One of the things that really helped me get back on track was joining the 5% challenge this summer. While I completely bombed at tracking or losing the tips and posts really helped me gather my thoughts and see what I needed to change.
I kept wanting to get back to doing exactly what I was doing before thinking it was a magical combination of food and exercise but if the passion isn't there then nothing is going to change. It became a chore and a diet, not a lifestyle change. I keep trying and trying and staying focused for a few days here and there, never stringing together more than 5 or 6 days. Weight loss would happen but weight gain happened more often. Then a challenge in the group came up that made me laugh so much and made me think.
Hide all the temptation foods. Things like put the icecream way under the frozen veggies, cookies in the back of the pantry. I looked over at my counters. There were over 1000 cookies sitting on my counter. It made me laugh, how do I hide cookies from my life? My home business is baking and selling cookies at festivals and other fun markets. There are ALWAYS cookies in our house, usually cooling or waiting to be decorated. I lied to myself and said, business cookies don't count, that's money not food.
This challenge stuck in my head, especially when I was sitting munching on a piece of "money". I don't eat many of them, I can go days without having a cookie so obviously this isn't the reason I was gaining weight.
When I first started tracking foods (pretty sure at the start of my journey we did that by chisel and a flat piece of stone) I spent the first day seeing what I really ate. I tracked every bite, every taste to see just how many calories I was really eating, it was eye opening. I decided I needed to do that again.
Until then I never stopped to realize how many times a few chocolate chip ended up in my mouth, that last bit of cookie dough ended up in my mouth. A tasting of the buttercream ended up in my ... I think we see where this is going. Each time I put something in my mouth I put the same amount on a plate. At the end of the day I had "sampled" over 600 calories in cookies. One taste at a time. Ok, this explains why I was never really hungry any more. This explains the "mysterious" weight gain. It was freeing to do this, face reality and know this is something that is completely in my hands to change.
Last week I created a new cookie and I have no idea how it tastes. I handed out cookies to six different people to get their feedback. I cut one open to use for a photo. Normally that becomes my cookie since obviously it can't be sold but instead it sat waiting for my husband to come home and give me his opinion.
I have two sitting on my counter in a container, they are there to remind me of many things. Things that I want to achieve and every day they sit on that counter I feel like a success. They're shortbread, they will sit there for a long time and I have a timeframe in my mind that I will celebrate if they are still sitting there.