Saturday, 20 June 2015

Clawing my way day at a time

I had a major breakthrough at the end of April finally breaking past my previous low weight of 185.4 to reach 184.9 pounds.  It took months and months and months of work to undo the impact of poor eating habits over the period before I started work at my new job last year, and the holidays at the turn of this year.

My personal trainer, Mr. Fitness, was a major part of this turnaround.  Another part - - a very big part, as it happens - - was my disciplined eating habits.  Reducing snacking and keeping my calories within a reasonable range helped me drop the weight slowly but steadily.  The workouts helped me improve my overall fitness and get me toned.  Together the eating habits and my workouts combine to improve my fitness level every week.

At the end of April, right after hitting this milestone, I went home to Edmonton for a holiday.  Healthy eating habits went out the window with numerous dinners out combined with unhealthy-ish food at the Patriarch's house.  After I got back from Edmonton I had a few moderately good weeks, then it was back on a plane to New York and all the food and drink that one finds there.  More eating out, and more street food.  It turns out that I am very good at finding food in New York.  Hey, a girl's gotta have a skill. 

After this veritable smörgåsbord of eating and drinking I knew it would take a few weeks of highly disciplined eating and intense workouts to get me back into shouting distance of my previous low.

So that's what I did.  I kicked the workouts up a notch and I stopped snacking at the office.  After the usual 3 or 4 day withdrawal period this was no longer a major struggle and I found it relatively easy to stay on track with my eating plan.  Now after a couple of "clean" eating weeks I have virtually no desire to snack and it is much easier for me to manage my food consumption every day.

I am now back down to 186 pounds and change, a mere whisper away from my previous low milestone of 184.9 pounds.  I feel toned and strong and am noticing that my clothes are fitting better than before. 

On the one hand it is easy to get despondent about putting myself through what is essentially a 2-month plateau.  One week of really bad eating requires at least 6 weeks of good behaviour to undo - - yikes!  That math really sucks.

On the other hand it is wonderful to know what works and to have the confidence to apply what works knowing that it will pay dividends sooner or later. 

On the "sooner or later" front, one comparatively recent innovation is that I no longer set time limits on myself to lose "x" pounds/week or to reach my goal weight by a specific date.  As long as I am making positive strides in controlling my eating or pushing my exercising or I see that I am losing something (no matter how little), I remain positive.  I know that the way my body behaves it will lose a little, or none at all and then suddenly lose pound after pound in its own good time - - as long as I stick to my program.  Although I would like to control when the weight comes off I am apparently not the boss of this and so have gradually learned how to accept the uncertainty (although admittedly with more zen-like calm some weeks than others). 

All in all, then, it has been a good couple of weeks.  I am sticking to my program and I continue to see progress.  That makes me very happy.  

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