Saturday, March 13, 2010

Plateau Pretender

The weight is up a little, and it is extremely tempting to remember early Weight Watchers meetings and the warning about plateaus. This was a thousand years ago, and maybe they don't do it anymore, but I swear I am not claiming these 'set weights' where a body is comfortable, and where it is very hard to suddenly break through some glass floor to a lower weight don't exist. I suspect they DO. But since my very first round of Weight Watchers, I've only experienced the phenomenon when I REALLY WAS doing everything I was supposed to twice.

It's time for a reality check. Besides, I can hardly call these confessions without... you know... confessing.

My weight is up this week—2 pounds—undoing the last two weeks worth of losses because it was ALREADY going slow. But I KNOW what happened.

I only ate within points two of seven days and last night (the eve before weigh in) I had POTATO CHIPS—I have been hungry, crabby, and craving bad food. It's time for a little self analysis. (and it isn't some brand new thing—the last two weeks I've been doing a somewhat half-assed) Without a little psycho-analysis, I can't change this.

Pity Party

I gotta be honest. I'm feeling a little sorry for myself. My day job (as happens every year at this time, by the way) has gotten REALLY BUSY. There is not time in a regular work day to finish everything—COULD. NOT. HAPPEN. In a past life, I would resign myself to give up a Saturday—maybe even a whole weekend or two, to just get caught up and call it good. It would make life so much easier.

But you see, I'm writing a book (make that, another book)... I am no longer willing to work overtime except under HARD deadline, and these are soft deadlines—just too large a stack—not something I'm actually late with.

In addition to making me feel sorry for myself, it also brings me HOME wanting 1) a drink or three 2) satisfaction (not so willing to be a little hungry when I've had such a crazy day).

The HOME has its own layer of stress-- my daughter's schedule has been NUTS (two sports and driver's ed on top of homework, school, etc.), my husband and his whole quit smoking thing (successful thus far) has a shorter fuse, so is less patient with my neglect of the HOUSE—I know, I know—shouldn't neglect it, but it is what falls off when I am deeply engaged in so much else).

So How Can I Succeed Anyway?

The work pile is not going away, not until after my May meeting, possibly not until after my August meeting (the first in Baltimore, the second in Montreal, if anyone is conveniently located)... We are presenting at both and so there is a lot of prep required on top of the day job. So the stress reduction is an impossibility. I can think of two things I think I need to add.

Amp the exercise

I think an increase in intensity may be called for—the reason? Endorphins and stress, oddly enough. I currently exercise a respectable amount, but I know for a fact, if I was running instead, there is a carryover from that. May very well help matters.

Make it Easy

I plan to make black beans tomorrow so I can have my 'in a pot, filling, low point' lunch option. If I'm going to be 'unable to help myself' in some fashion in the evening, then ensuring my daytime points are on the low side, means I can make sure my totals are within range so I don't get discouraged. Because getting discouraged is when I quit.

A Little History Reminder

Since I started this job, EVERY YEAR I have started a diet in January with varying success. This year is the best I've done (nearly 30 pounds so far) but this is the time of year I ALWAYS fall down. I REALLY NEED this due diligence to be effective—hopefully the blog will help (always helps to be accountable), hopefully the momentum will help. But it's time...

We only succeed when we dig in and face our obstacles head on, yes? So here goes nothin'...


Cruella Collett said...

Did you know that first picture is from Norway (more specifically, it's Prekestolen, close to Stavanger, in the western part of the country, not so far from your "native" Bergen)? I've been there (not up at the plateau, but in a boat, on the fjord underneath). Just thought I'd say that, to underscore the good karma you are getting from randomly (or deliberately) chosing that picture. Bound to succeed!
Keep up the good work - I am cheering for you :)

Jan Morrison said...

Yep - the sturm and drang of dieting. Here are my new rules - I'm starting AGAIN on Monday - please remember that I started only to feel better (sinus etc...) but I lost weight - I really liked losing weight - I felt so perky and yummy and now I'm slipping back to fatty-land. So I will be cheering for you too. You have done great and you will again. As I told myself around smoking - never quit quitting. I adore you! And food can't be quit cold turkey because we'll eat the turkey...

Watery Tart said...

Mari-I had no clue!!!! That is very cool, and I'm excited! Hope my plateau might actually be my FRIEND (and perhaps why it is so familiar, ne?

Jan, thank you! And good luck to you! I hear you on the losing without trying (whether illness or life stress) and how it can be a nice biproduct of a lousy circumstance, but is not a sustainable method! Good luck to you!

Are you a former smoker? I'm sure hubby NEVER would have quit if it hadn't almost killed him. Hopefully we can keep that salient without new death threats.

Helena Soister said...

I really feel for you, Hart. I know only too well what it's like to be overwhelmed by a job, writing, a messy home, and on and on. About the only problem I don't have is a weight one, but I sure got some dandy personal problems to substitute for that one.
Do not beat yourself up over a few pounds. Personally, I think stress practically glues those fat sucker cells to our bodies. And you might want to check out an article in the New York Times back in February called "Stand Up While You Read This!" It cites studies that show how a sedentary lifestyle (like sitting all day in an office) can undo vigorous exercise routines and even cause some nasty chemical changes in our bodies. Apparently when we sit for long periods, your body will "actually do things that are bad for you."
You know, sometimes it seems that life in general is conspiring against our best intentions.

Watery Tart said...

Helena, thank you so much! It's so true that EVERYBODY has something, and the eating/weight stuff is honestly probably easier than a lot of it. I have some 'crazy' loved ones, an my lot is certainly easier than theirs.

Also true though, that the food can't be given up, which means the addiction is harder in a lot of ways...

Cruella Collett said...

"I'm sure hubby NEVER would have quit if it hadn't almost killed him" - somehow I replaced the "it" in that sentence with an "I" *snort* Makes for a rough home environment, but hey, whatever works...

And I am positive the plateau is your friend. It is one of the most spectacular places I know, so you picked a good plateau to befriend!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Tami, I am with Helene - there is a point at which things start plateauing off, but if you have gained in one week what you lost in two and know the reason why, you haven't probably really hit the plateau yet.
I have only lost weight twice in my life - the first time was just before Rayan when I started fitting into clothes that I hadn't been able to get into for six years, and the second time was after both kids when I again started fitting into the same clothes. Both times, it was intensive exercise coupled with no sugar and food control that did it. So, I am a bad example.

BUT, if you ask me from a common sense point of view, if you have so much going on in your life right now, maybe it is not worth it to let hunger make you crabby. Stick to your WW and exercise, but give yourself a bit of slack and not flog yourself if you gain a bit. When things ease up a bit at work, you can start measuring and weighing again.

Watery Tart said...

Mari- I have almost killed him, but he was asking for it, so it doesn't really count.

Natasha, I am all for a little self forgiveness, but I've struggled with my weight all my life, and KNOW when I love my diligence, that is when I fall off completely. Food is an addiction of sorts and crabby for a while is less 'costly' than the long-term fall off on the 'plan'.