So I’ve noticed that I put a little weight back on recently. I can feel the jealous people at the office giving me gloating glances when my back is turned. I know they snicker that my miraculous weight loss, which made all of them feel inadequate, is apparently reversing. Or at least I would if I was a paranoid lunatic. Or cared what they thought. But I have noticed that some of my old clothes that no longer fit (because they were too big) still don’t fit. But they don’t fit slightly less than they used to not fit. Which is an overly convoluted way of saying I’m seeing a little pudge poke out where it wasn’t a few months ago.
The fact is, it’s inevitable that a weight loss journey (a trendy Internet phrase that makes me throw up in my mouth) involves hitting certain plateaus, and possibly a few setbacks. When the market reverses, the stuffed shirts on Wall Street call it a “market correction”. Which is frequently a euphemism for your Mi-Maw and Pi-Paw losing their entire life savings and having to borrow money from you or eat dog food to survive. And diets can have a “correction” like that too. And if it goes off of the rails, you can blow up to absurd, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man levels of morbid obesity that exceed what you lost.
I’ve had a series of unfortunate events that contributed to this. I put on a little at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, I’ve noted before that it’s okay to misbehave for the holidays. And there are ways to stay healthy over the holidays. But if you over-celebrate a bit over the holidays, you have to get back to the regimen shortly after. And I did, but perhaps not quite so much as I should have.
Another thing that contributed to my not jumping back into the regimen was the end of the restrictions bestowed on us by the Powers That Be due to the Creeping Apocalyptic Scourge of Wuhan That May Or May Not Have Come From A Bat Or A Lab. Or A Pangolin. So we’re having a lot more parties. Which means a lot more beer and bourbon. And alcohol is really not great for the diet. So my celebration of the end of the End of Days has probably contributed to a little extra flab.
Another part of it is that people in my line of work (public accounting) spend this part of the year performing masochistic self-flagellatory acts for money. Such as filling out IRS forms or helping clients comply with SEC regulations or any number of other soul-sucking deeds. This translates into ten to twelve hours a day parked behind a desk. Finding time for a workout can be challenging during this time of year. Although I’ve still tried to ride my bike to work, which is a good way to offset the wrong kind of gains. Fat gains, I mean.
But there are forces arrayed against me. It doesn’t help that we tend to get a lot of gifts this time of year. Although, well intentioned, these care packages too often consist of mounds of cake, donuts, and chocolates. And these sorts of desserts aren’t good for me. And then there are the snacks on the snack shelf in the office, which also don’t help.
These are not excuses, though. Nobody forces me to eat these things. I’ve blogged before about how I lost weight over the Time of Worldwide Pandemic and Toilet Paper Shortage. Actually, it was Uncle Sam, but whatev. So even though most Americans gained weight during that time, they don’t really have an excuse. And I certainly don’t have an excuse now that it’s (mostly) over. The point here is that it’s easy to start letting things slide. I did, for a bit, and now I need to stop.
Too many opportunities for sin presented themselves at once, and I indulged in a few too many. It’s easy to say “just this once” when someone offers beer, dessert, or something else excessive and sinful. You can tell yourself that you’ll get back into the habit, and maybe you will. But to really be successful, the cheating should be once every week or two, not several times a week. That’s what happened recently. Too many good things happened as life got back to normal, so I partied a bit, had a few extra ribs at the barbecue, and went out to eat a little more often.
I also caught myself trying to cheat on the app I track my calories on. This doesn’t help. I can pretend that I ate 6 ounces of lasagna when I had 10, but the gut doesn’t lie. It’s just like cooking the books in my normal profession. Not that I’d ever do that. I’m an auditor. It’s my job to make sure people don’t do that. The point is that cooking the calorie counting books, like financial books, eventually catches up with you.
This resurgence of bad habits is what really causes the “correction”. I’ve been getting a little too comfortable and taking too many liberties. I’ve been telling myself that now that I’ve made huge progress (over sixty pounds worth), I can relax a little. And I relaxed a bit too much and this started to add up after a while.
Now this isn’t a disaster. I’ve maybe put ten pounds back on. So I’m still down over fifty pounds. But this is probably how most diets fail. I’ve lost discipline, and need to get it back. Fortunately, it’s not that hard. Losing weight doesn’t require the discipline of a monk. Most Americans probably only need a slight correction. So that’s what I need to do. Take a breath and get back on track.
This sort of backslide happens eventually. It will happen to everyone. But now that I’ve identified it, I need to stop fooling around and get back to it. I think we tell ourselves that we can live a little. And we can. The whole point of this blog was to try to find and share ways to lose weight that don’t require me to give up everything I love. But I’m living a little too much. And by living, I mean cheating. And occasional cheating is fun, but too much actually makes me feel like a bum. It’s more satisfying in the long run to just be healthy. So I’ve had enough fun for now. Time to go back to behaving. Well, maybe after St. Patrick’s Day season is over. Yes, it’s a whole season where I’m from. And it’s a season made for bourbon and beer.