30 By 30: A Life of Extremes: Riding my Emotional Weight Loss Rollercoaster

weight-roller-coasterLet me start off this week’s post with some really, really great news. I lost more weight this week. I got back into a routine and feel like I’m heading in the right direction, physically and mentally.

I’m a woman of extremes. I either love you or hate you. I am either obsessed with something or I can’t stand to be bothered with it. I go all in or I do not even blink an eyelash. There are very few things I do in a balanced, average way.  I am going to happily pass on any lectures about this behavior; I’ve been this way my entire life and try as I might to be a little more “mild”, it is just not me. In fact, when I told my mom I was going back on Jenny Craig, she said “Be careful what you tell your readers because you are always all about whatever you’re doing at the moment, and then over it 2 weeks later.” Oh well, moving on.

In my 29 years, I’ve probably “started” 3590 diets, exercise plans or lifestyle changes. Every time they are accompanied by my all in attitude. I spend all day Sunday buying every book about healthy eating, chopping up veggies and fruits for the week, and I end up spending three hours a day at the gym for the first few weeks. It’s not realistic and it’s not sustainable. The first time I “cheat” on the diet or miss a day at the gym, I crumble. Just give up and walk away.

Ridiculous example: A few years ago I was working out at home a lot so I bought Tracy Anderson’s DVD for the 30 day body detox. It came with a menu plan, a workout DVD and a cleanse to end your 30 days to really get your body ready for healthy living. I never made it to the cleanse at the end (shocker, I know) but a couple years later I decided to pull out the book and do the cleanse solo. I loaded up at the grocery store and spent probably 6 + hours in my kitchen pureeing every food known to man. I thought it all seemed and tasted strange, but in the interest of getting skinny, I’ve seen stranger. I packed it all up in Ziploc bags and labeled them for the week. When Monday came, I proudly packed my breakfast, lunch and snack into a plastic bag and headed to the office. As I sat and tried to drink/spoon/actually digest whatever the bags contained, it was gag inducing. I could barely get it down.

I googled it to see if there were any tips to get through Tracy Anderson’s cleanse, or at least make it bearable. I shouldn’t have been surprised when I discovered that her cleanse also goes by the “Baby Food” diet in Hollywood circles. There are a million things I will do in my diet and exercise efforts, but I draw the line at eating baby food. I threw out my ziplocs and promptly ordered a pizza.

This time around, I’m working on being less aggressive and more forgiving of myself. I explained to Carmen, my Jenny Craig consultant, this problem with extremes and she had a few great tips that have resonated with me this week.

I only exercised twice, and I definitely traded out more meals than I had planned, but I saw my weight go down. I think it was because I was realistic with myself. The overall reason I went back on the program was to give myself more of a routine, and you know what? After two months of missing breakfast most days, I ate breakfast every single day last week. It started my day being conscious of what was going in to my body and didn’t leave me starving by noon to binge in the cafeteria.

This week is a BEAST in terms of social obligations. I have parties, concerts, dinners with friends and a trip to the Hamptons. My goal for the week is to have fun, but to not be extreme.  And since I did such a good job getting my food back under control, this week is for the gym. Just a little at a time.

I think someone once said that slow and steady wins the race? Here’s hoping.

Weekly wrap up – I lost 3 more pounds this week for an overall total of -4 lbs. Just 26 left to my goal.

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    • Katie

      Awesome!

      I feel like a lot of dieters deal with extremes. This is the first time I’ve ever done a non-extreme diet (just healthy eating, working out) and it’s been working so damn good.

      I know I can definitely relate to “cheating” and “crumbling.” I learned about the “What-the-hell” effect a couple years ago and it has really put me in tune with how my brain works in terms of weight goal setting and “cheating”. Now I know when I make a diet mistake (ie stressing at work and purchasing a whole cheesecake on the way home) that I’m just experiencing the “what-the-hell” effect, and can actively not let it destroy all my hard work.

      Here’s some more about it if anyone is interested. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/changepower/201111/beware-the-what-the-hell-effect-especially-holidays

    • MSMiller

      Congratulations on your progress! I am a regular reader of your 30 by 30 and I love it (as a 28-year-old I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying.) I think every woman has suffered with weight, body issues and diets, myself included. for me, I found Weight Watchers three years ago and that worked for me and I have stuck with it, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a challenge. Per this post, I can tell you the times I was most UNSUCCESSFUL was with extremes. All or nothing. Black and white. Life and maintaining healthy lifestyles are not like that. As soon as I learned most things take time and compromise and patience (and to not punish myself for mistakes), I became more successful. Congrats to you, and keep up the good work!

    • Whitney

      Look, I am against extreme diets– but to draw the line at “baby food”? Why would you feed your baby anything you wouldn’t eat yourself? … I guess that seems a dumb thing to bring up here and not on Mommyish.com. Either way– stay safe in your goals. make them realistic.
      Good luck to you in your efforts finding healthy and sustainable weight loss!!!