A natural cycle of the weight loss journey. Don’t panic!

My journey towards health has an unavoidable cycle.  I think it is a healthy cycle, but it is one that brings about panic sometimes.  Like most things in life, my journey ebbs and flows from one direction to the other.  The same thing happens in relationships.  You get really close, then drift a bit, then get close again.  It is the nature of finding balance in the different elements of my life.  So the cycle is a good thing.  It is a learning process.  The longer I succeed on the journey, the closer to balance I get, the closer to my dream I become.  Keep reading to find out more about this cycle and the fears related to it.

Here is the cycle:

  1. I measure, weigh, and count points/calories to perfection or close to it.  I get my exercise in doses that I know will bring me to my goals. I feel good about my commitment!
  2. I slowly become comfortable with my success and how to work my program.  Slowly but surely I add a little estimating into my measuring and counting.  I feel very confident that I know what I am doing.
  3. Now I am relying on the estimations that I make when it comes to food.  At this stage of the cycle I might not be as active or at least as obsessed with it.  I feel comfortable for a time.
  4. I freak out because my results are not as optimal as they used to be. I feel scared that I am losing control and that I can’t do it like I used too.
  5. I estimate less and exercise a little more intelligently.  I start feeling a little better that I am back on track.
  6. I go back to stage one. I feel good about my commitment!

So that is the cycle that I go through.  I think it is a natural part of the learning process on how to be healthy for a person who has a tendency towards an unhealthy relationship with food.  As time goes on, I can stay in stage 2 for longer periods of time as I have actually learned how to estimate better but at the same time count where I really need to.  I do a little bit of both.

I try not to beat myself up to much about going through the different stages.  I just try and move back to a more healthy stage in the process.  I kind of peak at stage 4 and then begin practicing better habits again.  This is how it tends to go for me anyway.  How about you?  Do you go through the cycles?  If you do, are your cycles similar to these?

19 Responses to “A natural cycle of the weight loss journey. Don’t panic!”

  1. 1 darrellnurse
    February 11, 2009 at 6:32 am

    My relationship is one of a cycle. Christopher and I have had our struggles for sure. As much as I love him, some days I could kill him.
    Like my running, its a cycle as well. My dieting is a cycle. Life I guess is a cycle.
    Thank you buddy for your entries. You are a gift in my life. Your blog & Robs Blog inspire me
    every day! You have been thrown into my lifes path for a reason!

    • 2 run4change
      February 11, 2009 at 6:38 am

      Mornin’ Darrel. Thanks a lot for such an encouraging comment. I am so happy that my blog inspires. That is what I hoped it would do you know? So thanks for that. It’s funny how the relationships, diet, exercise, life, etc. runs on these cycles. I guess that just means that we don’t live in a static world or static times. Everchanging I guess.

  2. February 11, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Excellent post. I think I do about the same, although I’m not sure I’ve yet gone through a full cycle. I think I’ve just hit that stage of “estimating” and need to nip that one in the bud. So far, I’ve done okay at the scales, and I’m choosing the right foods to eat. I just get tired of measuring, weighing, counting. But that’s what got me here and I don’t plan on going backwards so I’ll keep it up.

    • 4 run4change
      February 11, 2009 at 7:44 am

      THanks for your comment. You are so right about what gets us there and then we seem to back off on doing what gets us there. HAHAHA 🙂

  3. February 11, 2009 at 7:50 am

    oh my goodness, I have so much to say on this subject that I’m going to write a post on it later! Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. February 11, 2009 at 7:50 am

    (it’s REALLY good to know that other people experience this too!)

  5. February 11, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Hi run4change, I just started following your blog. Amazing story that, of course, inspires =) At first I was planning on just going for a 1/2 Marathon, but after reading that you planned out 12 in one year, I am definitely considering going the whole way and tacking on a marathon. I am following the training program in David Whitsett’s “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Guide.”

    Anyways, great post here. Sometimes people forget that things cycle and they aren’t really sure why. It’s the human error, I suppose. My issue with the cycle in the past is that I train really hard, get to a goal weight, sit back and relax in the glory. Eventually that “sit back and relax” stage turns into a week, another week and soon enough some big event takes place in my life that changes the scenery (being a senior college student, these things happen – like summer internships, recruiting seasons, finals week) and I lose track of my dieting. Soon enough, months go by and I’ve gained it all back. Any tips on avoiding the worst cycle ever? That is, reaching your goal and then destroying it all. I’ve been thinking about this and I think the answer may be to schedule marathons in advance and have it be a reacurring thing in life. Let me know what you think! Great blog!

    • 10 run4change
      February 11, 2009 at 8:02 am

      OK Matt. You definitely can do a marathon if you train or it. In fact, I read of a person (only one) that ran the strolling jim 40 miler only having run three miles in his life. It was a horrible death march for the poor guy but he made it. HAHAHAHAHA 🙂
      There are two main ways/reasons that keep my out of the “give up entirely” part of the cycle. My weight watchers meetings every week keep up accountable and in the present on the my weight loss journey. You have to live in this journey and you can’t keep it off with yesterdays victories. You have to get new victory each day. The other way is the marathon. I like long distances so that is what I chose. I figure if someone likes 10k’s or whatever it would do the same thing. The race give me a goal that helps me keep the weight off that is not directly related to Weight Watchers or dieting. They are some what of a motivator to keep on moving if though I don’t have to lose weight or have weight goal. This is a big factor to my success with weight loss and maintenance I think. Having health and exercise goals that are not directly related or tied to dieting.

  6. 11 lissa10279
    February 11, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Great post and you are so not alone in that cycle. I’m so there …

  7. February 11, 2009 at 8:15 am

    I couldn’t sum it up better myself! That’s the exact cycle I go in too, and have been in and out of for years. Like you, I find myself spending more and more time in stage 2 (and 3 for me), which I think is key to finding a healthy balance in your life.

    In a perfect world, my eyeballs would be perfect substitutes for measuring cups and food scales, but realistically they’re not.

  8. February 11, 2009 at 9:21 am

    I definitely follow the same cycle.

  9. 17 ladlam
    February 12, 2009 at 2:02 am

    “You have to live in this journey and you can’t keep it off with yesterdays victories. You have to get new victory each day.”
    What an awesome quote! Love it.
    Great post too Jason, I most definitely subscribe to this cycle too!

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