Thursday, November 06, 2014

Welcome to “Healthy November.” Again.

That’s right. It’s that joyful time of year, which now appears to have become my very own tradition, when I valiantly try to right the off-course ship that is my weight loss/healthy lifestyle journey.

I haven’t written much about that journey lately, because… well, let’s face it, everything had become rather redundant, hadn’t it? And I feel like this post will carry much of the same.

I need to get back on track I need to start doing the things that worked for me before. I need to stop eating everything in sight. I need to cut the chip-and-dip cycle. I need to stop craving chocolate and peanut butter and honey with every inch of my body and soul.

A few months of drifting off track has done major damage, but repeating these words over and over makes no difference.

I have to want it. I have to get myself in the right state of mind to even think about resuming my healthy ways. I can’t just say, “Starting Monday, I’m going to get this under control again.” Just because it’s a new Monday doesn’t mean my head and my heart are ready for the clean slate. I have to spend serious time soul-searching, planning, and psyching myself up for it.

So that’s what I spent last week doing. Ridding my house of junk (oh yes, AGAIN), researching healthy eating websites, collecting little bits of motivation, assembling a new workout schedule… all in preparation for Healthy November.

You may recall that I declared this month “the Healthiest of the Healthy” last year after a few weeks of mini Halloween chocolate bars and some Pillsbury sugar cookies had started to get the best of me.

This November? This November things are a little more serious. A little more dire. Going back and reading that post from last November almost had me rolling my eyes. Dude. You were fiiiine. You didn’t even KNOW what real food problems were!!

It’s not a few weeks of chocolate bars that I’m battling with now. They are more just like the icing on the proverbial – and literal - cake.  It’s three whole months of over-indulging in bad, bad food choices. And I have paid the price for those choices. I bought clothes in the late summer/early fall in anticipation of this time of year – skinny jeans and cozy sweaters – most of which now no longer fit me.

If there’s ever a kick in the ass I needed, it’s pants that I worked damn hard to get into that are now too tight.

And even though it discourages the hell out of me that I even needed that kick in the ass, it’s a good thing it finally happened. I had grown complacent. Sure, I knew I had gained some weight back, but I looked in the mirror and thought, “I still look pretty good! So what if my middle is thicker again? I’m OK being this size. As long as I don’t get any bigger…

I told myself that at at least three or four different stages over the past few months. Gained 5 lbs? Well, that’s crappy, but not a big deal. 10 lbs? A little more serious, but hey, I still fit in my clothes, and that’s the main thing. 15 lbs? Eep… getting a little scary, but as long as I don’t go any higher on the scale, I’m OK!

22 lbs? Sound the alarm, mother*cker.

Yep. That’s where I was at when I weighed in on Monday morning. 22 lbs. over the lowest I’d ever weighed (this past April.) Not only is it alarming to know that I gained that much so quickly’; not only is it alarming to know that I put on the bulk of it in the past 90 days… It is alarming because that can’t be frigging healthy. To gain 22 lbs. that fast? That can’t be good for my body. That can’t be good for my heart.

My goal at the time of my birthday was to develop a healthy relationship with food. I think it’s quite safe to say I did the exact opposite. I was knocked severely off course by some personal anxiety, and after I got over that, I did some serious comfort eating when people I knew were suffering. After going through a few rounds like that, then I had the taste of it again. The chips were back in my life. The chocolate chip cookies were always ready and waiting in the can. A quick skip down to the store for a chocolate bar every couple of days… Why yes, I think I will have an appetizer, meal, AND dessert!

They weren’t just hard-earned treats anymore. They had all crept back into my regular every-day life again.

But I couldn’t just let them stay.

I finally reached the point last week where my thought was this: What the frig is the point in working out every day if I’m just totally decimating the advantages by eating too much?

Because, of the few things I still had going for me, that was the biggest: I had never stopped working out. I was sweating five or six times a week. Following my exercise sched to a T.

But what was the damned POINT?! Sure, it should earn me the right to indulge now and then. But it couldn’t erase the serious damage I was doing by over-eating like a maniac. Calories consumed and burned just don’t work that way.

I’ve said time and time again that I can never go back to being a couch potato again. I need to stay active and keep working out if I hope to continue.

But now it’s time to make the food end of things work in conjunction with the exercising again.  Otherwise, it is entirely futile and rather ridiculous to be sweating my ass off for nothing.

And thus, that is the goal for this “Healthy November”.

Last year, I wanted to use that month to reach my “magic number” on the scales, and I was successful. I’m not setting that goal this time around, because it is unrealistic. It’s too far away. Instead, I’m hoping a solid month of healthy eating & daily exercise will help me lose 10 of those 22 lbs. I’m hoping it will once again engrain in me those habits that led me to success in the past. I’m hoping it will teach me to be mindful and careful, especially with Christmas and all of it’s treats and delicacies lying ahead…

It’s actually the perfect month to do this, because November is kind of the calm before the storm. The Halloween treats are gone, and the Christmas ones are not all up in my face yet. There are no big birthday celebrations or parties that focus on food on the agenda. On top of it all, I imagine I’m going to be so consumed by getting ready for the Christmas House Tour that I won’t have time to daydream about cheeseburgers and poutines.

I know there will still be little challenges. It’s impossible to go four full weeks without facing some kind of temptation.

It’s a matter of how I handle those challenges and temptations.

I’m ready. I’m determined. And a few days in to “Healthy November”, I’m already feeling so much better.

So much more empowered.

The battle rolls on…

This round, I must come out of it victorious.


VandyJ said...

It really is an on going battle isn't it? I'm waging one with just getting more active and snacking less. It's the damned snacking that kills me. And hormones. Those suckers encourage me to snack on ALL the crabs...

Nancy said...

It is a battle, you can win it, though. You have the knowledge and determination, go for it, Jillian.

meeganjae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meeganjae said...

You can do it Jill. I have been in your shoes, and didn't fix my issues when the weight started creeping back on. I have previously lost 100 lbs and now have almost put it back on over the last 10 or so years. I am trying to walk @ least 2.5km 3x/wk, but always aiming for more days and higher distance. Now I just have to get my eating under control. Snacking kills me every time, and so does the shift work. But the shifts won't change, but my habits have to. And my excuses have to go out the window. Let's do this girl.

Stacie said...

It is such a vicious cycle, but you have at least tasted victory, you know you can do it!