I know, I know, it's been almost two months since I've posted. Enough time to make the point that, once again, I fell off the wagon.
Truth is, I did. I fell off. But, not until a couple of weeks ago. In fact, up until the second week of December, I was actually doing pretty well. Then we got a big bought of snow that gave us a week off, then we went back to work for a week, and that led in to Christmas break...which I'm currently enjoying at this very moment.
With a new year comes the regular new plan to lose weight. It is always my number one resolution, and has been for several years. Some years I've had more success than others, but no year has given me a complete year of weight loss success and then keeping it off.
This morning, I weighed myself for the first time in a few weeks and I've gained ten pounds. Am I surprised? No. Gaining weight tends to happen when you enjoy late night snacks of chips or pie or handfuls of little chocolates. And for two and a half weeks out of the last four, I've been at home. Meaning, sitting around, not moving very much.
Let's throw in to the mix the fact that my mom had major surgery three weeks ago, putting her in the hospital for five days and me traveling back and forward to see her... eating on the go, at whatever fast food restaurant was on the way.
I'm surprised it's only 10lbs I've gained.
This year, like all the others, I plan on trying to get the weight off. What makes this year any different? Well, I can't say for definite that it will be... except for one major aspect. This year, I can completely rebuild a new wagon, because I shouldn't be carrying around any extra baggage this year to use as a big, fat excuse.
What do I mean?
Well, let's take a small trip back in my virtual time machine, shall we?
In 2010, I lost 80lbs. The first half of the year, I was a junior in college. It was a non-stressful first half of the year. Even though I was busy with school, I was only working part-time and made time to participate in a boot camp that was the inspiration for my success that year. Nothing bad happened. Nothing overly great happened (besides losing 80lbs!!). I was the fittest and happiest I had been in a very long time. I went from a size 24 down to a size 16. I found a new confidence in myself, and achieved a major milestone when I was able to go from barely able to walk for 15 minutes to RUNNING entire 5Ks. Then, in August, I started m senior year. I had to quit my job and went to being a full-time student teacher. That took it's toll on me, and I started to slip just a little but I ended the year out pretty strong. That year, I went from weighing almost 300lbs down to around 220lbs.
In 2011, I finished out my extremely stressful senior year and graduated from college. Then, I entered one of the most stressful times in my life trying to find a teaching job. Despite some hard efforts to use running as an outlet for my stress, I failed. Miserably. I was so happy about graduating, but so distraught when I realized that school was over and the big, bad world was waiting for me. And there was no one knocking on my door trying to give me a teaching job. I ended up "settling" for a teaching assistant job right after the new school year started. I was happy that I found a job in a school, but miserable that it wasn't in my own classroom. That year, I went from starting the year off around 220lbs and ending it around 240lbs.
In 2012, I finally had my dream come true. I found a teaching job. Finally. You would think that would mean getting rid of the stress and being able to focus on losing the weight, right? Wrong-O! Sure, getting the job was a huge stress reliever, but do you know how stressful it is becoming a first year teacher? The last thing I had time to think about was working out and planning meals properly. I was working extremely long hours, trying to get my footing in a new school with new students and co-workers, and even though it was a good stress...it was still stress.
In 2013, I went through another really stressful year. This time, hunting for a new house and buying one. Any therapist will tell you that buying a house is one of the most stressful things a couple can go through. And it was that, indeed. From the arguing over whether or not we could afford to buy a house, to forcing the situation on Hubby, to looking at tons of houses thinking it was a lost cause, to finally finding the house I wanted but still getting reservations from Hubby, to actually putting in an offer and going through months of paperwork to actually close, to then moving. Then, the last couple of months of the year, I found out my mom had a life threatening illness that needed quick surgery. STRESSFUL! I started 2013 off weighing about 240lbs, but that number rose quickly to the 260lbs mark. I did bring that number back down to the 240lbs mark...but the 10lbs gain I've had the past month has put me back up to the 250lbs range. 252lbs to be exact.
Which leads us to now. For 2014 there's no college, no job hunting, no life-altering plans. Just a year of normalcy...whatever that is. Just doing my job, living my life, and not stressing about too much. I have my dream job, and I've been doing it for over a year so I've started to find my footing. I have my dream home, and we've been in here long enough to get our footing with paying the bills and managing the stresses that comes with home ownership. My mom made it through her surgery and received a clean bill of health, so the worst is over and now the focus shifts to just getting her strength back.
If I fail, again, this year at losing weight... I will have nothing to blame it on. No excuses. It will be my laziness and total lack of willpower.
So, rather than just jumping back on that faithful old wagon, I think it's high time there was a new wagon. A brand new one. Preferably one with a cage and seat belts... because I'm so dang sick of falling off!
I could sit here like I've done in years past and write a list of all the things I will do to help me lose weight. I could promise to portion out my food, plan my meals, exercise intensely several times a week, drink more water, etc. etc.
But this year, that's not my plan.
This year's plan is simple: Take one day at a time.
While successful weight loss revolves a lot around plans, they don't do me any good if I don't stick to them. I can plan until I'm blue in the face, but if it's nothing more than words on paper... what good are they?
What I need to do is wake up every morning and consciously ask myself "What am I going to do today that will help me lose weight?"
Maybe that question will lead to me planning out my breakfast and lunch, and packing sensible, healthy foods rather than opting for the food served in the cafeteria. Maybe that question will lead me to skip any snacks. Maybe that question will lead me to drinking water and less coffee or soda. Maybe that question will prompt me in to going for a walk or doing some other form of exercise. And maybe, just maybe, waking up with that mentality each and every morning might lead to all of those things being done each day, routinely.
One thing I have learned during the past several years is that I ALWAYS start the year off with the mentality that I'm going to achieve great things. I am full of motivation and drive. That motivation usually lasts a while, and then slowly starts to fade.
It's like starting a marathon off by sprinting. I can only go so far before my legs give out and I have to give up.
Instead of sprinting from the start line, I want to pace myself. Maybe even start with just walking. Small changes. Small adjustments. Finding my bearings as I introduce new challenges and focuses, rather than trying them all at once.
After this many years, I also know that no matter how I look at my weight loss situation, if I don't stick with it I will fail. Period. I can explain why I didn't keep my motivation, I can come up with reasons that got me off track... but under the surface of those reasons and lack of motivation is my extreme lack of strength and willpower. The only two things I need to accomplish the goal I've tried so many years to reach.
So, here we go 2014. A new year. A fresh start. Could this be the year where my weight loss dreams come true? Well, only time will tell... but time won't mean anything unless I'm behind the wheel of my new wagon keeping me on course.