You could easily call these the seven deadly sins of weight loss as well. I learned them after losing a tremendous amount of weight, but it could help any who are just starting or who are in the middle of their weight loss phase…
1. I stopped measuring… Measuring your food may seem like a really small thing… and it is. However the consequences of NOT doing it is no small thing! On Loser you get into a groove and there are times when a measuring cup is not handy but when you measure 95% of the time your eyeball measuring isn’t too far off from the truth usually. But when you get used to not measuring and that 95% becomes 5% of the time your eyeballs get bigger, and bigger. Pretty soon your “cup” runneth over. These unseen calories add up and calories turn to weight. So whether you are just starting out or you have fallen off the wagon.. start measuring up!
2. I took a break… A great person, who meant well, and had very great intentions gave me some really bad advice. They advised me to take a break after finale. To give my body a few weeks to heal from all of the intense grueling workout sessions. Believe me, those words were honey to my ears and I gladly welcomed a day where my body didn’t ache as if I had just fought a whole army alone. By the time Finale of Loser had come my body had stopped losing weight for over a month. I had tirelessly tried changing up my workouts and upping the intensity to get the scale moving again. Which is why logically taking a break made sense. But what I should have done was slow down. Kept a regimen but decreased the intensity drastically upped my calories a few hundred (2-3) and kept an eye on my healthy fat intake. By taking a break it lead to sedentary hours and that led back to old habits which led to longer breaks and eventually weight began to creep back on. When I decided I had enough of a break.. it was devastatingly hard to get back into the groove. In fact I am still trying to find that groove. Guess I need to star in “ how Shay got her groove back…” or maybe not. So this lesson also applies to those of you out there who have hit a plateau or have reached a maintenance phase. Whatever you do don’t abruptly stop! Slow the pace an intensity down, find alternatives workouts that aren’t so intense and enjoy the active moments.
3. I stopped journaling my food… After leaving the show we no longer received a body bugg account so I used the FitBook by Fitlosophy which helped me transition. When I took my afore mentioned break I also took a break from journaling. My anxiety and emotional connection I have with food was in overdrive as I wasn’t sure what do when I wasn’t hitting a 3500calorie burn every day. The numbers were driving me insane and I was becoming quite the basket case so I decided to stop tracking my calories. WORST. MISTAKE.EVER. Journaling is one of the easiest ways to get a grip on what is going in your body and what activity you are putting out. It’s a clear way to see where you are headed down that slippery slope into weight gain. If you are about to embark on the journey of changing your life, find a system of journaling that works for you. If you are a writer and you like to set goals try out the FitBook (you can get them at targets). If you are a techie download an app like my fitness pal or lose it. I personally like My fitness Pal and I am shaeluv79 on there. Or if you’re minimalist get a notebook and start tracking. If you’re like me and have gotten out of the habit- figure out what didn’t work for you the first time and why and then figure out what system will work best for you.
4. I didn’t listen to my body.. As many of you may have seen I was offered to run a marathon with Subway and Jared. I jumped at the opportunity because it was a way to challenge myself and have a short term goal that would require training and therefore keep me on track. Throughout loser I had chronic knee pain and issues and I had been told by a doctor that my orthopedic structure (bones) was not that of a runner and that it would not be wise to run a marathon. Well… I’m stubborn. Seriously stubborn. And I thought well heck no one thought I could lose 225lbs either.. so I’m going to prove him wrong. Now while this tactic has worked for me in several areas of my life. THIS WAS NOT ONE. A month out from the NYC marathon I got up to 13 miles in my training and then tore the meniscuses in my knee (the pillows that cushion the joint). My knee swelled up and wouldn’t bend. I could barely do anything. It was devastating. I went to NY anyway and ran (hobbled really) a 5 mile race. But sat in the stands and watched Jared cross the finish line. It was crushing. When you have an injury or as you become more in tune with your body and it is screaming at you, Listen. Now I don’t want people to think that when they are working hard and your pushing past those mental limits (usually the moment when Jillian would be screaming at you) that what I am talking about. I am talking about a serious physical injury. If you can’t tell the difference get it checked out and persists if need be to be sure.
5. I thought I would be okay on my own…This is a mistake that I have often made in many areas of my life. WIth the emotional baggage that I continually am working on and trying to shed I have trust issues and I also have issues asking for help. I stopped reaching out to others- including my BL family and friends. I decided that I needed to walk this walk alone and that I needed to figure everything out before I reached out. Boy was I wrong. By doing this I cut off accountability and I cut off people who understood what I was facing and could have helped me. Accountability is one of the most important things you can do in your journey, wether that is joining a program like WW with weekly meetings or an online group of friends or joining a local running club etc. Your accountability group should be there to offer advice, listen, and call you out if necessary. Having accountability can help to push beyond your comfort zone and give you a kick in the butt you may need.
6. I started caring more about what others thought of me… As I started slipping into my dark hole I stopped going to events, even with my personal friends and family, I just couldn’t face anyone because I was terrified to let people down or disappoint anyone. I refused public appearances and I denied that I was even on TBL. I didn’t want anyone to know I was a failure. I had botched up a super awesome gift that I had been given. I started comparing myself to others and their successes. This is possible one of the worst things to ever do. I knew that and couldn’t stop myself. I was so down and all I could think was… I failed. I let everyone down. When you begin to compare your self and worry about what others think you WILL NEVER MEASURE UP, YOU WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH. A journey of weight loss is a personal journey and while you may run with others no one runs for you. You cannot compare your journey with another or you will always see fault.
7. I stopped caring… I just went into autopilot mode, delved into my work and started focusing on everything but my health. Weird thing is… I still worked out and some of the healthy habits I had started, remained. Mostly because I enjoyed them and partly because I had mad some major lifelong health changes. But I let whatever I could fall in the way of me focusing on my health.
I have began to refocus my direction, I am in therapy and am finding my way again. While I am not as heavy as I was starting out on loser I am no where close to my finale weight at the culmination of my transformation. Of course there is a multitude of factors that play into why I find myself here I take full responsibility and attribute much of my “relapse” to the seven biggest mistakes I have made post Loser. So if I can help any of you out there from joining me here at the bottom of the slope then I have done my first good deed of 2012.