Monday, November 01, 2010
For the record, I hated October.
Weight October 1st: 351.2
Weight Goal for November 1st: 343.2
Actual Weight November 1st: 347.2
Weight Lost in October: -4 pounds
Dare I even record the measurements? *sigh*
(Oct 1st - Nov 1st = Difference)
Waist: 48 - 48 = 0
Hips: 59 - 59 = 0
Neck: 15 - 15 = 0
Thigh: 25.25 - 25 = -.25
Calf: 21 - 22 = +1
Upper Arm: 15 - 15 = 0
Total inches lost in October: I actually gained .75 inches. *bangs head on desk*
Okay, so let's review. What did I do wrong? What happened? Did I go back to my old ways and start eating everything in sight? Did I hit the Chinese buffet once a week?
The answer? Nope. I didn't. I hate mindfully and healthfully a good percentage of the time. I worked out a lot. I also spent the entire month of October in a stand-still, never-ending TOM, and STILL I managed to hang on for dear life.
All last week the weight seemed to be dropping off of me. And then I ate some Mexican food Saturday night after trick-or-treat. I had pizza both Friday and Saturday. And I gained a pound. And then yesterday I hate popcorn at the movies, and I ate french fries too. And I gained 2 more pounds. So I guess what I'm saying, the only thing I can figure is, too much salt = a sad, unhappy, not shrinking Esther.
Nutrition & Fitness
10/1 - 1787 cal/80 minutes of cardio, 1442 burned, ST
10/2 - never finished tracking/65 min cardio, 1157 burned
10/3 - didn't track/0 fitness
10/4 - 2151 cal/55 min cardio, 899 burned
10/5 - 2282 cal/57 min cardio, 937 burned
10/6 - 2281 cal/33 min cardio, 698 burned
10/7 - 2319 cal/0 fitness
10/8 - never finished tracking/135 min cardio, 1805 burned
10/9 - didn't track, but I know I did well as I was with Becks/180 min cardio, 968 burned
10/10 - didn't track, 5k day, but I ate well/3.12 mi in 56 min, 422 burned
10/11 - didn't track, but I know I had a BAD BAD day that day/25 min cardio, 168 burned
10/12 - 2133 cal/0 fitness
10/13 - 1645 cal/45 min cardio, 611 burned
10/14 - didn't track/21 min cardio, 139 burned
10/15 - didn't track/0 fitness
10/16 - 5k day, didn't track but ate well/3.1 miles in 52 min, 489 burned
10/17 - didn't track/0 fitness
10/18 - 1834 cal/33 min cardio, 335 burned
10/19 - 2022 cal/45 min cardio, 740 burned
10/20 - 2454 cal/34 min cardio, 320 burned
10/21 - 2050 cal/0 fitness
10/22 - 2438 cal/240 min cardio, 4202 burned
10/23 - didn't track/25 min cardio, 165 burned
10/24 - 1720 cal/0 fitness
10/25 - didn't finish tracking/0 fitness
10/26 - didn't track/18 min cardio, 381 burned
10/27 - 1956 cal/60 min cardio, 1052 burned, ST
10/28 - 2217 cal/60 min cardio, 1064 burned
10/29 - 2149 cal/100 min cardio, 1225 burned
10/30 - 2607 cal/60 min cardio, 322 burned
10/31 - 2183 cal/20 min cardio, 132 burned
So what's to see here that I don't like? First of all -- lack of tracking. I can't tell whether those days I was just busy, or if I didn't want to track it because I was "bad."
** So for the month of November, goal #1 - Track Everything Every Day!
But, as for my calorie counts and calories burned...Spark had me set at a range of 2000-2400 or so to begin with, and then I dropped down the amount of cardio I planned on doing, which brought me down to 1900-2300 roughly. I just went and reset my calorie burn goal again to a range I tend to stay around more often and like (in my head) better - burning 4000 calories a week, which means I'm back up to a calorie range of 2190-2540. *smacks head on desk* This was a lot easier when I couldn't do much...I rarely hit my calorie burn goal in the beginning, and now I almost always surpass it. Could it be that I'm not eating enough? I still have this mental break at 1800 or 2000 calories. I keep thinking, "But I'm a girl! Why do I have to eat like a friggin' man and stuff so much food down my throat I want to vomit every day?" *sigh* I don't know, but whatever I tried this month did NOT work.
** November goal #2 - Don't think, just do. 2190-2540 calories in per day, 4000 calories burned per week. Period.
So, since we're exercising to burn 4000 calories a week, I need to burn about 667 a day M-Saturday. I tend to give myself Sundays off for Ethan's football games. Unfortunately, however, his team lost their semi-final game yesterday so football is over for us. *sad face* So it's time to stop being a wimp about it and put that day back on the docket. Exercising every single day will take me down to a goal of 571 calories burned per day. Definitely manageable because I don't have to do it all at once!
** November goal #3 - Stop being a wimp! 30 in 30 is back! 30 days of November, 30 days of exercise - now GO!
As for the lack of measurement movement. One thing you might notice in there is a severe lack of any decent ST schedule. Now, granted, there are more days of ST I did than are there. My only gripe with Spark is the difficulty of tracking my ST exercises through the app, so there are times I just don't track it because it takes so much time. Of course, I'm going to track it all this month, so that's not going to be a concern. But there was a general lack of ST in October because I was working on timing for my 5ks and then was considering HM training. No more. I want to lose weight and inches. I want my 24's to come up over my fat arse! (excuse my language, but those stupid pants are TAUNTING me!)
I should be ST 3 times a week. Now my PT was nervous about me upping my ST routine AND sticking with 3 days a week. But I can still do my PT ST schedule 2 days a week, and reserve that other ST day for at-home ST exercises. I can squeeze in more crunches and pushups and such.
** November goal #4 - Strength Train 3 times per week, no excuses! At the end of the month, I should be able to report having done:
1800 crunches (150 per day/ 3 times per week)
40 REGULAR push-ups (10 per week)
360 modified push-ups (30 per day/ 3 times per week)
80 squats (20 per week)
80 lunges (20 per week)
24 planks (2 per day/3 times per week, working toward a 60 second plank)
4 "modified" planks (1 a week, timed, to start)
(Okay, from everything I've read, Spark's "modified" planks are actually more difficult. Most places consider those the regular planks, and the ones on hands, like I do, the actual modified version. So I'm working my way toward pulling these into my routine.)
Finally, one last thing. I hate my scale again. HATE. I hate this plateau crap. I hate that it's become so difficult to lose weight even though I'm moving my butt like I've never done before. I hate how bloated I feel right now from a month and a half long TOM. And I hate what that TOM fluctuation seems to be doing to the scale as well. So...
** November goal #5 - Weigh-in once a week, Sundays, in the morning. Report that weight, good or bad, on Spark's tracker. Hiding is done, we need to know what's happening here because we have too far to go to hide from "bad" weeks now! Oh, and stop trying on those stupid 24s. A watched pot doesn't boil, and you can't will those stupid jeans into fitting. You can try them on the Sunday weigh-in before Thanksgiving, and then again before Christmas day.
Okay, Esther...breathe. October is over. November is here. You had some amazing pumpkin soup today with yummy big chunks of veggies in it. You need to remember to drink your water and just stick to the plan. And when all else fails, just go for a walk to clear your head and remind yourself that the numbers can't convey to your Spark Friends how DIFFERENT your legs feel now. Those stupid numbers don't show how your breathing is easier, how you feel more confident in a room, how you may get frustrated but more times than not, you push through that and move on. And someday very soon, this period WILL end, and there's a possibility that it could take a few pounds with it...or not. *shrug* Just know that it's a factor in the seemingly lack of progress right now....it HAS to be! Get some rest on your day off tomorrow, go back to your Zumba class and have a blast, enjoy clearing your head at a teacher-taught Yoga class tonight, and remember that above all else, I love you for the person you are, the person you are becoming, and the person you know that you want to be. As hard as it is to wish for tomorrow to come quicker, as much as it hurts hoping it would go faster, focus on today, on the time you have with your kids, on the time you have with yourself, and on every small step you make every single day to make your life, and the lives of those around you, better in every way.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday was my SIBCCT night, and I burned over 1,000 SP calories.
Thursday I followed my son's lead and started out on the stationary bike, and reminded myself how BORING it is and how much I hate it. We set our time for 30 minutes, but I did not want to be tied down to that thing, especially since it wasn't doing CRAP to raise my heart rate that much. I stopped after 10 minutes and switched to the elliptical. The machine set an automatic 60 minutes on the glute workout, and I just figured I'd stop whenever I wanted to. I didn't want to stop. Like, at all! It hurt, yes - my legs were still sore from the day before, but it also felt so great. I went for 35 minutes and then figured I was ready to go home. (I could've pushed more, but I knew I was sore still and I didn't want to injure myself.) I did my Yoga stretching to end the night and headed home...and then had a blowout with the Hubs. *sigh*
Yesterday was a bad day as far as things happening to me, but a good day for me because I pushed through them and did what I needed to do for myself anyways. Today I woke up SORE SORE SORE in my legs. Thank GOODNESS I stretched or I likely wouldn't be walking today. Funny thing is, as sore as I am, I still feel good. I can feel the muscles in my legs! I can feel my skinny girl legs under that hidden fat, and it felt good to know that I might one day have legs I'll be proud to show off. Still, being this sore signals only one thing for me today -- REST.
I have a little something to say about rest days. They are SOOOO important! I know you all know that, at least in your head, but let me put it to you this way. Having spent 6 months doing this I know that if I continue to push myself, I won't see results. My body will be in shock trying to keep up with me. And while I think it's great to push through a tiny bit of soreness, when your muscles are so sore that it's a little difficult to get up and walk, that should signal to you that they need their rest. It's an important part of the process. Today my weight is up from yesterday and the day before. Why? Because I pushed myself. This is NOT a signal to not work out, by all means. It's a signal that it's important to let my body spend the day doing what I have taught it to do, what it knows it needs, rest, repair, and kill a few fat cells along the way. So on the docket for today? Rest, relax, be me, and drink LOTS of water (because it's so important in the repair process...muscles need water to rebuild themselves!). If I handle this right, I should be able to get to the gym tomorrow and crank out my last day of cardio and ST.
So, weekend plans.
Friday - REST! I would *love* to go to a movie today. I haven't yet woken up Hubs. We're supposed to have our "date day" but with the fight last night, I'm both a little nervous about it and SURE we need it. I'll wake him up in a minute. We DO need to hit the grocery store, though.
Saturday - Workout at the gym in the morning. Football practice at 1pm. Trick-or-Treat with the boys at 6pm. I tried contacting a friend about possibly watching the boys for a couple hours so we can still go to our Halloween party, but she hasn't gotten back to me so I doubt that will happen.
Sunday - Wake up early. Pack lunches, and head to Belpre, OH for the big midget league semi-finals game. Our number 6 ranked team is going up against the number 2 ranked team, so my hope is that they do the best they can and DON'T get slaughtered! EEP! Of course, I secretly hope they'll win, but this is a TOUGH team, so I don't know what to really expect. Depends on if our boys are on their game (so wish Trick-or-Treat wasn't the night before!) and if the other boys are on theirs. I'll let you know how it goes.
Ooh, some things upcoming that I'm excited about....
I have a short week this week thanks to the holiday (state workers get November 2nd off for Election Day) so I'll be getting off at 4:30pm, instead of 6pm. That means I should be able to make it to the gym for the new Monday night Yoga class at 5:30pm. I'm so nervous! I do Yoga on my own because I was always afraid to walk into a room of skinny chicks and bust out some half-shaped yoga poses, but both the atmosphere at my gym and with my new self-confidence, I'm determined to get some REAL instruction on Yoga poses. Have to remember to take my Yoga mat to work with me so I have it for class!
Another new class at the gym starts on Wednesday. The best part? It's not until 7:35pm! Our gym rarely does late night classes (only ones I can get to are the 2 Zumba classes that start at 7pm on Tuesday and Thursday) so this is a HUGE step in the right direction for me! I think I actually "yipeed" out loud at the front desk of the gym last night when I saw the announcement sheet! *lol* Anyhow, Wednesday night, 7:35pm - Pilates! I've NEVER done pilates, so I'm excited to try it. I hope it goes alright! (Funny anecdote - My 11 year old son saw the posting and said, "What is pilates?" The guy at the gym said, "Do you know what yoga is?" Logan nodded and the guy continued, "Well, pilates is like yoga on steroids!" *lmao* The best part...my son didn't get it! *lol* I did though, and it made me giggle!)
So next week, I'm switching it up.
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - Zumba and ST
Wednesday - Pilates
Thursday - DANG, I have to work! *pouts* I'll probably do a lunch walk, maybe fit some Yoga in too.
Friday - The gym. SIBCCT anyone? HRM....
I'm half tempted to show up for line dancing tonight at my gym at 5:30pm. I never make it in time but the instructor dude is so nice. It's VERY low intensity, so I think I could manage even with a little soreness, but I'll play it by ear.
Know what I love? When exercise becomes something you enjoy! I'm excited about classes! I'm excited again to try new things at the gym! I'm excited about my new ST routine (even if it does take forever right now! *lol*). I *love* that excitement.
Know what else I love? I spent about an hour this morning talking to a neighbor. I met this girl at Shoney's when Hubs and I used to go there Friday mornings for breakfast. She struggles with her weight as well, and when she saw me again she immediately wanted to know how I did it and how much I lost. She kept apologizing for "bugging me" but I assured her that helping her would make me feel so proud! I want to pass these gifts on to others. So this morning I told her to take some baby steps, give me a call when she needs to talk or wants to walk, and to never be shy about asking questions. I *might* just turn her into a new workout buddy! *lol* (I haven't told her that yet, though! ;) )
Have a great weekend everyone! Enjoy Halloween and don't eat too much candy! (But seriously, one tiny Snickers bar is not going to undo everything, so don't stress TOO DARN MUCH! ;) )
Thursday, October 28, 2010
...another pound of fat, that is! That's how I like to think of my workouts sometimes - me, blasting away those calories, calling my muscles into battle against those lazy little fat cells that do little more than take up space in my body. A big workout, like my SIBCCT last night, is full on war against fat!
Okay, okay. So I know you all are wondering just what exactly I did last night at the gym. Right? ...RIGHT? You see, I have a little secret to tell you...everyone pull in a little closer to the screen...can't have this getting out! PTs would KILL me if they knew I told you! ;)
...You can be your OWN personal trainer!
Yep, I said it. PTs of the world -- please don't kill the messenger! Last night, after a little online research and a firm plan of action in my head, I challenged myself to another round of Self-Induced Boot Camp Circuit Training. And the big secret is...you can too!
How It Works
Boot Camp - Think military drills. Even if you aren't in the military, one viewing of G.I. Jane, or one of the countless other movies that deal with boot camp training, will have you feeling more in the know. And the best part? Little to no equipment needed!
Circuit Training - Just watch Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, or one of the many circuit training DVDS, or visit a Curves gym just once, and you'll start to see how this works. Bursts of cardio mixed with bursts of ST exercises. Lather, rinse, and repeat. Don't know what kind of ST to do? Just think about ways you can use your body as a counter weight - no equipment needed! Surf through fitness magazines or online or through Spark! And make sure you find exercises for each major part of the body.
The key? Push yourself and KEEP MOVING! Always moving, always keeping your body guessing, always pushing yourself to stretch the idea of what your limitations are.
Last Night's Program
I downloaded an app for my iPhone that beeps at me every minute (or however long I set it), so I turned that on and got started.
First up is always the stretching and warm-up. Get those muscles loosened up and get warmed up. You don't want to go from 0 to 160 in 2.2 seconds. Not great on an engine, not so great on your body either. Don't know what to do? Seriously, Google is your friend! My warm-up was a little different last night because I really wanted to push to burn more than 700 calories. I stretched and then did 25 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Just don't stop! For 60 seconds straight (or however long you decide), go at the fastest pace you can. Aren't to running yet in your fitness level? No problem! Walk as fast as you can for 60 seconds. Get that heart rate up!
I did 12. I wanted to do a full 60 seconds, but I didn't take into account the time it would take me to get to each station, so my timer was a little screwed up. If that happens, just go with it. Count to 60 in your head or set a specific number to do.
Again, challenge yourself. It will all depend upon where you are physically. I did 15 modified push-ups. (I tried the regular kind and got to 2! *lol*)
I did 20 regular floor crunches followed by 12 bicycle crunches. (I used to *hate* bicycle crunches, and in a way I still do, but they work, darnit! One of the best abdominal exercises out there as far as I've experienced!)
Repeat this circuit 3 times.
I suck at this, but that's okay. The key is to keep moving, like I said. So for 60 seconds I was either jumping or fiddling with the rope, but when I wanted to stop and scream at myself, I just kept going. (One bonus of including at least 1 thing you're not so good at...if you repeat this workout over several weeks, you'll actually start to see and feel improvement. I kept telling myself, "Wow...I suck at this, but it'll be interesting to see how I can improve!")
Okay, so I'm lucky in that I have a boxing room at my gym that's generally pretty empty. I had the whole room to myself last night. I would punch the bag while moving around it and shuffling my feet. But you don't need gym equipment to do this either. Shadow boxing means boxing a shadow, something that's not really there. Just be careful not to overextend your elbows when you punch (that means don't ever lock them...listen to Billy Blanks on this one! It can be harmful, and the benefits of concentrating on your arms to make sure you don't lock them actually causes you to use those muscles more!), otherwise, beat that air like it stole your cookie and you had already worked it into your calorie count and had been looking forward to it all day! But don't stop moving your feet either.
Okay, I've worked a few months on trying to figure out how to work our speed bag at the gym, and do you know what I've learned? It's all about your core! Squat just a bit to form a steady base for your body (may not be possible if you are actually punching a real speed bag), tighten your abs and hold them there throughout the motion. You can use those abs in a sort of rocking motion to keep a steady pace on the speed bag (or air speed bag).
Repeat this circuit twice. (I would've loved to have done 3 times, but I was POOPED! already!)
Okay, let's face it...I was WORE OUT by this time! So I walked a lap around the track as fast as I could still manage. The wore out part means you're working it!
Ab Crunch Time!
I ended my circuits with a rather intense crunch time. Core is so important to me right now. Normally I would say you should add in some sort of arm work and some sort of leg work too, but...like I said, I was pooped! (I generally do lunges at this point and would probably add in planks or bear crawls.) I did 4 sets of 20 - 2 different kinds - with a 6 lb. medicine ball on the reclining ab bench to finish it out.
I only did this circuit 1 time.
By this time you should feel pretty spent. I don't know that I've ever seen someone after an intense workout go, "Give me more!" If you've got more to give, do some more circuits! But always remember your 5 minute (or more) cool down. For me, this is always just a simple walk for 5 minutes. I don't worry about pace, I can go as slow as I want. If you're on a treadmill or elliptical, you might want to decrease your speed by 1 (or .5) (or on the elliptical, slow your pace by 10 strides per minute) each minute of cool down. The key is to let your heart rate come back down gradually by continuing to move at a lower intensity than before.
OMG, please, please, please do NOT forget to stretch! Stretching is the key to ending muscle soreness, and after such an intense workout, you're going to need it! Yes, I am sore today, but I can move about and perform daily functions without extreme pain or muscle cramping. I also like to think that if I end my workouts with the same stretch routine every time, it's like sending a message to my muscles -- Thanks for what you've given me, but now you can rest. And it should last at LEAST 10 minutes.
(Of course, I didn't quite rest...I proceeded downstairs and spent an HOUR doing the ST routine the PT set for me. (OMG! *lol*) I'm hoping that once I get the new routine down it won't take me quite so long to complete.)
My warm-up on the elliptical was 25 minutes, my circuit was 25 minutes. Added together with the yoga stretching I do to end my workout, I burned 1,052 SP calories in an hour-long workout! That's one heck of a calorie burn!!
Now, please keep in mind that I'm not a professional, but this is just a taste of what my SIBCCT looks like, in case you were wondering. (Or at least what it looked like last night...I change it a bit every time.) The thing I want my Spark Friends to really know and realize, the thing I think most of you miss out on, is the "create your own" style workouts that I really do have a blast with from time to time. It's freeing and empowering to create your own and, my thought is always, as long as I'm moving and doing the best form I can maintain, then it's pretty darn good for my body, right? I use the tools I've learned from countless exercise classes and DVDs along the way, the stuff I read here on Spark, the stuff I see all of you do, and the exercises I read about in fitness magazines to design my own fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants workout!
You see because...I get bored. And one thing I've learned from my 6 months here, the reason it's different than before, is because I refuse to let myself get bored. I have to try for more, better, different. I have to have something to look forward to and learn or I get bored and want to give up. So circuit training like this lets me switch it up. I don't have a chance to get bored during my cardio segment because it's already over and I'm moving onto the next move. The first time I did this SIBCCT was because I got bored on the elliptical. I forced out 20 minutes, and then went and did pushups and planks and crunches, and then I did the rowing machine...and when I got bored on that, I went and did lunges and squats and crunches again, and then I went to the bike...and I got bored with that and moved onto the cable machine. I went from completely bored to completely excited...it's like being able to mix-and-match your favorite things, your calorie burners, the things you do because you feel you should, and the things you do to challenge yourself.
So there's my report from last night...and I have a challenge for you. Take one of your workouts this week, and switch it up. This can be done at all fitness levels. Seriously, you can do 3 minutes of cardio walking in place followed by wall push-ups, or you can do a sprint at your fastest speed followed by diamond or pull-ups even! I know that some of you like the instruction from a certified PT or your DVD instructor, but maybe try it, just once, and see how it feels to make up your own thing. (And someone test this with your HRM to see how the real calorie burn is. I just have to go on how I feel during and after.)
Today, I hope gets better soon. So far I've had my eye scratched by the cat, forgot my cell phone at home, and opted for a McD's breakfast that, well, was NASTY! (guess I don't like that anymore! *lol*) Oh, and I have no clue what to do for my workout tonight considering my Zumba class is canceled. *pout* Guess I have all day to figure it out!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Okay, so last night I had a meeting with the nutritionist. Sure, my fault for giving her the wrong time and having to miss part of Zumba, but I didn't expect to be in there for an HOUR and miss ALL of Zumba. I literally tried talking faster as she kept asking me questions.
She's afraid I'll get bored. I told her I'm working on that.
She's afraid I won't know what to substitute. I told her I'm working on that.
She's afraid I'll slip on the holidays. I told her that I'm not as worried because I already planned them out in my head.
She told me to call her if I needed anything.
That was it, basically. Now, don't get me wrong, she's great. Nice person. Thinks if SP is working for me to just keep using it. Nothing real negative to say. Gave me positive feedback. I just wish it hadn't taken an hour to do. By the time I left it was after 8pm and I didn't have the time or energy to do anything else on the machines. (Not to mention that I got hungry. You see, when I'm working out, I don't get hungry until about 30 minutes or so after I stop. So I can put in a 2 hour workout usually and be fine the whole time. But once I stop, it's time to eat. I've trained my body to expect that, and after 18 minutes on the elliptical I had to stop and go to this meeting and then it was all over for me.) *sigh* And I missed the Halloween version of Zumba that I've been looking forward to all month. Seriously, people. I want to CRY that I missed it! My 11 year old son was even up there enjoying it and I got NOTHING out of the night except a business card. I don't know if you've learned this about me yet, but I *hate* wasted time!
Whatever. Okay. Trying to move on. (But seriously, with TOM making me so emotional, missing Zumba feels like I just missed my son's big play on the football field or didn't make it to my husband's speech when he was accepting an award. Hate when TOM blows things up and, even though I can rationalize that THAT is what's happening, I'm still so mad I could spit. Not only did I miss Zumba last night - I missed it all week! Thursday got canceled and there's no Zumba toning this Friday. *screams and pulls out her hair*)
I know this is a completely ridiculous reaction but my blood feels like it's boiling over it. Stupi TOM.
On another note, I've decided that my HM training is O-V-E-R. It just doesn't make sense right now. What makes sense to me is calorie burn and losing weight. My body is working like a machine right now and I really need to hop on that burn and make it happen! Stupid 18 minutes of elliptical last night and a wasted night that could have been a HUGE calorie burner. GRRRR! Now all I have left this week is today, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I had BETTER make something happen! Serious!
Does anyone else get annoyed when they feel like they missed their workout?
It's not so much that I'm addicted to Zumba, but I've just finally started feeling like I'm fitting in in my class. People talk to me now. They notice when I'm missing. They tease me (like friends do) when I don't show up when I'm expected. I like feeling like I'm apart of something and I'm so mad at myself for screwing all that up by giving the wrong time to the nutritionist. (I really hoped the weather would cause her to not show up. *sigh*)
Okay, so I guess I'm starting today annoyed. I have to remember that there will be times that these tools will come in handy. There will be times when I need these people to tell me what's next. It's a GOOD thing to have these resources, even though it might feel like a bit of a waste of time right now. Plus, my meetings are done for now so I can move on and get back to what I know. Plus, plus, I'm going to be saving a ton of money in the long run.
Keep reminding me of that, okay?
On tap for tonight? ST is a MUST! Plus, I need to burn at LEAST 700 SP calories tonight. Maybe it's time for another round of my SIBCCT (Self-Induced Boot Camp Circuit Training)!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Yesterday I did nothing. I didn't eat according to my schedule. I didn't workout. I didn't even go to work. I didn't even Spark but for a few minutes. And while I felt that twinge of guilt every now and again, I shoved the guilt down and went about my business of laying on the couch watching movie after movie. Sure, I didn't feel so well (hello to another re-surge of the month and a half long TOM) but there wasn't any real reason I wasn't doing what I knew I should. I just kept thinking to myself that there will always be days like this, no matter the size I am or how "healthy" I'm thinking, there is bound to be days, every now and again, when all I want to do is lay on the couch and watch movies. And, every now and again, I'm going to give into that desire. (And I still stand by that - there will be days like that from time to time.) But as I went to bed my brain started asking those questions of myself that I've become so famous for....Why? The only answer I could come up with was a simple one - fear.
We're all afraid, and while I agree that there are innate fears that are built into us, I believe the majority of our fears are taught. "Don't touch the stove! It could be hot!" good Mommies teach us early. "Don't run out into the road, you could get run over!" Each time we're taught these lessons of fear, we're also taught that there will always be consequences to our actions, whether good or bad. We're taught, more than anything, to fear the consequences, to fear the failure that comes along with not doing what we have been taught we should. It can be something really important - "Don't stand too close to the cliff, you could fall!" or much less so, "Do your best in school and get good grades or you'll lose your privileges!" And as we struggle through this whole, "Eat right and exercise, or you might gain weight again!" it's not the action we're afraid of, it's the consequence. It's fear talking, and fear that motivates us to do well. Sure, there's the other side of the coin, the one that says that we do it all for the benefits or for the positive outcome we might achieve, but when the going gets tough, it's the fear that drives me.
So I knew I was afraid of something. Most of my bad eating habits and forms of anti-exercise rebellion are bred out of fear. But fear of what? It came to me in a sort of "DUH!" moment (this is the opposite of an "A HA!" moment, wherein we realize it's something we already knew) - fear of expectation.
Yep, you heard me right. And I know I'm not alone here. I'm afraid of what's expected of me. I've been getting such positive feedback lately that the little scared girl inside is afraid that she'll answer wrong on a test and lose her perfect 4.0 GPA. And then all these little monsters come out to feed on that fear and scare me further.
You see, the last time I felt these many expectations from those around me, I was in my senior year of college. Oh, don't laugh! It was just last year. I carried a 4.0 GPA throughout all 3 years of college, while working full-time and working part-time at the paper. I did it all. I was the president of two honor societies. I was top in my class. I was on track to bring up my poor transfer scores and graduate summa cum laude. I got great scores on my GRE (not on the GRE Lit test, though...that thing is insane!) so the expectation was that I would either get into a stellar grad school program or I would land a great job. I did what I was supposed to, I followed the formulas, I set myself apart from my peers by holding onto both the full-time and part-time jobs. I spread myself paper thin. And then I graduated and I realized that no matter how hard I might fight, I couldn't live up to everyone's expectations for me. I got scared early, but I stayed the course and finished with all my T's crossed and I's dotted. And then my world fell apart. Four schools applied to, four schools rejected me. Countless jobs applied to in months, very few bites, no offers. Today my old classmates will meet for a English Majors Luncheon and all I can think is that I failed. I failed myself and I failed them all.
Please know, I'm not going for a sympathy vote here, I'm just sorting this out in my head by putting it down in text. Because, you see, I've made a connection from those expectations to these. You all expect me to keep going the course (Lord knows I've got a long ways still to go), and people in my life expect to see more changes. I expect the most, really. And as we move from the "what ifs" to "in the next two years" talk of plans become expectations for what I'm supposed to accomplish. So what do I do? Instead of rising to the challenge, I get scared. Afraid of being rejected again. Afraid of putting all my ducks in a row, doing everything I'm supposed to, and then finding myself sitting in the corner, staring down my ducks and begging them to tell me why it didn't work. I said it. I'm scared.
Expectations are big, scary things. I used to shy away from them completely. I wouldn't tell people I was dieting or losing weight because I was afraid of what they'd expect from me. I never wanted to disappoint them. But when I started here, I made that vow with myself to be completely honest, to dare to set myself up and even, possibly, fail in front of all of you. I know how easy it is to stay hidden and never fail to meet anyone's expectations but your own, and while that might be safe, it's also disheartening. Because I'm missing out on the greatest tool for success -- support. So when I started here, I vowed to be honest - to share my triumphs and my failures, let the chips fall where they may. But that didn't mean that I vowed to never be scared by what was expected of me. In fact, I'm hoping, as I continue, I learn to work on this biggest fear of mine and attempt to overcome it.
Want to know what else I'm afraid of? 230. No, this time I'm not afraid I won't get there. It seems reasonable, actually. But as happy as I was to release a little of the expectations of myself in terms of weight-loss on Saturday when I heard that number, I also felt saddened. That's the best I've got? Do you mean to say I won't ever be "normal" according to a BMI scale? I'll never see ONE-derland? I'll never get to say that I'm lighter than my husband? Why must my fate always be to be fatter than my friends? I'm confused by it and saddened by the lack of expectation there. It sounds silly, and I know I don't have to stick to that number. I know that once I get there I can re-evaluate, but I'm scared. What if that's all there is for me? What if I get to 280 and then struggle for the last 50 pounds and then...that's it? What if I never get to shop in a regular sized store? What if people always see me as fat? What if I work so hard for so long and I'm still not at all happy with my body, my weight, my fitness ability?
So yes, there is fear. And fear is what kept me on the couch yesterday even though I COULD have moved. Even though I DID have the energy to go to the gym. Even though I COULD have put in my 10 hour shift at work. Momma said there'd be days like this, but I've got to work through the fear so that they become fewer and farther apart. And step one? Admitting it.
I'm scared. Of me. Of you. Of what is expected. Of what I may have to settle with. Yesterday I fed the fear. Today I'm starving it and confronting it head on.
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