Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I realized after I posted my last blog that today is my one year anniversary with SparkPeople.
I've lost 40 pounds (and gained back 10 of those).
I've made some AWESOME friends.
I've had tough times but gotten through them.
I've had FANTASTIC times.
This is a rollercoaster that I don't want to stop. Even though it has it's ups and downs, the end result is going to be worth it.
Besides, I've learned so much about myself while on this journey.
I'm not a quitter.
I whine a lot, but I still get things done.
I depend on other people, but I'm learning to depend on myself.
Hopefully in a year I'll be down at least another 40 pounds. Maybe I'll even be at my goal weight. But no matter what I weigh or what my body looks like, I will be happier because of the trials I'll go through and the new things I'll learn about myself and the changes I'll make.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I didn't feel like going to the gym last night. I weighed myself earlier in the day and had gained weight, putting me at over 200. I swore to myself that I'd never EVER see that number again, yet there it was taunting me on my scale. So what did I do?
Then I texted Yoda.
Sometimes it takes him awhile to text me back, but with that news I heard from him almost immediately.
"Don't be upset. We can change it, okay?"
Of course I replied that I was upset. I've been eating better than usual. I've been working out hard. He's even sent me home from the gym after seeing me do Zumba for an hour and then the treadmill for another hour. It's not that I'm not putting in the work. It's just that I can't seem to lose weight and keep it off.
He told me to come into the gym and meet with him. Of course I agreed because even though I didn't feel like working out, talking to Yoda always makes me feel better.
Just to update: Technically Yoda isn't my trainer anymore. I recently had to move and it cost a lot of money, so I couldn't afford more training. Yoda is aware of this and we talked about how I have learned from him and really don't NEED him, but that he's always there for me. In fact, he's trained me a few times anyway, just to keep me on track. Also, he knows that as soon as my finances get back in order I will be training with him every week again. I've also told him that if I ever win the lottery or come into money, the first thing I will do is hire him to become my family's full-time personal trainer and he will never need another job again! Oh, and every time he sees me at the gym, he still checks up on me.
Anyway, I showed up to meet with Yoda. I was still upset. We discussed my eating habits and the fact that I hate lifting weights by myself. We discussed how much cardio I've been doing. I cried - not a full-on emotional breakdown, but there were tears in my eyes. He kept cracking jokes to keep me from crying. We came to the conclusion that I'm doing too much cardio and not enough weights, and that I'm cheating on my diet more than I realize. (I started drinking soda again and we all know how much that doesn't help with weight loss.)
Then I told him that I need more training. I do better when I have to report to him. I said that I'd juggle things around financially and that it'd work out. He asked me if I was being honest and if I could really afford it now.
I can't lie to Yoda.
"No, but I will figure it out. I always do."
It's true. I plan on having a yard sale in the next few weeks and that will help. Plus I'm going to sell some of the nice things I own. I had already made plans to do this. My health comes first and I do better with training. It's just a fact. Sure, I've learned things and I CAN do it on my own, but I do BETTER with it. So it's a priority for me.
He wouldn't let me.
He cut me off and asked me if I had plans the next evening at 7:15. I laughed because he knows me well enough to know that I have no social life. I agreed to meet with him. I think he's really afraid that I'll give up if I can't get over this plateau soon. He may be right. I mean, I'd like to say that I wouldn't give up, but it's so easy to skip the gym when you aren't losing weight.
Unfortunately, Yoda is meeting me at 7:15 and Zumba starts at 7:30. So I'll miss the class. I kind of think he did that on purpose since I've been doing too much cardio. If we get done with enough time left, I'll probably head into the class for the last 15-30 minutes.
So with that settled, he asked if I wanted to see his Gold's Gym Challenge before/after photos. Of course I said yes! He ran into the office and grabbed the pictures.
I just about drooled. But don't tell him. Seriously, he has been working hard these last twelve weeks and you can tell in the muscle definition. He really toned up. Plus, he was super-proud of himself. It made me wish that I had the same will-power as him. I took 8 of the 12 weeks off and only hit the gym about half the time. I didn't even end up taking my "after" photo because I had actually gained weight.
Anyway, the point of my blog today is this - Yoda is a RockStar. I am super-thankful for him because without him I'd feel helpless and hopeless and I'd be wallowing in self-pity. Instead, he encourages me and doesn't let me give up on myself even though I'm not technically paying him to care anymore. He cares anyway. Having someone like that in your corner means the world. Seriously, how could I possibly consider giving up when he's willing to spend his own time with me until I can afford my own training again? There might be days when it will be easy to give up on myself and let myself down, but I could NEVER purposely disappoint him. He believes in me SO MUCH that I can't help but know that he's right.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I know I've blogged about Zumba yesterday and probably the day before and maybe even several times before that, but humor me. It's a phase or something! ;)
I've decided that if you don't look goofy while you're doing Zumba, then you aren't working hard enough. Sure, some people look sexy while doing the dance moves but let's face it - they are the exception, NOT the norm.
There are 8 different types of people in my Zumba class.
#1. The sexy ones. These are the ones who already know the moves. They've probably been going to classes for years or something. They have toned bodies and I envy them. I picture myself looking like them someday.
#2. The intense ones. They are focused on the routines and they barely stop for water. In between songs, they're still jumping around and keeping their heart rates up. When they do a move, they REALLY do the move. They're always reaching further and taking bigger jumps/steps than anyone else. I try to stay away from them because I fear getting an injury by being accidentally run over or smacked in the face or something.
#3. The hiders. These people show up early so that they can get the spot in the back of the room as close to the corner as they can. They do the moves, but they're so afraid of someone seeing them that they only do the routine half-heartedly. They're embarrassed.
#4. The guys. Yeah, this group is a small, select few but they're worth mentioning. Actually, I've only seen one guy show up and he looked VERY uncomfortable. But you know what? He was actually working hard and didn't seem to be intimidated much by all the women. I actually admired him.
#5. The hoochies. Yup. Every gym and every class has them. These are the girls who think they below to the sexy group, but really they're just kind of gross. It has nothing to do with their body shape or type, but with the way they present themselves. They wear clothing that's inappropriate for the class, they do the moves as if they are on a stage with a pole (no offense to any strippers on my SparkFriends list, but there's a time and place for that kind of thing and Zumba class in the middle of the gym is NOT a good place to try to make money. I'm just sayin'.).
#6. The quitters. Every class, there are a few people who show up and try the moves for a bit. You can tell that they're only doing the moves half-heartedly. In fact, you'd think they belonged to the hiders except for the fact that they're usually in a central location. Then when things get tough, they leave. Some of the people probably have legitimate reasons for leaving early, but most of them just get frustrated and take off.
#7. The strugglers. They're there and working hard, but they have trouble with the moves and/or with being that active. They don't quit though. They keep trying.
#8. The go-ers. They go to class. They try. They do the moves as best as they can. This group has more members than the others. They aren't overly energetic, but they do the moves and have energy. They smile and they show up every time. They're nice and if they see someone struggling, they help if they can. They aren't afraid of looking silly but they don't go out of their way to look that way.
I alternate between group #8, group #7, and group #3. I don't hide in the corner, but I am afraid of someone seeing me look like a fool. I go to every class. Some moves I get easily and sometimes I struggle with them. But I don't quit.
Yesterday I was minding my own business, doing my Zumba moves and looking quite silly when suddenly I saw Yoda's reflection in the mirror. He was standing outside the room almost directly behind me. Immediately I became embarrassed and took a water break. By the time I got back to my spot in the room, he was gone.
I started thinking about it. Why was I afraid? I've looked silly in front of Yoda before - in fact, I know I've looked absolutely ridiculous. I've cried, I've whined, I've gained ten pounds. Why should Zumba moves cause a freezing fear of judgement?
Then I realized something. As long as I'm afraid, I'll never reach my goals. As long as I care more about what other people think, I'll only put in a partial effort. When I can learn to let loose and focus on myself instead of worrying about other people watching me, I will finally be able to get in shape. Plus, I'll be having more fun.
People who are worried about what other people think don't see result as well as those who ignore others. On weeks when I'm looking around the gym wondering who is watching me and judging me, I don't get a good workout in. In Zumba when I feel ridiculous, I don't do the moves well.
I need to be okay with looking like a fool. I need to not freeze up when Yoda walks by. I need to be concentrating on my form and my moves and keeping my heart rate up instead of on where everyone else's eyes are.
I've spent my whole life being insecure. Even when I was thin, I worried about how I looked. I worried about what other people thought of me and how they thought I should act or behave.
Until I learn to be my own person and until I am able to fully believe that the only opinion that matters is my own, then I will never consider myself successful at anything. My insecurities hinder my ability to lose weight. Those insecurities are a crutch that I use as an excuse.
It's time to stop. Sure, it's not going to happen overnight. There's not a switch that you can flip that allows you to not let other's opinions matter so much. It's a learned behavior that I learned the incorrect way the first time and now I need to remedy the mistake.
I'll fix it, one day at a time. Soon, I'll be able to look like a fool without wondering if I'm being judged. I'll be able to belong to whatever Zumba group I want (except for the guys of course - that's kind of exclusive!). If I want to be super-energetic, I can be. If I want to play it cool, I can.
It's MY life and MY goals and MY weight loss. Nobody knows me better than I know myself, so why should their opinion matter more than mine?
It shouldn't. Putting myself first should be my ultimate goal. It isn't selfish to want to be the best person you can be, but you can't do that when you're so worried about other people that you can't even be yourself.
It's time to look silly. It's time to be awkward and off balance. It's time to put 100% effort in instead of whatever percentage keeps me from feeling stupid. It's time to pick my group instead of be put in a group by someone else.
I only feel stupid when I feel judged, so if I don't let them judge me then I'll never feel stupid.
Monday, April 16, 2012
I love Zumba.
I thought I wouldn't. I thought I'd feel so dumb that I'd never go back.
I feel dumb, but in a fun way.
Seriously, if Zumba classes were 6 days a week, I'd go to all of them. If they were twice a day, I'd still go to all of them. I feel dumb and I know I look like a crazy person while doing it, but I'm okay with that. I feel the workouts and I barely notice the passage of time during the workout. In fact, on Friday the woman running the Zumba class asked if we wanted to do another song or if we wanted to cool down. It was already about one minute over our allotted time, but it was immediately unanimous.....we all wanted more.
Yoda still hasn't shown up to the class and I'm kind of glad about that. I think I'd actually work LESS hard with him in the room because I'd be afraid to let loose and look dumb. At one point I saw his reflection as he walked by the room (I was facing the mirror with my back to the door/windows that look out at the gym) and I paused until I was sure he'd passed by. But you know what? If he did show up I'd still at least try to let loose like I do now.
My cousin is my normal Zumba buddy, but she can't go anymore for awhile. She was admitted to the hospital with a spontaneous cerebral fluid spinal leak. It sounds pretty bad, and it is if they can't get it under control. We'll see in the next few days. I'm sure that even in the best-case scenario she won't be back at the gym for weeks.
But tonight at 7:30 I'll be bustin' moves at the gym!
Friday, April 13, 2012
Losing weight is like riding a roller coaster Ė at least, the feelings you get are. First, you decide to do it. You wait in line and the whole time youíre trying to talk yourself out of it. Itís scary and you think you canít do it.
Then itís your turn. You get on the rollercoaster and feel nervous as they strap you in. You feel like once youíre on, you canít get off. Then they start it up and you begin a slow trek up an incline. Sure, there are other people with you, but youíre sure that they donít feel as scared as you do. You feel a mixture of excitement and dread and you arenít even really going yet.
You reach the top of the first incline. Everything pauses for a moment. You feel like time is passing at a snailís pace and you just know that youíre not going to make it. You want to get off the roller coaster, but things are already in place and youíre helpless against it.
And then you drop. Things are going fast and they are only speeding up, not slowing down. You try to scream, but no one else can hear you. They are all either busy screaming themselves or else they are too far away because they didnít get on the roller coaster with you and wouldnít understand anyway. The roller coaster pulls you to the side and you feel sick. Your whole body is fighting against it. Itís making you tired Ė too tired to hold your head up much longer. Thereís a loop and you find yourself upside down. All the change falls out of your pocket. You close your eyes tight and scream louder, praying that you get off this ride in one piece.
Then it evens out, just for a moment. You feel safe, so you open your eyes and think that youíve got it handled. This isnít so bad anymore. A few seconds later, youíre clutching the person next to you and screaming again. There was another loop you forgot about or maybe you were just pretending that youíd already gone through it. The butterflies in your stomach have gotten worse and you feel sick and weak.
And then youíre through it. The roller coaster is coming to a complete stop and thereís someone helping you off the ride. You did it. You made it through the entire ride. And you feel great.
The weight loss journey is an emotional one. Unfortunately with weight loss, Iím not sure that the ride is ever over. Even when Iím at a normal weight, Iíll be worrying about gaining the weight back or becoming too complacent and slipping back into old habits.
I can feel another loop coming on the Weight Loss Emotional Roller Coaster. I can feel things weighing down on me. Today I'm fine and I'll be at the gym, but things are becoming more and more stressful. I know that I'll be okay once I get through that breakdown, but for right now I just feel the stress.
I've found that changing your lifestyle in order to lose weight causes a sense of being lost and emotionally exhausted. Your eating habits change, your activity level changes, you lose weight and are happy about it, people notice, things are great, then you mess up, you gain weight, people still comment on you losing weight, and you feel like you're failing.
Sometimes I feel like I'm in a perpetual roller coaster loop. There's so much every day and it all comes at you relentlessly. There's never a break, never time to breathe. I'm always worried about what I'm eating or how my schedule is so busy and I feel like it's too much sometimes.
That's when I am grateful for Yoda the most. When everything seems like it's smothering me, all I have to do is find Yoda. He can always tell when I need a talk. He seems to sense my panic and frustration and he knows that weight loss isn't just about weight loss. It really is an emotional rollercoaster. People who are losing large amounts of weight aren't just changing physically Ė they are changing their habits and their lifestyle. He's helped me to understand that, and more importantly he's helping me get through it.
I can't tell you the number of times I've cried at the gym but I can tell you the number of times that I've had a complete breakdown there. Three. Three really bad, sob on the gym floor, emotional breakdown, decide to quit, my-life-has-no-meaning, I-can't-do-this, Iím-in-the-middle-of-a-roller-coast-loop-a
nd-I-canít-breathe breakdowns. All three times Yoda was there for me. In fact, one time the breakdown hadn't even started yet, but he noticed my struggle and took me to his little office area to have a talk, where of course I began to cry and whine and quit. But he gets me through those moments.
Honestly, I don't know how those of you without trainers do it and I envy your strength. Without Yoda helping me through the emotional rollercoaster I know that I would have quit 10 months ago. I'd have left that gym and never looked back the first time it happened.
Weíre all on this rollercoaster together. I think that helps us make it through the scary loops and the upside-down moments. We cling to each other, screaming and wide-eyed. But weíre always there for each other. Some people are better at the roller coaster than others. They feel the fear, but they are calm and collected. Theyíre the ones who let us grab their hands and hold on. Theyíre been on this rollercoaster for awhile and theyíre getting used to its ups and downs. They make us feel secure and reassure us that we can do it.
Other people are too scared of failure to even get on the roller coaster. They stand in line, saying that theyíre going to do it but when they get to the front of the line they change their minds. They let other people go ahead or else they get out of line completely.
Iím scared, but at least Iím strapped in.
(picture from http://www.findingdulcinea.com/docroot/dul
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