Upon reading so many kind responses to my first post (all of which I am very thankful for), the post which I expressed my disappointment in myself for ruining all my past weight loss progress, I now see it fit to finally stop sitting my corner of self pity and to actually take a good look at my current situation.
I miss the fit lifestyle I gave up on half a year ago.
After thinking and talking about it on this forum, I managed to identify the key reasons as to why it all fell apart.
Firstly, my living environment changed. From living alone during the global lockdown, which allowed me to completely control my diet and exercise routine, I went back to living with my family. And my family's lifestyle seemed to be incompatible with my lifestyle at the time. Not to mention, Covid started to quiet down and socialising (especially by going out to eat) also begun to take over my life. My studies were getting more stressful by each new assignment and test. I neglected and lost control over my meal and exercise plan and was so fed up by all the stress that I just completely snapped.
So, for the future, I can't just keep on holding onto the past. I need to be ready for change if it presents itself as necessary (as it did last year), and I need to be ready to adapt without ruining my health. My life will keep on changing, I will probably constantly find myself in new environments. Those changes don't mean that I should give up on myself. I need to stop religiously holding on to one strict plan and be ready to adapt in a healthy way if I need to, without fearing to jeopardise all my progress and my lifestyle.
I also must be honest; my past diet plan was definitely strict. I liked the food I was eating very much, but I did not allow any type of "cheat meals". I've said it once before and it still could not be any less true: I fear slow weight loss progress. So that mindset is 100% something I need to work on if I want to succeed with losing weight this time round. At first, I didn't miss the "cheat foods", but once all the study stress started to pile on, I just started to mindlessly overeat and indulge on high calorie foods. A relapse like that is exactly what I want to prevent by giving myself more room to indulge, so that I don't overeat later on. When I first lost 20kg (ca. 44lbs) and made it to my goal weight, it took me 6-7 months. I originally thought that to be a reasonable amount of time to lose such an amount of weight. But here's where I ask myself this:
Would it have really made a difference, would it have actually slowed my progress, if I had allowed myself a "cheat day" or "cheat meal" every month, or perhaps even every 2 weeks?
Because ultimately, I think that was my biggest mistake when I lost the weight and with how I was living the first-time round. I was too strict with myself. And I think that is what is holding me back from following a consistent plan right now. I keep on telling myself "you loved your fit lifestyle, why can't you just go back to how it was right now?", but deep down, I knew it was always a longshot. I went from "zero to one hundred" overnight when I first started. And now I pity myself for not being able to do it again. The truth is, I shouldn't feel the need to do it again.
And so, after (hopefully) finally coming to my senses, this is my plan:
I'll go back to the diet and exercise plan I followed when I first lost the weight ( 16/8 fast with 1300 calories a day, 30-45 minutes of exercise every day), but I'll give the whole thing one valuable tweak.
I will allow myself to have treat meals (I prefer to say treat meals instead of cheat meals) every 2 weeks. I also feel the need to just emphasize the term treat MEALS, not treat DAYS, just for myself to fully be aware of what I'm writing.
As for dealing with living with my family members again, who do not wish to follow the same lifestyle as me, I will just have to set certain boundaries. I will eat my meals and they will eat their meals. My biggest obstacle here now is that I will just have to resist the high calorie foods they will eat in front of me at the dinner table. But I think this is where it is important to remind myself why I want to follow my new plan and how important it is to me to stay on track.
I will start today and will follow my new plan until the end of the year (until further notice, at least. I don't want to be scared of healthy changes anymore). I'm hoping to meet my goal of losing 13kg and getting to my goal weight of 55kg by the end of 2022. A month ago, I was determined to lose the weight in 2-3 months. Looking at it now and considering all my setbacks, it seems ridiculous. I don't want to be afraid of slow progress anymore. Weight loss takes time and I need to accept that. And I need to remember that I want this whole journey to be sustainable for the long run.
I think this post is even lengthier than my last one, I hope that's ok haha.
But I'd love to hear about your thoughts on my new plan! And if you're getting started with a new plan too, I'd love to hear about it. Perhaps we can motivate each other