Stumbling Through Weight Loss: Winning One Day at a Time

Stumble: To make a mistake; blunder

How quickly we can stumble when we are trying to lose weight. I can’t tell you how many times I stumbled when I was trying to lose weight. It happened every single time I tried to lose weight, including the time when I was finally successful.

You see, stumbles and blunders are just part of life. We all stumble. We all fall. We all blunder.

The important thing isn’t whether you stumble on occasion while trying to lose weight but whether or not you:

1)  Learn from your stumble

2)  Take steps to not repeat the same stumble

Learn and Do Not Repeat

I liken it to tripping over a stone that is buried near your house. The first time you stub your toe on that stone you make a mental note of its location and avoid that area the next time.  It’s the same thing with weight loss. Of course we will stumble and make choices that aren’t the greatest when trying to lose weight, but those stumbles do not have to spell the end of our efforts. To the contrary, we can learn from our stumbles.

Here are some common stumbles that tripped me up:

Going through a fast food drive-thru. I was a fast-food junkie and it was a really hard habit to overcome. This was one of my most common stumbles when trying to get to a healthy weight. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to break.

Buying junk food. As the primary food shopper in my family, it was all too easy for me to stick a bag of this candy or a box of those cookies into my cart under the guise of buying them for my kids. (Not that they needed them either.) I eventually learned that there were whole aisles of the grocery store that I just needed to avoid because there were zero foods on them I needed. Eventually I learned that not only did I not need the foods, I did not want them either. Huge victory.

Overeating at restaurants. This was a stumble that happened quite frequently. I very quickly fell into the old habits of eating the “pre-food”, ordering big entrees, and finishing everything on my plate. One thing that helped me get over this stumble was to decide exactly what I would order and how much of the entree I would eat.

Thinking little bites didn’t count. A bite of cookie, an extra spoonful of mashed potatoes, a little bit more salad dressing than necessary, or a secret huge spoonful of “light” ice cream were all detrimental to my weight loss efforts. Like some of the other stumbles, I had to learn to identify the times when I was likely to sneak a spoonful and give myself other things to do instead.

None of this was conquered overnight as evidenced by the fact that I was morbidly obese for 10 years. It took practice and perseverance to learn from my stumbles and stop repeating them.

The important thing to remember is to take one day at a time and do your best not to repeat mistakes. Once you identify your personal stumbling blocks, step over them or push them aside.

What stumbles do you fight with and how do you overcome them? Diane

3 thoughts on “Stumbling Through Weight Loss: Winning One Day at a Time

  1. Leah (Goodnight Cheese) says:

    Oh, so many stumbles on this end! I realized I just need to stop baking for other people, because I always end up having some. Also can’t keep whipped cream or marshmallow fluff in the house because it will be gone in days.

    I remember, because I KNOW it’s true, that the difference between the people who succeed and the people who fail at weight loss is what they do when (not if) they mess up or slip.

    So no matter how bad the meal, or week was, I get back to it as soon as possible. I just had a great food and exercise week after two really tough ones.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’ve just came across your blog as I was seeking out something, anything to help me. I have been overweight most of my life. Growing up my family had no concept of healthy eating. Going to McDonald’s and getting bags of chips were a treat. My grandmother, who was the world’s greatest cook, would cook up big meals when I was visiting. Fried potatoes and pork chops were her specialty. And I would eat, and eat, and then eat some more. The eating more has followed me like a black cloud. I can’t hide from it. I feel as if I’m never full. It doesn’t matter that I am literally about to bust. I just don’t ‘feel’ full. I’m not depressed and I have a pretty good life. Food is the one thing that has a hold on me that I just don’t know how to break. About four years ago I saw an old picture of myself and was like ‘oh my gosh I really look like that’. As I 5ft 4in woman being almost 300 pounds really stands out. I did make a change from that point and over a year and half time I got down to 155lbs. For the first time in my life I could really look at myself and be happy with what I saw. I could go to the store and buy the clothes I actually wanted to buy. It was a great time. Then I relocated and have been in a wonderful relationship for the past few years and with that came the weight gain. It’s not the relationship that caused the weight gain so much as my sheer lack of willpower when it comes to being able to say no to going out to eat, saying no to that second helping, saying no to the late night eating, saying no to the work out room that it literally feet from me. I went from tracking what I was eating every day and going to the gym to getting back to the place I was before that. The place where food is the only thing I see. This is a cycle that is taking its toll on me mentally. Every time I eat I either feel ashamed or embarrassed. Every time I eat I am wondering when/where I can more food. I’m in my mid 30’s and I know the extra weight is not doing me any favors. My knees hurt, my back hurts. I don’t move around as much as I use to. I have all of the tools at my disposal to make the change. I just don’t have the willpower or consistency to do it. It feels like the food is stronger than me. So I stumble. Every single day. I just want to be able to finally stand.

  3. Naomi Teeter says:

    Diane,

    I like that you call these stumbles and not failures. The word “failure” scares people I think… and I need to work on changing that word. I’ve maintained a 125+ pound weight loss over the last 6 years and I’ve stumbled every step of the way. I still stumble.

    My biggest stumble is losing momentum with my workouts because I allow myself to get “too busy to workout”. I also stumble when I don’t prepare meals ahead of time.

    Thanks so much for sharing your stumbles with us!

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