I was temporarily derailed on my Weight Loss maintenance program the last few weeks. So much so that my Lifetime standing was potentially threatened. The first two weigh-ins this month I was off by two lbs. Not the worst thing but I really cherish my Lifetime distinction.
What got me slightly off track? It was not dramatic. I did not suddenly binge eat a bunch of M&M’s or stop exercising. Nor did I stop my other good habits (in fact they saved me – more on that later!). No, it was three items that without the habits that I learned at Weight Watchers would have derailed me permanently.
I think of these external items as the Weight Gain Axis of Evil! Before the discipline and training I received at Weight Watchers, this Axis of Evil caused me to balloon up in a matter of weeks. The diagram below shows the three elements of the Axis:
Here is how they impacted me in my temporary setback.
- Travel woes. Both weeks I was traveling for work out of town and had a delay on some of the flights. Plus traveling two time zones away.
- Work Stress. I was taking on more work responsibility while still retaining my current work. In addition, I had a packed two-week schedule with deadlines and planes to catch.
- Lack of Sleep. I could not sleep for the most part driven by the first two elements of the Axis. First, I kept thinking it was 5 am when it was 3 am because of the time zone difference. Second, I had to catch planes early in the morning and late at night. Third, the work stress and the tight schedule made me anxious making it difficult to fall asleep.
I caved in the past before Weight Watchers when I confronted the Weight Gain Axis of Evil. I would wake up too early or go to bed too late causing Cortisol to race through my veins. Then the stress elevated the cortisol level and the fatigue factor, making me eat more and exercise less. The result in the past; easily a five-pound weight gain in a week with additional weight gain until I could get of the loop.
This time however I was able to recover from the fleeting set back with the lessons I learned from Weight Watchers. Here are the 5 items that helped me.
- Don’t Panic! – Like the Hitchhiker traveling the Galaxy (one of my favorite books), Don’t Panic! I remembered the rough patches I had before and how I eventually was able to overcome them. I was not going to let a two-week setback remain permanent. Remembering my Weight Loss Journey when I lost 170+ pounds, I knew if there were fits and starts in weight loss, there would also be partial setbacks in weight maintenance.
- Look beyond the Scale – There are more things to Weight Watchers than just the scale. According to the Lifetime member rules, I only need to weigh in once a month to maintain my status. But comradery and the friends I have gained at my Round Rock class means more to me then a temporary loss of Lifetime status. THEY WERE THERE FOR ME AND I WILL BE THERE FOR THEM.
- Listen closely at Class – While you are at class enjoying the comradery, listen! Two lessons from the last two classes helped me get back on track. One was the practice of mindfulness (see 4). The second was the discussion of the “The Power of Habit”. After class, I reread excerpts from that book and tweaked a few of my habits that had grown stale and needed tweaking!
- Mindfulness – Weight Watchers has teamed with Mind Space to teach members the practice of mindfulness and meditation to overcome stress. After attending and participating in the recent mindfulness exercise that was introduced recently, I restarted my practice to handle the extra stress of the last few weeks. With the calming effect of mindfulness, I increased my sleep and it was deeper also.
- Blue Dot Focus – I never lost my habit of tracking even during my set back. But I did lose the focus of trying to get a blue dot award (staying in a recommended point zone for a day). I had become astute at using every one of my weekly points and some of my activity points. In so doing, I had been paying less attention of hitting a blue dot 5 out of the 7 days in a week. This week, I went back to that goal and in so doing retained some of my weekly points.
My 5 ways to defeat my Weight Gain Axis of Evil may be different from yours. Indeed, you may have a different Axis. The point is to examine and to attack your weight gain nemesis with optimism, pluck and the lessons of Weight Watchers. In closing:
Right On Track,
Come and Give my Hand A Smack,
Weight Watchers All the Way!
Weight Watchers All the Way!