I've been thinking a lot lately about long term success. Mostly, I've been thinking about weight loss, but I think it applies to any long term goal...work, parenting, etc.
I am a member of the National Weight Control Registry. Sometimes, I feel like a bit of a fraud. I recently filled out my annual questionnaire and I'm not particularly happy about my current weight. Especially when I admitted that I hadn't given birth in the last 12 months. I took them literally because I got the survey 12 months and 11 days after the baby was born. What upsets me the most is that i was almost 20 lbs lighter last October and I backslid. It's one thing to stall, backsliding is something else.
My good friend the dietitian told me today that she knows I've made permanent changes and the baby weight is only temporary. How does she know? And why did I backslide? I know there were several factors...lack of sleep, stress, illness, husband traveling. It's just plain hard to keep it all together.
This week, I returned to work full time...I've been PT for the last 10 months. Except...today, my first day, the baby woke up with a fever. So I'm starting my first FT week not working FT. In order for me to lose weight, sadly, I have to count calories. I'm not one of the lucky ones.
I've lost weight I the past on weight watchers. The dirty secret about WW is that every few years, they change their plan. It is, in part, due to new information on health and diet. It is also, I believe, a way to get more money. Each change means you have to keep attending meetings, or continue your on line membership or buy new materials. Thing is? The last two iterations didn't work for me, so I cancelled my on line membership and decided to go with straight calories.
This, my friends, takes time. I have a hard enough time cooking dinner with a one year old underfoot. If I am counting calories, I basically need to know what I am eating a day in advance. I managed to make a pasta dish for dinner...tasty but looked awful...brown. Then I needed to plan tomorrow. After I got the baby to sleep, I
Scooped out pasta into three Tupperware.
Started boiling eggs...which is so bad with kids...so easily distracted, I've almost cooked them dry.
Made a side salad.
Oops, baby woke up again...picked him up, turned down the eggs, rocked him back to sleep, turned the eggs back on
Made soda water
Now I am sitting typing on the iPad because my kid and hubby have been fighting over the computer.
How can you be sure that you have what it takes long term? For one, you have to know what works. You have to be willing to stick with it over the long haul. For me this means planning my meals in advance, planning my exercise . When I recommit to my plan, at first I have to stay away from triggers...chips, alcohol, chocolate, eating out. This most recent time, I've decided to give myself a day off a week, at most, from counting. This doesn't mean I go hog wild, it means I get a day off from the tedium. It also means if I have two parties in one week, I have to be very careful at at least one and count calories.
It also means you have to go with it. There is nothing I'd love more right now than to be training for a triathlon or doing P90X daily. My life, my ankle, my knee won't allow it. They WILL allow me to lift, swim, bike, and do short walks, so that's what I do.
How am I looking long term? Only time will tell. Week one of my recommitment saw me down 3.2 pounds, so yay me! Only 37 more to go.