A few guest posts did trickle in! Today’s maternity leave post is by Patty from A Day in My NYC. Patty is one of the friendliest, warmest bloggers I know. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet her at BlogHer this past summer and I’ll get to see her again at FitBloggin’11!
Side note: All is well with the little bean. We are setting into a routine–taking a short morning walk, nursing every 2 hours and sleeping when we can. :) Now… Enjoy Patty’s post… :)
When I began my weight loss journey back in 2009, I had a great first year and lost 30 lbs. I felt amazing and was so dedicated to eating healthy. I rarely ventured off to indulgent foods. In fact I didn’t miss them at all. How I wish that “honeymoon phase” of my weight loss journey could last forever. Coincidentally Summer of 2010 hit just as I reached this weight loss mark. I was out of the plus size clothes and comfortably wore a swimsuit that year. It had been the first time in a very long time I didn’t have to wonder if last year’s summer clothes would fit me. In fact I knew they were a little loose on me. With this new confidence came the desire to be out and about town with friends, meaning were more meals eaten out and I had to make do with my best choices.
At first I didn’t veer off my food plan but then I started to “get cute” and having an extra french fry, an extra scoop of ice cream, or an extra fruity drink. To rationalize this the feelings of entitlement kicked in. “I deserve this because I’ve worked so hard to lose weight”, “Just one won’t hurt”, and other self-sabotaging thoughts like this. I indulged and by Summer’s end I had gained 5 lbs. Now while you might say this isn’t such a big deal, it is not where I need to be. I still have to lose about 40 more pounds to reach my goal weight.
For awhile I didn’t know what my motivation to keep going was. I was happy maintaining and at the same time I wasn’t. I had to dig really deep and find answers within myself. Which brings me to where I am today, still down 25 lbs and seeing a breakthrough coming. I lost 1.8 lbs last week, that has been the first significant loss this year. I’m working really hard to keep that scale moving down. The truth is that I am not satisfied with just losing 25 lbs. I want to reach my goal weight. Thanks to my fantastic Weight Watcher leader, I’ve learned that my weight loss pace is unique to my lifestyle and body. She always points out in the meeting that it took her 5 years to lose 45 lbs but she never gave up. I may not drop the pounds like you rock stars every week, but I’m not giving up on this journey. I’m sticking it out for as long as it takes for me. Here are just a few things I’ve learned about myself that have kept me sane and motivated to keep going.
- Your mind and body need an adjustment period.
- Hitting a significant weight loss mark did something to me psychologically. I was feeling great and thinking “I’ve got this!” Maybe it was over confidence or the thrill of finding yourself “smaller” for the first time in a long time. I’m slowly giving this less focus and redirecting my energy to getting to goal and thinking about how that will feel. Also my mom, who is no weight loss expert but a very smart lady, keeps pointing out to me that maybe my body needs some time to adjust at this weight before it can move on. It could be, because isn’t that what plateaus are about anyway?
- Do not give up.
- I am the person who goes to my Weight Watcher meeting every week. I wouldn’t say my attendance is 100% for the year, but 94% of the time I am at my meeting. I’ve seen these 5 lbs go up and down for months. It’s frustrating as can be, but for me the idea of not going to a meeting is just too scary. If I don’t go to meetings I may fall off this weight loss journey and that is something I’m not okay with me. So for better or worse I go to my meetings because something a member or my leader may say will make me think about my food choices and I will strive to do better than the previous week.
- Focus on the positive accomplishments.
- My friends, both in the blog world and in the real world, constantly remind me that it’s not a bad thing to maintain a 25 lb weight loss for a year. You know what? It’s a GREAT thing. I never give myself enough credit but it truly is. So I’m saying it here. If you’ve lost 5, 10, 15, whatever the number is and have maintained that loss, it’s a great accomplishment. Do not sell yourself short.
- Move more.
- This may also count under the positive accomplishment category. Summer 2010 was also the summer I took up running and ran my first 5k race. I never would have thought of running at my heaviest weight. I never wanted to run, but one day I just went for it. Running is the most rewarding exercise I have found. I’m already back out there running as the temperatures warm up and will run my first 5k at FitBloggin in May.
- Ask for help.
- I do this all the time. I blog about my weight loss, I talk to my WW leader about it, I tweet what I eat, I talk to my family about it, I read your weight loss blogs, try your recipes and participate in twitter parties focused on weight loss. I do all this because it helps me to stay focused. I get inspired when a fellow weight loss blogger hits a milestone in their journey. I love to celebrate their success and be supportive if they struggle because I struggle as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because if I’ve learned anything about weight loss bloggers is that we are a very supportive group.