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After recent taste of success, slump is hard to swallow

I know a lot of people come to this weight-loss column in hopes of reading about my latest successes at the scale, or maybe they stop by looking for a bit of inspiration or insight.

Perhaps they just want to laugh at and/or with this loser (both of pounds and of mental faculties).

Heck, there might even be a few who come in anticipation of that glorious day when Mr. Losing It! finally reaches his goal weight.

Today, sorry to report, is not that day.

Truth be told, I am struggling.

Make that struggling with a capital UGG!

As in, I am str-UGG!-ling.

People in my triathlon club have sent out distress signals for me. My bike has been disassembled in my garage for weeks. My running shoes have been idle for nearly a month. My swimming suit has been as dry as the Sahara since I returned from Lake Powell almost two weeks ago.

Ice cream cartons — and the contents therein — and chocolate chip cookies have been not-so-mysteriously disappearing from my house at an alarming rate.

So many pounds are flocking back to my body, you'd think I was having a reunion for fat cells and friends.

The 190s and low-200s sent me a "Thanks for visiting, come again soon!" postcard.

I even went out of town a couple of weeks ago just to get out of writing this column. (OK, that's not really what happened, but it was a convenient excuse for taking a break.)

I'd tell you the top-secret classified info about how much weight I've gained since bragging about getting under the 200-pound mark last spring, but then I'd have to kill you.

And after that, I'd then have to eat everything in your fridge and pantry, too.

On second thought, I might do that anyway (not the killing part).

In reality, all of my gains — and by that I mean losses of pounds and fat, of course — for 2009 have been, for the lack of a better word, eaten up this year by my insatiable appetite.

And it happened fast. Very fast — as in, Kirstie-Alley-I-feel-your-expedited-expansion-pain fast. Since hitting the lowest weight I've been at in 20 years in April, I've averaged about a five-pound weight gain per month. Most of that has plopped on my frame just the past few weeks.

I feel like I'm in a freefall off the dieting bandwagon, and I'm str-UGG!-ling to stooooooop myself.

The hard thing is that I know what's going on and how to bounce out of this, but I'm just not doing it. I know what I need to do in order to lose the pounds and get back to regaining my fitness and self-esteem again, but I continue to allow myself to fail and fatten up.

I clearly see what's happening, but I'm not stopping it from happening.

In other words, the lights are on, but nobody's home (and, yes, it's probably because I'm at some fast-food joint snarfing down tacos).

This kind of apathetic slump is how I mindlessly ate myself into a 371-pound body in the first place.

Good grief. Will I ever learn!?!

Those of you who've kindly stuck with this column over the years know well that this isn't the first time this has happened. Unfortunately, I often fall back into my habits of eating too much and doing too little.

It's why I almost always hesitate to answer the question of "So, how long did it take you to lose the weight?" Which time? That's what I wonder under my breath. Out loud, I'll often respond by saying it's most important how long it takes the weight to stay off. I need to remember that really is the key, too.

This time it's just hard to swallow (bad pun, admittedly) because tasting success and experiencing a thinner, healthier me really felt incredible.

I'm not going to make any promises or crazy goals to bounce out of this. I just hope that I reach within myself to find that motivation — even if I have to make myself be motivated, which is often the case — before too much damage is done.

At one point, I had lost 172 pounds overall. I'm still down about 150, so this is a good time to get back into the groove and to not let this surge too far out of control.

This is not intended to be a woe-is-me column or a downer, just a call to myself to snap out of it. As the saying goes, "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." I'm not liking that so much right now.

So I need to slowly back away from the freezer with my hands up and get back to all the running, biking, swimming and healthy eating that produced results that are worth (and more fun) writing about than 20-some-odd pound weight gains.

e-mail: jody@desnews.com