Making it through the holidays was a major accomplishment for me. I struggled the last two weeks, but I made it through without any deserts or candy or any of the other trigger foods that have a history of knocking me off my program. But now that the holidays are over, I find that the number of calories are going up and I am having a hard time staying focused on the strict eating program that I was doing so well with from June to January.
I am trying to figure out what has changed. It is as if I have taken the blinders off that have kept me focused for so long and now being tempted by things like pizza and sandwiches and even an extra slice of my healthy, homemade pumpkin bread that I treat myself to every day. The combination of these foods have moved my caloric intake up from my comfort zone of between 1800 to 2200 calories per day to the 2500 to 2700 range. Although I have only gained two pounds, I feel lousy and look soft. I prefer the lean, hard look that my clean, high protein, regular eating program provides. All of this causes me to be anxious and I deal with that anxiety by exercising harder. Sort of like trying to outrun the problem rather than facing it. But if I stop and face the problem, I don't know what to do, so I keep running and hope that I figure it out before I just can't run any more. When I was in Vietnam, we knew that moving targets had a better chance of survival than stationary ones. There comes a time, though, when you have to stop moving, and when you do, you could have a fight on your hands.
What a distraction this causes. I spend way too much of my day thinking about and worrying about what can go wrong if I slip any further. I do take some pride, however, in the fact that I haven't gone off the wagon to the point where I am eating candy and cake.
Has anyone had the same experience? Why do you think this happens? Is there a way to keep it from happening? Please share your thoughts.