This weekend my wife and I went on a camping trip. It was our second of the year, and we had our annual visit from some very dear friends and their two young daughters. We experienced some cold weather, including hail! When it was relatively nice, we went on a hike of a couple of miles up a sand dune.
While keeping warm at the campfire, the wife of the couple mentioned that she’d read my blog post on Friday. She offered encouragement, then said she thought I was being too hard on myself. She pointed out that there have been Holidays, family events, Mothers day, and so on that could take me off track. She reminded me that I have come a long way, and am still down well over 120 pounds. I smiled, and thanked her. Then I mentioned that all of those things might be reasons why I gained, but none of them excuse the weight gain.
Any event – whether a wedding, Holiday, special dinner, and so on – may be a reason to go over on a particular meal, but they shouldn’t derail that day, let alone many days. I didn’t gain 11 pounds in 10 weeks because of a Holiday, or a special dinner, or even attending a wedding. I gained because I slipped into old habits. I let myself believe that seconds at dinner was ok, or that I had “earned” a snack in the evening because it was a hard day. I elected to sleep in the morning rather than get up and hit the gym. In short, I slacked. I could make excuses for myself, but that won’t change the direction of my weight.
When I reached the end of my weight loss in 2000 and 2001, I allowed myself to become complacent. I allowed myself to believe that I had this weight thing licked, and could go back to mindless eating. 13 years and 127 pounds later, I finally got my head out of my rear end and realized that this is a lifelong effort for me.
I am not saying that there can’t or shouldn’t be times to celebrate and have a little extra. What I am saying is that when I do, I need to remind myself to make up for it, and get back on track.
The 130+ pounds I lost didn’t happen because I allowed myself to make excuses, and allowing myself to make excuses won’t let me maintain my weight loss, let alone continue to lose to get to my overall goal.
The title above asks the question whether I am being too hard on myself, or holding myself accountable. I prefer to think that I am holding myself accountable. I am not particularly down on myself, I am not beating myself up over the recent gains. I am merely looking in the mirror and telling the person responsible for my gains to get his ever loving rear in gear!