Falling Off the Wagon (and getting back on)

I’m back from a too-long blog hiatus, and a two-week trip to Orlando in celebration of my 25th birthday.

While hanging out with Mickey and the gang, I regret to report that I made some not-so-healthy choices…from the seemingly endless birthday cupcakes presented to me at almost every restaurant we patronized, to the “hey, I’m on vacation” fruity mixed drinks consumed in the evenings.

Though we spent 15 hours a day on our feet trekking through 12 days of theme parks, I’m fairly confident that the calories I may have burned off running from Space Mountain to Pirates of the Caribbean in no way justified my lackluster (at best) attempts to make somewhat healthy choices while dining out.  How can you go to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville without ordering the “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” or shell out $40 for a buffet lunch with Pooh and friends in the Magic Kingdom and not sample a little bit of everything?

On the upside, we did make eggs and cereal in our room, and we even toted sandwiches into the parks – a time-saving strategy that undoubtedly also saved us hundreds of calories and at least $30 a day on food costs – but I found myself struggling to refuse the dinner entrees (and desserts, and cocktails) that I really wanted at table-service restaurants.  I threw caution to the wind, right along with my resolve to lose weight and my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, there is a hefty (no pun intended) price to pay when you allow yourself to indulge in french fries and cupcakes as often as I did for as long as I did.  Needless to say, the scale wasn’t too kind to me upon my return home.

But what’s worse than that number is that I feel absolutely terrible – physically and mentally.

I am truly ashamed by how easy it was for me to return to my “I’ll eat whatever I want” attitude from before I lost this weight.  It’s terrifying that I can so quickly throw my new lifestyle out the window and abuse my body the way I once did.  There’s loosening the reins and indulging while on vacation, and then there’s giving yourself permission to  eat fried fish followed by french fries followed by ice cream followed by margaritas, all in the same day.  There’s enjoying great food at a relaxing sit-down meal, and then there’s stuffing yourself until you’re sick…just because the food is there.

My mind kept telling me “you can have that milkshake now, but you should probably skip drinks tonight with dinner,” but then I went ahead and completely ignored my better judgement.  What’s so humiliating about all of this is that there’s no excuse for my behavior.  I know exactly what I need to do, and yet I simply choose not to.  Weight Watchers has given me the tools to know how to indulge in not-so-POINT-friendly treats without completely derailing my progress, but being the mere mortal that I am, sometimes I opt to purposely make the wrong decision.

I hate feeling this way.  I hate feeling as though I’ve “fallen off the wagon,” and realizing just how hard it is to get back on.  Even though I’ve put less than 5 pounds back onto my body, mentally, it feels like 50. I feel sluggish and heavy and just not myself.  I returned from Florida six days ago, and I have exercised just once since I’ve been home.  I went for a half-hearted jog around town, which felt like pure agony because nearly three weeks had past since my last run.

In the meantime, I’ve been snacking on goldfish crackers that were left over from our trip, and happily pigging out with co-workers at a recent staff barbecue…and making little to no effort to count POINTS.

“But it’s the end of the summer,” I’ll tell myself, or “I need some time to adjust, and then I’ll get right back on track.”

If there’s anything I’ve learned from a lifetime of failed dieting attempts, it’s that there is absolutely no room for “I’ll get back on track [insert vague period of time here].”  With each and every day that passes, it becomes harder and harder to return to your healthy habits, and that much more likely that you’ve strayed for good.  I lost 60 pounds as a teenager only to pile it all back on in less than 2 years because one day of eating junk food turns into two days, which turns into a month, and into a year…and suddenly all of the weight has creeped back on, you’re busting out of plus-size jeans, and you have no idea how it happened.

No more excuses.  My vacation is over, summer is over, and it’s time for me to climb back on that proverbial wagon and assume control of my mind and body again.

(Starting with throwing out this coffee drowning in cream and sugar that a co-worker gave me this morning.  It’s making me sick.)

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Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Falling Off the Wagon (and getting back on)

  1. hamiltonmka

    It is so great to see you posting again!

    You know, I think many of us who read your blog have all been there. It is not fun. But you’re dealing with your feelings head on here instead of burying them in a bag of chips. You’ve said it, now it’s out. Now what?

    How about setting some kind of goal ahead of you that will get you back on the wagon? Sounded like you like to run. How about signing up for a 5k in November? Then you’d have to start exercising regularly again. Once you start moving your body you’re likely going to want to start eating better and tracking. If running is too much just start walking, every night. I think you’ll get back to where you were in no time at all.

    You’ll get there!

    • You are too kind! Thanks so much for sticking with me, even though my not-so-successful summer. It’s definitely comforting to know that I’m not alone, and you have no idea how much I appreciate your support! 🙂

      Your suggestion about signing up for a 5K couldn’t be more spot on. Since the scale stopped budging, I’ve found that I’ve lost my focus…and, like you said, setting a new concrete goal might just be exactly what I need to get back on track and finish losing this weight, already!

      I’ve always been intimidated by the thought of signing up for a 5K, despite the fact that I run nearly every day. It’s just one more of those obstacles that has nothing to do with my physical capabilities or fitness level, but that’s completely mental. But in order to keep moving forward, I think it’s just about time that I overcome this one. I’m looking into it right away – because if not now, then when?

  2. hamiltonmka

    Well as you know, I’ve been doing Weight Watchers and in March they challenged their members to walk a 5k in May. At the time, I was already walking 3 miles a day and though… meh, I can already do that. But then my leader said ‘then train to run it”. Wah? Me? I am NOT a runner. I’m too fat! I’m the fat girl! We don’t RUN and certainly not in a race! But then the stubborn side of me said well, why not? I am not someone who likes to be told I cannot do something so I started training. When the WW 5k came in May, I ran part and walked part. And that same day my friend told me that we need to sign up for another 5k – a more “official” one where you get a tshirt and a number – and that I was going to run the whole thing. Wah? Me? HELL YEAH! So all summer I have been slowly increasing my time running and the big day is this Sunday. I AM GOING TO RUN THE WHOLE THING!

    And all this running and cross training between running sessions has helped with my appetite and cravings and generally keeps me OP when it comes to my WW eating.

    So yes, I too understand what it’s like to think you’re just not the type or kind of person to run a 5k. Guess what, you are!

    Let us know what 5k you pick and when it is so we can cheer you on!

    *Your last statement “if not now, then when?” reminds me of a Melissa Etheridge song called “what happens tomorrow”. It’s kind of a political song but the chorus is something that’s motivated me in this journey:

    If you become the change
    You want to see you change
    What happens tomorrow
    If not now, when?
    If not today, then…
    What happens tomorrow?

    • That is AWESOME! Congratulations! You’re truly an inspiration; your attitude is really making me want to go sign up for a 5K right now.

      I’m all too familiar with the “I’m too fat” excuse, too – in fact, I have only recently been able to consider myself a runner. I think it’s time for me to actually have some faith in myself for a change, and stop with all the excuses. The Melissa Etheridge song couldn’t be more appropriate; thanks for sharing.

      Let me know how it went this weekend! I’ll definitely keep you all posted on what I end up signing up for. And thank you SO much, again! 😀

      Jennifer

  3. I had a two week bout with “eat anything I want-itis” this summer, too. I still feel it lingering a bit at the back of my mind. I do give myself (and YOU) credit for making slightly better choices. Before WW, “anything I want” wouldn’t have looked like TWO skinny cows instead of one, etc. I keep telling myself it’s a journey, and I think you’re such a great example of that. (Seemingly corny but sincere alert) This is not some change that will happen overnight for me, and it’s time for me to face it, too. It is a choice every minute of every day. Exhausting. Given that…HUGE fact, I know it’s going to take a bit to get it off. Mama said there’d be days like this. Haha.

    Okay, end motivational comment (aimed at myself mostly). 🙂

    • Thanks, Felisha! I couldn’t even begin to tell you what my “anything I want” choices used to look like before WWers. Still, that’s no excuse for my treating the summer months like a feeding frenzy. ;-D

      I so appreciate your support, and I’m glad that my shenanigans this summer can help serve as a reminder that this is a lifetime journey, and there WILL be slip ups. And, yes, what it takes to lose this weight (and keep it off) is nothing short of exhausting. But all we have to do is get back on track, and keep on going. We CAN do it. 😀

      (There’s my corny motivational comment!)

  4. And cute pictures! Can you believe I’ve never been to Florida OR Disney World? Crazy.

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