In August of 2013, I wrote a week-long series of posts chronicling how I lost 40 lbs. Each day was dedicated to a different aspect of that process. Today’s post is a follow-up and talks about the challenges associated with maintaining that goal weight.
The last time I hit 185 lbs. on the scale was the week of November 18th. I haven’t touched it since. The week of January 13th, after returning from Cabo San Lucas, I weighed in at 193 lbs. the highest I’ve been since I was on the way down back in probably April or so. This scares the shit out of me.
But it’s been a good lesson that what I said in many of my weight loss posts – that I, in turn, ripped off from Jason Robards in the Parenthood movie – is true. You never cross the goal line, spike the football, and do your touchdown dance. Victory is temporary, and discipline lasts forever. Here’s how easy it is to erode.
The week of November 18 was the week of our last IUI attempt. I hadn’t drank any booze in over a week, ate super healthy to ensure I was at maximum vitality, and exercised regularly. I sat comfortably within 2.5 lbs. of my goal weight pretty much all the time, and felt great about it. My routine continued to work for me, I seemed to be able to indulge a bit on the weekends, and everything was hunky dory.
Then, bit by bit, things seemed to unravel and I watched the number on the scale begin to creep.
I traveled for work immediately after our IUI attempt, which is always death for dieting. I also had an intense taste for beer at that point after dialing back my drinking. Upon my return, we had a Friendsgiving party where I ate my face off. Then real Thanksgiving. Had it been limited to this, I think the bump in the road would have been minimal, and I would have bounced back like I always had.
Then we dealt with the realization that our IUI had failed, and I stopped giving a shit about everything. I got lost inside my own head, and just lived in a fog of resentment. Kristin and I numbed the pain with more craft beer, and I actually looked forward to cleansing myself on the next business trip where I planned to eat right and work out when I wasn’t leading this training.
Then I got the news about my Uncle Gary, and I fucking lost my reality button. I got shitfaced the night I heard the news, then flew to Pittsburgh (I was half in the bag at the airport), managed to get something of a grip back on myself there thanks to a great gym, flew to Chicago where it was too much of an inconvenience to eat properly given the schedule, drank more with family, flew home for a beer festival, and then went back on the road, where not only had I not slept well in over a week (sleep is underrated in weight maintenance), but I was so burned out emotionally, I largely stopped caring about calories as well and doused myself with yet more booze.
Following all this travel, I then had about 10 days off between Christmas and New Year’s, which turned out to be DEATH for my healthy lifestyle given all the downtime (eating out of boredom = ACES for your health), and finally a trip to Cabo San Lucas where I’d have to be totally bugfuck crazy to worry about anything while I was down there. Fish tacos! Tortilla chips! Beer! Sweet mother of everything holy, did we drink the beer!
Now I’m back to reality, and all of those events have combined to put me at my heaviest point in eight months. It’s eye-opening. There is perspective to be had here though.
If we take November 18 as the last time I hit my goal weight, that’s 2 months, or about 8 weeks. And we’re talking about 8 lbs. here. That’s a pound per week. While ultimately that’s nothing, you do that 8 weeks in a row, it really adds up. It’s easy to see how a person could gain 20 lbs. over the course of 6 months or so without really realizing it. Creep is easy to ignore until all of a sudden it’s staring you in the face, and you go, “Whoa! When the fuck did this gut get here?”
Additionally, it’s also easy to lose your grip on your routine. Granted, that’s a fair amount of shit – both good and bad – to go through in two months, but that’s life. Life is brutal. The health of your body never takes a backseat, even if the health of your mind sometimes does. Your body is ruthless and totally unforgiving when it comes to having sympathy for whatever you’re going through. Always.
Thankfully, nothing lasts forever, and having done it once, I know I can do it again. And again, I’ve gained what amounts to 1 lb. per week. So let’s reverse that. I’m going to lose at least 1 lb. per week until I’m back down to my original goal weight.
So let’s pick an end date. It’s January 16th as I write this. Let’s say by St. Patrick’s Day I’m back at 185 lbs. It’s been awhile since I’ve had to be REALLY conscientious about what I eat, so this will be a nice refresher and a good way to reset some good habits. As an added bonus, it’s the beginning of the year, which means this could feel like a New Year’s Resolution.
It’s weird feeling this way considering all the nice things everyone said to me once I hit my goal. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m letting everyone down. I know/hope that’s ridiculous. But I suppose it just goes to show how the battle never ends. Which is why I felt like this article was a necessary part of the series.
If you’re looking to reset yourself, know you’re not alone. I’m right there with you. And we can do it again. See you there.