March 6, 2011

Waiting for the Upswing

I remember writing a post a long time ago that said something like:
I just don't know if I can do "this" long enough to lose a substantial amount of weight.

I knew that was my problem. It wasn't that I didn't know how to lose weight, I was practically an expert at that! I just didn't know how to keep doing those things for an extended period of time.

Well, glory to GOD! I have been doing "this" for more than a year now and that's long enough to notice some patterns. One pattern that I have noticed is something I will call the upswing/downswing phenomenon.

The upswing--everything is going smoothly, the drive is there, the effort is there, the planning is take a term from the book I am reading--the "want to" is there. You are IN. THE. ZONE. (I'm there now!)

The downswing-- cravings are in full force, the couch looks much better than the tennis shoes, the food prep and planning is not top on the priority list and the "want to" is kind of asleep...hibernating. BLAH. (I've been there)

The good thing about the pattern I see in my own journey is that the upswing always comes back. Eventually. Like I said, I have been at this for over a year and the ups and downs are like night and day. They always come; you can count on it.What this means is, if you can wait long enough without totally giving up while in the downswing state, the upswing will return!

You have to know that.

You have to trust that.

Undoubtedly, it is impossible to continue on without the promise of and the belief in the upswing. If you think it's not coming back, you lose heart. Quitting seems way easier than trying to keep holding on.

But hold on you must!

Now, having said that...the same is true for the downswing. It's always coming. Be ready. Expect it. Defend your hard work. Don't let the downswing be the end of your efforts. You have to see the downswing for what it really is: passing, fleeting, momentary. Always remember:  the upswing is around the corner.

If you look at my weigh-ins you will see that at one point in my journey it took me 7 months to lose 5 pounds. Note: I've only been doing this for 14 months. That means at least half of my journey...yep! Spent it in the downswing mode! Seems unfair, no? Well, it certainly wasn't fun. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Let's do a little exercise called re-framing. What is the downswing to me? Besides the cravings, the laziness, the temptation to quit? It's an opportunity to practice the most important skill I will ever need to perfect: maintenance. I used to dread the word 'maintenance.' As long as we are trying to lose weight, maintenance must be equated with failure. Right? That's not true. We have to learn how to maintain or this whole deal is pointless. When we get to the point we actually need to maintain our weight (and God help us--WE WILL!) I hope we know how! Don't you?

So be encouraged my downswinging friends! You labor not in vain. Hope is just around the corner. Or it may be 7 months away. But it is there. The upswing is always there.

Wait for it.


Kate said...

I don't call my down days "maintenance." I call them living life on life's terms. I don't know if it makes a difference, but it's kept me sober for four years. To me, maintenance is keeping it where it's at. Recovery is striving for more, even when I don't see results.

Jaime said...

Thank you! I needed those words of encouragement!!

{Absolutely, Positively} Josie said...

this post couldn't have come at a better time for me, Keelie. i've been thinking lately about how i've yo-yoed for years, but i've never given up on losing. even when i've done more harm than good by gaining or downswinging longer than upswinging (and neglecting to practice maintenance), i find that the upswing always comes back, even if it lasts for an hour. i need to work on waiting out the downswing. like you said, it's inevitable, too.

thank God, and thank you! said...

Great Post. I have definitely had my share of up's and down's and I can totally relate to what you just said.

Now that I am entering my maintenance phase, I am needing to learn to listen to and trust in my body 100% to give me the cues about what it wants and needs to sustain my current weight and I think my plateaus and weeks/months where I didn't change will be the foundation for how I continue with my journey.

john said...

well Keelie, it Doesn't matter what diet you're on, the hardest obstacle in dieting is control hunger pangs and cravings.
You might like to try out a product that does exactly that: fresh-frozen Hoodia (a well known appetite depressant) in the form of small and convenient ice cubes – hence its name, the ice cube diet.
It just helps you eat less and makes your dieting easier.
Good luck to you all and for those who do try it out, please do share your experiences with me – John -

Pretty Pauline said...

I needed this post today! I am struggling, seeing how long the journey will take and being afraid of it. I know I want to do lose weight, and then sometimes I don't want to do the work. During a high time I am REALLY UP! and then when I'm down, WHOA. This was an encouragement!

Molly said...

Thank you!!! I feel my upswing coming and this may just bump it up a notch or two! What kind of food prep do you do? Veggies and fruit?

Syndal said...

i've totally been needing this post (without realizing it!) are so awesome and I'm so glad I found your amazing blog-thank you for sharing your stories and your insights!

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

I am starting a new workout program today... I've been downswinging for a while now and this is just the message I needed. I think the awakening of all things spring, plus the looming first summer vacation in years ahead of me is causing me to get back into "fighting mode" with my working out/weight loss/life changes. This post was the push I needed in the right direction. Thanks girl!

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration! I am starting my journey {Again}.

Adrienne said...

I love this post and you are so right on! It's pretty much the same as marriage! As I heard in a couples retreat. Sometimes there are valleys, doesn't mean you quit! There is always a peak ahead. :) Awesome post.

Kelly said...

This is prolly one of my fav posts ever! I have also spent MONTHS trying to lose 5 lbs.. Up and down, but you're right, the upswing always comes back !

Sierra said...

I lost 60lbs my last year of college.

I've been actively trying to lose weight (and blogging about it) since graduation in May and I've lost a whopping 13lbs. I just realized that the other day. How depressing.

Way better than how much I could have gained had I been doing nothing, though.

Charmaè said...

Well said! Just what I needed to hear. Thank you

Diet Chic ~ Jury said...

Keelie, thank you for this post! it spoke to ME. I've been having such a crappy aka "downswing" moment as I only maintained but you put things into perspective. Thanks!!

momof3girls said...

Thanks for the encouragement! You are looking amazing!

Can do mom said...

Love Kate's response. :)

I'm waiting for the upswing here. I've been eating lots of junk lately. It's cold and snowy so I can't get out on the road to walk with my sister. I can still snowshoe with the dogs so that's what I need to be doing. I'm kind of laying low because I injured my foot on a long walk with my sister on our Florida trip (check out my blog if you have a minute).

You are looking great and I'm proud of you. Your journey is an inspiration to many. God is using you my friend! :)

J said...

I'm downswinging first time since I "restarted." I am so glad I found your blog and read this post! Thanks!


Jan said...

Boy, did you hit it on the nail. This describes me to a "T", but you put a name to it. Thank you so much for taking time to write this post. It's so good to know I'm not alone and to start looking for those "patterns".