I make the same mistake four times a year. I step onto the scale (or try a new dress and have it not fit, or try an old skirt and have it not fit, or notice that my face looks different in pictures from a couple of years back), note down the number that defines whether I’m doing a good job of being a woman or not, and then promptly panic.
This leads to a stream of good intentions that last about a month, by which time I feel better about myself and go back to my everyday life. Four months later, I’ll step on the scale (or swap pants with a friend and realize we’re no longer the same size, or get hand-me-downs from my mom that it turns out I can’t wear, or have an ice-cream binge followed by a burst of guilt) and start all over again.
I call this the Circle of Fail.
This January was no different. I started out with good intentions. The first two weeks were excellent. I felt good, I worked hard, I trained even harder and I shed kilos like a pro, but then it stopped. The next three weeks, I lost nothing. Did I do anything differently? Not a thing. I’ve tracked my calorie intake every day since I started the Paleo challenge (for the second time, this time more successfully), and I’m doing okay. I’m cutting back on carbs and fat, I’m eating less than normal, I’m maintaining my training program, and nothing happens. Let me tell you, there’s nothing less motivating than saying no to every temptation, and not seeing results.
Well, I say I’m not seeing results, but that’s not exactly true. The weight I lost in the first two weeks have stayed off, and I have lost a centimeter all around my body. But centimeters are slower and harder to measure, and every time I step on the scale and it gives me the same number (77.5kg), I feel more defeated. I feel like losing weight shouldn’t be this hard.
True to form, the same thought patterns are going through my head again: it’s too hard. I’m not that far off my goal, perhaps I should just learn to be happy where I’m at. Maybe I’ll never be pleased with my weight anyway, so I should just be happy now.
I know this is fear and laziness masking as sense, but I can’t help feeling this way.
It’s also interesting to notice that it took me less than a month to turn what started out as a completely reasonable goal (I want to be in the 72kg weight class for power lifting) into a dieting obsession.
So, what should I do?
I’ve decided to put my scale in the closet. I’ll still be measuring my intake, so the odds of gaining weight should be low. I’ll stay paleo and keep my training program going. And who knows, maybe alleviating the pressure of building my hopes up and having them crushed every Tuesday morning might make my body respond better to the new diet? At least it’ll give me time to wait for the slow and steady results of living healthy and training well.
Do you think I can avoid the Circle of Fail this time? How do I keep on keeping on without turning obsessive or getting depressed? What would you do in my situation?