My crash diet crashed. In this autopsy of a die, I identify the 4 ways I failed. And the 4 ways I’m getting back on track and working to succeed.
How my crash diet crashed on Week Eight
So, I haven’t posted in three weeks. And if you guessed the reason was that I fell off my diet, then you’d win chicken dinner.
It might have been more a stumble than a fall. I did not faceplant into failure. Rather, I skipped across a gravel slope and just kept sliding downwards, gaining momentum.
Last week I knew I had to arrest my descent and get back on course. But, would I be too late? Would all my privations and sacrifice of the last seven weeks be undone? I wasn’t bad-bad, after all. I didn’t rush back to sugar’s embrace and overeat like a man just off a desert island.
But the truth was there, on the scale, this morning. Not only had my three-week hiatus from eating cleanly and exercising not helped me lose any weight: In 21 days I have put back on all the weight I’d lost… plus three pounds. My crash diet crashed, and the weight came back with a vengeance.
Yep, not only was I back to the beginning going into what would have been Week Eleven. I was even heavier.
Where did the crash diet go wrong?
Any expert could find a dozen flaws in my plan. But that isn’t going to do me any good. In the autopsy of my weight-loss failure, I have to look a the specific things that threw me off my game. Not just for a day, mind you. I was off my scheduled routine for three weeks. It is only by force of will that I am back today.
So, with everything going so well, why did I crash, and why did it take me so long to recover?
- The Cabbage Diet was a diet killer for me. I tried and tried, but I could not make it work. Everything about cabbage is great – except the taste, the effect on the digestive system, and the psychological impact of eating for two weeks. Truthfully, the decline began midway through the seventh week, when I returned to eating cabbage after eating (and enjoying) my tuna and avocado diet.
- A lack of diligent exercise. This is probably the number 1 factor in the long term. I was changing so much. I thought adding in a vigorous workout on a daily basis would be too much. In retrospect, any exercise would have been more beneficial than waiting until I was “ready”.
- Too much too fast. I’ve tried losing weight. I’ve tried getting into shape. With only a couple of exceptions, I’ve never stuck with anything more than a few weeks. I refuse to rule out the idea that I am capable of big change. But I might accept that my big changes need to be taken in smaller steps.
- I didn’t have the support I needed. This is not a cop-out. It is an affirmation that in order to stick to a program, especially one as challenging as a lifestyle change, I need both support and accountability.
Just to be 100% clear: I’m not blaming anyone for my failure. I’m not even blaming myself. I am taking total responsibility for my actions and ownership for the results it has brought me.
So now, owning my mistakes and failure, what do I do next? Because there is going to be a next. To that, I am committed.
4 things I am doing to get back on track
After my crash diet crashed I had to figure out what happened. And those weren’t the only four things to go wrong. And the course I’m on now isn’t the only four things I can do to make it right. There are certainly going to be micro-adjustments going forward.
But there are at least 4 things to do, starting today, that will make a difference in whether or not I lose weight, get fit, and have the life I want.
- Exercise every day. I put it off, but it needs to be at the top of my daily agenda. There just cannot be any more excuses for not exercising and mitigating the damage years of abuse has done to me.
- Build a supportive community. I need cheerleaders and accountability partners. I’ve failed too many times because I had only myself to answer to, and I let myself off the hook too easily. I’m going to get going again and when I’ve lost 20 pounds (again) This time I’ll inform people of what I am doing and why. Publishing to a bigger community and asking them to follow me and prod me and question me in a spirit of positivity and encouragement will help keep me inspired and accountable.
- I’m going to micro-adjust my diet but stick with the intermittent fasting. I’m finding just too much information that supports the practice of intermittent fasting for weight loss, blood sugar regulation, and health. I will continue to eat once a day, but rather than be on a diet that feeds me the same thing every day for two weeks, I’m going to adapt my eating to a weekly program. More on that later.
- Improve my meditation practice through neurohacking. My meditation practice suffered from neglect, too, over the three weeks. Now I want to get back into my practice with the added technique of beginning to bio-engineer my brain. I will be working to rewrite my thought processes, going deeper into understanding the triggers that cause me to resist beneficial changes, and recreating new, better habits in place of old ones.
This is where I will start. Or, start again, to be more truthful. What I won’t do is quit.
Where I am today
I weighed in at 247.8 pounds this morning. I meditated for 1 hour. And I was on the treadmill for 40 minutes. Dinner was a piece of chicken, vegetables, and water.
I’m four weeks out from taking a week-long trip to Hawaii. I want to lose my 20 pounds, possibly 25 pounds, by that date.
There are about eight weeks until our long weekend trip to Colorado. By then I want to have lost another 20 pounds.
And if it is possible, I’d like to end the month of November at my goal weight and level of fitness.