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Published April 19, 2012, 11:30 PM

Holt: Life changes often obstacles to weight loss

Writing a column about losing weight is the last thing I want to do when I’m not losing weight. Since Jan. 1, I’ve only lost 6 pounds. I’m grateful for those 6 pounds, but if I’d lost, say, a pound a week, it’d be more like 15. It pains me to admit it, but my commitment to health and fitness is wavering.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

Writing a column about losing weight is the last thing I want to do when I’m not losing weight.

Since Jan. 1, I’ve only lost 6 pounds. I’m grateful for those 6 pounds, but if I’d lost, say, a pound a week, it’d be more like 15.

It pains me to admit it, but my commitment to health and fitness is wavering.

I’m still exercising, but I’m not training as hard as I used to. I’ve even lost interest in weight-lifting, which I love. I’m still (sort of) watching what I eat, but some of my old habits are creeping back.

I’ve never seriously considered quitting, but I have dropped down from an average of five workouts a week to four. I’m scared of that four becoming three, two, one and then none.

That’s why I was so focused on hitting that Magic Five every week. I knew what would happen if I didn’t.

Weight-loss plateaus can happen for any number of reasons – I’ve experienced them all – but “life events” are one of the most common.

In the past several months, among other things, I’ve dealt with a breakup, a move, a death and a new job.

Regardless, I feel like I should be able to handle whatever’s thrown my way without slipping up. “Keep fitness a constant no matter what’s going on,” I’ve always said.

If you look at my history, my major weight changes coincided with my major life changes. I can’t let that happen anymore, not after how far I’ve come.

I know anyone would struggle to stick to a routine during any kind of transition, but the reality is there’s always going to be something.

Adjusting to my new job and new hours has probably had the biggest impact on my gym time.

When I worked as a copy editor, I left The Forum around midnight, when most of my friends were sleeping and most restaurants and stores were closed. (I wrote more than one column at IHOP.)

It was easier to get to the gym when I had fewer after-work options.

My deadline structure has changed, too, which makes it more difficult for me to quiet my “work brain” when I leave the office.

Before, I worked mostly under short-term deadlines; when the day was over, the day was over. Now, I work mostly under long-term deadlines, so I’m never completely “caught up.”

I’m constantly thinking about what I need to get done. By the time I get on the treadmill, I’ll walk for a half-hour and call it quits because I’m mentally exhausted.

I know there are people with more responsibilities who still make time to exercise. I wonder how they do it and what I could learn from them.

Maybe I should pencil in my workouts like they’re “appointments” or plan what I’m going to eat before I get too stressed out. (“Lunch” often means eating out of a fast-food bag on my way back to the office.)

If there’s a will, there’s a way, and I need to find mine. Whatever I do, I have to recommit to my goals or I’ll never finish what I started.

Forum reporter Meredith Holt has lost more than 100 pounds since May 2010. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays.

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