Ok, so clearly something I am doing (or not doing) isn’t working.

I weighed myself this morning and the scale is up to 164 pounds. Tragic? No. Unacceptable? Yes. I’ve got to get this turned around or it’s just going to make me feel miserable about myself and I refuse to go down that path.

Given the upward creep of the scale, despite my protestations that I’m staying “on plan”, the only logical conclusion is that either I’m “off plan” or “the plan” needs to be tweaked. To me, the thing to do is to examine what I’m doing and try to eliminate the things that might be hampering me. Getting highly emotional and panicking is not going to help anything. I’m going to try to remember this!

My goal here is not going to be to get back to my past low weight of 152.5 pounds or lower. I’ve only ever been that low two times in my adult life and both were following bouts of significant illness where I didn’t eat for a week. Therefore, I do not think it is a realistic goal.

I think 154 pounds is a maintainable goal. That’s, gulp, 10 pounds below where I am today. I don’t need to say that this makes me less than happy. But, I’m trying to tell myself it’s a lot less daunting than facing a 35 pound weight gain. So, let’s be grateful for small favors.

I know the stress of selling (or at least trying to sell) our house has done a number on me. There have been so many problems along the way that I can’t even believe how “out of the ordinary bad” this experience has been. Even our realtor has voiced surprise at how many problems have been lobbed at us. Stress causes me weight gain but it can’t really account for 5 pounds since May for a total of 10 pounds since January. Nope there’s other things at work here, things that I can change.

So my Overeaters Anonymous experience tells me to look at what was working when it was working and not try to use my imagination. In OA we are asked to gain insight from observing the experience of others. A maxim of the program is, “if you want what we have than do what we did”. Straight forward and accurate.

So, in reality, I want what I had so I need to do what I did. What was that exactly? Well, luckily that’s not so hard to figure out. I made losing weight my number one priority. Nothing, and I mean nothing, got me to deviate. I was focused not only on what I was eating and when, but I was being diligent about getting in my exercise, keeping a food log, and journaling (writing on the blog here).

When I examine what I’m doing now about my weight I can honesty say that I am keeping up with my daily water intake and not eating carbs like bread, pasta, grains, and starchy vegetables. That’s about it. I’m not logging my food. I’m not sticking to low-fat foods. I’m letting processed “low-carb diet” foods back into my food plan for the sake of convenience. Worst of all, I haven’t exercised more than once or twice a week for the past three and a half weeks.

Making changes to these things to get back on track can be, for the most part, easy in that they just represent a loss of focus. By adjusting my lens, making this process more of a priority again, and doing the footwork I don’t have to feel deprived. It’s only roughly 30% about what I’m eating so the pain and stress of deprivation don’t have to get me down.

Making changes to these things to get back on track can be, for the most part, difficult in that they represent a loss of focus. I’ll have to adjust my whole perspective in order to make this more of a priority again. There’s a lot else that’s going on in my life right now and that makes it hard.

Overeaters Anonymous tells me that without my abstinence I do not have “a life”. It is through the grace provided by abstinence that I have the energy to live and deal with “my life”. That always sounded extreme to me, but now I get it. I get it.

I feel an anticipatory sense of relief. I can’t help but think of the struggles with the scale and the struggles with stress as being interrelated. There is so much evidence in my history to support this. When I am stressed I gain weight. When I gain weight I get stressed. It’s a feedback loop.

So for today, I’m going back to what worked for me and I’m going to do my very best to stick with those helpful patterns and habits. If I find I can’t then I’m going to have to do some reflection on what’s blocking me from doing what I know I need to do to help myself. But in the meanwhile, I’m going to think positively and trust in myself that if I try I will succeed.

For today I will:

  • Log my food
  • Drink 64 oz of water
  • Write
  • Exercise 30 minutes
  • Stick to the food plan (low-fat protein and veggies)

Next week, I’ll go back to logging my weight here on the blog with the “Weigh In Day” posts and I’ll track my weekly adherence to the total plan, not just the food plan.

As always, onward.