I quit smoking on the 17th of Frebruary 2012.
That was 54 days ago today.
I also started taking care of my body, watching what I eat and held back on the drinking.
Overall I have been fairly successful but I have absolutely managed to start slipping away from the prize.
When I started this effort I weighed in at 93.5 kilo’s and have managed to bring myself down to a stable 88.3 kilo’s through a small amount of exercise and by eating only marginally better than I usually do.
Sadly, I managed to get myself down to 87.5 and then I started basking in my own glory and becoming a lot more lax with my personal strictures about how I should be controlling myself and my impulses. I then gained almost a kilo and have been struggling for the last two weeks to keep that from increasing and undoing all of my hard work.
As a first time serious dieter, I have had some very interesting insights into the way the body and mind behave as we start to change our behaviour.
Most curious to me was the number of parallels I can draw to my experience as I have quit smoking.
I mean lets face it, losing weight is not all about food, but food choices make a significant impact on your success. I know, my food addiction is slowing my progress significantly.
I have been through all the typical addition scenario’s.
In this stage I find that I am easily motivated to achieve success. This is the beginning of the “quitting” process and is easy to remain motivated because you have made a conscious decision to stop smoking/eating junk
In this stage, the initial motivation sees a determinable measure of success. Food tastes better for people quitting smoking, weight falls off for those dieting. This stage is a great one to be in because you get here by seeing the results of your hard work in stage one.
This is my serious nemesis stage. Once I have been successful and moved through the first two stages I start finding I have a little leeway available to me with which I can reward my efforts. And by reward I mean “cheat”.
I have found that when quitting smoking I usually hit this stage at around 21 days. After 3 weeks of not smoking I have totally quit the habit and so feel quite confident that when I light up a reward smoke at the pub it is not going to impact me at all. And THAT is why I have never made it past 28 days… (except this time – 54 days and going strong). With food, I found I also hit this invisible 3 week barrier. After 3 weeks of easy dieting and mild exercising every day, after losing almost 7 kilograms, after all my hard work, I had leeway to cheat. Result? Stage 4….
In this stage you see the hard work that you have put in start to fall away and you get a little disheartened. Disappointment in yourself gets you doing al the things an addict does… eating more, smoking more, berating yourself for not keeping to the regime. Once that settles in the spiral of disappointment kicks in.
This is the most difficult place for me to find myself. I have settled into a big hairy ball of doubting my ability to get the fuck out of this funk and get back into exercise and diet mode. Excuses and fear and self pity continually push me into a state of apathy and general malaise. I have sat in this stage for a goodly number of weeks now. Binge eating then starving, watching my weight then ignoring my effort. in 4 weeks I have managed to remain fairly stable at 88.4 kilograms, but this is not where I WANT to be. I keep on saying things like “I just cannot seem to get out of this funk”. Instead of just getting off my arse and doing the things I was doing a few weeks earlier.
So, I am having to look how to get myself back into stage one again because I have failed myself so far.
I know that I have 3 weeks left in which to lose another 5 kilograms, so I should be good to go if only I would just do what I know I am capable of.
So I have decided to start again for 3 weeks. If I don’t get to 83 kilo’s I will let Emma decide on a suitable public and embarrassing punishment to be posted to this blog for your viewing and laughing pleasure.
Lets see how quickly I can get to stage 6… settling into the new body…