I've been avoiding DietBet for almost two weeks. Describing my self-defeating behavior around the last weigh-in creates such a well of shame and guilt that it's physically hard to write. But jumping back in with some perky "picking myself back up, today's a new day" post felt dishonest. So here's some real talk. 

I was really proud of the steady progress I was making in this Transformer. I had weighed in daily at a weight that would make my first round goal for almost a week straight before the official day. And then the day before the weigh-in we went out to drink with friends. This wasn't supposed to be just a fun happy hour, it was supposed to be a serious conversation about a problem at church. My fiancé had even planned ahead and had dinner prepped in the fridge so we wouldn't be tempted to eat out. But after a couple unexpected twists and a couple drinks all those good ideas and good behaviors went out the window.

We ordered food (not horrible food, but not the planned meal we'd prepped), had too much to drink, stayed out late on a Thursday. I woke up Friday - the first day of the weigh in - a little hung over but still under the weight. But rather than take the 3 minutes it would take, I skipped the weigh in and told myself I'd do it the next day. Then, still being a little hung over, I ate horribly (Subway pizza, for one) and woke up the next day well over a pound over my goal, with no chance to work, sweat or otherwise get it off. I'm sure it was mostly water retention related to salty foods, but still, I was pissed. I was going to lose the first month because I was lazy and didn't weigh in when I was actually under weight!

Then from that day forward I was completely off my game. I wasn't going crazy - it wasn't an all out binge fest - but I wasn't tracking calories carefully, I wasn't weighing myself every day, I was having 2 or 3 glasses of wine a night instead of just one or none...and then a week later I weighed in at a number I haven't seen since mid-FEBRUARY. And there it was the next day. And the next day. That lead to a week of really half-assed attempts, eating about 100-200 calorie deficits each day but nowhere near my 300-500 deficits I had previously done. Add in cheat meals and I was basically getting nowhere fast.  

So then my whole mentality was thrown off. I started thinking about "get skinny fast" plans, like drastic calorie restriction rather than my slow and steady method. I started wondering if I could/should be working out 5 or 6 or 7 days a weeks - or multiple times per day! Things that I know are unrealistic and not sustainable for me. I started panicking about how the wedding is getting closer and I need to do something now! I started being jealous of people who were losing weight faster than I was. Or thinking I could never do this, so why try.

The worst part was that my spreadsheet with my loss trendline has moved slowly upward, showing that I'll likely be 10 lbs heavier in September than if I'd kept up the pattern from the first few months. At this rate I would lose a mere 15 lbs over 9 months. A small accomplishment for sure, but a pretty meager one considering the daily effort.

Here's where I am today: I'm still up 2.5 lbs from where I was at the beginning of the month, only 20% of the way to goal for Round 2 that ends in 17 days. So that's probably a loss too.

But here - finally - is the positive part. I still have five months to do this. Actually, I have more days ahead of me than I've already done. I'm not even to the halfway point! (That's later this month.) Yes, there were two weeks of backsliding, but it was only two weeks. Out of 38 weeks, that's almost nothing! No, I'm not going to go on some crash diet to "catch up" - I know that doesn't work for me. I'm just going to go back to what was working before. Moderate calorie deficits most days. A moderate "cheat" day each week. Going to the gym on our normal schedule. Tracking calories and weight every day. That's what worked for me. That's what made me feel in control. That's how I saw progress that I was proud of. 

Just writing all this out makes me feel so much better. Okay, DietBet, I'm back.