Monday, January 4, 2010

A new year, a new game face.

I must admit, for the past couple of weeks, I've felt like a mouse, constantly poking its head head out, scoping out the scene, and retreating back to its hole until it feels safe enough to scurry about in the open. And it hasn't felt safe until now.

As I sometimes tend to do, I've avoided blogging because I've been ashamed of my eating habits over the holidays, which ultimately led to packing on some extra pounds.

I wasn't so much ashamed about the weight gain itself as much as I was ashamed about my actions and behaviors that led to the gain. From the day before Christmas Eve through New Year's Eve, I more or less ate whatever unhealthy food I could get my hands on and ate with complete abandon. I had a few days of healthy eating in between, but if I had the slightest craving for something sweet and/or fatty, I acted on it almost immediately.

I did keep up with my workouts, but they barely made a dent in the amount of calories I was consuming. It was pretty ridiculous. But what's done is done.

I've been back on track since Friday and feeling loads better. It's still hard coming off of the junk food fix, but each day gets easier. My clothes fit better, finally.

I know that prior to the train wreck that was the holidays, I was on the Cheat Your Way Thin soapbox. Well, obviously that didn't last. Even before the holidays, I had stopped losing and actually gained a pound. This was primarily my fault because I did exactly what you're not supposed to do and I let the "cheat" days turn into full out binge days. But on the regular on-plan days, I was hungry, deprived and craving EVERYTHING. Seriously. Even stuff that I don't usually indulge in or care about, I wanted all the time. It was pathetic.

Even though the plan sounded great and logical on paper (which it still probably is), it turned out not to be great and logical for me. Sure, I still need structure in my eating plan, but being allowed to only eat certain foods on certain days was starting to take its toll on me, mentally. And fixing my mentality toward food is something that I've been trying to correct for months now.

Sooo, the past few days, I'm back to not only eating healthy, but eating the Healthy Tamara way. I need to eat in a manner that feels natural to me. And waiting to eat apples until Tuesday or holding off on oatmeal until Friday didn't feel natural at all. My normal way of eating is damn-near perfectly balanced and doesn't leave me anxious, so I'm not sure why I try to fight it so much...

I guess since this was my first holiday season at my goal weight, I panicked and wanted to make sure I wouldn't gain, hence trying some new-fangled plan. I certainly don't regret trying something new, but overall, my attitude and actions led to self-sabotage. I basically doubted myself for no good reason. Again, not the fault of CYWT. I take full responsibility. In fact, I'm glad I gave it a shot because it helped me to recognize what types of things work for me and work against me when making day-to-day choices about food and fitness.

One pretty important change that occurred as a result of trying CYWT was that I finally forced myself to cut back on my workouts while also making them more efficient. And now that I'm maintaining my weight and not necessarily trying to lose (with the exception of the next couple of weeks, heh), I needed to figure out how to break my 6-7 days/week workout habit that was leaving me over-trained and frustrated.

Going on the plan also forced me to pay better attention to my macronutrient breakdown of calories, day-to-day. I didn't completely ignore it before, but I'm much more aware of it now and seeing it over the past few days has been encouraging because everything seems to be in balance. And I haven't had to deprive myself or feel like some kind of crazed, guilty maniac.

Oh, maintenance. You're a tricky little bitch. But you and I will live in harmony eventually.

I haven't been a fan of New Year's resolutions for quite a while now, but I do have one for this year; I want to become a member of the National Weight Control Registry. I want to maintain my loss for a year or more. I do not want to become part of the group of people (what is it, like 90+%?) who gain back most of the weight they lose. F that, I say.

So for now, I'm back to being best buds with The Daily Plate, looking forward to feeling stronger and leaner with each workout (which has been fun and challenging so far, thanks to the 14" jump-box my boyfriend made me for Christmas!) and really, just forcing myself to pause and take a deep breath when I start to feel overwhelmed, be it with food, fitness, work, money or love. Last year left me feeling like an emotional, frustrated mess most of the time. This year needs to be different. My health depends on it.

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