Going Fishing

The realization recently hit me that there is only one third of the year left.

Four months.  Seventeen weeks.  One-hundred twenty-two days.  (If you want hours and minutes you can do the math for yourself!)

I sit here on the first day of September filled with optimism and determination about what I can accomplish in the coming four months.  (Yes, I also sit here with regret, but I’m really, really working on the glass half-full thing today.)

If I were to divide my years into thirds, I would have to admit that the first third was my best for healthy living.  My eating was 100% on track and I had ramped up my exercise routine.  Even a broken bone and a few vacations couldn’t derail me.  The honeymoon phase was just that.  And I was going strong.

Then the second third of the year hit like a hurricane.  Or, since I am in the Midwest, like a tornado.  And my healthy living faltered.  My eating was suffering as I struggled to maneuver through an obstacle course of social events and temptation filled weekends away from home.  I was not doing well with moderation or balance.  And my exercise routine had yet to get back on track while I worked through physical therapy, trying to regain strength and mobility.  I vacillated between being in control and careening madly out of control.  I felt the roller-coaster sweeping me off my unwilling feet and starting to run away with me hanging on for dear life, hoping the safety strap would hold.

But now I look at the next four months as an opportunity to write the final chapter of my year.  To use a food analogy, my year has been like a much touted meal.  It began with a healthy appetizer that wet my taste-buds and left me anticipating what would follow.  But the entree course was unhealthy and unsatisfying, leaving me feeling stuffed and bloated and wishing I had ordered something else from the menu.  Now, ironically, I am moving on to dessert.  And anticipate a sweet ending.  Calorie free:)

The next four months would typically be, for most dieters, the most challenging.  Filled with candy and holidays, celebrations upon celebrations that have food as the common denominator.  I know that I have my work cut out for me.  But darn it  – the time has come to fish or cut bait!

To be totally honest with you, I’m not sure how I plan to accomplish great things for myself in the next four months.  But I will figure it out… soon.  Goal setting for me has had mixed results lately.  And my eating plan once worked wonders and seemed like something I could live with forever but clearly has not stood the test of time this summer.  My struggles with social eating and moderation will be sorely tested.  If I was a singer, this is when I would be belting out inspirational words with a high note at the end.  I have one third of my year yet to live; four months to make this be a year that ends on a high note.  Whether I am singing that note or living it.

So I’m going fishing.  What will you be doing with the next four months?



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, goals, holidays/seasons/weather, making a change, optimism

41 responses to “Going Fishing

  1. WOW…2/3 over already? Well, for the next four months, I will be reshaping myself! Adding weights and a little more cardio….YES! I have a plan…Staying present! An early Christmas gift, I guess…

    • Karen

      I need to do the same. My shoulder injury really set me back as far as strength training goes. That excuse is over so time for me to hit the gym. More cardio would be good too:)

  2. oh wow, i know what you mean. the rest of the year involves a lot of eating 🙂 especially since i’ll be vising Canada for a few weeks, which means extra-large family dinners and meeting friends for even MORE eating. (gulp!) it’s worth it, of course. i just gotta be careful around my mom’s chocolate chip muffins (they’re quite addictive :))

    you’re gonna do awesome though, Karen, i can see it already! 🙂

    • Karen

      Oh I so get that! I have a dinner coming at my mom’s next week and she is making one of my favorite decadent butter-oozing treats. Fortunately she only serves it once a year. Those muffins sound killer!

  3. I’m looking forward to a happy ending in these last few chapters of the year. You go girl!

  4. I say you can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!

    I typically do better during the holiday months.. don’t know why…. it still is a battle at times BUT I stick to my only eat something if I really really really want it & think it is worth those extra calories…. I don’t eat just because.. a rule of mine to me. A post coming up on this soon! 🙂

    • Karen

      I think my best holiday eating season was when I was pregnant with my first son and very aware of not wanting to gain more weight with food than I was gaining with baby. My doctor was pretty impressed with me at the time.

  5. Genie@dietof51

    Good way to approach this final third! Happy September! I hope it works for you!

  6. I have those same fears. Holiday eating stinks. Just remember before you eat that favorite piece of fudge IS IT WORTH all the work to get it off your hips?

    • Karen

      Last year I made fudge myself for several events. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe and it is amazing! I think it would be best not to make any this year:)

  7. I wish I knew the answer – it’s definitely on the back of my mind as we head into the colder months!

  8. sunnydaze

    I love your analogy. 🙂 The last few months of the year are hardest for me, too…the Halloween candy is already calling out to me in the stores, to which I’ve turned a deaf ear, so far. I struggle with wanting to eat more in the cooler weather and boredom eating from being in the house more, with the days getting shorter. I’m making a commitment to myself to do better than last year, which was a disaster over the holidays. :X

    • Karen

      Why do they put it out so darn early! I hate that. I really want to do well through the season too. I was not blogging then last year and am anticipating lots of support all around out here come the holiday craziness.

  9. While I understand your disappointment in not making even more progress this year, you’ve still done well. Everything in the “middle third” has taught you something, even if you didn’t really care to know it. 🙂

    I have vacation at the beginning of October, which will be a splurge-fest. Halloween and Thanksgiving don’t present much of a challenge, but Christmas is another story entirely. I *enjoy* Christmas. 🙂 For balance, I’ll hyper-focus on nutrition the rest of the time and ramp up the exercise for the duration.

  10. Sorry I haven’t commented in some time. Life has been so busy :/ Anyways…this post ABSOLUTELY sums up my year. Both you and I will fish for the next 4 months!! I can’t wait to see/hear your progress!!! You and I …CAN and WILL do this. Let’s be honest; the beginning of the year doesn’t matter at this point. It’s the last four months that count 🙂

    • Karen

      Oh that makes me sigh because the beginning of the year was so great! But you are right. So now it only matters in regards to what I can walk away having leaned. Once again, let’s do it Corletta!

  11. I have had the same experience of the year and I always start thinking of Christmas in September…mostly the gifting, not the food, though!

    I am right here with you, I want to make this next third just as positive as the first third! Here we go.

  12. Amy

    Wow did you read my mind. I had the same year minus the body break. I am scared to really look at the numbers but I have been playing around witht he same 5 pounds for like 4 months. Before I was reading your post I was thinking its time to change it up and kick some booty. Thank you for the reminder. Today I am really going to “think” out the next 4 months.

    • Karen

      One nice thing about sharing stuff like this is I find out I am not alone:) So now let’s both make the next 4 months something to really write about!

  13. Each year, for the past 5 years, I have lost 10 pounds by September. I’ve kept them off till November, then have been horrified as week by week I regained 1/2 pound per week through March, finding myself each April having regained those 10 pounds. Last year I was determined to keep them off, but an unexpected family crisis exhausted me and I lost my resolve.

    This year, I have lost 19 pounds. In the next 4 months I plan to lose AT LEAST 11 more. I guess I need to go my blog and set this as a new chicken dance/goal. For all my bravado about being a new person and developing new, good habits, I am still scared to death of my dreaded “November Syndrome.” I’d like to say that at the very least I want to NOT gain back any of the 19 pounds, but that is really a bit of a chickenshit attitude. I need to focus on my chicken dance attitude of knowing that I can lose those additional 11 pounds. Karen, hold my hand….I’m terrified!

    • Karen

      Oh you are singing my yo-yo song, just with a change in the words. I hear you:(

      You and I are going to do this. We are going to get on track or stay on track, whichever the case may be. We are not going to fall prey to the holiday season, syndrome or no syndrome. I am very happy to hold your hand. And I will gladly either encourage, support, or kick you butt. Hugs.

  14. Karen, you deserve to sing a high note right now. Think of how far you’ve come in raising your awareness. Maintaining healthy habits is so about a mental and emotional commitment, which you’ve already made and renewed for the rest of this year. Looking forward to keeping posted about your progress. 🙂

    • Karen

      Thanks for putting such a great spin on it Shira. I do feel a different sense of commitment than I had in the past, which maybe is why I am kicking myself a bit in disbelief that I got so off track this summer.

  15. Ewa

    There are so many things I have to tackle this fall, I don’t even want to think about them. If I don’t think about them, will they go away?

  16. Karen,

    In regards to your difficulty with social eating, have you tried just telling people you are working on losing weight?

    When I was in a weight loss program, I started out feeling uncomfortable talking to people about it, I mean, it’s kind of embarrassing to 1. Admit you have a weight problem out loud and 2. Admit you need help to solve it.

    BUT, once I started telling people what I was doing, I found that they didn’t judge me (we all wish our shapes were better), they supported me. Family would have healthier food options at gatherings. Friends would not offer “naughty” foods and would not be offended when temptations were refused.

    And, when you tell other people, you become more accountable. Now that Gal Pal A knows you are working on getting in better shape, she’s going to notice when you eat that pastry. She may even ask. Better just leave it there and show off how good you are.

    People are impressed when you can stick to a healthy eating plan and most of them will admire, envy and compliment you.

    Go bravely into the holiday season with the full intention of telling EVERYONE that you are making more healthful choices with a goal in mind. And then be ready to spend the next 4 months hearing about how good you already look.

    Keep up your good work!

    • Karen

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with me:) This is so thought provoking that I think I may have to write a whole post about it someday. For now, my immediate gut response, for the sake of simplicity, is that I hesitate to share with others when I am “dieting” because of my yo-yo history. I think it embarrasses me to have to admit that I am once again trying to lose weight when I have done this over and over again. Does that make sense?

  17. My birthday is one month away, so I’m hoping that keeps me motivated and on track for at least a month. And then the weather will be starting to get warmer, which should be another motivating factor. It’ll be my first holidays in the southern hemisphere, so it’ll be interesting to see how the heat affects my normal holiday overeating!

  18. I really love fall and look forward to making new goals each September. I have had a good day for it being the first. I have blogged, networked, made healthy meals, drank my water, walked and cleaned house. I have soooo many creative things I want to accomplish in the next four months and get to my goal weight. I will work on goals tonight. Thanks for the nudge. Have a wonderful day!!:)


    • Karen

      I had a good day too:) It made me think I might need a counter of some kind for myself to see the “good days” all string together. Not necessarily for the blog, but just for me maybe. I’m intrigued with your creative things.

  19. I plan to keep doing what I have been doing as it works for me. I do what Jodi does around the holidays. Only eat it if I really, really want it and it has to be worth the extra calories!

    Eventually we have to learn to navigate eating out,attending celebrations, parties, holidays and begin to say no to food pushers. These things never go away and you have to have a plan on how to get through them and maintain your healthy lifestyle.

    The truth is that when you are at a healthy weight you have less room for extra calories as your body needs less fuel for your slimmer, trimmer body and too many extra treats unless balanced out with extra exercise will result in extra pounds quite easily. It is a learning curve for sure.

    You still have plenty of time left this year to make changes and achieve your goals. Bait your hook, set your cast and fish away. The big one is there for you to catch!

    • Karen

      I told my husband recently that in my mind I keep thinking if I eat well 99% of the time at home, then I should be able to pretty much eat what I want (okay, not a crazy binge her) for social situations and meals out. Typically, there are not all too many of those in our lives. Seems like a very rational approach. Now I just need to either stick to that or figure out what works. I honestly thought I had this all figured out for myself before the summer hit. Hit me like a brick wall!

  20. I too like Cammy’s resolve and plan, but like you I fear the next four months. It’s not so much the holidays… it’s the darkness that gets me down and makes me reach for food. You commented that you and Marsial were going to hold hands and get through it together. Mind if I join you?

    • Karen

      Of course I don’t mind:) I am smiling at the image. And maybe there is a way we can support each other through this beyond what we already do. Not sure what.

      Is that the actual darkness of the days getting shorter, or a metaphorical darkness?

  21. This time of year can be hard, but we’re strong. I’m going to give myself the best Christmas present ever. I’m going to be at (or oh so very close to) my goal weight. Just visualize yourself the way you want to be. There will ALWAYS be special occasions, holidays, celebrations, etc. None of them require overeating. One iced Christmas cookie is not going to sink the ship. It’s opening the floodgates to serious overeating that does it. I’m determined and it sounds to me like you are too. We can DO this.

    • Karen

      Last year I waited until Christmas was over to recommit. (I am obviously not going to do that again!) But, I started on a day when there was a ton of amazing leftover treats on my kitchen counters. Chocolate and fudge and more. And for some reason that day, and the ones that followed, I was indeed so strong. So I am going with your thinking that I can be strong. Time to show it! Thanks Tish. Let’s do it.

  22. The day after Christmas will be my 6-month anniversary. I have weathered some pretty tough times lately with loads of social food. I picture myself sticking to my plan, but having a hard time with exercise because I will not be able to get on my bike outside. But, I picture myself about 20 pounds less. That will be my dessert for the final third of the year. If I am down by 20 plus 12 (already shed), I will be 32 pounds less which will put me at a weight I have not been in 12 years!!

    • Karen

      I hear you about the biking! I burn a lot more calories during the months I can ride. Of course this week it is rainy so I am plugging away on the boring elliptical at home instead. I am looking forward to a 6-month anniversary post from you about your great progress:)

  23. I’m trying to lose 30lbs by the end of the year. I’m starting on Tuesday and I’m trying not to use Labor Day BBQs as an excuse to pig out.

    Funny how time sneaks up on you.

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