Can I first start this post by saying thank you to everyone for your continued positive comments and support regarding my weight loss journey. There really is no feeling like knowing that people are rooting for you and it makes me feel really happy.
Something that I get asked a lot about (and I don’t mean that in a “blogger” way, but from actual people in my life) is about how I cope with a weight-gain at my weekly weigh-in. How I deal with the feeling of “well, I’ve ruined it now”. It is the one thing that usually puts an end to a person’s weight loss. For a lot of people the journey tends to begin with a solid couple of really good weeks with good weight losses. The willpower is in plentiful supply and you are just on the buzz of being in control and getting results.
That is until you are invited to a lunch-date, a party or a wedding. People who are trying to lose weight are generally fearful of such occasions. What would have ordinarily given them excitement now fills them with doom. It represents something that will ruin all their good work. I can relate to that so much. I did Slimming World a couple of years ago and felt brilliant. I lost a stone and a half before going to a wedding in New York and when I got back it was basically never the same again. I felt crap and seeing the big gain on the scales just robbed me of the tiny bit of motivation I had left. It resulted in me turning to my good old fateful friend comfort eating and it spiraled out of control. I gave up and would go on to start from scratch again until I eventually gave up another time. This trend continued for many years. Lose a bit, gain a bit, lose a bit, gain a lot. I ended up bigger than ever after a long course of yo yo’ing. It is not good for the body or the mind. The constant highs followed by the lowest lows.
My first bit of advice is to try normalize your plan. Accept that this is the way you will have to eat for the rest of your life. There are a couple of things to consider here. Firstly, you need to actually make the plan livable for you in your life. That means that the way you approach it will not necessarily be the same way your sister, mother or that girl online does. We all have different routines, work-schedules and triggers. It’s about figuring out where you weaknesses are and how best to tackle them. For example when it comes to the cinema I would quite frankly prefer to go at a time where I can have the popcorn and chocolate and enjoy it. I am not good at going along and bringing my own treats. So I go every couple of months and just enjoy it. For others this would not be an issue. They could go every week and just have some treats with their syns. We are all different!
What made this time different for me was the fact that I started looking at the experience as a “forever thing”. I needed to find a way that I could reach a point where I was losing weight, feeling good and still living. There is no denying the fact that for me food is a huge joy in life. I just love trying new recipes, eating out and learning about new ingredients and products. I am not willing to cut that whole source of joy out of my life. Just not willing. Instead I have found a happy medium. Some of you will know that this happy medium is having two treat days at the weekend where I pretty much have what I want. I then get straight back on plan on a Sunday and am super strict from Sunday-Thursday. Come Sunday I am not sulking about the fact that I have to get back on plan. It doesn’t feel like that. The truth is that I actually want to get back on plan. I spend Sun-Thursday enjoying healthy food and looking forward to the treats at the weekend but at the same time really anticipating my slimming world weigh-in on the Thursday. It keeps me motivated. It excites me. I look forward to stepping on the scale and of course I want to see a loss.
I’ve been following Slimming World for 10 months now and in that ten months I have lost 45 pounds. 3 stone and 3 pounds as it stands right now. I would say that in that 10 months I have had at least 10 gains. You might be surprised to read that but in some weird way these gains have been instrumental to me for a couple of reasons. First of all the gains were in some cases a result of a summer holiday, Christmas, my birthday, Easter, weekends away and big events. Others were just a result of a week where I let things slip and made some bad decisions. One or two were mildly unexpected while another one or two were weeks that I consciously made the decision to have something “bold” and I accepted that the scales would show a gain that week. And they did.
My gains have ranged from half a pound right up to 5 pounds and every single time the gain was gone within two weeks max. More often than not it was gone within a week. I have been known to step on the scales, see a gain and then say “it will 100% be gone next week”. There is something powerful about actually saying those words. It’s like a promise to myself. Being accountable or something. I then make it my goal to make the next week really really good. I take it to another level and approach the two treat days differently. I have less treats, move more, drink more water and just plan my week from start to finish. What happens is that I spend the week so looking forward to the big moment where I see if my hard word paid off and 99.99999% of the time it really does.
Seeing a gain on the scales is not a nice feeling. It’s definitely worse if you were not expecting it but in general a gain is not a positive thing to see. I think they key is to accept the gain and make a plan to get rid of it. The absolute worst thing you can do is to view the gain as having “ruined everything”. That will have one definite result and that is that it will ruin everything. Instead why not take control and simply accept a gain and give yourself a target to lose it.
One thing I’ve come to learn over the past 10 months is that occasions are always going to be a big part of all of our lives. It’s a bit sad to commit to a weight loss journey and at the same time decide to ignore and avoid occasions that involve celebrations with family and friends. That is what life is all about. However, and this is a BIG however – you cannot have your cake and eat it too. What I mean by that is the fact that you can’t expect to eat what you want and then lose weight consistently. It just doesn’t work like that. If you look at it as a weekly spectrum you can actually put plans in place to allow for that treat. It might mean that you have to say no to your regular weekly take-away. It might mean passing up the treat with your skinny latte. Heck, it might mean saying not to the latte completely and just having a green tea. My point is that if you really want to enjoy an occasion or a specific treat then there are things that you can do to minimize the gain. Doing certain things before or after the occasion make all the difference. It doesn’t mean that you can totally avoid a gain but it means that in some weird way the gain is controlled. It also means that when you see it on the scales you have that little bit of extra motivation to just rock the next week. It is such an empowering feeling.
I have come to realize that I seem to have a gain about once a month. The weird thing is that the gain is usually followed by my best weight loss of the month. So in some strange way a regular gain for me symbolizes a bit of a kick up the bum and sort of check-in with myself. It reminds me how much I want this and how unwilling I am to go back to the way I used to be.
I hope this post helps you all. I’m all about living and enjoying life and that is what is making this journey so much more enjoyable for me. I’m having a great time, enjoying great food and still consistently losing weight every month.