I can come up with a million excuses as to why I gained the weight but the sole reason is that I simply disengaged from my good new habits and slipped back into some bad old ones. Not eating breakfast caused me to over-eat at lunch; not having an afternoon snack caused me to over-eat at dinner; not having a drinking plan for the evening caused me to drink too much booze and make bad decisions such as having a spontaneous, not-very-healthy second dinner at 2am. Every time I committed a "crime against nutrition" in the last three months, I would just think "oh well I can correct this later" and then...I would ultimately not do so because of whatever the next excuse-du-jour was. ("I'm tired." "Eating this is easier." "I'll go for a big uphill hike this weekend." "I don't have time to go for that big hike this weekend." etc.)
To be clear, I wasn't exactly sitting on the couch all day with a plate of doughnuts and fried chicken resting on my belly; I just was simply allowing myself to make bad decisions with increased frequency, with little regard for the consequences. Then my pants got tight and my shirts got short and the problem was impossible to ignore.
And speaking of clothes, I did some shopping on Saturday and it was a disaster. I'd been wearing XL shirts for about a year (down from 5XL two years ago) and on Saturday I discovered that 2XL was fitting better than XL. Refusing to buy clothing that was a size up, I decided that I had to snap out of it and get my shit under control before adding ANYTHING to my wardrobe. I walked out of the store empty-handed.
For the year I was losing weight (and the ten months of maintenance that followed), all these people were coming up to me and telling me what a great job I was doing and how impressed they were because what I was doing was so hard. I would often think to myself, "Wow, this is actually kinda easy, everyone thinks this is so hard but it really doesn't feel like work to me". But now that I've sorta "let it go," I realize now how much work, in particular mental work, it took me to change my habits (and keep them changed) for nearly two years of successful weight loss and maintenance. It was only "easy" because I was mentally "in the game"; at this point, I'm not even on the sidelines. I'm in the freakin' parking lot of the stadium.
I can beat myself up about it all day. In fact, I have been for weeks. But the fact of the matter is that I'm only human. And if this was really easy, then I suppose America wouldn't be facing an obesity epidemic.