Saturday, December 18, 2010
A big part of yesterday and today for me was accepting that I'm not perfect. That sounds completely ridiculous, but it's 100% true. After losing 80 pounds, I thought I had all the answers. I thought I knew what I was doing for sure. I took a trip for work, and I vowed that I wasn't going to be like everyone else and gain weight while I was away. I was stronger. I was better. I would lose the same 2 pounds or more. I would use every opportunity to eat right and exercise. And while I did use every opportunity to work out, walking everywhere and really making the most of it, while I did eat healthy and in moderation whenever I could, I stepped on the scale when I got back and discovered that I'm just like everyone else...and I gained a pound.
I spent the last week lost. How could I have done all I had known and still fail? Was I doomed to fail in everything? What did I do wrong? What happened?
It's taken me days of talking it out on here, trying to ignore it and move on, trying to forget, trying to give up...and then, this morning, I laid in my bed, staring at the ceiling, asking myself all these questions about who I was and what I wanted. I don't have all the answers. I don't even know if I have some of them. What I do know is this -- I didn't do anything wrong.
I just logged my workouts for that week, and I didn't even log it all through Nike from the few times I forgot to set it. What I did end up logging was 490 fitness minutes and 3009 SP calories burned in one week. There is NOTHING wrong with that. And I ate pretty sensibly. Probably had a few too many coffees from Starbucks, and that French dinner was a killer calorie-wise, and Chinese is never the best idea for me - but I did alright, good even. So, all in all, I did exactly what I set out to do. What's more, a burn-out period when I returned is completely understandable.
This week I only logged 105 fitness minutes...just 75 off my goal. And I burned 1304 of the 2230 goal calories I hoped to burn. So this awful week of mine wasn't so awful after all. Even if I get up tomorrow and see 338 on the scale again like I did this morning.
One thing I really need to realize, though...one thing I discovered through all of this is that I need to come back down to reality. I am not better than everyone else. I struggle and strive for greatness just like everyone else. I fail from time to time, and I succeed too.
So after gazing at the ceiling for a few minutes, and after asking myself, "What do you want your day to look like today?" I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, dragged Ethan outside, headed to the gym and ran more than I ever have before in my life. Today I proved to myself that I could run for 5 minutes straight, and for 16 minutes total. I slowed down my pace, but I kept telling myself, "You can go slower, you can turn down the pace, but you CANNOT stop, you CANNOT turn that treadmill off." The first 5 minute run went really well...the second, not so much...but I did it, and I felt pretty proud after. I pushed myself through, got in a tiny ST routine, and then I left telling myself that I had done alright.
I've had enough of feeling sorry for myself.
I've had enough of feeling lost.
I've had enough of thinking I can't.
And I've also had enough of thinking I'm beyond what I am.
I am human.
I laugh, cry, try, succeed and fail just like everyone else.
And my moments of triumph make me no better.
And my moments of failure make me no worse.
I am who I am, and it's time I start figuring out who that is and what that means, beyond what the scale says.
Friday, December 17, 2010
All week I've been on a kick to discover what I've been doing right and what I've been doing wrong. When I got back from DC I weighed in at 335, and I was angry and upset. Why? Because I had put in so much work and, yet, I hadn't seen the results I had been hoping for. And all week I've only done half of what I know is right. As I told MEZZO, I have all the tools I need, but I've only been using half of them...and where has that gotten me? Maintaining.
On Sunday I weighed in at 335.
On Monday it was a low 336.
On Tuesday it was a high 336.
On Wednesday - 337.
On Thursday - 335.
And today? 337 again.
I'm fluctuating between those same 2 pounds up and down, and I know in my heart that I won't likely see lower than 335 on Sunday's weigh in. And I'm trying to remind myself that that is OK. I'm also trying to remind myself that not reaching my goal of being under 330 by Christmas is OK too. Why? Because I know I haven't done what I've needed to do, but I also know that I'm teaching myself a lesson and making myself stronger for the journey ahead. Because, the truth is, I haven't given up...at least not completely.
I haven't been strong this week. On Monday night, I worked out. I didn't do a full work out. I copped out on my ST because I wasn't feeling well. I just did my C25k and went home. And I overate a little that day.
On Tuesday I did a little better. And I dragged myself to Zumba even though I did not want to go. And I went home feeling a little better about myself, but ate a little too much for dinner.
On Wednesday I fell apart a little. I started giving myself the wacky permission to give in to my cravings...and this time they didn't end. Why? Because I didn't have control over myself like I have in the past few months. I let myself go because I was angry, upset and hurt. I received yet another rejection letter for a job, and I let that speak to me about the rejection I had been getting from life in general, and i rejected myself a little.
Yesterday, I let go of everything. I didn't work out. I ate no less than 4 pieces of pizza for lunch. I told myself it was alright because it was snowing endless snow outside and I hadn't packed a lunch, but I know I could have handled the situation in a much more productive manner. There's a CVS down the strip mall from me, and I could have chosen to eat the soup I bought there, light vegetable soup. But I didn't. I gave up and gave in. And when I got off work early, I chose to go home, to eat more throughout the night and not work out at all. I was confused and angry and got yet another rejection letter in the mail. And I fell apart and let myself fall into old habits. I told myself I didn't care anymore...but I did.
All week I've only done things halfway...and I've always hated people who whine about not seeing results when they only do things halfway. So I let myself hate myself for a little bit this morning...and then I took a breath and told myself to STOP.
What are my tools? What worked before? Where have I gone off track?
1) I worked out. Even if it was just the minimum for the day, I did what that minimum was.
2) I stuck to calorie ranges, even if I didn't stick to a fully health-filled diet of good foods. When I started I just ate whatever we had in the house, but I limited myself to my calorie ranges. Lately I've allowed myself some foods I had previously cut out of the majority of my diet, and I ignored the calories...just plain and simple ignored them.
3) I read Spark articles. I let Spark be my guide...but lately (and this is a big one) I got to thinking I knew more than everyone else. I'd lost 80 pounds, so I thought I didn't need the advice anymore. I knew what worked, so I didn't need the support and tools here. I was wrong. Majorly wrong! I don't know where this came from...I've always been the kind of person who said there was always something new to learn, more to know...I never used to let myself think I had all the answers. I don't. I need to bring myself off the pedestal I put myself on, humble myself, and get back to learning again how to make this new life work for me.
4) I logged and blogged everything. All week I've been avoiding my tracker like an idiot. I didn't even log last week all the walking I did (going to try to go back and add that, as I logged most of it on Nike's site). I logged a little of my food, but the rest of the time, I just avoided the thing like the plague. I didn't want to know. I let go of my thought that honesty is the best policy and told myself that I was better off not knowing. WRONG!
5) I found opportunities to move and make good choices. I walked at lunch. I did squats in my office. All I've been doing on breaks lately is sleeping and reading. I feel tired and lethargic, and I attributed that to the snow outside. But yesterday, when I got home from work early, I looked at the winter playground around me and just wanted to play in the snow...to run around and enjoy the season. And, you know what? I didn't do it. I let go of the happy feelings and instead gave into the negative ones. Bad move.
So, I guess what I'm saying is...I'm going back to step one in the process. I've lost 80 pounds, and I learned what opportunities were out there for me in the summer months. I learned how to use what was around me to get me where I wanted to go. And then I got a big head and thought I was too special for all that, and then I got a little lost when the snow hit the ground. So it's a winter restart for me.
Spark Diet - Step 1:
6 Fast Break Strategies
1) Do you know what you're eating? TRACK everything!
2) Finding the time - Learn what habits can fit into a realistic day.
3) Setting up shop - Reorganize your kitchen to prevent temptation, promote convenience and purchase wisely.
4) Site Tricks & Tips - Learn how to use SparkPeople.com to your advantage!
5) Keeping Goals Top of Mind - Create a vision collage.
6) Which diet strategies will work for you? - Go over your Spark program and set it up to make it work for you.
I'm going back to the beginning. I'm going to learn how to restart with this new body I've made for myself and discover what makes IT tick. Sure, most of it will be the same, but there could be some changes too. I gotta keep rolling with it, accepting my new self, and moving on from there. As RAVENSONG said, it's time for a reboot.
1 - I will track everything and measure, measure, measure!
2 - I will find time to workout every day, even if just for 10 minutes.
3 - I will make a list for shopping this weekend, and do a little batch cooking to fill any holes.
4 - I will rediscover Spark. There are still some parts of this site that I just don't get.
5 - I will rediscover my goals, write them down, and post them in front of my scale.
6 - And I will go over my Spark plan and make sure it's right for what I need right now.
Here we go again!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
So, yesterday I worked on getting up. I ate my regular 1/2 whole wheat bagel with 1 Tbsp. of whipped cream cheese and, with coffee in hand, I headed to work. I ate my yogurt at the regular time, had my salad a few hours later with a turkey sandwich, and then the cravings hit.
Instead of rushing to the vending machine, I ate some almonds and had a protein bar...following that with some grapes instead of chocolate covered pretzels. When I felt more cravings, I popped a slice of Extra's new dessert gum. (If you haven't tried this, you totally should! Mint Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Shortcake are amazing! I feel like I'm eating the full-meal gum from Willy Wonka! *lol* Why didn't anyone think of this before?!)
I spent the hours of 3-6 trying to talk myself out of going to the gym. I had good reasons and some excuses.
I was still tired because I didn't sleep well the night before.
My legs were still sore from the actual fall I took the other night.
I still wasn't "feeling it."
My oldest son has come down with Chickenpox.
And then I told myself that I was being silly.
I told myself that my Zumba instructor was doing final measurements for the BL challenge we started in October.
I told myself that regular gym-time on Thursday was out because I have to work my second job.
And then I told myself to shut it and just drive.
I got out of my car at the gym complaining about the cold.
And then told myself that it would be warmer inside.
I whined about how cold I would be when I was sweat-drenched on the way home.
And then I told myself I'd cross that bridge when I got there, and it was only a 10-15 minute drive before I'd be home in the cozy, warm house.
And I changed my clothes and took one last look in the mirror before heading upstairs.
And I ran a lap around the track, just to remind myself what that felt like.
I positioned my new I RUN Bondiband on my head, a reward I bought myself for completing week 2 of C25k.
Zumba was strange, and I was reminded again how much my body has changed.
I nearly fell over no less than 4 times.
The instructor asked if I was okay, as my balance seemed to be in the crapper.
And these really weird words came out my mouth as I explained that I was using the same energy I had used before to complete the moves before realizing it didn't take that much energy anymore.
You've all heard the phrase "lighter on your feet" right? That's what I was. I was lighter. So when we did a leg lift or a jump or even a knee lift, my mind kept trying to work those muscles to their ultimate power to raise my legs off the ground. But, I soon realized, my legs weren't as heavy anymore. And at one point I even felt like I was flying in a way. I was jumping higher and moving faster, and it took me some time to get used to it.
I may not have lost any weight in DC, but even Hubs noticed when I got back that my legs look thinner. Walking and running have shrunk my legs, and certainly have increased my muscle mass in them, I think. And when I put on that size 2x dress MEZZO sent me, I realized I didn't hate my legs so much anymore. They aren't the runners legs I want...not yet... but they're certainly improved and I'm finding cause and opportunity to enjoy and love them.
I came home after Zumba and ate a little too much pot roast and mashed potatoes. But then I stopped eating and was good the rest of the night.
I felt stronger.
I felt a little more in control.
I wasn't perfect, but I was gaining my courage back.
I talked to a friend on the phone, the one who is getting married in July and asked me to be a bridesmaid. The one who gave me yet another reason to keep pushing, so I can be lower than I ever have been in my adult life by the time I put on that bridesmaid dress. I told her that I was hoping to lose at least another 30 pounds by the time her wedding came around. I reminded her that I had lost 80 already, and told her that my plan was to lose "a Sarah" (that's her name, btw). "Good luck!" she said. "I'm up to 126 now." I started calculating in my head and thought, "Okay, so the challenge is set. I may not lose a Sarah before her wedding, but by the end of next year, I want to be able to tell her -- 'Hey! I lost YOU!' and laugh uncontrollably."
After talking to her, I watched the BL finale...and somehow I got to talking with Logan and Hubs about how much weight I had lost. "You weighed 460 pounds at some point?" Hubs looked at me, jaw dropped. "Yep. 466.6." He didn't say anything. "I now weigh 335." And all I heard was, "Oh my God!" Suddenly the pictures of the people on the show made sense to him. I was right up there with them. I may still have a ways to go, but I have accomplished amazing things so far, so who can say I can't do it again, or continue to do it?
When I fessed up to you yesterday about how scared I was, I was on my way to getting up. I had my knee bent and my foot on the ground. And with each small step of progress I made throughout the day, I was getting my entire body into standing position. Through my Zumba class I started taking my first steps again. And then having some serious talks, I started to feel like my legs were back firmly under me and I was ready to move at a quicker pace.
I think I experienced a slight twinge of burnout last week.
I think the disappointment from putting in so much effort and not seeing results shook me.
But I know that I started the process of learning to walk again yesterday.
We say all the time that it's all about the baby steps we take...and what I didn't realize is how many times throughout the process you have to go back to crawling before you can learn to take baby steps and learn to walk again. You grasp onto any hand around you, for me, it was friends and family, my Hubs a lot of the time, my Sparkies the rest. I let you hold my hands to give me the confidence I needed to try again on my own. And then I let go and started to walk again.
That doesn't mean I won't need those hands again sometime in the future. I might even need them again today. Learning to walk is a difficult thing - you have to find your balance and listen to your body, and stumbling is a part of that learning process. But for right now, I'm walking, I'm taking it step by step and letting go of the idea that the fall hurt me somehow. In truth? I think it has made me stronger.
Thanks for helping me get up.
Thanks for holding my hand as I took those first steps.
I'm ready to take some more on my own again, but I hope you'll all be there when I need the hand-holding once more.
And as I try out these new legs, I'm going to work on reminding others that they can walk too, and that we can support each other as we go. The walk is always more fun when you have someone to share it with...another lesson I learned in DC.
In other news:
* My eye doc yelled at me today for misusing my contacts. I was days away from getting an ulcer in my eye and, perhaps, losing a good portion of my vision. Another lesson learned. I'll be ordering new glasses and contacts on Friday and, until then, me and my old glasses will be spending a lot of quality time together.
* Like I said, Logan has Chickenpox. Ethan is P.O.ed beyond belief because it means he gets to miss school all week, and likely the two days next week before Winter Break. Logan is doing well, it's a mild outbreak as he had one shot of the vaccination as a baby. His fever is 99 or so, and the bumps aren't everywhere. He feels fine and loves that he gets to stay home from school! *lol*
* Workout scheduled for today? C25k, W3D3. Yep, I'm a little behind because of the traveling and such, but I'm just going to keep going like I didn't miss a beat and only go backward if I need to. One thing I won't do? Give up. I worked too hard to be able to run (something I discussed with a classmate at Zumba last night), I won't go back on it now.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Last night I was watching Tabitha's Salon Takeover with Hubs. (I know, strange, right?! *lol*) Anyhow, there was a woman on there, the salon's co-owner, who seemed defensive whenever the employees told her anything was wrong. Hubs and I started talking about her getting emotional when it was improper in business situations and I said something to the effect of, "She seems like the kind of person who never loses and I think she's scared because she knows she's failing at this." And Hubs looks at me, laughs and says, "Well that's silly! You can't have success without failures!"
It goes right along with a Spark article I read this morning on the successes and failures of Abe Lincoln. (Fitting considering my recent trip to DC, and my theory since childhood that Lincoln was my favorite president of all time. Funny, my kids asked me why and I couldn't really tell them...but after reading this article, I think it's firming up my belief that he was a triumph because he kept getting back up after every fall.)
Read the article here:
The point is, little Abe struggled, and both little and big Abe failed many, many times. It took him 3 times to get elected to Congress. He never succeeded at getting elected to the Senate...and that great speech he gave that we now have our children study in school? It was considered a flop. And yet, ask most people what they think of Lincoln and they'll likely not have much bad to say about the man.
This all ties in with something I commented to someone in a blog recently...about how falling is normal and human, but how getting up again and continuing to move forward is what separates us from those who never succeed.
I think you see what I'm getting at here. In order to win, we have to learn how to lose. It's not the fall that's important, but the refusal to stay down, the fight to get back up, dust ourselves off, and get going again. And falling can happen a lot in life.
I failed the first time I did Zumba. And now I'm sort of a pro.
I failed when I started to attempt to run. And now I'm doing C25k.
I have fallen over and over again. And this feeling I'm experiencing? The experience of the past three days? It's just another fall I need to get through.
I still can't get my 24s on comfortably, though it was a goal for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
I haven't reached, and likely won't reach, my goal of under 330 by Christmas.
But last week I walked about 20 miles. I worked out at the gym. I ate healthy options except a few exceptions here and there. (Seriously, that french dish was probably awful for me....penne pasta, Roquefort cheese and black truffle shavings...and that was just the STARTER!...but it was SO TOTALLY worth it!) I made good choices, I kept moving, and I felt more alive than I've felt in so very long!
Sunday night I took a literal fall in my living room. And it took me a while, but I did finally get up. I kept thinking to myself the entire time, "Why are you still on the ground? It hurt, yes, but you're fine. Just get up, stupid!" But then I realized that I was scared. That fall hadn't happened because my knee went out. My knee didn't even go out when I fell. I didn't break anything. And all I could think was, "Is this was it feels like to fall as a skinny person?" Yes, I actually thought that.
I'm scared right now. Awfully scared. The kind of scared that keeps you from moving. The kind of scared that makes you retreat backwards.
I'm scared because this new body of mine is just that - new. I don't understand it. It feels so strange and foreign to just walk and walk and walk, and only feel completely exhausted after hours of walking and realizing that you've walked 6 miles and have every right to feel completely exhausted...especially considering you already "ran" 2 miles earlier that day.
I'm scared because my collarbone hurts. The right one. It hurts to touch it. Is it bruised? Is that the one I've broken twice in my life? Is that the way it's supposed to feel? Is there supposed to be a little bump there?
I'm scared because I heal quicker than before. The day after my 6.5 mile walk, I was fine the next morning. Even the windburn/rash/whatever on my legs didn't hurt quite as bad as the night before.
I'm scared because I look in the mirror sometimes and I don't recognize myself. I think, "Wow! I look great!" and then I second guess myself, because there is no way, mentally, I can wrap my head around being thinner.
I'm scared because my husband constantly compliments me.
I'm scared because a size 2x dress sent to me last night fit...and I didn't think it would.
I'm scared because the 24s still don't fit, and I know it's because of my stupid "stomach apron" or whatever it's called.
I'm scared that I'll never get rid of that thing.
I'm scared of what happens when I do.
I'm scared to realize that, if I try hard enough, I could possibly see 230, my PT's set goal weight by the end of 2011...what then?
MEZZOANGEL wrote a blog about this feeling she got after realizing she was so close, after realizing she was standing on the doorway of that final goal she set for herself. And I agree with her 100%...it's scary. And I guess we're going to have to be scared together. I may not be standing on the doorway, but I've reached a mental halfway point (and almost a physical one as well), because my body is so differently changed from what it was when I began.
I may have fallen Sunday night. I may have "fallen" Saturday through Monday (nope, I did NOT work out last night. I ate a ton of crap and sat on the couch watching TV with Hubs). And even though it might take a little while, I'm going to get back up.
My husband is right...you can't succeed without falling. Why? Because you have to learn the lessons of success each time you stumble, or you're bound to have a huge fall from grace later. This fall of mine? I'm looking at is as a lesson, and one I really need to learn.
30 is coming.
2011 is coming.
Vegas is coming.
A new body is coming.
A lack of stomach is coming.
A bounty of clothes is coming.
230 is coming.
So I'm just going to sit here, and eat my salad, and listen...listen to the lesson I need to hear. About how I can get back up every time. About how every fall creates a callous. About how I'm healing faster than ever now.
Monday, December 13, 2010
My flight home went stellar, ladies and (very few) gents! I got to the airport entirely too early for my flight, but was glad to just be going home (plus, I had Dracula to finish and In Cold Blood to get back into, so all was good on the waiting front). When boarding for my flight was called, I realized I was the only one standing and walking toward the gate. Figured it must have been a mistake, but NOPE! I get to the gate and the ticketing woman says, "You're my only passenger today! You just chartered a flight!" *lol* That's right...whole entire tiny turboprop plane to myself! It was wonderful! Excellent visability so I got to watch us pass over the snow-covered mountains and everything! The flight attendant made her and I some hot tea and then I just enjoyed the peace and quiet and smooth sailing of the best flight I've ever experienced.
The past two days were spent at home doing laundry, getting groceries, cleaning up (*sigh*) and trying to get myself and my house back in order. There is still plenty to do, but I have to admit that my eating for the past 2 days has been...well, not good at all. But today is a new day, and besides eating 3 servings of those stupid Quaker mini rice snack things (not buying those again!), I'm doing alright. Missed my yogurt this morning as someone moved one I had lost to the back of the fridge up to the front and it expired over a month ago. (Not going through that food poisoning again!!) I'm trying to readjust, but I miss the streets of DC a bit and having the world, and plenty of walking paths, at my fingertips. Back to the grind. Nothing exciting to do tonight. No 5 miles put in just so I can go walk to the store to get some shopping in or go see the large monument that is just blocks away. *sigh* Back to driving an hour in my car to get to work, to sit here for about 10 hours, only to leave and head to the gym for a regular-sized workout, and then home to cook, clean, and veg until bedtime. I wish I could travel all the time!
Anyhow, you might notice that I didn't post a weigh-in blog yesterday. Want to know the God's honest truth? I gained a pound, and then spent all day eating whatever the hell I wanted just because I was so very angry about that one pound. Yes, I know that it's probably due to excess sodium, lack of water, overexertion. I made the perfect storm of overworking my body, not eating on schedule, and not drinking water consistently throughout the day to gain some bloating and such. And while my head knows that...my heart was broken all day yesterday. Honestly, I likely put in about 20 miles of either walking or running last week. And as much as I understand how A + B must = C for everything to work out the way I want on the scale, sometimes it just doesn't make sense in my head that working out more and eating sensibly doesn't always translate anymore to a 5 pound loss on the scale.
So that's why my shame kept me from even logging on yesterday. There. I admit it. And now I'm moving on.
Back to the every day.
Back to the job I feel overqualified for.
Back to the job that doesn't pay me enough to buy Christmas presents.
Back to days of boring and annoying work gossip and gripes.
Back to people forgetting the ideal of what we're doing here.
Back to paperwork.
Back to exercise plans.
Back to living each day almost entirely like the one before.
Back to worry, and regret, and things that drive me forward.
Back to hoping for more...and not getting it.
Back to no phone calls about jobs interviewed for.
Back to empty inboxes and useless information.
I'm going to formulate a plan...as soon as I stop mourning the death of my freedom and exciting new possibilities.
People ask me sometimes why I keep going, keep trying to lose weight, keep exercising. Truth? Right now it is the only thing I can change. Nothing else works. It may be slow, and difficult, and downright annoying at times, but it's the only time I put in effort and see the results. I've been failing in every other area of my life, so letting go on this would be letting go of the only good thing I've got going for me right now. I know that sounds sad, but that's the truth. I can't give up...I would cease to move forward...and I have this innate fear that if I stop moving I will die...maybe I'm a shark.
So, yes...I'm home. And while I'm glad to be home with my boys (all 3 of them, Hubs included), I'm confronted with the ho-hum and dull-drum of my life...and the fact that I'm extremely unhappy with it...
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