My DietBet Epiphany

My weight loss journey has been slow going. I lost a shit-ton (about 50 pounds) fairly quickly on the Atkins Diet about ten years ago, and only gained back a small fraction of that. Almost five years ago, I joined Weight Watchers to take off the few pounds I’d put back on, and to get the momentum going again, since I still had about 40 pounds to go to reach my goal weight.

Diana at Waikiki

In the five years I’ve been on program with WW, I’ve gone through a few up and down cycles. I lost 15 pounds in three months when I first joined, and that was the steepest loss I’ve seen since. After that, I took six months to lose five pounds, then gained back ten pounds in eight months, then re-lost those ten pounds over the following year. Then I got pregnant, and lost a relatively quick five pounds in that first couple of months before I realized I was expecting. My post-pregnancy weigh-in actually wasn’t so bad — then I gained five pounds and didn’t lose it for a good six months. I’m finally back down to my lowest weight (not counting the pre-pregnancy baby hormone bonus weight loss), but it’s been really, REALLY slow going.

So, when my favorite diet and fitness blogger, Roni Noone of Roni’s Weigh, announced that she was hosting another DietBet game, I decided that, this time, I’d jump on board. Maybe what I needed was some incentive. Maybe I’d have that extra oomph if I had the promise of a payout at the end for losing 4% of my body weight in a month. I realized that losing seven pounds in a month was a big stretch for me, looking at my track record of weekly half-pound losses in a good month, but i figured I’d give it a shot, anyway.

February began, and so began the challenge. Right off the bat, I was traveling out of state for a funeral. I started out being “good,” but wrapped up the long weekend with leftover pasta and post-funeral comfort food, and only a single two-mile walk to offset any of it.

No worries. I was still focused. I took walks indoors, I walked on the treadmill even when I forgot my socks, I tried a new fitness class with weights, I went to yoga.

…I got sidelined with work deadlines and other stressors and eventually realized that I wasn’t able to devote enough of my time and energy to losing weight.

And therein lay my epiphany.

I’ve been in active weight-loss mode (or some version of it, anyway) for years and years, with only brief periods of maintenance or not-giving-a-shit. I realized that I’ve just been phoning it in lately, and not really trying hard to achieve measurable weight loss.

I needed to shit or get off the pot.

So, I stopped tracking. I stopped weighing. I stopped walking and going to yoga (mainly because I had other things I had to do over my lunch breaks). I basically let the pendulum swing the other way for a few weeks, without making a major change in my eating habits.

When I weighed myself this past Monday, I was surprised to find that my weight was only two pounds higher than when I’d thrown in the towel on the DietBet in late February. Which just reinforces the idea I’ve had for some time now that I’m really in eating-healthy maintenance mode, mentally, rather than active-calorie-restriction ramped-up-activity weight-loss mode.

I’ve been told for so long that the lifestyle change is what’s important. It seems to me that I’ve found a happy medium for when I’m ready for maintenance. When I’m ready for active weight loss again, though, I need to follow Weight Watchers more closely, not use my extra weekly Points, be more active, and generally focus more attention on losing weight.

I have twenty more pounds to lose before I reach my goal weight. I haven’t been that weight since sixth grade. I’m so curious to see what I’ll look like (and feel like) at that weight! I just need to be in the right mindset to get there.

December 2012 (189 lbs)

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