Trying to Get My Head to Change Its Mind

(song: Summer Long/artist: Kathleen Edwards)

Well, summer is over and what do I have to show for it? Ten extra pounds, a closet full of clothes that are too tight and a crushing case of insecurity. Yep, right after I posted my two-years-of-successful-maintenance article, I embarked on a summer of old habits. It started slowly, a bacon cheddar burger here, an ice cream cone there. Then it spiraled into daily cocktails, afternoon cheese plates, reckless snacking, skipping days - sometimes a whole week - of logging my food and workouts. But all-the-while I said to myself, "Hey, I'm enjoying a balanced life so it's okay. I got this." Then I had to order a size 10, but it was a pair of shorts so I convinced myself that shorts these days are just too short so I better size up if I want a little length. Little lies we tell ourselves. Then my cousin told me I look "softer". She meant is as a compliment because her version of my normal is a bigger me without muscle tone. But of course, it means I've noticeably gained weight. And since I also let my workout regimen really lag during the summer, I've lost tone -- I'm softer. And then another cousin said, "I like you at this weight." Thank you??? Even my tea bags were sending subtle messages that there's a little more of me to love.

{All I saw was "BOUNTIFUL". Et tu Yogi tea?}
But the real kicker was this past Sunday when the temperature dipped and I needed to wear jeans. I literally could not get my ass into the trusty size 8 Lucky Brand jeans that I've been sporting for the past two years. I hopped and bounced and did thing where you do a series of wide-leg squats to try to get your jeans over your butt. No dice. What did I do next? I cried. Actual tears. Then I put on my size 10 shorts - with stretch material - and ventured out into the crisp autumn air feeling like a big fat failure.

{Not how I look. Just how I feel.}
And that was the breaking point for me. That feeling. I felt that feeling for so many years and it just sucks to find myself feeling it again. So I had my pity party for a few days, and then I admitted the truth. I got cocky and lazy and comfortable. Sure I had fun eating loads of cheese and fried chicken and burgers, and drinking all summer long, but the cost was far greater than the reward and I chose to ignore what was happening to my body. I not only gained weight, I literally made myself sick. I had major stomach problems from the dairy overload and one night after a particularly wine intensive dinner, I barfed. Classy gal. I'm mad at myself. The only person I have to blame...

But a new week has begun and my head is back in the game! On Monday, I stepped on the scale. The moment of truth! 150. Ten pounds - and a whole size - over the weight I've maintained for two years. Damn that delicious cheese...and ice cream...and vodka.

{A moment on the lips...}

So now I have a plan and a goal: I started with a three-day Shakeology cleanse to detox. After the cleanse I'll transition to a mostly green and white (chicken, fish, lean pork, green & white veggies...) diet for a couple of weeks before going back to my normal clean-eating diet. I am once again working out for an hour a day, five-days-a-week. I am EXHAUSTED and sore, but happily so. I registered for a 10K in October so that I'll have a fitness goal and a weight loss goal to work towards. I will abstain from booze for one month. No more lies or excuses or feeling sorry for myself. I know what to do. And do it I will!

In looking for the good in this disappointment, I suppose it's that I hold myself to a higher standard and now ten pounds - as opposed to sixty - is my new "rock bottom". I  know what I'm capable of and I want to regain the sense of pride and confidence I've felt for the past two years. Briefly revisiting my past behaviors and the feeling of worthlessness that follows, has renewed my will to maintain all that I have accomplished. I can do this.

{Day 1 of...the rest of my life.}