Recently, I returned from an annual two-week business trip. I know what you're thinking. "Oh, boy, eating out for every meal for two weeks? How did that go?" Well, last year during this trip, I lost weight because as a meeting planner, I was sprinting around a convention center for a week and a half and didn't have time to eat. This year, I thought I'd lose weight or at least maintain. But I changed my tactics and the results were disastrous.
Just as I'd predicted a Kings/Penguins Stanley Cup Final, the exact opposite occurred. I gained. Six pounds.
Of course, I know exactly what I did wrong, and it's the same thing that got me to 230 lbs in the first place. Apparently, my weakness remains: if you put it in front of me, I will eat it.
The thing with these convention center shows is that all the snack break food and beverage options are unhealthy -- cookies, brownies, rice krispy treats, etc. My new tactic this year was based on how things went last year. Whenever I saw some food out, I ate it, because I didn't know when I was going to next be able to eat.
However, this meant that if I saw a big plate of cookies in the staff office, I ate two. Later in the day, if they were still there, I'd eat one more.
I couldn't stop.
It was like everything I'd worked toward, all the mindset changes had gone right out the window. I knew while I was eating two big cookies that it was wrong and I shouldn't be doing it, but I did anyway. I ordered a cheeseburger and fries for dinner anyway. None of it was terribly satisfying to me taste-wise, but I did it anyway. Even as I was shoveling fries into my mouth, I was thinking, "What the hell am I doing?"
But I knew exactly what I was doing. I could feel it in how my clothing fit, I could see how I looked a lot thicker in those clothes that I looked just fine in last week.
How could things have gone so wrong? Well, I discovered that my willpower can be dented from time to time. That I am still subject to the "if it's in front of me, I'll eat it" temptation. And occasionally, I will give in to that temptation. Giving into it once in a long while might be OK. But the problem this time is that I gave into it several times per day every day for two weeks.
What's funny is that now that I'm back home, my desire for those cookies and burgers and fries has faded. With a 5K scheduled for Saturday, I ran four miles this morning and have consumed about a third of my calorie allowance for today (and it's almost 4pm). I passed by a Long John Silver's in my neighborhood this afternoon and about gagged. I'm back on the wagon.
Is it just so simple that I don't have the cookies and burgers in my home? Possibly. But I think also as soon as I stepped on the scale this morning and saw just how much damage I'd done, in number form and not just my clothes, I shocked myself back into reality.
We all experience bumps in the road when it comes to weight loss, but the most important thing -- the thing that really reveals one's character -- is how one responds to those bumps.
As for me, I know I can't keep doing this. This will not happen again. I will not go back.