Slip Slidin’ Away

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip sliding away

You youngsters may not recognize that refrain from Paul Simon‘s Slip Slidin’ Away, but it seemed appropriate to today’s post. If you asked, “Paul who?”, get off my blog.

No, wait! Come back! I was just joking! See, here’s a smiley face— :)  Just a wee bit of comedy for the evening hours. (But if you don’t know Paul Simon’s music, I will strongly suggest you check it out along with the works of Simon & Garfunkel.)

Okay, moving on…Thank you all for the kind comments yesterday on my trainaversary! I had an awesome celebratory workout, followed by a celebratory frozen yogurt (peanut butter w/crushed Reese’s peanut butter cups, if you’re keeping score.) But not to worry–I had the small one and she was chintzy with the topping. (I hate when that happens. :) )

In her comment yesterday, lovely Gina asked a question:

Was there ever a time along your journey where you backslid? If so, how did you pick yourself up? (Any old posts on that?)

Gina was kind enough not to object to my request to delay an answer until today. (Thanks, Gina!)

When I think about backsliding, I think of it in terms of  a pattern of not doing the right things for ourselves.  That one little cookie becomes two, which leads to four cookies the next day, and potato chips the next, and before you know it, you’re right back into old, unhealthy habits.

Or was that just me? Because that, in a nutshell, is what happened to me in every previous attempt to lose weight.  No matter which plan I was following, I’d reach a point where I’d start to feel deprived and I began to allow little “cheats”. When the little “cheats” hadn’t shown up on the scale by the next day (because of course I weighed every day!) , I’d have another litle cheat. And another one, and eventually I’d reach a state of “may as well start fresh next week.” But then, next week would prove to be elusive. And so on and so forth.

I’m extremely pleased (and still more than a little surprised, to be honest) that in following the tippy toe approach to a lifestyle change, I experienced NONE of that backsliding business.   For the entire first year, I had one oops! moment:  it was a single order of cinnamon twists from Taco Bell.  (But Lord, you would have thought I’d eaten 12 dozen cookies from the way I carried on about it.)  There were other slips after that, times when I ate more of something than I intended or skipped nutrition in favor of something decadent, but those incidents were sporadic and not too much of a worry (she says now, brazenly forgetting the angst at the time.)

When I look back on this effort vs. my previous attempts to lose weight, I can’t attribute the difference to one thing. I think it was a bunch of little things (those darn tippy toe steps!) that contributed to the consistent forward momentum:

  • I kept it simple in the beginning, refusing to fall into the old trap of trying to change my entire way of living overnight. My initial goals were 5-7 fruits and veggies per day and 30 minutes of exercise. I added on from there.  But I still keep it simple: eat mostly whole, healthy foods and move a lot. :)
  • I declared no food off-limits totally. In fact, I built in opportunities for some of my favorite decadent foods with monthly splurge meals and weekly splurge items. I looked at it as how I intended to live my life for the long-term, not some multi-month plan that ended at a goal weight.
  • I took the focus off of weight completely. I didn’t even know what I weighed for the first few months. Instead, this time the focus was on actions.  As I saw it, my success was determined by what I did, not what I weighed.  No trying to “work the weigh in” on this effort!
  • I adopted strength training. Not only did this help me change my focus to food as fuel, but it had the added benefit of allowing requiring me to have more than the typical 1200-calorie-per-day allotment prescribed by many “diets.” You can pack a lot of food into 1800 calories a day, if it’s healthy food.
  • I kept changing things up, assigning myself new challenges; logging food when it felt necessary and right and then stopping when it didn’t; exploring new foods and activities, keeping what worked, dropping what didn’t. Any time I started feeling bored or “itchy”, I tossed something new into the mix.
  • Last, but certainly not least, I started blogging. With a grandstand like this one, it’s awfully hard to not do my best.:)

If I’m being completely honest here, I have to admit that I feel guilty sometimes that this all seemed to have been pretty drama-free and joyful.  My rational self knows that a lot of thought and effort went into it, and I did have to navigate a few rough patches with job loss and family health issues. But when I read the continual struggles that others face, I can’t help but feel as though I didn’t suffer enough, somehow. I feel guilty for being so danged happy (99% of the time)!  Crazy-lucky girl thinking, there!

Anyway, that’s my long, drawn-out accounting of how I believe I was able to avoid that backsliding bug. Thanks for your question, Gina. I’m sorry I don’t have any posts on backsliding, and I hope you’ll understand if I say that I hope I don’t have to write any. :) Maybe if we ask nicely, other folks will chime in with their experiences with backsliding. (Cue: puppy eyes)

Okay, I’m off to soak. My legs, not my head. I may have over-lunged yesterday. Hope you’re all having a great week!

17 thoughts on “Slip Slidin’ Away

  1. First of all, I know who Paul Simon is. :) Second of all, your celebratory frozen yogurt sounds oh so good! And thirdly, I am so proud of your tippy toe approach and how well it worked for you! Now, I’m going to slip slide away into bed…

  2. I totally needed this post. Thank you, Cammy. And more from Paul and Slip Sliding Away that is appropriate for this healthy journey …

    She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
    And I think of things that might have been

    (Love Paul and Art!)

  3. Awh, Cammy, this is gold. (And, wow, thank you for the mention, too). Thank you for the tippy-toe steps. One that popped out at me was:
    “As I saw it, my success was determined by what I did, not what I weighed. No trying to “work the weigh in” on this effort!” — I had a glimpse of one of my destructive behaviors: the rest of the weigh-in day was a freeby as well as the next couple of days with “I’ll just make up for it a few days before the next weigh in.” Crazy, huh? It obviously didn’t work.

    It’s great you didn’t “suffer” and that the process was a good one for you. I’d like to link to this one, too. Thank you, again, for putting this post together.

    I’m looking forward to the comments. (Pweeze)

  4. of course I love the Paul Simon.

    and you and I are really alike in this whole journey from the keep it simple to no hard and fast off limit foods.

    its interesting to me–still–how different we all are and what works AMAZINGLY for some would throw this misfit into a tizzy.

  5. Cammy, A bit late in wishing you happy trainaversary. What an awesome, inspiring story you have. And dead on with finding something that is sustainable for a lifetime. I was always successful at taking weight off, I just sucked mightily at keeping it off – but like you, making small, incremental changes have made the world of difference.

    Thank you for all you contribute to this wonderful community.

  6. Oh, young kids these days don’t know good music ….

    If anyone wants to see prime examples of slip sliding they can come to my blog and check out the first 2+ years of posts. Luckily, I’ve stopped slip slidin’ and started cruising along. It’s much more fun.

    I know a woman ….
    These are the very words she uses to describe her life
    She said a good day ain’t got no rain
    She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
    And I think of things that might have been

  7. [Slip sliiiii-din’ away…
    Slip sliiidin’ away…
    You know the nearer your destination the more you’re slip slidin’ away…]

    Hey, that’s a pretty bummer song for a cheerful person! (I love your joyfulness by the way. Don’t change a thing.)

    I do backslide. I feel like a fraud sometimes because I’ve only lost 20-25ish pounds and right now I have 2 additional pounds I have not admitted to my sidebar. I’m waiting to dip down to post my weight.

    I do backslide. I have weird tricks. Mainly they revolve around, ok, if you’re going to do this, be conscious of it, enjoy it. I have been known to buy some cheap version of whatever it is I’m lusting for and sit down and focus on enjoying it, decide when I’ve had enough, and throw the rest away. Usually one serving or 1 1/2 servings is enough. It is key for me not to have stuff like that in the house where I can see it though. If it’s easily get-atable it’s just too hard. I don’t know how people manage to keep really seductive junky foods in the pantry.

  8. What a fabulous and useful post. I love reading about people in the “after” picture lives and how they didn’t just hit the finish line and it was all over. Thanks!! You rock! :)
    .-= Kirsten (results not typical girl)

  9. Such a fantastic post Cammy! Those TB cinnamon twists.. I think people do this too often… make it way more than it is & I have been there too. Life is life & the key is to just move on.. as you wrote & learned.

    I love your approach & I am so on board with much of it.. especially the weight training! :-) BUT, I do like to eat more than those 1200 calories that many women do so like you, I put in the effort so I can eat more & yes, the foods are healthy.. and yes, as we age, it is harder so that is another reason I work so hard… so I can still eat!

    Like you, I used to not allow treats way back when.. I ate too little, not enough healthy fat.. did it wrong.

    AND I love changing it up!

    Such a fantastic post Cammy!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..The Power of Words… and More =-.

  10. Paul Simon! If you’ll be my bodyguard, I will be you long lost pal….

    When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school……

    Anywho, you are my hero if you haven’t backslid. It should be my first name. Unfortunately.

    Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah.

  11. I totally love this post!!! In the past a backslide always meant eventual total self destruct!!! Now it just means that I need to step back, re-evaluate what’s working and what isn’t, and try a new approach, along with a new mind set. That’s what I’ve done this past week!!! Bloggin is the biggest help of all!!!

  12. Great post, I have taken the focus of weight loss and I am aiming for other goals..its helping to stay positive. I will be trying your other top tips. Thanks :)

  13. I had some absolutely horrid plateaus and some regains. However, I never gave up. Yes, I struggled and wallowed around, but I never once thought I was ‘starting over’. I just realized that it was all part of the same journey and I needed to cut through the weeds to get back on the path.
    .-= Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog ..I’m cool like that =-.

  14. I know the song and I love your approach! My weight loss story is fill with backslides, forwardslides and any otherslides you can imagine.
    .-= Kimberley´s last blog ..Tough Yoga Class =-.

  15. I think the key to not back sliding has to be your mindset going into the whole process. If the goal is to create positive healthy habits that you can maintain for life then you will be a lot more successful than if you are trying to do a diet or weight loss program.

    I believe you have to attack the mind first and the body will follow.

    First time here. Just jumped over here from MizFits blog.
    .-= Skyler Meine´s last blog ..Healthy Fats and Wine, Huh? Mediterranean Diet Review =-.

  16. Great post Cammy. I used to backslide and then quit and gain more weight. It was hard. Like you, I changed my lifestyle and the other things followed.

    You are such an encouragement.

  17. Great comments. It’s strangely comforting to know that back-sliding is a common part of the journey. Not that that’s an excuse to back slide but more like an excuse to keep trying and not give up. Thank you, again, for posting this.

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