Ctrl + Alt + Delete = A Clean Start

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

ScaleI haven’t been blogging about my healthy lifestyle as much lately, mostly because I have been a little off of my game. Without getting into the reasons and/or excuses – some good, others not so much – I haven’t been nearly as focused on my healthy living goals in the last few months. I’ve gained some weight, and I’ve been feeling bad about myself. I’ve been mad and disappointed in myself, and I didn’t want to share that with anyone else.

Have I totally undone the progress I made? Not by a long shot. I’ve been a little laxer on working out, but despite missing a few days here or a week there around some injuries, I still strength train twice a week and get three to five sessions of cardio in. I’ve allowed myself a few more treats, especially ice cream, but otherwise, I’m still eating clean. No processed and/or fast food, just a little too much healthy food. Those size eight skirts don’t fit right now, but I’m still five sizes below where I started, and I’m still in the petite section. Still, I have been feeling pretty darn bad about myself.

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how losing the weight was so much easier than maintaining it. During my time in the Doctors Wellness Center 12-week program, I really faced some challenges. Dad was ill and passed away. My beloved dog, Winston, had to be put down suddenly. I lost my cat, Duchess, to cancer. I traveled a lot for work. Yet I was still able to do quite well making some significant lifestyle changes.

I’m sure part of it has been transitioning from seeing a nutrition counselor each week and engaging in a 30 minute accountability session. There were weeks we didn’t talk about food at all, but about an issue I may be having at work or at home. She helped me think out possible solutions and challenged me to implement them rather than drowning my troubles in food. She was a weekly touchstone for me that I don’t have now. It’s probably totally normal to experience some changes as I learn to face my new lifestyle “on my own.”

Another part has probably been finding my bearings as a healthier, thinner person. Until recently, I wasn’t necessarily trying to lose more weight, and perhaps I allowed myself more leeway when it came to portion size and treats. The past year has brought a few extra lbs., but it has also brought me knowledge of what I can and cannot handle in terms of staying healthy and at a desired weight.

I talked to people who know about these things, and they say that a small weight gain is normal and not something to feel bad about. They say that while my weight may be up, soon things will come back into balance and the weight will come back down.

Long story short, things started falling back into place in the last week or so. I realized that the year was halfway through, and it was time to quit the pity party and move forward. I know what to do, and I have the tools and the support system.

Last week, I returned to journaling my food and exercise on My Fitness Pal. Every day wasn’t perfect, but I recorded everything, even the excesses. I also got my fitness mojo back, completing two strength training sessions and did cardio more days than I didn’t. I also started wearing my FitBit again, which has motivated me to increase my steps. Finally, I packed up my size eight clothes that have been taunting me from the closet and pulled out ones that fit a bit better. (That alone has been a huge boost.)

This week, my goals are to continue recording every day, increase my cardio a little more, do at least one vegan day and work on keeping my portion sizes where they should be.

My overall goal is to do my best one day at a time, but I also hope that I can get down 25 lbs. between now and the end of the year. That won’t quite put me at my all-time low, but it will put me in a good, happy place.

So, how have YOU successfully dealt with a setback, health-wise or otherwise? Any special tricks or tips to help get you through the rough spots? What has helped you get your “mojo” back?

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