I fell off the wagon today, and this blog post is my attempt to climb back on it as fast as possible.
I’ve had a bit of a discouraging week from a weight-loss point of view. After the magnificent indulgences of Ragdale Hall (healthy indeed, but indulgences nonetheless), I decided to do the Easy Squeezy Three Day Detox which my vitality coach recommended when I was working with her late last year. Check out the blog post on this detox if you’re interested. It’s quite simple, and the first time I did it, I lost four pounds in three days. I’ve done it a couple more times since then, with less dramatic impact, but it’s still a good thing to do to bring your system back into line.
All was going well, until the evening of Day Three, when I accidentally made myself a lovely tomato, basil and mozzarella salad – gah! Cheese! I wasn’t supposed to be eating cheese! I just didn’t think. Still, as you can see, even with the dairy fail, the effects of the detox (Monday through Wednesday) were… pleasing.
Sadly however, the feelgood didn’t last, and my morning weigh-ins have been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo all week. Even though I’m used to the way my weight fluctuates on daily weigh-ins, it was more than a little frustrating to reach a historic 14-year low – and then bounce right back up again.
Whilst I end the week just one-fifth of a pound below where I started, my weekly average tells me I’m just over a pound down on last week, which is exactly what I’ve been losing, on average, each week for the last several months. But the detox should have nudged that figure down a little, and it didn’t.
Maybe it was that moreish, melt-in-the-mouth mozzarella.
Or maybe it was the fact that I haven’t been walking much this week. I’ve been super-busy with work; starting early, finishing late and working through the day without so much as a loo-break for hours on end. I did my early morning walk only two days this week. I haven’t walked at all this weekend, and I usually do a decent 50-60 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday. Instead apart from the odd couple of hours, I’ve been sat at my desk, bum glued to chair, for days. No surprise, I’m feeling sluggish.
A couple of other things have knocked me off kilter too. I went for a haircut on Thursday and when I said I wanted it ‘shorter and choppier’ than usual, I didn’t think I’d end up looking like… this.
One friend generously proclaimed it was a ‘Dame Judi Dench cut’. But with all due respect to this esteemed thespian, I’m not ready to be compared to any 81-year old. Anyway, the haircut – my own misjudgement as much as my stylist’s over-enthusiasm with the scissors – has got me down.
So too the fact that I enjoyed a few so-called healthy snacks at a friend’s house yesterday evening. I liked them so much I went looking for them on Ocado this morning and found to my horror (well, dismay…), that they both contained significant quantities of… sugar. Quite how peanut and almond flavoured so-called ‘healthy’ popcorn can contain enough sugar to make it the third most significant ingredient in weight terms after popcorn and oil, is beyond me. But it took the wind out of my sails, as I’ve been very, very good at avoiding sugary food, and I should have checked before eating these tasty treats.
So that’s two careless, accidental diet fails, a lapse of walking willpower, wobbly weigh-ins and a dodgy haircut. That all left me feeling deflated and unattractive for the first time in weeks. And that was all it took. This afternoon, whilst busily engaged in summoning up excuses not to go for a walk in the park, I tumbled off the wagon.
Instead of taking time to plan and prepare a nice healthy meal for myself, I cracked open a 230g tub of houmous and consumed the whole thing (that’s over 350 calories, friends) with around two thirds of a packet of Luke’s Organic Gluten Free Chia & Seed Corn Chips (that’s around 100g, a whopping 486 calories and a stomach-churning 66g of carbohydrate). Even organic, gluten free and sprinkled with chia seeds, corn chips are … corn chips. They weren’t even that nice. I am undone.
My humous/not-so-healthy corn chips binge ended at 5pm today. Even though I don’t count calories, I know that cruising through nearly 900 of them for a ‘snack’ is heavy-duty. Add that to my breakfast (muesli with home-made almond milk, Greek yoghurt, mixed nuts and fruit, plus a few little slices of cheese and chorizo on-the-side) (well, it is Sunday…), and I’m done for the day. I won’t eat again until tomorrow.
In fact, if I can do it… I won’t eat again in any meaningful way until Tuesday.
I’m thinking this might be a suitable time to try a one-day fast, to tell my body I’m sorry for this afternoon’s deluge of carbohydrate and bad fat. My intention is to stick to plain water, my detox lemon drink (warm water, squeeze of lemon, ginger) and coffee (black, no sugar) for the day. That’s for 24 hours, until at least 5pm on Monday, or longer if I can keep it up. I will also walk tomorrow morning, whatever the weather (apparently it’s going to be cold and a bit drizzly, so cross your fingers for me, that I can dodge the worst of it).
Given that the whole point of this post is accountability (and always assuming there’s anyone out there who cares how I get on with my penance), I will report back.
Incidentally, I’m well aware that for many people, a tub of humous and a bowl of corn chips does not a binge/diet fail make. For many people, binges and diet fails are about sugar. The positive I draw from this is that mine… wasn’t about sugar. My accidental consumption yesterday evening aside, I am very, very serious about staying away from sugar. I’ve just finished reading Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. Reading books like this fuels my resolve – and makes it all the more annoying when my fails are accidental. But I remain quite pathetically grateful that my body does appear to be learning to live without this deadly, addictive additive.
I know I have to be able to cope with wobbles and disappointments. Part of falling down is getting up quickly and dusting yourself off. So I put on some chillout tunes, lit an incense stick and fired up my laptop in pursuit of absolution and accountability.
Tomorrow is another day.