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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Old Habits Die Hard....or Do They?

Back in January, I decided that 2017 was going to be the year that I was going to get leaner, stronger and in the best shape of my life. In order to do that, I had to kick up my exercise routine and start making some changes to my diet. My goal was to plan meals more effectively and eventually lose my last 20 lbs.

Changing my exercise routine was easy. I started going to the gym more often and added a few classes to my weekly routine. In addition, I finally invested in some personal training and I’m excited to start this week. We are going to focus on my key areas of opportunity, my upper body, specifically, my upper back and arms. I have “batwings” which, per my definition are saggy, floppy arms. Although I’ve lost considerable inches, I want to tone them and see what I can do to get rid of the batwings once and for all. I will likely have to invest in skin removal surgery at some point, but I’m trying my best to tone naturally before I will even consider going down that route.

Although I’ve been exercising more and feel stronger, leaner, healthier, the scale hasn’t moved much, I can see and feel the changes in my body. I am losing inches and converting fat to muscle. It feels incredible.

One of the bigger challenges, however, has been making changes to my diet. Since I’ve squeezed into my size 10 jeans, I have been enjoying a variety of foods that are not always the healthiest options. I’m maintaining nicely, but I’d like to get my diet under better control so I can finally reach my goal. Ultimately, life is FANTASTIC at a size 10 and I’m enjoying myself immensely. I am happy sometimes a little too happy.

Like last night, for example. I was in the mood for seafood so Robby and I went to this great little place we frequent. I often indulge in some broiled fish with a salad and plain sweet potato - but last night they brought hushpuppies to the table. I reached for one thinking that it would only be one - but they were so good, and I was so hungry that before I knew it, we cleaned the bowl. I won’t say that I ate the whole thing myself because my partner in crime contributed greatly, but I certainly made a nice dent.

I’ve written about my Negative Ninny and how I’ve improved my relationship with her. Most often I don’t listen to her, but last night I did. My NN won over my voice of reason and I needed to do some introspection this morning to really understand why. After all of this time and all of this change, why did I allow myself to listen to her?

Part of me thinks that it’s because I needed to just have one night of indulgence and not worry about it. However, that’s rationalization and I’m not going to own it. What I did was self-sabotage. Eating a few hushpuppies would have been acceptable, but eating half a bowl was way over the top.

Another possible explanation is that I was eating emotionally, which is also a possibility. I’ve had a lot of stressors in my personal and professional life these last few months. This could have been a contributing factor. I hate to admit it, but I still succumb to emotional eating from time to time. I’m not proud, but I am human and I’m still learning.

The last possibility is that I was hungry but didn’t listen to my body cues. I didn’t drink my water first. I didn’t eat slowly. I just scarfed them down. I know better.

Hindsight is always 20/20 and I like to process events like last night so I don’t fall prey to them too often. I am a firm believer in learning from our mistakes and although I know I will indulge again at some point in my not-so-distant future, I don't want to overindulge and feel guilty because of it.

So, I’m going to let this go and learn from it. I was up 1 pound this morning and I’m not happy about it, but it’s likely going to be gone in a few days. Next time we go to this little seafood restaurant, I’ll ask that they not bring hushpuppies before our meal. Robby can eat his fair share of those decadent little balls of flavor and I can focus on my salad.

I need to also remember how far I’ve come. There was a time that I would eat like that everyday, three times a day. Now it happens only once in a blue moon. That’s monumental and shows significant progress.

Bee healthy. Bee happy.

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