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The Dreaded Backslide

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Old 08-17-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default The Dreaded Backslide

How does it happen? How do you just stop every positive action that you're taking? How do you lose that inherent motivation that has pushed you forward for months? For something so stupid as pizza? Pasta? A drink? Chocolate? Whatever....

I was doing so well for months. I'd really started this journey in Jan 2012, but I wasn't very focused until May. From May to July I went down from 220 to 198. I was finally focused. Working out every day. Really eating well. Taking all of my medications that I'm supposed to to help this in such cases as my Thyroid. And I was just on! I was there. I was present and active and loving it. And when I got under 200 people were finally noticing which I loved and loathed. I was really on my way. Clothes were smaller. I'd dropped 5 sizes on the bottom and 4 on top. I was finally feeling more fit and like i wasn't getting out of breath anymore. I was going to the gym almost every day. I was just finally there and in the groove.

So what the **** happened? How does this happen? Part of it for me is work stress. I was getting further in the depths of work **** again which makes it harder. And then I felt the interest in the new guy I like waning (and has completely waned which sucks). And then all of a sudden I was backsliding. I had made it all the down to 185. But now I'm back up to 191 and struggling to maintain that. The only reason I think I have been maintaining that is that i'm still attempting to go to the gym multiple times per week. But I want so much more. I want to lose so much more. Why am I not staying on track with the program?

I know the benefits. I know how good it feels to finally feel smaller and lighter. Yet I still have a long way to go. So why am I getting in my way? Why can't I not focus on how good it feels to be healthy? Why can't I not focus on how good it feels to get into smaller clothes? Why? Why? Why? I don't understand the backslide. I hate what it brings out in me. But I can't seem to control it. And as the weeks go on it seems to get worse. I keep saying to myself, tomorrow, I will get back to where I was in July....and then that day passes with me doing exactly what I loathe.

What is it about human nature that just lets a person talk themselves out of doing what is best for them in favor of the quick release or happiness? Why is it that I can just forget for minutes or hours everything that i was proud of for months just to eat that one thing that tastes so good at the time but makes me feel so miserable in the end? Why the **** do we backslide?
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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Well, it's hard to change habits, especially when we're stressed out. I don't know what's going on in your life, but I think that the keys to maintaining (and possibly even losing) during periods of low motivation/high stress are to try to stick with those new habits as best you can (even if this means temporarily scaling back to just the most important/easiest/most-ingrained ones), reward yourself for every single good choice you make (no matter how small - you ate all but one bite of an ice cream sundae? You didn't eat that last bite! Go you!) - even if that's just writing them down in a journal or posting them on here as NSVs), and to be gentle with yourself when you do revert back to old habits. After all, change is hard, nobody's perfect, and there's nothing we can do about the past.

You're still about 40 lbs. down from where you used to be, you realize you're in a rough spot, and you're doing something about it (by coming here for support). That's really great, and I think that it demonstrates that you are still on the weight loss path, even if it's kind of boggy right now. Hang in there and just do the best you can (even if it's not your best ever).
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Last edited by theox : 08-17-2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:01 AM   #3
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I think it's different things for different people, but I think all of us find it really hard to get back into the 'zone' once we've popped out of it. For me it's being busy - if my life is busy the last thing I can find to do is eat healthily and take care of myself. There are moms with five kids, people with 3 or 4 jobs etc. who manage to still eat healthy but for me once things get busy, that's it as far as weightloss goes. Right now I've gained back 10lbs and it's not like I didn't know it was happening...but I still sit here and think how did I let it happen, and why am I the biggest obstacle to my own success?!

There's a fine line between not beating yourself up about it (because it happens to most of us!) and getting tough enough with yourself to make the changes you need to succeed.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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I think many of us feel we need rewards in times of stress. So we reach to our reward of habit, be it food, booze, cigarettes, or whatever else. I suggest you find another reward that doesn't pack on the pounds. Perhaps you can start stocking a supply of exotic herbal teas. Or meditating while burning incense. Or starting a hobby you can display or wear, such as embroidery on denim. Something that relaxes you without compromising your health.

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aliasihaya View Post
Why the **** do we backslide?
That seems to be the question of the millennium! At least it is for me. I can so relate to all you said. BTDT several times in my adult life. Start out with such good intentions. Get strong minded & tackle those demons with a vengeance. Eat "clean"... exercise... feeling good, looking good... thinking "I'm doing this! I can so do this! No more falling off the wagon, no more backsliding - I'm on my way!"

then...

SOMETHING happens. What is it? What was it? Was it that one day I decided to NOT go to the gym & meet up with my friends at a beach party instead? Was it the idea that my husband said he wanted spaghetti for dinner & it sounded soooo good that I thought "yeah, spaghetti! I can eat just a little & be fine" but one serving turned into two & then the next day it was left overs, and then seemingly spiraled out of control from there? Was it the injured shoulder that put me out of commission for 12 weeks? Was it the soft food diet prescribed my doctor for severe TMJ symptoms for 12 weeks (scrambled eggs, soup & pudding... yup, that was all I ate... FOR... 12... WEEKS!!!!!)

All of this (& much more) didn't happen all at once. This has been thru yearsssss of yo-yo dieting. So many times when I would say "This time I won't STOP going to the gym - even if I CAN'T work out, I'll STILL work out!" and "This time, I won't eat more than one serving of spaghetti - I'll have my one serving & salad & that's IT!" I mean.... WTF How many times must I un-do all my hard work? Will I ever be able to get the weight off and TRULY KEEP IT OFF - for good???

The only thing I seem to be steady at is the gain it/lose it merry-go-round.

I don't have the answers to your questions. I wish I did! It would certainly help me, you, & a kajillion others if we could answer them. The only thing I know is that I can't completely give up. Even those times when I felt like giving up - I mean months or years at a time - the times when I felt like "might as well just BE fat & get over it already" - still, something inside me keeps pushing me to beat down my binge-eating demons and force myself to keep trying to lose the weight, and keep it off. For good. NEVER.GIVE.UP.

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Old 08-19-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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I think we simply just get tired of our new routines. It is fun to see the weight come off and to feel better, and when people notice it is confirmation of our short-term success. But it is still a change from our old ways, and the new things we are doing - eating less, staying away from those foods we loved, getting up early to exercise, etc. - are HARD.

I know that I have days when, in spite of the success, I just want to eat my old favorite foods and sleep in rather than torturing myself at the gym. I drive by a favorite restaurant and want to pull in. It is like you go through a "mourning period" for your old life, because in spite of how bad you felt about yourself when you were heavier, food did bring comfort and happiness.

The temptation to backslide is always there, and it is compounded by our inner voices that tell us to eat because losing weight is not something that our ancestors ever had to do. All we can do is fight the good fight, do our est to say on track, and get right back on the wagon if we have a moment of weakness.
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