30 May 2012

Healthy Style: Using the "Set Point"

I'd planned a post about our lovely Memorial Day weekend, complete with self-indulgent Instagram shots. Then I blogged over in Weight Watchers land, and, as seems to be the case more often now, I thought some of you might find my #healthyme story from this week useful. I've gotten a lovely, supportive response from folks about this journey I'm on, so I hope this might inspire or sustain someone out there. If not, skip it, and I'll return to the regularly scheduled fashion and style programming soon. Promise.

Last week I was struggling, and TrainerJen told me about the "set point." It's a fitness term for when folks losing weight hit a point at which the body (and mind) want to revert to the old ways.

It's a decision point.

It's a make-it-or-break-it point.

At least that's how I'm looking at it.

Now, if I struggle with it for a while, will my #healthyme journey go downhill? Nope. Might it be stalled for a while? Sure. Possible. But the truth of the matter is that it'll still be my #healthyme journey.

I'm not getting off of this #healthyme journey train, people. Not gonna do it.

Instead, I'm going to:
  • keep tracking everything that passes my lips
  • make mindful choices about what I ingest (which could mean fruit, or could mean chocolate; as long as it's mindful)
  • schedule - and use - time for activity
  • get my rear end into a pool and regain my swimmer's body completely
  • stay active while we're down tha shore in the end of June
  • not eat 2 dinners like I did on Sunday

The first of two dinners Sunday night, at the Lobster Loft, with the whole family. Lobster (her request), pasta, and french fries. Which is what he had for breakfast that morning, too. Mama had red wine, salad, prime rib, baked potato, and sauteed summer veggies.

OK. So that last one isn't ex-ACT-ly on the positive, mindful path I'm chosing for myself, but it was, quite frankly, a powerful moment to observe. Here's what I noticed:
  • I ate a filling, but not sustaining, mildly indulgent breakfast of a blueberry pancake and some scrapple (rock on, PA!)
  • I was hungry earlier than if I'd eaten one of my other breakfasts
  • I didn't drink water pretty much all day
  • I felt really, really good about how easy the 2+ hours of walking The Beans to the playground felt. 2 or 3 months ago, I would've been out of breath
  • I ate barely any fruits or vegetables
  • I tasted or finished The Beans' food (pizza, hot dog, and "drip saving" licks of ice cream)
  • I exercised control at the first dinner, eating only a reasonable amount of the prime rib, only part of the baked potato (neither of which is inherently "bad"), and piled on the salad and veggie sides to compensate for less veggies during the day
  • I exercised less control at the second dinner, "going for" dessert after an indulgent (but half) portion of my favorite mussel dish and one of our favorite restaurants (ahem - Mussel Bar Revel - ahem - wild mushroom, cream, lardons + speculoos ice cream, mocha ice cream, sour cherry sorbet - eep!)
  • I drank 2 drinks: red wine and beer
  • The next day was doubly hard because I was exhausted and "food hungover" while driving The Beans and me back to DC

So what does all of that tell me?

When I finally got around to tracking my food and activity the rest of the weekend (I'd had no access to my trusty e-tools from Sunday morning on), I was horrified. Embarrassed, even. I also kept remembering bits and pieces of the day's "nutrition" (such as The Bean's half hot dog). H had a similar experience.

My observations tell me that I need to drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, and not finish The Beans' food. They also tell me that I apparently equate "down that shore" with "indulgence."

I was left on Monday night with a desperate feeling. I was desperate to plan activity and "earn back" some of the damage. I frantically tweeted and facebooked my intent to get in the pool, looking for company and moral support. Truth be told, my plan to do a yoga video last night? Failed. Well, rather, decided not to do it. I realized, through some lovely support I got from my online friends here, that 2 days of indulgence don't ruin a #healthyme journey. But I did go to yoga this morning, and I'm going to try and sneak in 30 minutes of swimming between work and The Bean's first dance recital rehearsal. I'm a little scared of the swimming, despite almost literally growing up in a pool, and find my mind attempting excuses (you don't have a racing suit, you don't have a cap, you don't have goggles, you don't have enough time).

I will swim today. I will earn more activity points (literally countering the negative food points I’ve got at the moment for the week), and still end up negative for the week, but let’s just say it won’t be nearly as bad as it looked on Monday night.

And I will have conquered a "set point" that my mind is attempting with all its little mind heart can find. And I will change the way I view our "down tha shore" time from "indulgent" to a place where we practice the cleaner, more mindful living that we've started.

And I can't wait.

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