Bargaining with myself.


Until several days ago, I was holding steady at 190 pounds for four weeks. I know it wasn’t a plateau because of what I’ve been eating. I’ve been wearing a comfortable size 16 pants and size 14/16 or L sweaters and blouses (not XL or 1X). And working out makes me feel energetic, fit and firm.

I’ve been hearing these comments from people, which are actually greatly appreciated, but also give me a false sense of reality:

  • “There she is, the incredibly shrinking woman!”
  • “We have a new nickname for you! Skinny Bitch!” (This is a very, very friendly nickname from the girls at work, but “skinny” is definitely not apropos)
  • “You’re so tiny!” (Thanks, but sorry, “tiny” is not the proper adjective for a 5’1”, 190-pound woman)
  •  “Where did you disappear to?”
  • “You’re being so good.”
  • “You look great!”
  • “There’s no way you still have 58 pounds to lose. You’ll look gaunt!”

It’s such a mental battle. If I look and feel this good, and comments from others validates this, why do I need to keep going?

This is a crazy thought! I am nowhere near where I need to be.

And I’ve bargained with myself, thinking, as long as I’m maintaining, I’m doing okay. And this is true. I’ve been able to eat a variety of stuff completely off program without gaining. As long as I was “good” most of the time and working out at least a few times a week, I was able to maintain.

On the one hand, it’s good to learn how my body responds to certain amounts of food and exercise.

On the other hand, it’s like I’m acting like a little kid. Seeing how much I can get away with, without getting caught.  When I’ve weighed in this past month and discovered no change in my weight, I gave a huge sigh of relief. I deserved to gain.

At my last weigh in, I finally dropped 2 pounds. I’m now at 188 pounds.

The weird sick thought in my head? Cool. I earned 2 pounds. I have 2 pounds to play with. How easily I forget that my body is still in serious debt. There is no savings account here. I’m still 48-58 pounds away from my goal. (I’m waffling lately, trying to decide between a goal weight of 130 and 140 pounds.)

By way of example… On Thursday, I ate on program through lunch. Then that afternoon? I had a Starbucks tall, nonfat, extra hot, with whip Mocha with 3 Petite Vanilla Bean Scones. Later, I had 2 Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe’s at work. Deadly freakin’ good. When I got home, I had a bunch of New York Style garlic bagel crisps and lots of jack cheese (I didn’t measure or keep track) with a glass of white zinfandel. Then a salad with Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumber, avocado, grated cheese, and olive oil and vinegar.

What is going on in my head? I just wanted to stuff my face. That was a relatively full on binge, spread out over about eight hours. It hadn’t been a bad day. There was nothing wrong. No emotional angst.  Just this driving urge to fill, fill, fill. This was definitely not a day of healthy, intentional, off-program moderation.

My sister called that evening while I was preparing dinner. She asked how the diet was going. I said I was holding steady and maintaining. Not perfect. Kinda off track today. I think she could hear something in my voice, because she said quietly,

“Jen, don’t stop. Please keep going. You’re really inspiring me, and you can’t quit now. That food you’re tempted to eat won’t go away; you don’t have to eat it right now. It’ll still be there later.”

Her timing for saying this to me couldn’t have been more perfect.

My husband and I made it to the gym that night, although the food I’d eaten made working out very uncomfortable. My digestive system wasn’t happy with me.  It was still a satisfying workout and I slept great. I was pleasantly sore the next day, and I did not repeat my choices from the day before.

Here’s me bargaining with myself…

I’m not in a hurry.  If I lose weight slowly, I’m more likely to maintain the loss. It’s a lifetime change, not a flash-in-the-pan diet.

I’m going to continue to work on maintenance or minor weight loss for the rest of the month.  I have three holiday-related lunches at work this coming week. I’ll be conscientious the rest of the time and keep getting my butt to the gym.

My body is getting used to eating more food without gaining. Lindora calls it the Metabolic Adjustment Phase to reset my set point weight. All part of the plan.

Then after Christmas, once I rev up my efforts, I’ll bust past this set point until I get to my goal weight. Then I’ll need to train my body to achieve a new and final set point weight. Maintenance will be the life-long, ongoing goal.

Am I giving myself excuses to mess up over the next few weeks? Perhaps. Am I lying to myself? Maybe. But I want to be as positive about this as possible. Beating myself up, shaming myself, etc. will just make me want to quit.

Bottom line is, I will not give up. A year from now, I’ll be at my goal and in maintenance for several months.

7 thoughts on “Bargaining with myself.

  1. Good job Jen turning yourself around and being open and honest with yourself and us about what is going on with you right now. I totally understand the driving need to eat certain things and sometimes the urges are just so bad you could chew steel and spit nails … or at least this is how I feel some days.

    Keep on Keepin on!

    • Thanks Shonnie! You don’t know how many times I rewrote that post… struggling to be honest, embarrassed about it, etc… But I know transparency is critical to success. BTW, my hubby didn’t know about the Starbucks run. Couldn’t ‘fess up to him in person, so he had to read it on my blog. Sigh… Accountability is everything…

  2. I totally get it. The holidays are such a challenge. Awareness, accountability and compassion are so important though and you appear to be embodying all of those. Good job and you will get through! Know that I will be starting a 4 +2 Lindora program January 2nd so I’m in the same place you are right now, working on maintenance through the crazy holidays.

    • I wish I didn’t need others to understand my struggles and temporary failures, but I do. Thank you Cori! As for hitting it hard Jan 2, I’m in. : ) The Lindora clinic is still letting me weigh in even though I’m not on any program with them. I know how to do this… Just gotta do it. : )

  3. Hey Jen – I’ve been wanting to call and ask you this very thing: how do you keep going after you do well? I am a good 20 lbs overweight (oh, my gosh! Do I look like those ladies in the pinup page you posted?). I weigh more than I ever have.

    Yet, I’ll have 1 day of success. Two days of ‘being good’. Three days of not so bad. And I think: I don’t have to worry any more. I’m heading the right direction.

    And before I know it, I’m back to my old tricks. Jen, keep it up! This is a lifestyle uproot and reconfigure! Thanks for sharing your experience – very convicting and inspirational!

    • “Back to my old tricks.” Yeah. That’s a great way of saying it… and I still haven’t conquered that bag of nasty tricks yet. Stay tuned… This battle is going to take awhile…

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