Monday, May 30, 2016

Stutter Step

In all my years of hard core dieting, summer was always the time I seemed to lose weight.  I think it's because my palate really enjoys all the fresh vegetables and the simplicity of throwing something on the grill to go along with.  Don't get me wrong, I do love a good pot roast but winter food is just much heavier, starchier, and fussier.  As I am a person who loves starchy foods like potato, pasta, and rice, when it's included at every meal it was always really hard for me to not choose those things.

This year as my winter food woes dragged on into January and made me think a lot about what I want for myself in terms of health, but also size, I decided that 2016 would need to be the year I ONCE AND FOR ALL got a grip on how to eat all the things that appeal to me but not overdo it.  This was necessary because I have sworn off hard core dieting.  I figured if I lose some weight, great, but if not, I would then need to make peace once and for all with the size I was.

I began like gang busters but then things simmered down.  As I am not looking at what I'm losing or gaining each week I only have what Mr. Helen says nearly every week:  "good job - slow but steady - keep it up."  I literally have no idea if that means 1/10th of a pound or 1 pound.  It didn't matter as I had been eating what I believe to be more normal and still was losing a bit.  I got the bonus of shifting down one size in clothes and I have been feeling so much more peaceful about food.  When we are invited out or to someone's house, I don't feel panicky and the need to take my own food. That has been a wonderful side effect of this process.

Then, the calendar turned to May.

In May I had to deal with a four day anniversary celebration, Mr. Helen's three day birthday weekend, a five day visit with our kids, and National EMS week, during which my employer feeds us every single day, and my company's business after hours which is catered by my favorite caterer.

In other words, nothing was "normal" - I mean nothing:  eating, sleeping, schedules, housekeeping - nothing!

I did the best I could with all of this - I didn't gorge myself on desserts or cheese, I didn't eat the food at work every day, just a couple times when I felt I could make better choices (and I didn't miss the other food, nor care), I held the adult beverages to 1 glass of Prosecco most of the time, and at the business after hours, even with the abundance of free wine, I drank club soda. While I let the housekeeping go, I tried very hard to get enough sleep and I'd say was 90% successful with keeping up some sort of exercise.

What I learned in May was how to maintain.  Well, I'm assuming maintenance because Mr. Helen and I literally passed one five-dollar bill back and forth with two gains, two losses.

I suppose I should be proud, and I guess in a strange way I am because I lived my life and participated in all those fun events fully and I somehow managed to keep negative self talk at bay (again a promise I made that I would love and appreciate myself wherever I am).  On the other hand, I'm not quite ready to learn maintenance.  Over this last week as things have returned to "normal," I'm trying to embrace the lessons of May so that I might move along towards my ultimate size 10 goal.


  1. I loved this post Helen. It's easy to let the food take over at events like that, instead of being present in the moment and enjoying the celebration and the people, while enjoying the food, but not making it #1 priority.

    I go to WW tomorrow, I know I am probably up, but with my new work schedule, I think I'll be in better control - I know it sounds weird, but being off work and doing whatever I want sometimes adds up to extra licks and tastes, and I need to reel that in next month. Hope you guys have a great day!

  2. It's funny how some months are more celebration-centered than others - for us, it's June - but I'd say you did great with enjoying all of the events while keeping sane with all of the food and drink...and as we both know, that is an easy road to slip up on. Good job! And I'm right with you on the summer eats; you can't go wrong with all of the fresh fruit and veggies available now.

  3. I tend to lose more over the winter/spring (after the holidays). In the summer I eat a lot more because I am really active outside, unlike winter. Plus, like you, winter foods are starchy comfort foods!

    I don't think maintaining for a month is something that you shouldn't congratulate yourself for. You certainly could have just said screw it and eaten whatever. It's all discipline. Learning how much leeway you can give yourself without being out of control and not abstaining so much that you go off the deep end on the other side. You seem to be doing pretty well with that.

  4. Maintaining during a month of yummy celebrations is certainly something to celebrate!

  5. Maintenance is sometimes a bigger victory than a loss would have been and that's what I think may is for you! A huge victory! You've managed and maintained and you've not let food grab a hold of your life!!! Good job!!

  6. Sounds like you have a great handle on things. Way to go Helen.

  7. Maintenance during a time of celebrations is a good thing!! It's also important not to let our dieting concerns overwhelm us, because for me, that is a dangerous state in which to be. I think you're doing well, and with such a good attitude, things will come together.

  8. As I see it, it is much harder to maintain with all these fun events than lose weight in a normal month. I say this is a victory for you.

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