Early last year, I lost over 20 pounds. I was doing everything right; drinking my alkaline water, walking, eating clean, and taking my vitamins. My skin had never been more clear. My hair was healthy, shiny and growing like crazy.
In the summer, we finally headed off on that beach vacation I’d been prepping for over the last six months. I felt great. I felt strong. I felt sexy. Until I saw the photos. Then, I felt devastated.
Instead of the fit, toned body I’d imagined, I had a slimmer version of the soft — dare I say flabby — body I had prior to the weight loss. There’s wasn’t much muscle definition, but there was plenty of cellulite.
It really threw me. So much so, I slowly started regaining the weight I’d lost. By the time Christmas came around, I was nearly back up to my starting weight. I was frustrated. So I ate. I was angry with myself. I ate even more. It was a vicious cycle and I wanted it; no, I needed it to stop.
After taking some time to feel sorry for myself and lick my wounds a bit, which is an important part of the starting over process, I figured out a few things I did wrong:
- I was too rigid — I didn’t allow any air around myself to err; it was all or nothing. In my mind, there was no such thing as a “cheat” day. I’m not perfect and this kind of thinking just put more pressure on me to reach an unrealistic ideal.
- I didn’t have a good maintenance plan in mind — My goal was to lose weight in time for vacation. I didn’t have a plan for keeping the weight off long term.
- I didn’t do the right exercises — Getting the toned body I wanted required more than walking on the treadmill. I failed to include weight and/or resistance training into my regimen, which is an important way to reshape the body.
- I didn’t take into consideration that I’ve gotten older — I’m middle-aged but I still feel 25. Unfortunately, things I did 20 years ago to “snap back” just don’t work anymore. My body is different, along with my metabolism. That means the types of foods that best fuel it also have to be different.
Now that I’ve reset my mindset, it’s time to start over again. I know I’ll eventually get back to where I want to be. The difference is, I’m giving myself permission to do it on my own terms. And that’s okay.
Photos: Blue Lite Photography