The Attempt is Half the Battle

August 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Happy Friday to you all!!

I am extremely pleased to say that I finally have some good news to report with my weight loss.  As you know, I gained close to 50 pounds back of the weight I lost.  It didn’t happen all at once but it happened.  At different times, I have lied to myself about how much weight I gained back.  At other times, I would lose 10-15 of those pounds and then gain it back again.  Suffice it to say, I have steadily been gaining weight back for quite awhile.  There is no reason for this other than simply NOT doing what works.  I could make it complicated if I wanted to but this is the reality.  I know what works and when I do what works—IT WORKS!  It really is that simple.

After losing and gaining weight for the majority of my life, this cycle is familiar.  How many of us out there have had success in weight loss only to gain it back?  I bet like me you often sit there and wonder to yourself—how did this happen?  That is when I look back and try to analyze those times when I was in control.  I try to imagine what I was doing THEN that made me successful.

It is always amazing to me how there are times in my life where I am SO on top of things that it feels effortless.  It is as if I have “arrived”.  It feels as if I have finally reached that level of perfect peace where it is no longer hard.  I look back and think to myself, “What was my problem? This isn’t even that difficult!!  I have it all under control now! 

During those times in life where I seem to have it all under control, I am at a point of peace because I worked hard to get there.  I fought the battle.  I cut out the sugar from my life.  I have now broken bad habits and reached a routine that is now becoming easy to me.  That is why it feels effortless.  Not because it IS effortless but because it FEELS that way after having fought through the initial breaking of bad habits to get there.  Exercise is a perfect example.  In the beginning, the fight starts in the bed.  Even making myself do 30 seconds of exercise is a battle.  After making a routine out of it, though, that battle no longer seems to take place very often.  I might still struggle but for the most part it has become part of the natural routine.  It takes time to get there though.  Once we get to the point where we no longer are battling ourselves daily—we suddenly think it is effortless.  It is really more the fact that we have turned it into a habit and our brain no longer finds it strange that we are doing it.

While it takes a lot of hard work to attain this, it takes no work at all to LOSE it.  By that I mean the following—it might take me 15-30 days to break free of craving sugar.   At the same time, it could easily be only one piece of chocolate cake that throws me straight back into eating it daily.  Isn’t that amazing??  But it’s true!! And that is why the cycle is so easily continued.  It can take very little time to work ourselves right back into an unhealthy place.  Before long, we cannot even imagine that there ever was a moment when it seemed effortless and easy.  We cannot ever imagine a moment when we were in control.  Even after having lost up to 240 pounds, there are times when I think to myself, “How did I do that?? I don’t even know!

This is the constant mind game of weight loss.  It wipes your memory out completely.  Suddenly you can’t remember anything that worked.  You can’t even remotely recall what you were doing or how you were doing it.  What was my daily food plan?  How far was I walking? Maybe it’s just me. But that is how my mind works.  It is as if my brain files were deleted and suddenly I seem to have no idea how to move forward.  It’s as if my mind wants me to believe that there is no possible way to ever get control again.   Control?? What’s that??  Never heard of it!!

While moving has been extremely stressful for me and continues to be in certain areas–I cannot deny that it has totally removed from me all the distractions that were in many ways keeping me from being focused.  It has taken me almost 3 months but I am finally getting back to eating on plan and working out.  I have been trying to follow my own sugar detox program since I got here back in June.  I kept trying and failing repeatedly.  As I said before, though, making that goal is half the battle.  We have to step out in faith and TRY.   So every day for the past 3 months I have set goals for myself.  And every day for about the past 2.5 of those 3 months I have failed to attain the goal.  Sometimes I managed to get through half of the day doing well.  Some days I was so off the rails it was ridiculous.  But I kept trying.  After about a month and a half, I was finally able to get about 2-3 days in straight before screwing it all up.  Still that is PROGRESS!!!  The more we try consistently the better things get.

This is so key that I cannot emphasize it enough.  It is the EFFORT that we put in which matters and NOT always the result.  What is “effort” we might ask? Well it is the attempt.  If  you attempt and fail—then you still put in an effort. And it is putting in that effort every day (fail or not) that really leads you to success.

It is ok if we fail.  It is ok if we screw up.  The fact that we TRIED means everything.  Do you know how many times in my life I have not tried at all? And why? Because I was tired of trying.  Tired of trying and failing again and again.  Why try at all I would think?  Why try when I know I will fail?  Why try to eat on plan if I know I am going to be at a drive thru window in 30 minutes?

That is when we must turn our thinking around.  Instead of saying….

I failed!! What was the point of even trying??

I should be saying

Well…at least for 30 minutes I was on track!  At least I held off 30 minutes!

 

After all, was that 30 minutes I held out not an attempt?  Did it not take effort? Of course it did!

Ask anyone who struggles immensely with food if holding off for 30 minutes is a struggle?? You better believe it!  For me, those 30 minutes sometimes might as well have been 30 days.  That is just how intense cravings can often be.  But if I tell myself that it didn’t count and that it wasn’t enough then I am discrediting the effort.  If we count 30 minutes of exercise as progress—why then do we not count 30 minutes of staying on our food plan as progress?  If not, then we are acting as if nothing we do matters at all.   And that is where our thinking must change.

The reason this is so important is because it is the effort that we make that really gets the ball rolling.   We set a goal for ourselves and we don’t say “Day One–I FAILED” and then give up.  We look at the day and if we woke up with the intent to try but still did nothing at all from dawn to dusk that was good—then we say to ourselves, “Well at least I tried”.  That is STILL something.  Even the thought in your head that you will try is an effort.  There are times in our life where we won’t even CONSIDER trying.  Where even the mere thought that hope could exist is beyond us.  So if you woke up with even the “intent” to try–then THAT is still progress.

The next day perhaps you will make it through breakfast on track.  Maybe not.  But if you look at each day as “practice”, then you will not care if you failed or not.  You are practicing.   You are working at getting to where you want to be.

So here we are 3 months later and this past week is the first week out of those 3 months that I made it all the way through with sticking to my goals.  But it took me 3 solid months!!!  Even before I moved here, I spent almost a full year off track barely trying at all.  So really it’s taken me practically a year to pull it together.  I thank God that I only gained 50 pounds!!  It sounds like a lot to most people but for me that is NOTHING.  I have had months where I put on 25 pounds easily in no time. So I thank God this is all the damage that was done!

My plan is the same as always.  Get rid of the sugar!! Go back to my cycle of protein shakes and eating the very simple food plan that works for me.  Over the past 2 weeks I have lost 10 pounds.  Hallelujah! It is good to finally see that scale going DOWN.  It is not easy but it is getting easier.  I am remembering all the coping skills that I need to get through those moments where I am overtaken by a huge desire to eat everything in sight.  That is probably the biggest thing I have learned which I plan to address more in future blogs.  I believe it is really the key to success.  Learning how to get through those intense moments where you are overwhelmed by the thoughts of needing to eat.  Those are the moments that really throw us off plan if we give into them.  And that to me is the key.   I have learned over time how to combat these moments.  The reason I began regaining weight is for two simple reasons: I let sugar back in my life and I stopped using the coping skills I learned to fight the thoughts that tell me I need to eat when I really don’t.

Well that is my update.  I have been enjoying the space we have out here in the country and trying to spend more time playing outside with the kids.  That is exercise too!!   Here are some recent pictures!

 

 

The kids and I leaving church this past Sunday and on our way to lunch.  I especially love how Charlotte is trying to assault her brother!! Grabbing him by the ear! At least they’re smiling!! (This is of course the family minus Savannah who started college at UTSA this week.  I miss her!)

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The kids wanted Golden Corral.  Considering this is the first week of me being 100% back on track I probably should have said “no”.  However, I felt really strong and I do want to credit that once again to sugar detox.  Once you get it completely out of your system, you will be shocked at how much stronger you feel.  It always amazes me.  The proof for me is walking into a Golden Corral complete with chocolate fountains and grabbing only what is on my food plan.  I made it the whole way without once going off the food plan.  Amazing!!  But I should add the disclaimer– “Be careful! Don’t try this at home!”   By that I mean, it isn’t the greatest idea to walk in here if you have a food issue.  I did survive it though

 

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Here we are playing outside in the neighborhood

 

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Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

meg August 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Great news!!! This is such an encouraging post and a good reminder for any struggle…just keep trying

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Pam Holmes August 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Holly, so many bloggers that I follow, all of whom have lost large amounts of weight, have recently regained, just like you and I. Many of them are in the process again of dropping the added pounds. Like you and I, they didn’t regain ALL the weight, and I feel somewhat proud of myself that I stopped after 32 pounds. I have already dropped 19 of those pounds. I joined a couple of Dietbets, and for some reason, they have proven very motivational for me. They helped me find my weight-loss mojo again. I couldn’t do it before. As hard as I tried, as good as my intentions every day were, I caved. Day after day i resolved to quit snacking, and day after day, I binge-snacked on those so-called “healthy” snacks. So I threw them all out. Filled my fridge with fruit, already cut and ready to eat. No more of those 100-calorie snack packs or nutrition bars in my house. But like you say, it’s so easy to get off track, much easier than it was to get ON-track! Just goes to show, we can never stop being super vigilant about our journey. NEVER!
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sandie August 29, 2014 at 6:29 pm

You can do it!

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Jackie W August 29, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I needed to read this today. Bless you!

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LosingTheRolls August 29, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Congratulations on finding your way this week and for losing 10 pounds over the last couple of weeks. Beautiful pictures Holly! BTW, I have been practicing a lot lately.
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LHA August 30, 2014 at 3:39 am

Highly motivational, Holly!! You are so kind to let everyone know how you have struggled to get back on track because it helps all of us who are struggling too. Every word you said I have taken to heart. It is not trying and failing that will do us in……it is refusing to try at all! Thanks for a great blog.

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Shay from Trashy Blog September 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Stay strong!
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Shannon September 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm

So happy and proud that you are making progress and sticking to your food plan! I love this post. You are so right about the attempt being half the battle. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the last year and it’s a battle every single day. I have to choose this life over and over. Thank you for always being so honest. It is really inspirational to me!

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Anneli September 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Thanks Holly! I’ve had a long day and no one to cook for tonight and I haven’t had Greek food in a long while….. I feel stronger after reading your blog. I’m going to go home and make the hungry girl buffalo chicken that I love. I might not be 100% (there are chocolate chip cookies in the freezer), but it’ll be a whole lot better than food court Greek.
THANKS!!!!
Anneli
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Ronda September 5, 2014 at 2:16 am

Oh, I am so not in a place where I could go in that restaurant and not eat a dessert, or mac and cheese, and so many other things!
That is an awesome success for you.

One day at a time.
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Mike Campbell TheFatGuy September 8, 2014 at 3:27 am

As I read this post I thought a lot about ME. I know your pain and joy. It is a journey! Success is moving past each setback/failure and finding your path back onto the journey. You are an inspiration to others and you should be inspired by ALL you have done . GOOD LUCK . AND TAKE CARE OF YOU! #fitfam.

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Lisa Q September 9, 2014 at 3:22 am

I could have written this myself, almost word for word. I too have been on this cycle all my life. Lost over 100 lbs. 2 yrs. ago and have been off plan for a year at least. Gained at least 50 lbs. back. Finally got back on track today.
I do not understand. It is so simple and I did it with ease 99% of the time. But, I too, got back to eating sugar, and I do believe it has a profound effect on my ability to eat right. Today, I stopped sugar again!
I am disappointed in myself and angry. But, here I am fighting back.
Thank you for sharing.

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