Yes, I am still here.
I weighed 146.5 on November 14th, which was the last day I posted.
This morning, I weigh 154.0. Yes, I have gained (back) another 7.5 pounds. Again.
The yo-yoing is enough to make me so depressed that I sometimes throw entire days of potential healthy eating away, just out of spite for my scale. In mid-November, I was SUPER-motivated to soldier through Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years without gaining. This was a big change from my usual annual apathy toward holiday eating. I normally approach the holidays with a weary acceptance that I WILL gain. I've never, EVER not gained weight during the holidays - not once, in my entire adult life. My usual holiday weight-gain is between five and ten hideous pounds, which are comprised of homemade Chex Mix, Christmas cookies, Danish Kringle with butter, fruitcake with (more) butter, and several gigantic meals of turkey, ham, cheesy potatoes, brown sugar-drenched squash, wild rice full of bacon and slathered with gravy, mashed potatoes and (more) gravy, stuffing with hamburger and (MORE) gravy, pistachio-marshmallow salad, green bean casserole, dinner rolls with (more) butter, and the desserts, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... Pies and bars and chocolate-covered stuff and gooey, chewy things that we only eat during the holidays. So, you get the picture.
I'm living proof this morning that sometimes, all the motivation in the world doesn't necessarily equal willpower during the holidays. I did NOT want to gain any weight this year, and I was mentally ready to do whatever I had to in order to avoid it. And yet...
Here I am. Feeling very squishy, sluggish, flabby, flaccid, run-down, and PISSED.
All I can do is start fresh. Yesterday was obviously the day most of the world started acting on their New Year's resolutions, as it was the first day of a brand-new year. I tried, I really did. But our office is still closed today, and so I'm technically still on holiday vacation until we go back to work tomorrow, and I'm still sitting in a house surrounded by leftover Christmas cookies, leftover fruitcake, leftover dinner rolls, and leftover margarita mix! I have willpower, sure, but... not THAT much willpower. SIGH.
Mentally, I just couldn't pull it off yesterday. I wanted to, but didn't. All I can do is try not to gain ANOTHER pound today, before hitting it hard tomorrow morning. So far today, I've succeeded. I'm sipping my second cup of hot tea of the day, and even though my stomach is TWISTING with hunger from the nasty stretching-out I gave it yesterday (a huge bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios with WHOLE milk at 9:30 last night...!), I don't intend to eat until I can't stand it anymore. I already know there is a "Food Event" on my schedule for dinnertime tonight. The teenager and I are going to India Palace (our FAVE restaurant...) at 5:00. I'm saving calories for that meal today. I intend to look at dinner tonight as kind of my "Last Hurrah," although I don't intend to inhale food like a fiend for an hour straight. I intend to savor every single incredible bite. But I also don't intend to skip the samosas or the naan this time, like I've done other times recently, in the interest of avoiding the white flour and "bad carbs." Tonight, I will savor and enjoy, but I will not over-stuff myself and I will not deprive myself of my favorite India Palace treats and flavors. On the surface, this makes me seem less-than committed to weight-loss right out of the gate at the start of 2012. But that is not the case. I'm really thinking of it as though I'm a prisoner eating her Last Meal. If I'm going to really do this - if I'm going to FINALLY SUCCEED in losing the 29.0 pounds I now have to lose - then I need to do a lot more than just avoid my favorite restaurant indulgences. Sure, I can eat out once in awhile - but NOT every week, and possibly not even every two weeks.
I have had nothing but success with the Four Rules of Dieting. In my own words, this means:
1. Eat ONLY when I'm truly hungry. This means NOT when I'm thirsty, NOT when I'm having a specific craving for something sweet or salty, and NOT when I'm just "nibbly." I wait until I hear my stomach growl, and it has to be at least three or four hours after I ate my last meal.
2. Eat whatever I'm hungry for - but for me, I add in the stipulation that the foods I can choose from have to be on my "Healthy Foods List" that I wrote a few posts ago. I have one day a week where I can choose from my "Fun Foods" list, but with those I still have to stick to single servings and I have to count the calories in my daily total. So I modify this rule and make it more strict, for me, but it's something I feel I NEED to do.
3. Eat consciously. For me, this means NOT in the car (this is REALLY difficult for me!), NOT in front of the computer or the T.V., and basically NOT when I'm multi-tasking or doing anything else! I will savor and enjoy every bite of what I'm eating, which will increase my enjoyment of the "experience" of eating on a level that many people have lost touch with, including myself.
4. STOP eating when I START to feel full. I am guilty of being a life-long member of the "Clean Plate Club." It's such an ingrained part of my eating psyche that even now, I cannot imagine scraping half a plate of anything into garbage can. I have always had a HUGE problem wasting food that costs hard-earned money. What I need to change, and do from now on, is adjust how much I pile on my plate in the first place. This simple act should solve everything, in theory. A smaller pile of food to finish equals less chance of waste AND over-eating, any way you slice it.
5. I NEED to exercise. We have a good treadmill, we have a good elliptical machine, and we have several workout DVDs. We also have a weight room full of free weights and an agility ball for abdominal exercises. I have ZERO EXCUSES. What I vow to do in the new year, first and foremost, is to schedule my workouts on our new dry-erase Weekly Family Calendar. This is one of the reasons we got it - so we can each plan for our own exercise. I am committed to getting as many hours in as possible, every week of the year... three, four, or five hours on the machines - or walking outside when weather permits. I'm going to do as much as I can fit into every week, and I know that every week will be a little different, but that's going to have to be OK.
6. I need to drink more water. I'm shooting for 64 ounces a day, because I almost never manage that much. I do count eight ounces for every cup of tea or coffee I drink (mostly tea), and when I'm avoiding pop, I drink a LOT of tea.
7. I need to avoid pop as much as possible, both real and diet. No explanation needed here.
So - that's it. That's what I'm doing, in addition to counting every calorie and staying below 1200 each day. Right now, it's 1:00 p.m. and I'm eating my first food of the day. I waited as long as I could, because I'm so ticked off at myself for my late-night Cheerios splurge of last night. I've consumed only two cups of tea until now, and I'm just sitting down to eat my favorite healthy sandwich: two slices of raisin Ezekiel bread, turkey, lettuce, yellow mustard, and my favorite McCormick's seasoning. YUMMY!!! I reached for a Diet 7-Up to wash it down, and quickly put it back and filled up my 32-ounce jug with ice water.
Maybe there's hope for me yet.