How Relapses Happen in Long-term Weight Loss

I wanted to fire off a quick post before I leave on a business trip. I am currently in a relapse with my weight loss. By relapse I mean I have gained a chunk of weight (9 pounds) while still trying to lose the last 10-15 pounds. I guess it is more like a setback. What is interesting is that I started to focus really intently on the 10-15 I hadn’t lost, rather than on the 90 I had lost.

When that subtle shift of focus happened, my mind shifted to the “F***-it all syndrome.” “I can’t lose that last few pounds, so screw it. I am going to happy hour and eating nachos.” These are the kinds of things I started to say on a more regular basis. It was infrequent at first, and then when I went on vacation a few weeks ago, the flood gates opened. And, tah dah, 9 pounds have crept back on.

So, what made me successful in the first place was allowing and being permissive of the occasional slip up, but getting right back on my food plan. I found success in mindfulness and mindful eating. When I started shifting back to all or nothing thinking, I found myself in trouble.

So, the next few posts will focus on how I use some permissive self talk to get back on my meal plan. Hopefully you will find it helpful too.

Oh, by the way. The indicator for a weight gain for me is always tight pants. Rather than focusing on the tightness, I am trying to see that the tight pants are a 12 and not a 20!


11 Comments on “How Relapses Happen in Long-term Weight Loss”

  1. How Relapses Happen in Long-term Weight Loss | My Life Lived With Fat

  2. […] posts ago, I started a conversation about relapses and setbacks in long-term weight loss. I am in this weird place where I am doing really well for short stretches; making the right […]

  3. Tracey says:

    Here are a couple of recipes. A Soup and Salad. I like to have the soup on hand for a quick carb if I don’t feel like chopping up veggies. I almost always add cilantro and lime to my salads and I especially do for the following recipe. The more you make these the faster they are to make. I don’t even pull out the recipe for the soup anymore and the salad isn’t a recipe really it’s just combos of veggies that I like to throw together. Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions about these.

    Spinach & Celery soup
    3-4 stalks cerey rough chopped
    1/2 an onion rough chopped
    Sautee these in 3T butter or olive oil
    when soft add 2 Cans msg free chicken broth, 1T dried basil, 1/2tsp garlic powder
    bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and add 8-10 handfuls washed spinach (could use frozen drained spinach 2-3 boxes)
    simmer about 10-15
    let cool and blend in blender
    serve in a normal size coffee mug in the morning as a side to your eggs. (total power breakfast)

    For dinner we do a lot of hamburger patties ( with mayo dipping sauce, sometimes I add a tsp of ketchup to the mayo) with a side of either potato salad, coleslaw salad or cauliflower salads. For any of these salads I make a base of chopped up veggies like:
    green onion
    carrots (chopped kind of fine)
    canned green beans (rough chopped so there not so big. I drain, then pour out on cutting board in a big lump and run a knife through, doesn’t have to be pretty
    red,orange, or yellow bell peppers
    squeeze of lemon or lime is nice
    Celery seed
    can be any combo of these or add your fav veggies. Olives and nuts tasted good too with this just chop the veggies kind of small.
    To this I add as much or as little mayo as I want to coat.

    I combine this base with either 4-5 C approx steamed cauliflower, cubed potato, or3-4 C chopped up nuked cabbage. Just slice off a good chunk of cauliflower, dice it, rinse it and toss it in the microwave covered for about 2 minutes to soften it a bit. Let any of these cool for about 5-10 minutes and add them to the base. YUM. I don’t measure much. I try to have leftovers for the next day. I’ts a lot of chopping so I’d rather chop once and have enough for the next day. It gets faster as you do it. Don’t worry so much about measuring I just throw it together and it always tastes good. The ratio is about 1part base to 2 parts caul’er, pot or cabbage.

  4. Tracey says:

    Hi Nell, I really enjoy reading your posts. I am also living the NWW way (minus gluten and dairy) and I love how it makes me feel. I am also trying to loose 8-10lb I’m 5ft 2 inches and 130lb. Can’t ever seem to get past the 130 mark. So, for now I’m just focusing on how I feel physically (no aches and pains) and emotionally, and trying to stay active. I guess the last 10 for me might just be vanity and I’m not willing to feel hungry or cranky in order to lose the last 10 (especially not for vanity, and it has taken me a long time to get over the vanity part). Well, just a thought. I look foward to reading more posts. I’d also be willing to pass along some recipes if you’re ever interested. I love to cook and experiment and I’ve come up with some tasty dishes.

  5. Thanks for all of the support! It really helps me!

  6. Barb says:

    Yes, I know all too well that the All-or-Nothing thinking is really a slippery slope. But I think we get into trouble when we use food to reward ourselves too. Why can’t we automatically think of a a big bowl of broccoli as a treat? Why does it especially have to be the high carb-high sugar stuff? I think proper nutrition plays a big role in weight loss but I think the psychology behind weight loss and in particular– weight gain– is a bigger factor than we know. I look forward to your future posts on the subject. And you should be proud of yourself that you are really giving this serious thought rather than completely slipping back into old ways. That shows mindfulness in itself. Hang in there Nell, you can do this!

  7. auggiesmom says:

    I’d love to see more people’s meal plans!

  8. Sarah says:

    Thank you for your honest post! It’s refreshing to read about….to err is human eh? Good job recognizing what attitude it is that is causing the relapse too!! I think I have been in that permanent sense of mind since my thyroid crapped out.

    Do you have a post with a basic meal plan that you eat somewhere?

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