Why I have been in hiding

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Hello dear readers! It has been awhile. I have to say I have been avoiding you. Please don’t take it personally though. It’s not because I don’t value every one of you. I do, and I love that my posts help many of you. My absence in the blogosphere as been because of my old friend, shame.

Starting back in late September, I started on a relapse with my weight loss. It started innocently enough with a drink here and a cookie there. Nothing I couldn’t control, right? I started to participate vigorously in after work happy hours, not to mention the taco bar lunch complete with another old friend, queso dip (and not the “healthy” version, but the nasty Velveeta and Hormel chili variety).

queso dip and chips

Queso dip and chips--an old friend

Gradually, my rabid cravings for carbs came back. It happened so slowly that I didn’t even realize it. I stopped my regular weigh ins–a sure sign that I knew in my heart something was not right. I stopped my monthly yoga membership. And eventually, I even stopped walking daily. And guess what? Ten pounds came back on in less than a month. And, voila, the shame came with it.

I was pretty devastated. All I could think was, “Here I go again! What is wrong with me that I can’t keep this weight off!” My mind searched for every possible explanation–the water at work could be killing my gut flora! Maybe I am going through early menopause! Maybe I am just not meant to be thin! Every explanation ran through my mind except for the one that made the most sense: I started introducing excess sugar and carbs into my diet, and my unstoppable cravings caused me to eat foods that I must avoid to lose and/or maintain my weight.

I didn’t want to face it. Instead, I wanted an easy answer. I wanted to believe that now that I had lost 90 pounds and was happy with my appearance and health, I could slack off where planning and food were concerned. I could ease up on this routine that had gotten me so far in my weight loss journey. So much for that.

Before things got too far out of control, and before more weight could come back on, I leaned on my support system. Her name is Anna, and she is my nutritionist. An hour spent with her brought me encouragement and support. I was reminded of those foods to avoid and those that would kick start my metabolism. I was also reminded that I need ongoing support to contend with a condition I will have all of my life.

I have lost three of those 10 pounds since my appointment with Anna two weeks ago. Most importantly I realized that I can do this for the long haul. Maybe I just needed a little break from wellness, and fitting into my jeans, to remind myself of just how awesome life can be when I am on track, eating protein, carbs, and fat IN BALANCE.

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10 Comments on “Why I have been in hiding”

  1. Jennie says:

    I wanted to chime in too to say I’m so glad you’re back! I’ve been reading you for some time and you are the most inspiring health blogger whom I read. Thank you so much for doing your blog!! I understand how difficult gaining the weight was, but I wonder too that, given that you knew exactly what to do and that you turned it around so quickly, I wonder if that means too that you have now prepared yourself to do with failure as well as you manage your successes? If so, that is a really tremendous place to be. The fact is, someday you won’t be losing, you’ll be maintaining, and from what I hear, that is even harder…and an incident like this should give you confidence to know that when faced with a really tough challenge, you will do what it takes to maintain your health, even if that challenge comes with a setback. And for a reader like me, your setback and how you dealt with it so positively is extremely motivational and educational – no judgement here!!!

    On a different note…I’ve been following you because I think the wheat thing is really key to my weight loss…and it has taken me months to work up the effort to really take this on. I just read Wheat Belly by William Davis (outstanding book – I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it) and that is what finally helped me turn a corner. I dabbled in wheat free last month, trying to limit it to 2 days a week, and almost immediately noticed a difference. I’m trying to take it even more seriously this month, and that, coupled with a commitment I’ve made to regular weight lifting over the last several months, are helping me to finally see some real changes!!! And it began with you, thank you!!!

  2. Jessica says:

    Thanks for your note. Once again your bracing honesty brings it home for us all. I have eaten more cookies in the last two weeks than I have the rest of the year combined (this is chiefly because of the one-two punch of my lack of planning for healthy snacks and cookie availability, thanks to well-intended friends who happen to be excellent bakers).

    I have no words of wisdom; I write only to commiserate and share that your back-on-track message is hopeful. I’m optimistic that as the holiday decorations and spirit fade into pleasant memories that I will emerge over the coming days as a rested and resolved person to build traction/momentum, back to reality.

    No mistaking that I’ve initiated that shift, back to my healthy habits, ahead of the New Year’s celebrations. Your timing is crazy-good for me.

    Your instinct to hide and hesitation are so real, so understandable. I think our society has trained us well (and in some cases our friends and family, too). An absence of perfection on your part is not, in fact, a defect. That you have emerged and are already on your path is part of your journey, and that is a journey that is not possible without queso dip and happy hours.

    Thanks for a message about your renewed spirit. Best wishes for a Happy New year. Namaste.

    What the….? I have been completely discouraged by journal and news articles of late that show the lifelong extra efforts that are required by people to lose weight or maintain weight-loss. So not only are we metabolically challenged in our efforts to lose the weight, but we have to work twice as hard, or more, to maintain it? It will never be easy. No one worth their salt promises ease, but sheesh, that hit me when I was already down…

    endnote: Ah yes, the queso dip. It is an old friend, and a tasty one at that. (I love it, in all its incarnations.) I laughed when you said the unhealthy version. Is there a healthy version? Ah, but I digress. I don’t imagine that are other foods, healthy or not, that can replace that gooey, salty, concoction. My recipe doesn’t mention anything about crack or other addictive substances, but oh my, it feels addictive. I simply must find something as a substitute/reward when/if I forgo that treat.

  3. Jenny Yelle says:

    Good for you, Nell!!

    You deserve to be healthy. All of those carbs you avoid will lead you to optimum health, plus… losing weight, gaining energy and self esteem will be great side effects. Ask yourself… am I feeding my addition OR feeding/nourishing my body?

    I find that this time of year, when we are all less active, we need to eat even less carbs than in the warm months. The holidays make that doubly difficult. When someone tries to sabotage my healthy way of life, like saying, “one cookie won’t hurt you”, I tell them that “I’m not going to take a break from feeling healthy”. That makes them think!

    Eating low-carb is more work & more home cooking, but worth it. Tonight I made salmon meatballs and used flax meal instead of breadcrumbs. An easy substitute and it was delicious REAL food.

    This isn’t a temporary diet (until a goal is met), it’s a lifestyle. Sometimes difficult, because it is counter-cultural to most of America, but they just haven’t been educated yet. Blogs like yours will help that.

    Keep posting, girl!!

    • How cool it is to hear from you on this! I totally agree on the more work part. But it is worth it. I love the idea of salmon meatballs. I have just been on a salmon cake streak. Thanks did reading.

  4. Megan says:

    Yes, everyone DOES need a break from time to time and it makes you remember why you went through all of that…pain and suffering before. It was worth it and you’re back on track! Good for you! 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Such an important message Nell. Thank you!

  6. Kate says:

    Bam! Three lbs. gone already. That’s fantastic! Proof that this way of eating does work. And during this holiday season when so many temptations lurk. I know, I see them everywhere I am and have succumbed a few times myself.
    Nell, I applaud you for your honesty and stick-to-it-tiveness (what?). You’re teaching so much to us, your fat groupies, and making it real. Set backs happen even when the weight is gone. It’s a good reminder that life’s problems aren’t solved just because you’re thin.
    I like that you’re thinking of this as a way of life instead of a temporary “diet.”

  7. […] was just reading Why I Have Been In Hiding on Nell’s blog, and it reminded me that someone asked me yesterday if I had stopped blogging […]

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