You know on some level I’m vastly disappointed in myself for letting this happen, but in a purely scientific sense I’m just baffled. I know I ate A LOT but how is it that I gained 3.5 pounds in 2 days?? A pound is roughly equivalent to 3,500 calories. I don’t think I ate that much on Friday or Saturday. (Yesterday is another story.) FAT CELLS ARE THE WORST.
I did not plan very well or anticipate very well what I would do about food choices this weekend. Needless to say I fell off the wagon. I think that means I’ve been way too strict with my calorie counting. I mean losing 4 pounds in 2 weeks is pretty extreme. I’m probably just rationalizing this to make myself feel better, but I refuse to go down the rabbit hole and into a downward spiral about this. 2 months ago I probably would have given up had this happened. Resiliency is a trait that can be learned, so this is me being resilient!
I’m not proud of the choices I made, but I think there is value in analyzing where I went wrong
I think I have done enough mental work to prepare myself to be able to dust myself off and keep it going. I really dreaded sharing this on the blog, but this kind of obstacle is exactly what I need to share. The point of this blog is to be transparent about all the baggage that comes with losing weight for women who actively struggle to be healthy. I don’t think I have ever found a blog about weight loss that gets this real about how difficult it is. I am trying to be explicit about the fact that it is not just a matter of choosing to treat your body like a temple. I mean obviously you need to consciously choose to pursue healthier habits, but you can choose to do it and still end up eating 3/4 of an 8 oz bag of M&Ms. (This did happen to me yesterday…). My point is that healthy choices are not easy, and willpower is not foolproof by any means. Though the actual science behind how willpower works is being questioned now, I think it is safe to say that willpower is a very delicate mental strength that is influenced by your mindset, motivation and feelings. I also think sleep plays an important role in strengthening willpower and resolve.
Honestly, weight loss is not about the right trendy diet or cutting out carbs (don’t get me started on why that is not realistic) or about becoming a CrossFit fanatic. (There’s nothing wrong with CrossFit). It’s about those daily choices you make that add up. Unfortunately, from everything that I have read about this it is more about food choices than how much you work out. However, exercise is extremely important for overall health and wellbeing and should not be excluded from a healthy lifestyle. I just know that I need to dig deep and analyze the circumstances that have led to this abrupt uptick in my weight.
Here is where I think everything went haywire
So y’all already know that I have AD/HD and I experience restlessness that basically makes me want to eat carbohydrates all the time – especially when I’m bored or feeling some type of undesirable emotion. Sitting in the car for 6 hours is a pretty potent way to magnify restlessness. Add that to the fact that it was dinner time, and I somehow had managed to eat most of my calories for the day along with the fact that I packed snacks to eat within easy reach for my husband (and some healthier ones for me) and you have the perfect storm for weak willpower. I spent the majority of the drive to Rochester wanting to eat all the snacks. I tried to use willpower and meditate to be rid of the urges, but I succumbed. I did not exceed my calories for the day, but I think I only had 112 calories left to eat by the time we reached Elisabeth’s house. And let’s not forget that my blog post on Friday was about how I was bummed that I had already gained a pound back since the previous week. I was feeling the ~pressure~ to not mess up, and the more I think about something I’m trying to avoid, the more likely I am to do it.
When we got there, I should have said, “well I think I should probably just get some rest.” But this is the first time I had seen her since school had finished in June and the last time I will see her for a while, so I felt rude saying HI THANKS FOR LETTING US STAY HERE GOOD NIGHT. I also got to meet her wonderful boyfriend, David, for the first time. Luis and I stayed up, and she and David made Buffalo Chicken Dip. I also ate one of the cupcakes, and I ate Cheez-its (by just basically sitting next to the box and continuously grabbing them–no portion control there!), which are an inside joke between the two of us about how we became friends originally.
A brief aside about how we became friends
I sat next to her during our Urban Teachers coursework one evening and she offered me some Cheez-its. I was really stressed, and I ate basically her entire box of Cheez-its. I can’t believe she still talked to me after this happened!)
Back to things going haywire
So I went to bed that night later than I normally go to bed. I also woke up early and did not get my 7 hours of sleep. I admit that I did feel badly about my poor food choices, but my resolve that morning was not to let it get out of hand again that day. I also did not engage in my normal morning routine of lemon water. I did not eat 2 servings of vegetables on Saturday either. Anyways, we spent the morning at the Rochester Farmer’s Market, which was fun. Luis and Elisabeth each got an empanada there, but I abstained. We did buy a small container of cheese and pepperoni from a deli stall there. We ended by going to a bakery where Luis bought a bunch of bread and two giant slices of pizza. I bought a gigantic chocolate chip cookie and brownie – both of which I ended up eating on Saturday night. I did go for a 30 minute run in her neighborhood which was beautiful. I have not “gone for a run” in over a year, so that was actually kind of a big deal. I’m also not the kind of person that usually can motivate myself to exercise when my routine changes or when I’m not at home. I’m proud of myself for actually putting forth the effort to go for a run in a new place. I think this indicates that some of my healthy habits are sticking. I did not eat at regular intervals during the day on Saturday, so by the time I finished my run I was starving. Then we went to a park near her house and hung out. We did not get back to her house until 8 pm. Luis made guacamole and I ate a bunch of chips with guacamole and then my brownie, cookie and another cupcake. (DISASTER) I felt like I had all this nervous energy, and it was probably anticipatory stress eating due to the fact that Luis and I had to wake up at 4 the next morning to get back to Baltimore in time for him to work at noon. I need to figure out a way to not engage in that kind of frenetic, social eating behavior. Just because everyone else is relaxed and enjoying some chips and guacamole does not mean I need to do that. I should have portioned out what I was going to eat and then backed away from the table with the snacks. What did I do? I sat next to the snacks. **FACE PALM**
On Sunday I drove back to Baltimore the entire way since Luis needed a little more sleep before going to work. I did not end up falling asleep until 1 am on Saturday night. I was operating on 3 hours of sleep on Sunday. Willpower was very limited and so was patience. I was so exhausted that by the time we got home on Sunday, all I did was watch Friends on Netflix the entire day. I literally did not leave the couch unless it was to eat something. (And BOY DID I EAT!) Up until yesterday I had not touched the left over M&Ms from the trail mix I made when we went camping. Well those M&Ms are probably now sitting on my waistline along with the rest of the food I ate. Just to make it perfectly clear, it was an 11.40 oz bag of M&Ms. I was wrong when I said before that it was only 8 oz. I just got up and looked at the wrapper. I ate the rest of the M&Ms that were left over from the trail mix, which is basically like 3/4 of the bag. That is not even the worst of it. I also dipped some of the M&Ms in peanut butter. I then finished a multigrain baguette that was left over from the week (obviously with butter and at one point with cheese) and finished the pepperoni and cheese cubes that we bought at the Farmer’s Market. I went three days in a row without logging everything I ate into Noom. That’s three empty check marks that are blemishing my nearly three weeks of perfect food logging and compliance.
I have already stated that I do not believe in cheat days, so what the hell happened to me this weekend? Well I feel like Friday was not really that bad and Saturday was not ideal but also not a complete wash. Sunday was a nightmare. I think it really has a lot do with the lack of sleep and the fact that I am subconsciously and consciously stressed about moving to Chicago this week. We are heading to Chicago permanently on Friday. I have most of the apartment packed up, but the stuff that is left over and not packed yet is stressing me out. I woke up today dreading the scale, but I made myself do it and I am happy that I have been able to reflect on my failure this weekend. I am not giving up, because this is not a diet. It is a lifestyle change. It’s also not a race. The more pressure I put on myself to lose this weight quickly, and the more I equate weight loss with happiness, the more miserable I feel and more likely I am to sabotage my healthy habits. I have learned from this experience, and I will push through this and come out stronger from it.
I might increase my daily calorie allowance so that I do not feel so deprived and so that this won’t happen again. I guess believing that it won’t happen again is also probably counterproductive, no? I should accept that I am human and sometimes I am going to revert back to my less healthy habits. I honestly did not feel that deprived over the past few weeks, but I think the more my life changes with moving and visiting friends, the more I actually do feel deprived. I need to readjust and keep it moving.
There are also some strategies I can use moving forward. Please note with the article in the link that I don’t believe in the actual idea of the “slow carb diet.” Balanced eating is fine. Avoiding carbs altogether (even if you have a “cheat” day) is not for me. I don’t do well when I try to eliminate an entire food group. However, the strategies in the article are very applicable and helpful.
David and Elisabeth are wonderful, amazing friends. Luis and I had so much fun visiting them, and we hope that we can visit them again in the coming months. We are really going to miss them. Rochester is a great place. If we weren’t already moving to Chicago, I would want to move there!