Losing Weight – When the Challenge Becomes a Challenge

March 31, 2015

Trying to lose weight isn’t always a picnic. In all the weight loss attempts I have done in the past, a moment always came when all my hope of succeeding drained out of me. Either I failed to lose any weight for a couple of weeks in a row, or I even gained some pounds again. These moments usually meant the end of my diet. I would feel hopeless and a failure and I would start eating again, because I felt it didn’t matter anyway. Losing weight apparently was not written in the stars for me.

This month, such a moment came over me again. The moment you know that will always come, where your confidence is being put to the test big time. As you may recall from my last weight loss update, I got sick last month. I had a terrible cough, which resulted in an extremely sore throat. To deal with this, I bought licorice. At first, it seemed like these sweets didn’t do too much damage. Apparently, I was eating them in moderation.

But imagine that you have been a smoker all your life and that you quit this habit about a month ago. And then imagine someone is offering you a pack of cigarettes. It’s a magical pack of cigarettes, which will help you overcome the flu. If you smoke just this pack, you will feel better. If you continue smoking however, you’ll feel worse. Will you succeed? Not a chance, right? How could you when you’ve been fed with your old addiction again! All the bad habits concerning this addiction are bound to come back then.

Tanya's 101 ~ Losing Weight: When the Challenge Becomes a Challenge | How I almost failed in my diet, but found my strength back just in time

This is exactly what happened to me. First, I would eat a piece of licorice only when my throat hurt badly or when I couldn’t stop couching. But then, I started eating more and more of them, just because I loved the taste. And when I had gotten better, I kept on eating them, and started to eat other sweets and snacks as well. The addiction was back. My body was craving for sugar and salt and fat and more sugar again. I felt terrible. I had put so much effort in overcoming my addiction, and now I had rebounded into the world I had wanted to escape.

My own thoughts already were a punishment, but they were nothing compared to the slap in the face my scale gave me in the first week of March; I was 108,2 kg (238 lbs). I gained 3.5 kg (7,7 lbs) in just a few days. All the effort I did, the hard work that had cost me months, all of it was nullified by a couple of days of binge eating. This was the moment. The moment that always comes in a challenge, where things go the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. It’s a crossroad where one way is broad and clear and it’s back to where you came from, and the other one is narrow, steep, curvy and covered in thorns and it leads you to where you want to be. As I told you, in the past I always chose the easy way back. I couldn’t see any other way. And I must say, this month I was this close to giving up again. Would I need another two or three months to lose the weight I had already lost before? Could I cope with that? Was it ever going to happen, me having a healthy weight? It seemed so impossible, so far away, so out of reach…

And then I imagined blogging about this. To say to all of you: ‘Hey guys, I’ve tried losing weight for a couple of months, but I discovered that I’m incapable of doing this. So I decided to quit and just stay fat and chubby. K, bye now.’ Strangely, that seemed even more impossible than deal with my loss (irony intended) and just keep going.

So I quit eating bad stuff, cold turkey. I restarted my goal of not eating sweet and salty snacks for a month. I wanted to minimize the damage as much as possible. And magically, after blinking my eyes a couple of times, I lost a few pounds again! My confidence slowly started to come back. Maybe these pounds were not yet completely digested by my body. Maybe this failure would be easier to repair than I initially had thought.

Tanya's 101 ~ Losing Weight: When the Challenge Becomes a Challenge | How I almost failed in my diet, but found my strength back just in time

Picture and recipe by Elena at http://www.polveredivaniglia.it

But then a new temptation came knocking on my door. I was at a party where everybody was supposed to bring a snack. I brought homemade hummus and vegetables, which probably is my signature snack by now. But somebody brought homemade bonbons and someone else brought homemade cake. They looked terribly delicious. I didn’t know what to do. Stay strong and eat vegetables only, or enjoy these tasty treats and restart my goal of snack abstinence the next day? Was that even possible? What if I would go down the same road as a couple of weeks before with the licorice? I decided there was only one way to find out. Try it out. So I ate a couple of bonbons and a piece of cake. And I made sure I immensely enjoyed every bite. There were also a lot of wrapped chocolates, potato chips and salty sticks, but I managed to stay away from them, which made me very proud. And the next day I kept my word. I didn’t touch any bad snack for the rest of this month.

This morning was the big day. It was time to get on my scale again and to see if I succeeded in regaining the weight I had last month. It was more than I would have ever hoped for at the beginning of March. Because this morning, my weight was 103,5 kg (227,7 lbs)! That means I lost almost 5 kg (11 lbs) in one month! The pounds that had come to me so fast a couple of weeks ago, disappeared just as easily. I would have never expected that. I mean, I almost even quit! But I’m so glad I didn’t, and so proud that I managed to find a little straw of hope to hold on to. This resulted in me being 8 kg (17,6 lbs) lighter than I was at the start of this challenge four months ago, and in being more confident about reaching this goal than I ever was.

I now realize that every attempt in succeeding in anything means you’ll have to face moments of failure as well. It’s about how you deal with them, that determines if you’ll succeed in the end.

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