mental health enormously. That’s the prize I have to keep my eyes on. Yes, yes, I would like to be thinner, I’d be lying if I denied that, but I have to remember that a balanced, centered Jackie is more important than a skinny Jackie!