Project Mini-Me: Harder Than I Thought

So one week of deficit is in the books. The scale didn’t really move much, though I didn’t expect it to. Intellectually and experientially, anytime I or someone else has done a deficit with the intention of sustained weight loss (so no water manipulation, drastic cuts, or cleanses), it takes a couple of weeks for the deficit to actually show up on the scale. So I’m trying to hold judgement until February 1st before I make any changes to what I’m doing.

Starting Point

And that leads me to point number one: The emotional side of trying to make a change. Again, I’m in a good position with more in-depth knowledge about what’s going on with the body in the case of a diet and how quickly I should expect to see changes based on what I’m doing. I understand that there is almost always some lag time between when you make the needed steps towards a goal and then seeing the outcome of those steps. For many people, that lag time is a serious impediment to sticking with a program.

Think about how many people give up on their New Years resolution about two weeks into it. You can see the results in how gym attendance drops off sharply around that third week of January. There is even a term, Blue Monday, for the third Monday in January considered the most depressing day of the year. Partially because people have realized that they’ve given up on many, if not all, of the promises they made to themselves and they’re right where they were when December ended.

Anyway, here are some things I’m having to do differently from before:

  • Measuring out my half and half for each cup of coffee
  • Smaller wine glasses so I don’t over pour.
  • Smaller plates and containers in general.
  • Paying attention to when I eat my meals to avoid long periods (more than an hour) of hunger.
  • Be aware of mindless snacking when food is around. Smaller calorie goal means a smaller buffer zone.
  • Controlling my eating on the weekends. I’m no longer in a “natural deficit.”
  • Switching out my half and half for fat free half and half….

Smaller containers means less food gets doled out.

With that last point bringing me to another rough impediment to making habits stick: peer pressure and back handed smack talk.

Not only does it take 2-3 weeks for a person to see results of habit changes, that whole time they’re trying to be “good” they’re navigating a minefield of people ready and willing to sabotage their efforts. Everything from that coworker who brings donuts to work and acts insulted if you don’t have “just a little,” to that friend who goes on about eating whatever they want, to the partner who will complain about the healthy dinners or the “nuisance” of having to eat something different from you.

I noticed this when I switched my normal coffee creamer to using fat free half and half. The calories for each serving are WAY lower, and I’m trying to control my fat intake along with my over all calories. (Actually, I’d just rather my fat come from avocados and salmon instead of half and half.) Now, I work at a gym and you’d think we’d all be trained in ways to encourage a person in their fitness goals. But you’d be very wrong. Instead I’ve had more than a couple of people scoff at my fat free creamer and talk about how much they love all the fat in their diet.

Again, I’m secure in my goals and process. I know where I am, where I’m trying to get to, and what it takes to get there and how my chosen route works for both my body and my psychology. But most people are treading unknown waters and all it takes is one off-hand comment like this to make those waters even more difficult. And seriously, those off-hand comments usually worm their way into your psyche better than a straightforward “just do this” often does.

Ignore the naysayers as best you can. Find support with your trainer, coach, or in a group with similar goals.