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When the Diet Panic Strikes

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 20 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -2 lbs.
Change overall:  -47 lbs.

I feel like all I’m writing about lately is going on vacation and holidays… but, that’s the nature of summer, I guess!

Right on the heels of my trip to San Francisco was the 4th of July.  I was doing well again before the holiday, but definitely ate a bit more indulgently at the celebratory BBQs.  Some pulled pork here… a cheeseburger there… some birthday cake out in New Jersey.  Not totally out of control, but also not meals I was particularly excited to log in my diary.

Then, on Monday, I panicked a little.  I really, really wanted to lose weight at my weigh-in on Tuesday and worried that my combined slips would thwart me.

So I made the questionable choice that I was going to just eat as little as possible on Monday to help ensure I had a “good” weigh-in on Tuesday. 

I had a small bowl of high-fiber bran cereal for breakfast.  I skipped my usual Subway lunch (the big doughy roll just seemed like a heavy, unnecessary part of the day) and had some poached salmon with steamed vegetables instead.  I had a small dinner – just an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly.  I also drank lots and lots of water and I went to bed really early – 10:00!

And when I weighed myself the next morning, I was down two more pounds!  Just three away from my 50 pound milestone!

But I also had some new things to think about:  1) Why was I so unreasonably panicked about the scale this week?  2)  What could I learn from what I had tried on Monday? 

  • 1) Why was I so panicked about losing this week?

I truly believe everything I’ve been saying about my journey being a lifestyle change and not a diet.  And I also know that so many things can influence the numbers on the scale.  In a way, my weekly weigh-in is actually the least important thing about what I’m doing.  So, why the heck was I so panicked?

And then it came to me.  I’d been here before.

I’ve lost 40 pounds before.  I’ve even lost 60 before.  And then something happened.  One bad day stretched to two… stretched to a week… then a month.  And suddenly I’d gained it all back with extra weight packed on.

I guess these past couple of weeks had felt a little bit like that.  I was thinking all the right things and saying all the right things but if I didn’t get down to it and do the right things for more than a day or two at a time, I might be back on the upward swing.

So I took what felt like some drastic measures on Monday to sort of shock myself into getting back on track.  And I truly feel like I’m there!  I’m tracking everything, I’m staying within my guidelines, and I’m looking forward to a reasonable week where I’m not starving myself OR letting everything go at the first hint of a special occasion.

2) What did I learn?

I know it’s just as bad to eat too little as too much (it is unhealthy and won’t lead to sustained weight loss), but I still went into Monday planning on eating as little as possible.  Funny thing happened though – in the final tally, I only ate slightly less than I “should” have and simply ended up eating different types of foods than I usually do. 

Some of my choices were even improvements!  The salmon was a great choice.  And peanut butter packs lots of calories and good fat into a small amount of actual food (something good to know for days where you might not be hungry or have a lot of time, but still want to get those nutrients).  It also felt a little new and exciting to change things up from my normal routine.

The bran from my breakfast kept me feeling full (but not that full that you get when you’ve overeaten).  And while the water kept me heading back to the bathroom, I’m pretty confident it helped flush out a lot of the salt I’d consumed over the past few days and saved me from seeing “water weight” on the scale.

I was also reminded that I always have a better weigh-in when I sleep more…  which is something I should definitely endeavor to do more frequently.

So here are some things I think I’ll take from Monday and try to do on a more regular basis:

  • A good breakfast – at home, soon after I wake up, instead of at the office a couple hours later – gets me off to a strong start. And bran will keep me feeling satisfied throughout most of the morning!
  • Have a larger meal earlier in the day and a smaller one later.
  • The subs have been working well for me, but, it doesn’t hurt to switch it up a bit and skip those carbs sometimes.
  • Water really is one of the most important parts of my diet – I need to be diligent about getting in at least eight glasses a day.
  • Sleep! I know there have been studies on how sleep helps you lose weight. And I’ve seen it for myself! I just have to be better about turning off the TV and the light and going to bed at a reasonable hour.

Thank goodness there are no holidays for a little while! ;)


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