I have the tendency, I’ve noticed, to behave like a pendulum. My arc used to be very very long – ie, I’d go a YEAR without exercising at all, and I’d eat with abandon and gain weight like crazy. Then I’d do something like sign up for a marathon, and join Weight Watchers (temporarily) and lose weight. For a little while. Then, I’d swing back again.
I think I’m just not one for super consistency. How then, have I managed to literally stay within a 4-pound range since July of 2009? (I know, I can’t believe it either!)
I still act like a pendulum. But I am realizing now, the arc of my swing is really small, compared to what it used to be years ago.
I’ll have a really monster workout day. Then I’ll have a zero-exercise day. Then I’ll work out again. I’m realizing that it’s been easier, psychically, for me to recognize and accept this pendulum. And for me, a do-able arc for going in either direction is about 3 or 4 days. There are days when I eat barely more than tomatoes and plums. And I’ll burn lots and lots of calories. But these periods don’t last even a full week. Some “special occasion” or eating out or whatEVER will come along, and, well, it will even out.
Same thing in the other way. This week I had one big restaurant meal, and then I did a ton of baking in preparation for my Weight Watchers chocolate event, (including lots of BLTs – bites, licks and tastes!) and then I decided to follow my cravings around for a few days. These cravings included Mexican food, a pumpkin cupcake from the cupcake truck, and a big honkin’ bowl of hummus.
This morning I woke up and said, “I don’t feel like doing that anymore.” (um, for right now) I got up and did a beastly workout. It was fantastic. I felt like a furnace. Then I came home and I really, really wanted vegetables. I roasted a beautiful pan of vegetables and ate them for lunch.
I don’t have a regular workout program that I follow every day. Or a meal plan (other than trying to stay in my WW points). I follow my cravings, and my body around and ask it what it wants to do.
I think if I were to swing too far for a whole week, it would be worrisome. But so far, in 15 months of maintenance, that has not happened. I weigh myself every day (I know, I KNOW, you don’t all go for that) and I am fascinated by the graph on LoseIt. It’s a jagged up and down mountain range, and it goes up and down, up and down. I don’t think I’ve gained more than 3 days in a row, nor have I lost. But it never stays the same. It’s always fluctuating: one up, one more up, four-tenths down. Two up. Half up. Like that. And there is a 5-pound spread that I have not broken in a year.
I don’t really have a brilliant conclusion to all this musing. It’s just something I noticed, big time, this week. I think it works for me. But it’s also interesting to see it’s the same exact pattern I followed in my heavier days, just scrunched down.
One of the key “Helpful Habits” in Weight Watchers is “Learn from experience.” I think this is so true. I learned something about myself this week.
What patterns have you noticed in your own journey?