Hi, I’m terrible at weight loss. It’s a psychological problem. I need help.
I’ve gone from having a BMI of 26 to a BMI of 20, back up to 26, back down to 20, and back up to 26 again in the past 7 years.
I keep losing and then gaining back the same 25-30lbs over. and over. and over. (I’m short, so that’s a lot of weight for me. It’s about 3-4 dress sizes.)
I always start off really well with logging my calories on MFP. I stay focused. I weigh myself. I exercise. I lose weight. I keep going, sometimes for two weeks, or a month, or six months. Losing 1-2 pounds per week in a steady fashion.
But what foils me EVERY TIME: cheat days.
Every now and then, I get the idea that I should allow myself a cheat day, during which I can eat whatever I want.
I find all sorts of ways to justify it.
I’m doing so well. I’ve lost so much weight, I deserve a treat.
It’s my birthday.
My friend has come to stay.
I’m in a bad mental place right now.
It’s my husband’s birthday.
I’m sad because my football team lost.
I’m celebrating because my football team won.
I’m going round xyz’s house for dinner and I won’t be able to track, because I won’t know how many calories there are in the food they make, so I may as well have a cheat day.
I’m going out for a meal with family, and the restaurant doesn’t have calorie information, so I might as well have a cheat day.
Whatever the reason, I eat whatever I want with reckless abandon for one day.
Then of course I get a taste for it. I can’t go back to eating at a deficit straight away the next day. My willpower PLUMMETS.
It’s like an alcoholic who’s been sober for 6 months, and then gets a taste of alcohol, and they’re suddenly addicted again. They can’t just have one drink.
Again, my brain invents a reason why I don’t need to start tracking my calories again the next day.
Maybe I have “leftovers” from whatever I had during my cheat day, that need to be eaten. So there’s no point starting again today.
Maybe it’s the weekend tomorrow, so I may as well enjoy myself this weekend then start on Monday.
So I have another cheat day. Then another. Then another.
And then I’m back to my old ways, and tracking my calories doesn’t even occur to me anymore.
I stop weighing myself, because it’s so demotivating seeing the scale creep up.
So I tell myself I’ll get my diet back under control for a week, and THEN weigh myself.
But of course I don’t.
Then before I know it, I’ve gained back half the weight that I lost. At this point I weigh myself and I’m devastated. So I think “right, fuck this. if I’m going to get fat again I might as well enjoy myself.”
So I PIG OUT. I buy ALL the high-calorie foods and eat whatever I want without thinking for weeks or months on end.
Then eventually my clothes stop fitting right. I struggle to get my wedding ring on. My face starts to look puffy in photos. My jeans won’t zip up.
And I’m back to my starting weight again, and wondering how the hell I let this happen AGAIN.
On November 11th, I started tracking my calories again, and it started off well.
For 2 straight weeks I logged everything I ate. I ate at a deficit every day, exercised regularly. I lost 5lbs. My clothes started fitting better. I felt AMAZING, unstoppable! I was convinced this would be the time that stuck!
Then I had a cheat day. I can’t remember why. But it was a Saturday, so I thought I may as well start again on Monday.
But Monday came and went and I still wasn’t tracking again. On Tuesday I got back on the wagon… for 3 whole days. Then my friend came to stay and wanted to go out for a meal so I thought, well… cheat weekend it is.
Now it is Wednesday. My friend left on Sunday. I started tracking my calories again today. I was under maintenance after dinner.. Then I ate a family size bag of cheese puffs because my football team was losing.
I. Can’t. Stop.
WHY am I destined to keep sabotaging myself? I KNOW I feel like shit and hate the way my body looks. I KNOW what I need to do, so why can’t I do it? Why does my brain only seem to care about instant gratification?
How can I find the motivation to STICK to a new, healthy lifestyle where I treat food as fuel and only give my body what it needs?
I’m stuck here, guys. If I don’t get a kick up the arse tonight, I’ll know I’ll fall completely off the wagon again.