Overall Impressions of August
First half of August = major slip-ups
Last half of August = excellent recovery
I started August in a bad place. My weight was trending slowly upward over the last week and a half of July, and the waistband of my once-comfortably-snug size 12 pants suddenly made my skin itch from being too tight. I felt frumpy and sausagey and a little overwhelmed, despite still only being maybe seven pounds above my Lowest Weight Ever.
The weak point in my program continues to be poor decisions made in the moment. Whether I’m enticed by zucchini bread at work or drawn to simple carbohydrates at home, these spontaneous deviations from plan are thwarting my weight loss efforts.
Enter the “holistic” approach once again. I pulled out one of my paper trackers and integrated my mental and physical wellness plans into one daily checklist.
I stayed at or under my Daily Target all week, using none of my 35 Weekly SmartPoints, and met all of my goals (take my vitamins, take time to exercise or meditate, just say NO to dessert, and get to bed earlier each night) six out of seven days. I also saw a significant loss on the scale (3.6 pounds) and a return of that familiar looseness to my size 14 slacks. More importantly, though, I got back into that mental space where I needed to be: feeling accomplished for having made a plan and sticking to it.
One week’s progress wasn’t enough to pull my monthly average weight, my long-term weight trend, or my body fat percentage back to where I wanted it, though. For that, I would need to stay focused and use my positive momentum to my advantage.
As it turned out, that was a little more difficult than expected, since my mid-month body fat percentage measurement did NOT go how I wanted, on top of having a shitty bedtime that night with my son, and that reeeeeally made me want to feed my emotions. Then I successfully avoided someone’s birthday treats the next morning at work, and went out for a standing Wednesday lunch date with my co-worker…
Having written down all my goals and plans for each day really helped. The decisions were already made — I just had to follow through. Don’t open the cupboard and eat one of your kid’s Zebra Cakes just because you’re in a pissy mood. But you’re standing right there, so grab the vitamins, instead. You haven’t taken them yet today. Then make yourself a cinnamon-raisin wrap if you really want something sweet. Take it into the sunroom with a magazine to get your solitary reading time in today. Then, if you get to bed on time, you’ll have checked off all your wellness goals for today! Totally achievable!
But then there was that ONE night. That evening when Connor’s bedtime (that’s always my trigger) finally sent me over the edge and into Feeding My Emotions. I just didn’t care. I ate and ate and ate some more, and ate all my Weekly Allowance Points in one evening. I didn’t prep my food for the next day. I stayed up late. I just didn’t care.
Did that make me feel better? Sorta kinda not really. The act of eating did soothe me in the moment, but it didn’t make me any less mad at myself for allowing such a shitty bedtime to happen, and for reacting to my son’s overtired behavior the way I did.
The upshot of my meal prep fail, if there was one, was that I got to test my recovery/contingency plan the next day. Breakfast, instead of overnight oats, was instant sugar-free oatmeal plus a hard-boiled egg. Lunch, instead of the pesto chicken salad sandwich I failed to prepare, was a frozen meal plus typical sides: fat-free Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, etc. — and NOT anything from the food trucks that frequent Downtown on Thursdays. Also, since I’d managed to avoid eating any of my Weeklies the previous week, I knew I could make it through the remainder of the week with none to spare.
Then I had another of THOSE nights.
I knew I had to let go of this all-or-nothing mentality that had given me subconscious permission to go off the rails again because I blew this week already, so whatever.
That was HARD. Harder than it should have been.
I had a few slips that third week of August, like buying a piece of cheesecake from the cafe at work, dipping into the Christmas sausage cake stash in the deep freeze, going on a peanut-butter-and-Splenda bender, buying a pack of powdered donettes from the vending machine, and (early on in the week, the aforementioned epic fail) bingeing on a can of Chef Boyardee and a Little Debbie Zebra Cake and frozen sausage cake all in one evening.
Even with all that, my weigh-in still wasn’t abysmal, and I managed to start pulling my weight trend down overall, even if my daily average for the month of August was still about half a pound higher than July (which had itself been a full pound higher than June).
I maintained my healthy habits, stayed On Plan (with only a couple mostly dessert-related hiccups), and successfully pulled my daily weight trend back down to a definite downswing. As of the 30th, I had also pulled down my daily average weight for the month to be equivalent to last month — which, considering where I was mid-month, was a pretty solid win.
I think I’ve got a pretty decent bit of momentum going. I seriously want to see my goal weight someday soon, without changing my mind about where my goal actually is. I understand that how I feel is more important than a number on a scale… but, being a data nerd, I crave numbers. The number I’m aiming for on the scale corresponds to the body fat percentage number I’m also aiming for, and which I consider to be a more valid measurement of my health, anyway.
Non-Scale Victories (NSVs):
- When I was tired and unfocused one afternoon at work, I took a walk around the block instead of getting a coffee-and-cocoa — or, worse, a piece of cheesecake or something from the vending machine. (I actually didn’t come back feeling super refreshed or invigorated, but it was better than a sugar buzz and associated crash later.)
- A co-worker told me that I’m “looking slimmer,” to which I replied that I think everything is redistributing itself. I did say thank you, though.
Slow and steady wins the race.