Over the last 8 months or so, I’ve gained over 20 pounds.
It seems like one month I was celebrating getting back down to the 160’s and then the weight started creeping up to where I’m just 6 pounds shy of being back in the 200’s club.
I struggled with binge eating, food addiction, and feeling controlled by parties, dates, and event. It usually started with an event, now that I think about it.
It would start with an event (party, date, special occasion). Then my cravings would be through the roof and I’d continue to eat sugary, processed foods. This would go on for weeks until I finally gained control.
That cycle of losing and gaining control went on and on causing my waist to go up 4 inches. There is way more belly fat around my midsection. I teared up when I noticed the difference.
I started doing some mindfulness work and keeping track in a journal to recognize where I was struggling the most and what steps helped me the most.
So, I thought I’d come here and share what I’ve noticed has made the biggest difference in getting back on track. Hopefully these things that have helped me will also help you.
Be relentlessly forgiving of yourself. Beating yourself up can make the situation more challenging.
Something I’m definitely still working on.
I got into a habit of beating myself up and scolding myself on all the things I needed to do and do better. With every binge, I became harsher on myself to the point that I felt depressed and trapped by my cravings. I felt powerless.
Feeling powerless led to feeling hopeless. With each ridicule of what I could have done differently I stacked up more things I would have to do in order to be back in control. Which made it seem as if getting control was more and more impossible.
Then I started practicing forgiveness by acknowledging that I was working on it. It took some time, but eventually I started countering my negative talk with thoughts of forgiveness.
I talked to myself as if I was learning a new concept instead of as if I could have been doing better.
Eventually wanting to be nice to myself led to wanting to learn how to love myself better. I discovered that self-love isn’t easing my discomfort by giving in to my cravings. Self-love is being the parent that knows what’s better for the child (my addicted body.)
I learned that by being forgiving, and refusing to beat yourself up, you make space for learning how to treat yourself better and how that self-love actually looks. You quit being mean and start being patient. In that patience, you’re more likely to open up to being solution oriented.
Stay aware of your weight and, or how your clothes fit even if you haven’t figured out how to stay on track yet
My biggest mistake when I started slipping was taking off my waist beads. The waist beads got tight so I took them off. Once I put them on a couple of days ago, they were cutting into my skin. It was VERY obvious I gained 20 pounds and my belly had gotten bigger. At one point those beads were slipping off of me.
Waist beads also serve the purpose of weight management. When they get tight, there’s something that needs to be addressed regarding what you’re doing. Having that awareness can help you get back on your health and fitness routine much sooner than if you ignored the signs and kept getting triggered.
When you’re on a weight loss routine, keep weighing yourself and being aware of how your clothes fit. Don’t “look away” because you’re too scared to watch what’s happening. Watching what’s happening empowers you and helps you form the thoughts that’ll eventually get you back on track.
Some might argue that weighing yourself too often can be discouraging, but I’ll argue it’ll maintain awareness when you know you’re slipping up in healthy behaviors.
Perhaps, instead of letting those poor habits creep in and cause significant weight gain, tighter waist beads, tighter clothes, and a telling scale could lead to paying attention and working on those poor habits much sooner.
Start with the easiest approach from where you’re at
Anxious to get back on track, I would nosedive back into a strict routine only to fall off again because it was too strict. Strict enough to make my head hurt and cravings so strong I couldn’t concentrate at work. I’d have to eat something just to finish a project.
Then I decided to try starting where I was at. My first day after a binge, I’d make myself some oatmeal with lots of butter, stevia, a banana, berries, walnuts, and dried cranberries. That kept me full for 6 to 7 hours. Then I’ll have my low-carb dinner.
This routine of tapering off with high-carb real foods helped me beat cravings with much less will power. Getting back to my healthy food plan was much simpler.
Try starting with real foods instead of going into something strict like keto, calorie restriction, or intermittent fasting. Getting back on track with foods like oatmeal, rice, beans, sweet potatoes, fruits, dried fruits, and nut butters will weaken the cravings for junk foods.
Being mindful that the goal is to eventually get back to a weight loss protocol, give it a few days to feel how cravings lesson. Soon, it’ll be a natural next step to get back to a routine that’s more supportive of weight loss.
Learn to work through your triggers instead of thinking they control you
What made me really get a hold of my 20-pound weight gain was learning to work with my triggers. I used to think my triggers were trapping and controlling me. For instance, I would hold off on dieting because there was a party. Then I would feel upset that I had to hold off on eating healthy because there was that party.
See the problem there?
Why was I allowing these things to control my progress? These things that are going to happen regardless. They’re a part of life. But they’re also my triggers.
Once I realized I had to learn how to work through my triggers, and prepare myself way ahead of time with daily practices, I started surviving my triggers.
My daily exercises include daily affirmations, taking 15 minutes a day to visualize and think positively about my health, and working with subliminal messages. (They’re actually not scary at all and highly effective.)
And the last time I went to an event that would have triggered me, I ate a really healthy, high-fat meal and packed food. It was a huge success!
Learning to identify these occasions as triggers and then working through them is a much better method than thinking you can conquer them once you get there. Will power doesn’t work like that.
Strengthen your will power by preparing yourself daily for these situations that typically get you caught up.
I’m back on track
Working my triggers and doing my mental exercises daily has definitely helped me beat those situations that I used to allow squash my efforts.
I still have lots of work to do until I’m strong enough to go 100% clean for cleansing and healing.
The other night I had a glass of wine. Not beating myself up about it, but I know I did make a commitment to cleanse and not drink any alcohol. I forgave myself and acknowledge that I’m getting better and doing the work that has to be done.
Try these tips out if ever you fall off or you know you’re prone to slipping up when you’ve made a commitment to be 100%.
Weight Loss Transformation Resources
If you need help with your weight loss transformation or looking to start strong on your transformation goals, please check out these weight loss transformation resources I’ve created based on my own weight loss success and research: