How to recover from Christmas setback?

Hi everyone! So back in July I started the 12-week weight loss plan after my GP told me that I needed to lose weight. Some background on me: I'm 25 years old, 5'11" and weigh 16 st 12 lbs, although when I started I was 17 st 7 lbs.

A few years back I actually weighed in at about 20 st but managed to get down to 17.5 st and then just got a bit lazy and plateaued there. Despite being 25, I have blood pressure problems, which is a big reason why I'm trying to lose weight.

I completed the 12-week plan in October and back then and everything seemed to be going well. I was tracking my calories using MyFitnessPal, joined the local gym and was getting down there for cardio at least 3 times a week, and most importantly I was planning all of my meals meticulously. I also stopped buying biscuits and chocolate (my weakness) although I still had the occasional treat.

In early December I was down to 16 st 4 lbs and I was really pleased with myself. I had to buy new jeans and everything and people commented on how good I looked (always nice to hear eh?). The best thing was that I just felt better when I woke up in the morning, happier, more confident, and energetic.

But Christmas completely halted, and even reversed my progress. I didn't exercise, I ate loads of unhealthy food every single day, and I drank copious amounts of alcohol daily for about a week. It was like all of my self-control just went out the window. It didn't help that everyone around me was doing the same.

So now I've just been to see my GP to discuss my progress and he was fairly blunt. he said I need to be "rigid" with my diet or else I'll have to go on blood pressure medication for the rest of my life.

Obviously I don't want that, and I had been so happy with my progress but now I just feel totally hopeless. It seems so daunting and I feel like a complete failure for letting myself backslide like this.

So if anyone has any tips on how to recover from this and get back on the horse it would be much appreciated - cheers!

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10 Replies

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  • hi i am not an expert at this, dont think of yourself as being a failure you have just had a minor setback Christmas gets a lot of us, you are human after all. You have made a good start by posting on here i suggest if you havent already done so perhaps get rid of any alcohol, biscuits etc out of your house, this will stop any temptation. set small targets at a time to re- motivate yourself.. You have already lost weight previously you can do this again. People commented how great you look. You felt better when you woke up in the morning, happier, more confident, and energetic. keep this all in mind, maybe put post it notes on your fridge door reminding you. Stay positive you did great losing the weight, you can do it again. I hope this helps a little i am not really good with words.

  • Thanks for the encouragement - I have got rid of all the bad stuff that was left over from Christmas now so hoping to get back on the right track from today. Cheers!

  • You must, I'm afraid, get back on that bucking bronco. I too have extraordinarily high blood pressure. Start now, with the confidence that having done it once and succeeded you can do it again. Remember the feeling of how good you felt and do it for that reason. Christmas comes once a year - you've enjoyed it all to the full (and rightly so) but its a New Year now so another opportunity for you to enjoy the ride. Your blood pressure will thank you for it and your doctor is tough on you because he has to be, and he is right.

  • Thanks for this. I know you're right - just thankful that Christmas only does come once a year!

  • Don't beat yourself up, if you read a lot of the posts on here after Christmas you will find you are far from alone, lots of people are feeling the same after over indulging through the festive season! Tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity, start afresh, you were doing so well before, so you can do it again. Yo have the incentive- to reduce your blood pressure, and just remember how good it felt to receive those compliments too. Good luck!

  • Thanks very much, I hope I can get back into the swing of things now!

  • Hi Nottsman8, it seems to me that, looking at the big picture, you have achieved wonderful things - from 20 st to 16 st 4 lb so very well done and I'm sorry your GP has been so very harsh, but I suppose it is their job to frighten us a bit so we pull our socks up and change our ways.

    We have all over-indulged over Christmas to some extent but put it behind you now and start afresh. Ban the guilt feelings and know that you have done this before and can live a healthy lifestyle again. You are certainly not hopeless and should be very proud of yourself, despite your lapse over the last couple of weeks.

    I think the trick is to give yourself limits during evenings out and Christmas etc and plan in advance. Being rigid with your diet doesn't mean that you have to starve yourself every day for the rest of your life, but that you can't go mad either because then you put on more weight in a short space of time than you can get off quickly so eating more doesn't make you feel as happy as you think it will.

    I stick to my calorie range on the BMI calculator; normally the lower end but I go for the top end of the range if I'm eating out or for a few days over Christmas. I never go more than 100-200 calories over that top end. That allows me to have a meal with a single alcoholic drink and either a starter or a pud.

    Go for a few long walks or make extra visits to the gym and those pounds will soon be off again so be kind to yourself; our frame of mind is so important and there is really no need for you to beat yourself up about this. Good luck x

  • Thanks for the kind words. Yeah my GP isn't the nicest guy but I think he means well and was just trying to motivate me. The guilt is definitely a problem for me but everyone on here has been so lovely I feel a lot more confident now! Cheers x

  • Hi nottsman8 happy new year. Why not take things slowly but with the ambition to make a change for life, like cut out junk food or binge eating, or cut out/ cut down alcohol, just do that one thing for 12 weeks with the ambition that you never go back or alternatively join a group like weight watchers, or ease yourself back into the 12 week NHS plan.

    Take one day at a time and have a small achievable goal to aim for, like losing 7lbs, once you achieve it you reward yourself with a non food reward.

    Why not have a snack box with only healthy snacks, get rid of all unhealthy snacks - why not make a big deal out of it and have small safe fire in the back garden to burn all the foods you don't want to keep buying, while its burning think about what you need to do and what you want to do.

    You want to succeed, you want to lose weight, you must make changes that will last for life. Also you would be better off with support so talk to the people around you, say that you need there support explain why. If you were in my house I would want you to succeed, be around people that want good things for you.

    You can do this. Good luck. Jp.

  • Thanks for the tips JP - I definitely agree about making changes that will last. I was so overweight as a kid and every time I would try basically fad diets that always ended up failing. The only reason I think I've had any success is by making small changes over time, so I guess I just need to stick to that principle. Cheers!

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