Lapse, Relapse, Collapse

I haven’t collapsed. I haven’t given up. I’m still in control of this situation.

It is fair to say, however, that I’m in the relapse zone. I’ve eaten without recording for several days, I’ve only been to the gym every other day, and I’m finding all kinds of ways to justify eating ‘once in a while/celebratory’ foods on an almost daily basis. What does that mean? In just the past seven days:

  • Saturday night, the night that kicked it off, I ate fried chicken, drank a mint julep, and had a biscuit with a small but not so small that it doesn’t count serving of ice cream and strawberries. I didn’t get to the gym the following day, as far as I can recall. Not sure I did Saturday, either, come to think of it.
  • Tuesday night, I ate dessert at a restaurant (split it, but believe me, I had a full serving and then some) to celebrate getting a new car. Didn’t make it to the gym Tuesday.
  • I ate two cake balls on Thursday, a day when I skipped the gym because I was stressed hearing about a friend’s crisis that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with me, but which made me feel sad for her.
  • I ate a candy bar today at lunch. For no real reason. It  was “healthy,” inasmuch as it had only 17 carbs, but I didn’t look at the label long enough to determine whether the bar counted as one or two servings.

Um, perhaps this is a clue as to why I’m having such a tough time getting my weight to start moving in a downward direction again. A really big clue.

Any one of those things, on its own, would be a lapse. You can bounce back from a lapse. A lapse barely matters.

A relapse, though, that requires some introspection and brutal truth. And while it may take 21 days, or 3 months, or some other long period of time for good behavior to become a habit, it never takes nearly as long for a relapse to turn into a complete collapse.

I’ve been doing really well. I ran into someone at the store today who told me that I look fabulous and my skin is radiant, which is a comment I’ve been getting often lately. Clothes are looking good on me, and I’m feeling strong. It is clear that this can work if I work it.

So why on earth would I sabotage myself? It’s trite, but true, we are all our own worse enemy. I need to look within and figure out what’s holding me back, what I’m afraid of, and what I need to do to turn things around, because I want this.

Since this is a little negative and whiny, I’ll add something positive and celebratory. I allowed someone to take my photo today while I was sitting in a pool wearing a bathing suit. And my body was above the water. I cannot even remember the last time anyone took a photo of me in a swimsuit, but I suspect it was high school, and I’m now in my early 40s.

So, the future lies ahead. Onward!

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18 Responses to Lapse, Relapse, Collapse

  1. Getting healthy is so hard! I am doing it and blogging as well and its a really sucky feeling to know that you are not doing what you are supposed to be doing with your diet. I think that sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. If people are noticing then you are doing something right! Keep up the good work, and try not to stress. You will get back to your routine.

  2. kalima123 says:

    You are so NOT alone in this! I’ve lost about the same as you in about the same period of time and the closer you get, especially since you’re so close to your goal now, the harder it seems to stay on track. At least that’s what I’ve experienced. It’s like after being “good” for so long becomes exhausting. It might help to remember that this is a huge life change and it’s normal to want to take a break, even unconsciously. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate how far you’ve come. Then give yourself a day or two to transition back to the new habits you’ve been establishing, Bottom line – it’s ok!! Suggestion- look at the turtle!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I believe you can think of these events as part of your rewarding system. Sometimes, all you’ve got to do is to unwind and not to over-saturate your goal. Remember being happy helps you stay healthy! 🙂

  4. J. says:

    recognizing it is usually a good first step to recovering. good luck!

    • Andie says:

      Thanks! I was thinking about you yesterday when trying to figure out how to get my own self together, considering whether I need to break this up by setting a new goal so I can be at the beginning again instead of the end. We’ll see – thanks for the good wishes.

  5. Laina says:

    REALLY good work recognizing what is happening and stopping the failure cycle. You know what’s going on, you know what steps to take to nip it in the bud now and move forward positively. Excellent! Good luck on your next step forward…

    • Andie says:

      Thank you. I was thinking about you sitting in the meeting room with the treats behind you, and realizing how lucky I was this week that I didn’t have to sit in a room with a tray full of cookies while my resolve was low and I was feeling sorry for myself. Today, I could do it and be fine. Thanks for all of your advice & insight.

  6. anewert1 says:

    Figuring out why we do some of the things we do is a big part in the battle I am finding. Best wishes moving forward.

  7. You are so right in defining the difference between those two words; I’d never thought of it before. I once had a comment on my blog that I loved, it was an analogy of going off plan to going off course driving on the highway. If you miss your exit, you don’t keep driving and driving and driving (or eating, and eating, and eating), you correct yourself as soon as you can. You can do this:)

    • Andie says:

      Love it – works, too, for the times I’ve been driving, missed my exit, and not noticed for several because I wasn’t paying attention. This morning, at least, I feel like I know where I’m going and the GPS is working. 🙂

  8. Pingback: The Great CONsume « Stationery NOT Stationary

  9. S.N.S says:

    I think that, sometimes, when we get so close to achieving a goal that previously seemed unobtainable, we become paralysed by the fear of what lies beyond it. Well done for recognising the relapse zone so early on and steering yourself back on track. And for seeing the positives in your week, it is easy to beat ourselves up for small failures and a compliment can be enough to remember how much you have achieved.


  10. This was soooo not a negative, whiny post. It was you being thoughtful and analytical and coming to some serious realizations/conclusions about what you’re going through. If you can’t do that here, then where can you do it?

    You remain a constant source of inspiration for me. Honestly. Your thoughtfulness, your candor, your intelligence — wow. And you’ve made such significant progress. As you buckle down and recommit, just remember that: what you’ve done so far is actually extraordinary and impossible for most people. You can get through this part, too.

    • Andie says:

      Great point – we’ve made amazing progress against great odds, you, me, and so many others who hang out in these circles. Thank you for being a cheerleader & an inspiration!

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