Kids, have I ever told you about the time I was a total cliché?
Like most people, I imagine, I have found it incredibly difficult to stick to my weight loss plan over the past month and a half. Although there’s a legit study that says the average American only gains about 1 pound over the holidays, my weight has gone as high as 13.4 pounds over what I’d gotten it down to. So frustrating and disappointing, and so entirely a result of my own bad choices.
My only advice (as much for myself as for anyone else) is: beware of the landmines that abound this time of year. Disruptions to your routine. Parties with delicious food and booze. Being so crazy busy you don’t have time to breathe, much less get to the gym. Travel. Holiday treats.
And also, DON’T GIVE UP. I was commiserating with a coworker (as we stuffed our faces in the break room with homemade fudge someone had brought in) about weight gain and the difficulty we were having and he said, “Oh yeah, I’m just writing December off.”
Part of me was tempted to agree with him and do the same. As David Wong said in an awesome Cracked article, “your psyche is equipped with layer after layer of defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly where they are.” Giving up was certainly the path of least resistance. It would make everything so much easier. But if I’ve learned anything this time around, it’s that long term successful weight loss depends on an almost Sisyphean determination to keep picking yourself up after missteps and start again. Over, and over, and over.
And, the sooner you start rolling that boulder back up the hill, the better. Setbacks are going to happen, and sure, they’ll make your goal further away, but they don’t have to mean not reaching it at all. That’s up to you.
So, I’m back on the wagon for the millionth time and I’ve got an ambitious short-term goal to make by the end of the year: get back down to 194.2, the lowest weight I’d achieved so far in this journey. I’m weighing in daily instead of weekly. I’m trying to take it one day at a time and make good choices (like at my office’s holiday potluck today where there are tamales, my kryptonite). Wish me luck!