Monday, February 29, 2016

95 Pounds and Counting: Backsliding, and Complacency vs. Self Esteem

So, yes, it's true: I have "backslid" to an alarming degree. And to be brutally honest, one of the reasons this post is late is that I wasn't sure what the heck I could say about the situation. Even as I type these words, I'm still not sure. Let's find out....

A Quick Recap

(You can find my previous weight loss posts at this link.)

In 2010, I weighed in at 365 pounds. Five years later, in June 2015, I had lost 100 pounds. I hit my lowest point in umpteen years on September 15, when I weighed 250. (Cue the happy dance.)

I regained a little weight after moving house in October, but when last I posted, I was maintaining my weight in the low 260s and feeling good about myself. Even after going on vacation over Christmas, I managed to maintain. Since returning home, however, I have gotten lax both with diet and exercise. Cue the frowny-face.

So What the Heck Happened?

This is the question I've been asking myself. And the rock-bottom truth is this: I got complacent. I allowed "feeling good about myself" to slide into "feeling so good about myself that I stopped taking care of myself," which is kind of a silly thing to do.

Wondering where the real difference between these two attitudes lies, I have decided to consult the dictionary (or at least, the online dictionary).

Complacency vs. Self-Esteem

Here's how defines self-esteem:

a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.

"Realistic respect." Nice, right? That's what I was feeling at the end of December, when I wrote this post.

So, now let's take a look at the other end of the spectrum. Here's the definition of complacency:

a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

"Quiet pleasure… unaware of some potential danger… smug satisfaction with an existing situation." Boom. That's my huckleberry. I've been a little too satisfied with where things are. I need to find my hunger for change again, instead of just my hunger for French fries.

So, How Do I Turn Things Around?

Ugh. I wish the answer to that question were "order a pizza," but that's kind of what got me here in the first place.

Really, the best place for me to go is back to my old stand-bys: walking and salad. It's funny to write that, it seems so simple, but those two little things lie at the core of the success I've had in losing weight.  But the tricky thing is that I'm now in a new place, with a new schedule, and am combatting both loneliness (I'm not afraid to say it: I miss my friends!), and a fair amount of boredom (I also miss my day job… or to be more accurate, I miss having a place to go every day). (Recently, the places I've been going on a daily basis all have calories as their final destination, which explains a lot.)

So, I need to take my old successful actions and fit them into my new life. And I can do that… I think. To make it official, though, I should really make a list. (I don't get much done unless I have a list.) Here goes:

  • Walk a mile, at least four times a week. I prefer to walk at night (it's the vampire in me), so I'll set my walking time as 8:00 PM.
  • Eat two salads a day. For some reason I've lost my taste for the usual leaf lettuce, so I'm going to try some chewier greens: romaine, kale, arugula, spinach. When my enjoyment of the lighter greens resurfaces (and it always does, eventually) I'll work them back into my diet.
  • Start counting calories again. I used to use an app on my phone for this, but to shake things up I'm going to record what I'm eating by hand for a while. Maybe that will make it more interesting.
  • Give myself some motivation: I will go ahead and buy some jeans in a size smaller than my smallest size. What fun it will be to fit into those!

Ah, Catharsis

Well, as usual, writing this post has been extremely cathartic! Thank you all so much for letting me ramble and vent. I hope you've found all this at least a little entertaining, if not helpful.

My next post will be on April 11. It will be interesting to see where my weight will be at that point!

And What About You?

That's enough about me. What about you? Do you have any stories to share? All stories - whether of frustrations or successes - are always welcome. Any inspiration for me? Commiseration? Advice?


  1. Hi, Misha! Bye, complacency!

    Your comparing self-esteem and complacency is an eye-opener. And meeting that head-on with a plan is inspiring. Can't wait to hear how that goes for you, and even if the going is bumpy, I'll still be excited to hear how you'll overcome that, too.

    Yes, a new house and a new town can impact us in all kinds of ways, including many we didn't anticipate. Life as a military spouse taught me that, too. There were times and locations I could be busy with fab jobs and amazing friends, and there were times when it was just me, my cat, and my personal goals. But you'll find a way. That's not an empty pep talk. I know you really will. And I'll be looking forward to hearing about all the steps that carried you to where you want to go.

    1. Nic, thank you so much for the reassuring words. I seriously got all teary-eyed reading your comment. �� And I'm glad you liked the complacency/self-esteem comparison. That was a real eye-opener for me too. ��

    2. Oh, didn't mean to make you teary-eyed! You absolutely can, however, do this thing!

  2. This makes me think of the fine line I walk between being too hard on myself vs. not holding myself accountable. I know myself well enough to understand when I'm kicking my own butt unnecessarily. What's more troublesome are those times when I really could do more. I like your list approach (I too love my lists). It allows one, I think, to move away from the emotional to the practical. "Okay, I feel crappy I allowed X to happen. How do I change crappy back to happy?" Make a list and get cracking!

    Thanks for sharing, Misha. Once again, you've shown the objective isn't some "round number" end point, but a sustained lifestyle of self-esteem boosting choices and actions. A good lesson for us all.

    1. Yes, it really can be tough to figure out how much pressure to put on ourselves, and for me, it's harder to judge with food, because food can be so comforting and benign. Like you said, it's about adjusting the lifestyle so that happiness comes from places other than food. It ain't always easy, but it is possible. At least, I sure hope it's possible! :-)

      Thanks, Keely! :-)