In a world overly saturated by lives perfectly posed, edited, and framed, we don’t always talk about our failures.
What if I told you I’d failed at weight loss? You may scoff at me and think, how could you have failed at weight loss? You’ve lost 60lbs! And you’d be right. I have lost 60lbs and I’ve been incredibly successful, which makes admitting my failures even more difficult.
I’ve been maintaining my weight loss for nearly 2 years now, but I am always trying to improve, especially with showing more muscle tone. My desire for continued improvement combined with my struggle with the up and down of the 10lbs I’ve been struggling with this year, I decided to try If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). A group of gals I work out with were also starting and, with their encouragement, I jumped right in. I hired a trainer and he built a plan around my workout schedule. I was excited to start and take my fitness and nutrition to the next level. A plan built just for me to help me lose weight? How cool was that?!
I started at the beginning of May, just before one of my work trips. It was very similar to how I’d been eating previously, at least in terms of the types of food. However it was markedly different in terms of quantity, timing, and freedom of foods. By that I mean, I could no longer have my smoothies for breakfast. Since my workouts were in the evening, I could only have carbs (including fruit), right before or after my workouts.
The first week on the program was rough. I was hungry and getting used to the new plan, but I did lose a few pounds. When I started traveling for work again, I did my best to adhere to the program, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy. During our trip to Hawaii I did try to stick to the program as well, but it was even more difficult. When I got back, I went back to the program to the letter. Nearly every week my plan was adjusted, cutting out more carbs and fat, trying to jump start my weight loss.
After the first few weeks of the program, I wasn’t able to really lose weight. I fluctuated a lot, still unable to lose the extra weight I’d gained this year with all of my business travel. I was unhappy. I loathed eating my egg whites for breakfast. I despised my lunches and longed for the food my coworkers or family ate at their meals. I didn’t want to be the girl at work (my new job), eating the weird meals. All the while, I continued to see the successes my friends were having with IIFYM and wished I could be so lucky.
Despite the continued cutting, I grew angrier and more unhappy. Then one night at Zumba I started to get dizzy. I didn’t feel good. I’d noticed how tired I’d been for the last few weeks, how my attitude had been off and I’d been somewhat depressed. Despite having promised my trainer that I would stick with it through the end, I decided that night that I was done with it. I could not continue with it the way things were going – I should not be dizzy and it should not have been impacting me so significantly.
I failed. I failed so fabulously I didn’t lose weight like I’d intended – in fact I gained. I was not happy with my failure, but I was happy with my decision to fail.
The next day I immediately went back to my fruit and yogurt smoothies for breakfast. I had a piece of dark chocolate and didn’t feel guilty. I didn’t feel bad not having 8 meals in one day, I didn’t feel guilty having sweet potatoes too far before or after my workouts.
And then the weird thing happened… I started losing weight again. I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t angry. I was happy. And I learned one of the best lessons. While I may still weigh what I weighed at the beginning of this year and my body still isn’t perfect, I am happy with maintaining.