I can’t say I was shocked. And I wasn’t thrilled either. I grabbed a pair of shorts that I haven’t worn since last summer and they were too small. Not just snug, but squeezing-my-thighs, couldn’t-hold-my-breath-in-enough-to-button TIGHT! ☹
EVER EXPERIENCE THAT?
If yes, then you know it causes a cascade of various emotions.
ANGER, FRUSTRATION, SADNESS, DISGUST
followed by a decision, consciously or subconsciously, to act. You choose to
♦ beat yourself up mentally; berating yourself for letting it get this far
♦ overcompensate by swearing to a strict diet and exercise routine that, at first motivates you, but then quickly turns to a form of punishment
♦ give up, figuring you’ll worry about it later because you no longer care, and you’re destined to be miserable in your body
I know because I HAVE BEEN THERE! And none of them worked.
This is what DOES work
1. Do an honest, non-judgmental review of your eating habits
Have your portion sizes increased? They may not seem significantly larger but small additions add up! Are you having after-dinner snacks at night or eating a snack with the kids even if you aren’t hungry?
2. Determine what the impact is from caloric beverages
A juice in the morning, a soda at lunch and a Starbucks mid-afternoon will not only add calories but also sugar. Do you measure out the sugar and creamer in your coffee or just assume it is ‘about’ a teaspoon? And don’t forget about alcoholic beverages. I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening but it very easy to pour more than the 5 oz. serving size, especially if you have a large glass. How many servings are you actually having?
3. Evaluate how much you really move.
Prior to lockdown, were you always on the go? Then, all of sudden, you didn’t have anywhere to go! Maybe you started binge watching Netflix, like the rest of the planet. Daily movement may not seem to have a huge impact on your calorie burn, but over time it too adds up. How has your workouts changed? Has the level of intensity dropped?
4. Create a plan with REALISTIC GOALS and a REALISTIC TIMELINE
After I put my shorts back in the closet, this is what I decided:
- I will listen to my hunger and fullness signals again
- I will ask myself – Am I trying to fix an emotion with this food/drink?
- I will use my ‘drink trick’ to help me stick to just one.
- I will make a plan to increase my daily movement.
- I will remember my ‘WHY’ and how awesome I feel when I work out hard.
- I will NOT weigh myself and ride that rollercoaster.
- I will NOT expect to be back in my shorts in 2 weeks.
- I will know I reached my goal when I am feeling strong, energized, & confident again.
If you have tried strict diets hoping for fast results that, if obtained, you couldn’t maintain, you may be dreading your next step. I am here to tell you that IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY! You have options!
Weight gain happens when we stop listening to our bodies, when we use food to cope and when we stop allowing our bodies to move the way they were made to.
The good news is that our bodies are resilient, and our minds are powerful. It is never too late to make a change! You don’t have to figure it out on your own.