Back on Track
I was right - having had a month off daily tracking, I was fresh and ready to get back to it - 2 days back; 2 days pretty much perfectly on track, and I'm feeling nice and fresh and motivated.
It's been an odd couple of days, as I've been waking up super-tired after heavy sleep in the mornings (stupid jet lag), and then I've been down to Bristol twice with an interview / assessment centre this afternoon.
I've not been eating much during the day, as I've been keeping relatively busy, and between that and not having the boredom I contend with at work, I find I don't snack much, if at all. So cereal for breakfast and some homemade soup and a couple of slices for toast for lunch is fine (on a side note - god I've missed fresh soup!). This has been handy as it's left me plenty of scope in the evening for enjoying a heavier meal. I had an impromptu dinner with my friend Hannah last night in Bristol, and then a nice, girly meal with Bridget and Bec this evening.
I found two rather excellent new food discoveries today in Waitrose - both WW friendly!! The first one was pizza, which is something I love but usually struggle with a bit on the WW plan. There's a new chicken and pesto thin-crust pizza in their own range - a 1/3 of the pizza, which is the recommended portion and is a pretty generous chunk at that, is just 6 points - bargain! And it's proper tasty too! The second discovery was one of the new Fru desserts - a mini mango and passion-fruit cheesecake pot is 4.5 points - another total bargain. They maybe small, but the pack a taste punch - absolutely yummy!
Do you remember before I went off travelling, I was really worried about how much I could potentially derail while I was away and wasn't in control? Linked to that, I've always been a little anxious about how I'll cope when I ever get to maintenance. Mostly, that I wouldn't be able to stick to the rigidity of the plan in the long-term
What being away has taught me is that I can balance my life-style without needing to be utterly rigid about it. I was more flexible while I was away than I would normally be at home. I didn't have exact details of what I was eating so I guessed, but I found a balance that still allowed me keep a stable weight. Aside from being a success in it's own right for me, I actually find this a huge relief, because I feel like there is hope for me to achieve a more normal relationship with food and my diet in the future.
Another plus point legacy of my trip away is that it's forced me to break my daily habit with the scale. I often feel that if I don't monitor my numbers daily then the scale could be sneaking up with out me being aware. I don't trust myself to be able to maintain my weight (loss), when I'm not monitoring it via numbers. In a deeper sense, I don't trust myself to not lie to myself if my weight starts going up and my clothes don't fit.
This stems from times in the past when just such a thing has happened. Times like going away to uni, and later moving to London, when I was in a new environment, threw the routine out the window and just "enjoyed" myself by indulging in anything and everything offered to me, with no thought for the consequences. Because I didn't have any hard physical evidence of my gains to check me, I just ignored the gradual indicators from my clothes. As a result, I now have it in my head that that is just what will happen again if I stop monitoring myself daily.
Being away for a month, has obviously forced me to take a step back from that. I have tried to move away from scale obsession in the past, but without anything to make me do it, other than a vague desire, it's not worked. I'd become too paranoid within a day or too and go back to the scale. However, not having access to a scale at all for a 4 week continuous period, has made me go back to the basics. I've never been away from a scale before whilst actively pursuing a healthy eating programme, and it's made me do two things. Firstly, it's made me pay far more attention to other indicators - a weekly session with the tape measure, and how my clothes feel. The two of those, although more subtle that the scale, allowed me to reassure myself that, while I had been less disciplined than usual and might have a small gain, I couldn't be too far from my starting point. I also became far more conscious of the days I felt bloated or skinny, which made me more conscious of when I'd been eating well, or when it was time to have a more restrained day.
Coming back, and finding that my assumptions about any gain I might have were correct, has been liberating because, for the first time in a while, I feel like maybe I can trust my own judgement again. As long as I'm honest with myself.
So whilst I did step on the scale Sunday lunchtime, and yesterday morning, in order to ascertain the damage (yesterday morning for the real damage, since I'm a morning-weigher-inner, and Sunday, because I wanted a worst case scenario immediately - I knew that the morning wouldn't be any heavier, so at least it got the worst of it out the way), I forewent my morning weigh in this morning, and don't plan to step on them again until my formal weigh in on Friday. And you know what? I'm quite excited about doing it this way for a change!
I'll see how I go, but it's nice to not start this morning with my mood governed by what the scales said. I proved to myself (or more accurately re-proved to myself) in the 3 weeks before I went away, that if you stick to the plan honestly, and don't cheat yourself, then you get results. So I'm concentrating on sticking to the plan, and being totally honest, and instead of the scales, I had the knowledge that I had a good day yesterday to put a smile on my face this morning. I'll be content with any kind of loss at the end of the week - even if it's just half a lb. If I can re-enforce to myself that concentrating on having a good week produces results all on its own, then that's a great result for me. It's taken time to get to these conclusions, and it's been baby-steps all the way, but it's great to be making them.
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