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Stumbles Can Really Trip You Up

Posted Jan 18 2013 4:12am

Stumble: To make a mistake; blunder

How quickly we can stumble when we are trying to lose weight. I can’t tell you how many times I stumbled when I was trying to lose weight. It happened every single time I tried to lose weight, including the time when I was finally successful.

You see, stumbles and blunders are just part of life. We all stumble. We all fall. We all blunder.

The important thing isn’t whether you stumble on occasion while trying to lose weight but whether or not you:

1)  Learn from your stumble

2)  Take steps to not repeat the same stumble

I liken it to tripping over a stone that is buried near your house. The first time you stub your toe on that stone you make a mental note of its location and avoid that area the next time.  It’s the same thing with weight loss. Of course we will stumble and make choices that aren’t the greatest when trying to lose weight, but those stumbles do not have to spell the end of our efforts. To the contrary, we can learn from our stumbles.

Here are some of my common stumbles:

Going through a fast food drive-thru. I was a fast-food junkie and it was a really hard habit to overcome. This was one of my most common stumbles when trying to get to a healthy weight. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to learn to drive a different route or just not have any cash on hand. (This was before all drive-thrus took credit/debit cards.)

Buying junk food. As the primary food shopper in my family, it was all too easy for me to stick a bag of this candy or a box of those cookies into my cart under the guise of buying them for my kids. (Not that they needed them either.) I eventually learned that there were whole aisles of the grocery store that I just needed to avoid because there were zero foods on them I needed. Eventually I learned that not only did I not need the foods, I did not want them either. Huge victory.

Overeating at restaurants. This was a stumble that happened quite frequently. I very quickly fell into the old habits of eating the “pre-food”, ordering big entrees, and finishing everything on my plate. One thing that helped me get over this stumble was to decideexactly what I would order and how much of the entree I would eat.

Thinking little bites didn’t count. A bite of cookie, an extra spoonful of mashed potatoes, a little bit more salad dressing than necessary, or a secret huge spoonful of “light” ice cream were all detrimental to my weight loss efforts. Like some of the other stumbles, I had to learn to identify the times when I was likely to sneak a spoonful and give myself other things to do instead.

None of this was conquered overnight as evidenced by the fact that I was morbidly obese for 10 years. It took practice and perseverance to learn from my stumbles and stop repeating them.

What stumbles do you fight with and how do you overcome them? Diane

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