Healthy and Sane

Elina vs. a diet

January 5th, 2011 · 34 Comments · weight loss struggles

… any diet!

I used to win in this battle almost every time. I was determined and focused… and I loved checking things off as I accomplished them, which made me want to do it again and again. And I saw changes, slowly but surely I was getting more fit. I was obsessive too, so it wasn’t all pretty, but the end seemed to justify the means. I was so close to my goal weight… so close.

Then something happened. I started relaxing my high standards, which was very helpful mentally… until what seems like out of nowhere, my pants no longer started fitting and I couldn’t really recognize the girl in the pictures.

I need structure (I know many of you are in the same camp!). I believe that Weight Watchers will give me that (will because I still for the life of me cannot just do it… I last maybe 1-2 days and then I’m off the grid; Weight Watchers what? I’ll get to it tomorrow…).

This battle is mental and that’s how I’m going to fight it. It’s time to stop telling myself stories of why there may be easier ways of doing things, of why today just isn’t my day and tomorrow will be better. Instead I will tell myself stories of how strong I will be if I continue to treat my body with respect. Feed it good quality food that will not only be delicious but also nourishing. Food that will make me a faster runner and a bootcamp machine (yup, that’s one of my goals 😉 ).

I will focus. I will do this. I will lose weight this year. Enough with self-defeating stories!

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34 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle

    I’m with you! This is our year.

  • #3 - Kelly

    You can do it Elina! :)

  • #4 - Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Good luck! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and read about your struggles with this.

    Sometimes, the best thing is to change your environment. I know that when I am not working, I eat a lot less healthy but a lot less overall. When I’m at school, I tend to eat larger quantities of healthy food. At work, I graze WAY too often.

    Just a possibility…

    • #5 - Elina

      Julie – I think that’s a very important point. I’m actually starting to notice certain trends with myself as well and am developing a plan on how to deal with them. Thanks for your comment! :)

  • #6 - Kelly

    I can relate to your story and I am sure many people can too. My thing is I am generally a good dieter and am pretty good at maintance in the beginning, but then like you things slip. I will say the only benefit of being back in the same place and needing to lose weight again is that it’s forced me to take a look at what did and didn’t work.

    Like you, I know I had a tendency to be a perfectionist. It became so black and white, I was either doing well 100% of the time, or I was “bad.” I would eat a diet that was incredibly healthy but ignored the fact that I love food and need to have some wiggle room.

    Like you, I’m doing WW again, but with a different attitude this time – I’m not going to be so healthy. It sounds terrible, but I realized that part of the problem was that I was trying to lose weight with habits that were hard for me to keep up in maintance. This time around I’m sticking to thinks I know I could do for a lifetime. It means the weight loss will probably be slower, but I’m okay with that because I’ve realized that quick loss just puts me in the same place all over again.

    And you know what? It’s been a relief so far. The first time I dieted if I had two cookies it could blow my night because I wasn’t being “perfect” so I would get frustrated and end up eating and eating. Now I’m finding it’s easy to accomidate them in my life and that I can have one or two and it won’t throw me off. But it’s all mental.

    • #7 - Elina

      Kelly – it sounds like where you are right now is exactly where I want to be. I have “officially” given myself permission to be flexible with the program, and just like you I’m ok if that means slower progress. Any progress is good! But for some reason I still think in black and white and not really forgiving myself for all these extras and in return eating even more. I’ll get there. It’s mental. I’ll win at the end, I’m sure :)

      • #8 - D

        I just want to say that I really am rooting for you and hope that you achieve your goals in whatever way you feel is right for you. I think you’re an awesome and relatable blogger so I really hope you have success. I do have a question thought – do you think by giving yourself “permission to be flexible” that you might be subconsciously setting yourself up to fail? I think of it as vitamins vs prescription. We all say we’re going to commit to taking our vitamins, but if we tell ourselves or even think that they are somewhat “optional” then it becomes less of a concern. If we have a prescription or some antibiotics and the doctor says you MUST take these pills, we do it. I think that giving yourself an “out” can be dangerous sometimes, but I get that it’s a fine line between giving yourself an out and being kind to yourself. Good luck!

  • #9 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

    Good for you! You actually inspired me to do WW again (I did it back on the old points system) because I also needed structure. It is so hard on a daily basis and I can really relate to your struggles. Sometimes it helps when I look at my closet full of clothes that I’d love to wear, but sometimes it doesn’t! The other night I watched some of the Biggest Loser and saw the contestant that had gained all of his weight back. I keep wondering if it is harder to even try to lose it a second time because you already know how hard the effort is (even on a much smaller scale).

    • #10 - Elina

      Lauren – I think I’m personally struggling not because I know how hard it is (because I actually don’t think it’s that hard) but because it requires real diligence and focus. I do silly things like question whether any of it is worth it or if I truly just ate what I wanted, if eventually I’d just top up at some weight and grow to love that. I know better but then I don’t. I used to love counting calories but for some reason I’m not that into it anymore (I’m counting points now but it’s pretty much the same). I feel like that’s the only thing that will work though, so I need to put up or shut up. 😀

      • #11 - Lauren at KeepItSweet

        I definitely have those thoughts go through my head sometimes! Also got sick of calorie counting even though, as you say, this is so similar. In my mind it “feels” different since they are using protein and carbs a little differently.

  • #12 - Jon H

    My suggestion? Don’t call it a diet! Diets by definition are built to fail, because as soon as you succeed, you think, well, I deserve an extra cookie, then an extra piece of cake, and it wouldn’t hurt to have this and that, etc.

    I lost 15 pounds on weight watchers a few years ago, and that’s exactly what happened to me. As soon as hit that magic goal weight I started slacking off and eventually gained it all back. Not to mention I was always hungry on that diet …

    I think you have to think of changes like these as permanent. Several months ago I decided to stop eating so many carbs. But instead of thinking of it as a diet, I thought of it as a permanent change to my eating. The change itself has worked wonders (goodbye, 20 lbs!) but even better is the fact that I don’t question or struggle with what I eat each day – instead I just think of it as the only option, because this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

    • #13 - Elina

      Jon – I feel like my diet is generally ok, it’s all those sweets and emotional eating that hinder my progress. Those are harder to change although will absolutely be key to lasting results! Congrats on finding something that works for you. It’s so important!!

      • #14 - Jon H

        True, those can be awfully tempting! I try to keep little sweet snacks around to help stave off diving into a box of cookies.

  • #15 - Val @ Balancing Val

    I believe I went through the same thing!

    I love structure in so many areas in my life and yet when it comes to my body I get so obsessive.

    Im trying to find a middle ground of loose outlines rather than strict rules as when I let myself go too loose . . . my pants get too tight!!

  • #16 - MaryZ

    I’m in the same spot. I start out in the morning with a great attitude of staying on track. By lunch time I start to think I can slide a little. And just yesterday I finally bought a note book and am tracking everything that goes into my mouth…not fun but I need accountability and that is the only way I can do it!

    We will be strong together!

    • #17 - Elina

      MaryZ – A notebook is a really great idea. I actually have 2! Writing things down makes you more aware and when you’re eating mindfully, you’re doing the bulk of the work right there! Good luck!! 😀

  • #18 - Lara

    You know I support you…always!

  • #20 - Sarah

    I feel that I am in the exact same place as you… I just signed up for weight watchers before the new year and I am still trying to get on the band wagon. I did so well Sun, Mon, Tues this week….and I just finished eating a bag of chips, left over Xmas baking right from the freezer and I dont even know how many scoops of PB. My stomach is upset and I am upset too…. I need to reset and start NOW! egh!

    • #21 - Elina

      Sarah – I know that feeling really well. It’s not fun. Take a deep breath and promise me to treat your body with respect at the very next meal (TODAY). If you’re still not very hungry, have something light and refreshing. If you are, enjoy a healthy meal that will remind you of how good it feels to eat something that does not upset your stomach and mind. You can do it!! :)

  • #23 - Michelle

    You can do it Elina!

  • #24 - MelissaNibbles

    You can do it Elina. Sometimes it just takes a lot of focus and determination. Trying new recipes, saying no to that dinner out, that one dessert, etc… It does take sacrifice and I know you don’t want to hear that, but it does. Good luck :)

    • #25 - Elina

      I completely agree. I’ve been giving up every time a challenge arose but no more. I’m done with complaining, it’s time to make these changes!

  • #26 - Shannon

    I’ve been following, Elina…even though I haven’t been commenting. You have one of the most relatable blogs out there. Most women are either struggling with the same thig or have struggled in the past. My problem is sugar and treats. I feel deprived without sweets! I can get away with it because I work out and am nursing at the same time (nursing requires about 500 extra calories/day!). But I need to curb the habit or the weight will pile on when I am no longer nursing. Hang in there. You are asking all the right questions of yourself.

    • #27 - Elina

      Ooh yeah, darn sweets. It could definitely be worse (like crack, lol) but we both need to learn to enjoy them in moderation and move on!

  • #28 - Heather

    You know a huge thing here is that you actually realize what you are doing. And the beauty (as you already know) of WW is that it IS flexible. That’s why I love it. Nothing is off-limits…ever!

    I have a raging sweet tooth as well & in all honesty allow myself something daily to accommodate those cravings. Doing that keeps me in check & keeps me happy!

    Just keep at it girl & it will come! With your determination, you cannot lose!!!!!

  • #29 - Jen

    I know what you mean about staying on track. It’s tough. But you can do it! WW is a great program.

  • #30 - alicia

    i totally know how you feel! looking back, i’m seeing how much better i looked 2 years ago…back when i was incredibly restrictive with my diet (still had occasional bouts of overeating though) and was a total gym rat. of course back then i thought i looked TERRIBLE. now i only wish i could look that good!

    now i’m trying to figure out how i can be strict enough with myself to get back to my “happy weight”, but not so strict that it puts me in a bad place emotionally. it’s a fine line!

    the battle is DEFINITELY mental. i usually think “well tonight i really really really just want some cookies and chocolate even though i am not hungry….but tomorrow i’ll start eating healthier!” but who’s to say i won’t really really really want some cookies and chocolate the next night as well?? it’s all mental.

  • #31 - Bridget

    Hi Elina! I think its awesome that you are documenting this on the blog, I love reading it and its definintely inspirational too see other people trying to reach their goals. I KNOW you will succeed! You’re such a strong person! Good Luck and let me know if you need anythign!!

  • #32 - Sushi making… on a diet?

    […] Elina vs. a diet […]

  • #33 - Shannon

    lots of great comments and support! i know my battle is all mental… and yet i haven’t made the time to find someone to talk to. this year.

  • #34 - Andrea

    Hello! I definitely know where you’re coming from. I’ve struggled with this for a while too, telling myself well there’s always tomorrow, then tomorrow comes, and there’s always another tomorrow, and I never start! Or if I do, I get motivated to keep up for about 2 weeks, then I quit. I hope Weight Watchers works for you, and will look forward to your opinion of that. I was thinking about joining it myself. Anyway, good luck, and you can do it!!!