Let’s face it, if you’re human, you will have times in life when you have setbacks to reaching your goals. Setbacks in the weight loss process will come. Also, when you are in weight maintenance, there will be times when the scale will go up as you adjust your food, exercise and your life to maintain the loss. I recently had a scale creep happen in the last two months. I was up 5 pounds in the last two months. It didn’t happen by surprise. When I was 3 pounds up I knew I needed to do some adjusting but thought, I’ll get it under control. Then I was up another 2 pounds. Now you may say, that isn’t a lot of weight I gained and I don’t believe it is. But I have learned from my past 5 pounds can easily turn into 30 pounds. I started looking over my food journal and realized when it began, two months ago. I wasn’t pre-planning as well as I could have and my calories and fat were over what I try to keep them. Do you know what I did when I stepped off the scale? The same thing I always do, I wrote down my weight and my measurements. For a split second I started to beat myself up mentally for not catching this sooner. I stopped myself and realized I had gone through this before. I regrouped and did these 5 steps to help me bounce back from my setback.
1. S.T.O.P. Stop and get still and figure out what is going on in your life. If you have small children or other people you live with, try to get alone at night or early in the morning. Being alone with yourself is tough sometimes. All your fears may come up and you don’t want to deal with them. Part of losing weight is dealing with your emotions without eating them. Stop and get quiet so you can think.
2. Do something nice for yourself. Even if you gained weight, do something nice that doesn’t involve eating food. Buy a new outfit, buy you favorite song on iTunes. You may think you are rewarding bad behavior but you’re not. Part of the weight gain could have been you were eating to make yourself feel better. Do something nice for you, don’t wait for someone to treat you special. Treat yourself special!
3. Start getting back on track with your food. I was still logging my food these last two months but I wasn’t planning very well. I think I just didn’t want to deal with it with all the other things in my life I was dealing with. I started small, pre-planning only 1 or 2 days at a time. It made me feel like I was getting control again.
4. Stop beating yourself up if you have gained some or all of the weight back. You have to get past the negative self-talk in your head. When your mind tells you something negative, give it a positive response. I gave my negative voice a name, I call it Wretched. When Wretched speaks, I yell! For example, in my mind I wanted to say to myself how stupid I was for not catching this pattern sooner. Wretched reminded me of this. I responded with at least I caught it before it really got out of hand. Stop beating yourself up.
5. Look for the positive in the setback. Nobody likes to have a weight gain at any time. What’s the positive you can take away from this? The positive in my situation was I still exercised, I logged my food so I could identify patterns in my eating habits. Another positive, I was able to help someone else that was going through the same thing. You may be going through this setback to help someone else through theirs.
Use your SETBACK as a SETUP to accomplish your goals.