• Thanks for this post! Self-loathing is a recipe for disaster! Your reminder was much needed!

    From Sue Olafson
    August 9, 2012

  • Great post, Lisette. Don’t forget to add a dose of self-love to your toolbox. Give yourself a big hug for getting back on track.

    From Linda Hopkins
    August 9, 2012

  • Great story, Lisette. In the two weeks since I left H3, I have done a lot of traveling with little chance to work out. But I have clung to two “tools” I learned at H3: 1) only “clean” food, 2) only metabo snacks between meals, and 3) 10,000 steps a day at least – which sometimes means taking the dogs out for an extra walk in the evenings! So when the scale goes up a pound or two, I can breathe and remind myself of all the good things I’ve done. Instead of falling into my usual paralysis of spirit, I also ordered resistance bands and a fitball, and dvds for both; plus, I finagled an invitation to my sister-in-law’s daily walk and work-out with friends. It could have been a rough time, but having H3 at my back kept me from panicking. THANKS FOR THE TOOLS!

    From Deborah Miranda
    August 9, 2012

  • Deborah, it sounds like you are really building your tool box! Good for you.

    From Lisette Volz
    August 10, 2012

  • Linda, thanks for the encouragement!

    From Lisette Volz
    August 10, 2012

  • You are my Hero! Well written and inspiring.

    From Nicole Feeny
    August 11, 2012

  • I have definitely been caught up recently in an unrelenting cycle of self-loathing and fear. But one thing I have learned here at H3 is that “if nothing changes, nothing changes.” This blog has reminded me that I do have the tools to move forward again, but leaving them in the toolbox to gather dust won’t get me anywhere good. So today, I’m getting back in the game.

    From Stacey Sevel
    August 12, 2012

  • Lisette…an excellent post. We all have those feelings when we lapse into the “danger area” of our past. I never thought about the concept of a toolbox…learned something new today! Keep posting as us H3 students are reading…:-)

    With thanks,Trev

    From Trev Witt
    August 12, 2012

Weight Control Toolbox

I recently enjoyed a “staycation” on Hilton Head surrounded by visiting family. I had a wonderful time on the beach, at the pool, biking, tubing, and winning a family version of the T.V. show Chopped! My fellow foodies would have been very impressed with my use of Swiss chard, pralines, chicken sausage, corn tortillas and hot red peppers.

Although the vacation consisted of a lot of fun physical activities, it also included copious amounts of alcohol and food. Needless to say, many of my choices fell into the ‘unwise’ category and not surprisingly, the scale reflected my devil-may-care attitude. Some panic temporarily set in as I started hearing all the old tapes in my head reminding me of why I can’t gain any more weight, and all the self-recriminations for my inability to monitor my food consumption. Honestly, it was painful to go back there—that distant place of self-loathing.

Knowing that self-loathing is the key ingredient in relapse, I came to my senses quickly. I started to ask myself what I would tell an H3 guest experiencing a similar set-back. The answer was clear — Go to the toolbox (not to be confused with “Go to the mattresses” from the Godfather. That statement produces a much different result).

I have a metaphorical toolbox filled with many proven strategies that help me to gain control over my eating. I use some of these strategies all the time while others have a tendency to fall to the wayside periodically. However, when I begin to use all of them again vigilantly the scale starts moving in the right direction and the negative thinking rapidly dissipates.

The point is, when we find ourselves slipping into relapse we pull out all the tools from our tool box and recommit to using them. We also remind ourselves that the commitment is just for today. Relapse has a tendency to create a lot of fear. Don’t allow the fear to give relapse momentum. Going back to your weight loss/management tools, just for today, puts that fear in check and allows you to move forward again.

Some of my tools include:

  • Tracking my food and calories on the MyFitnessPal app.
  • Wearing my Fitbit and making sure I get 10,000 steps in daily.
  • Journaling at least twice a week.
  • Reading self-help literature (In this case I started reading Shades of Hope: A program to Stop Dieting and Start Living by Tennie McCarty).
  • Recommitting myself to my food rules.
  • Making sure the house is well stocked with fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Bringing my lunch into work every day.
  • Creating a reward system to track my progress (i.e. stars on a calendar for each day I eat clean food and exercise).
  • Temporarily weighing myself on a daily basis for accountability purposes.
  • Checking in with a trusted friend about my progress and obstacles. Committing to them the tools I plan to use for the day.
  • Recommitting myself to drinking water (I confess to not being a very good water-drinker)
  • Strengthen my spiritual connection through daily prayer and meditation.

I want you to write down all your weight loss tools. Ask yourself how many you are presently using. If you are getting complacent with your food plan, step it up and commit to using all your tools today. Also, email or call another person and commit to them the tools you will be using. Better yet, use the comment forum on this blog and commit to me, as well as all your other H3 comrades…

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