So, my weight maintenance took a nose-dive. I was doing pretty well until my medical issues came up but the bleeding episode definitely took me out of my routine and then everything fell apart from there. My new dr. kept me on the progesterone but warned me that it could cause some weight gain. I thought I could manage my appetite if I knew it was going to be an issue. If things had been “routine” on other fronts then I probably could have but at that point the teaching job was wearing on me and my ability to keep up with healthy meal planning, my work, and regular exercise all fell apart. By the time surgery came around and I was finally able to get off the pills, I was deep into the holiday season stress … and the food. All excuses, I realize. I had quite a few years of working through all of that, but not this time.
The first thing that stopped was my regular strength training sessions at the gym. I had worked so hard to build my strength and muscle tone. I knew I was going to have to stop my usual morning class because of teaching, but I had hoped that I could do the evening class. Unfortunately though, I let my exhaustion and scheduling issues be an excuse to just stop all of it. And my usual afternoon routine after teaching all day became to sit at home with my laptop and spend hours and hours preparing for class the next day. I did take advantage of the nice weather and went on walks or short runs in our neighborhood though.
Because I was already registered, in January I did do the Arizona Rock n’ Roll half marathon about 2.5 weeks post ovary removal surgery. I walked all of it with a friend – it was a long time on the course. I was glad to complete it though – and get my 3rd piece of a 4 piece medal set. Also, in March I ran my 5th Ragnar Relay with Kilty Pleasures – Ragnar Del Sol. Del Sol was in March this year, which was crazy hot! But we had a really good time. My van was made up of friends from my first Solemates team (Caitlin and Hilary), Hilary’s sister (Jessica), Angela – the producer of the Fat to Finish Line film, and a super fun friend, Lupe, who I met on Ragnar Trail a couple of years ago. I was super out of shape, exhausted, and stressed out about school work and getting ready to leave town for spring break but I knew I had to run this Ragnar – for me. I knew this would help me hang on to the things I had built. So I did, and I was glad.
Old healthy habits were slowly replaced with bad habits. I was snacking a lot more. I was rewarding myself with food to make up for a long, stressful day. The break room at work was a mine field of unhealthy foods and it was so easy to grab something between classes just to make things “better”. I did pretty well with healthy lunch choices and I had to bring food from home rather than eating out because lunch was 30 minutes, at most … and usually involved being interrupted by students.
I really didn’t know how much I gained until recently. I think I was holding on to the higher end of my range until the spring because I was still able to fit in most of my clothes. The spring, however, was really rough. After Ragnar I really stopped exercising and I noticed my eating was escalating, especially the snacking. I was definitely searching for food to soothe me as I was more and more miserable and counting down the days of teaching. My 2nd semester was more difficult and I was ready to be done. Add to this the excitement / stress/ uncertainty of my daughter’s final college plans and graduation.
But, for the first time in years – since before I started on this weight loss journey – I didn’t care. I cared more about getting through to the end and food helped me do that. I did, however, know that if I got re-focused when school was out, I could turn things around. So, here I am. I totally over-indulged in the week following school being out and, wow, I think that I reached my maximum all of a sudden. I know I got up over 200 pounds again and that was really really disappointing. I had to buy some new pants to get by the end of the school year.
Last week I dusted off my scale and faced the music. Ugh. It was depressing but left no doubt in my mind that I needed to take action, immediately. So, I’m back to weighing every morning. I went to Scottsdale Weight Loss and bought some Optifast. I’m using meal replacements along with high protein, low calorie foods. I’m trying to exercise every day. My focus is paying off and the scale is dropping.
So, I really need to go see Dr. Z – and I’ve made an appointment for next week. I know he would not make me feel bad but I’m still pretty embarrassed. I’m hoping to really drop some weight before that appointment though. The regular visits will definitely help keep me on track!
I am hopeful and know this is just a blip in the road. Since I am not going to be teaching in the fall, I feel like I can get back to the healthy habit that worked. I do need to understand how to make maintenance work in the face of life’s craziness. I did it before, under worse circumstances, but hopefully I don’t need to “practice” that type of chaos again any time soon.