Friday, January 11, 2013
The last few days have been so hard!
It seems my hormones decided to start "the week that doesn't count" early and with a vengeance. It's been miserable, because I've been spending the past few days at work sulking and gloomy for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and I've been struggling with food more than I have for several, several months. Everything seems so delicious - even stuff I normally wouldn't want to eat! And my self control seems as flimsy as ever, and I'm ashamed to say I've been pushing (and exceeding) the top of my calorie range for several days running.
The only good news is that the crazy, intense food cravings have given way to severe cramps. Not sure if that's a good trade or not. So of course my mood is going to be out the window for awhile. At the very least, today was my Friday at work so I don't have to worry about going to work tomorrow feeling this way.
Anywho I really, really need to wake up bright and early tomorrow and hopefully have the place to myself. As shameful as it is, I have to admit that I've let things pile up the past week. Dirty dishes, laundry, trash... I've neglected it all. And like my living quarters, my mood has seemed to develop a cluttered, trashy vibe to it. I'm in need of some emotional and literal cleansing, and the only way I can do that in peace is without having others around to throw off my mojo (or make me wait to use the dishwasher or the dryer). I know. When it comes to getting my chores done, I'm downright self-centered. Hopefully my plans won't be derailed by having to go to work to pick up my paycheck... ugh, I've been trying to get my direct deposit set up for weeks and for some reason the lady in charge has to keep asking me for my bank info when it doesn't happen on payday.
Enough about tomorrow.
Yeah. So the whole exercise thing has been weighting on my mind a lot lately. I know everything about it. I know it's important, it's necessary. I know I'll feel better, lose more weight, make more progress, be healthier. I know the right things to do, how to do it. I KNOW. But I just can't make myself do it. And honestly that's the reason this is the first time in my life I have had any success with dieting or making healthier food decisions - it's because this is the first time I've wanted to do it, you know? All my past failures were because I wanted to be thin, but I really didn't want to do the work entailed in achieving thinness. Same goes for exercise. I straight up do not want to exercise. Plain and simple.
And it's frustrating! I want to want to. But I just... don't. The idea doesn't appeal to me. It's a repetitive chore, there's nothing that seems fun or beneficial or aesthetic about it, if that makes sense. And with my current lifestyle, it's not like I really have the time to take it slow and be adventurous. I work nights on a rotating schedule, so it's not like I can set a routine that's exactly the same everyday that I can rely on. And working out when I get home, in the middle of the night, wouldn't be an option considering everyone else is trying to sleep.
Did I mention that I just don't want to?
And I know, I know. All this negativity and "I can't" attitude isn't going to get me anywhere, and the whole point is to be saying "I can" and finding ways to make it work. But honestly, if the inspiration and the drive just isn't there, how am I supposed to? You can't build a house without setting a foundation, and the desire, the drive - that's the foundation.
*Sigh* I know I must be very frustrating to read right now. I'm frustrating myself.
One thing is for sure, though. If I really, truly want to reach my weight loss goals, I'm going to have to situate this whole fitness thing out. Soon.
Honestly, I think the whole lack of desire stems from some emotional baggage that I'm not ready to deal with (or I tell myself I'm not ready to deal with). When I visualize myself in my room with a workout video on the computer, I feel so many emotions - rage, shame, frustration, anger, vulnerability - and I'm positive that it has to do with past struggles. Most recently there was the whole thing with my ex husband. One of his passive aggressive ways of trying to get me to look a certain way so he'd love me was to suggest that I exercise. When he started working out (to impress his mistress, really), he really pressed me to work out with him. I want to say that it was because he wanted to do it with me, because he wanted to share a lifestyle change together and better ourselves, but that wasn't the case. It was all about how he didn't love me, how he wanted to change me, and I knew that. So all those emotions and the idea of working out got bundled together, if that makes sense.
And it's just, well. No work out experience I've ever had has been positive. It's always been someone pressing me to be something else, to liberate me from my fatness. To change me. And I've never been comfortable with that; from the perspective of people like my ex husband and the others who "encouraged" me, they were doing me a favor by helping me become a better person, by becoming healthier, etc etc, but in my eyes what they were saying was they couldn't accept who I was. They never stopped to think that I was fat because I wanted to be, because I was comfortable with it and the life choices that they came from. That just wasn't an option, and that refusal to accept me or what I wanted hurt. It was - and I'm not trying to be dramatic here - prejudice.
Part of why I don't want to work out at all, ever, is because it feels like it will never be on my terms. No matter the context it will always feel like I'm finally bowing to the prejudice I've been fighting against. It's like I can't make the choice to work out without the ideas of others being attached to it, and those feelings of not being accepted and being judged can't be done away with.
It's like if I do start working out, then that means I'm saying that everything my ex husband and all those others said and did towards me and body was right.
And now I'm tearing up. Thanks for that, hormones.
I'm sorry. I know this must seem dramatic and stupid. Whether they're dumb or hard to understand, these are emotions I've been dealing with for a very, very long time. Ever since I knew the shame of being that kid who was huffing and puffing and red in the face, sweating uncontrollably, and I KNEW those looks from everyone else were towards my flesh and full of pity. It probably wouldn't be such a big deal if that same look hadn't ended my marriage and broken my heart.
I wish I knew how to disassociate the two ideas, exercising and all those horrible emotions and ideas from the past. I wish I could control all the rhetorics and meanings attached to my body, whether the perceptions are mine or someone else's. But I can't.
This is another hurdle that I have to tackle on my journey. Somewhere I always knew this was coming, because it's always been at the very core of why this whole thing started. It's not just a natural aversion to exercise I'm trying to overcome, but the stigmas and emotions buried deep inside the shards of my heart.
I'm sorry I unloaded all of this here. It seems, though, that I had to unload it somewhere to be able to make any progress. I do want to finish this journey, and I believe that desire is greater than my dislike of exercise. I really do. I've come too far to let this be the end of it. Reading everyone else's blog, I'm so proud of them for continuing to lose and make progress and hit amazing goal marks for their weight loss, and I can't help but feel like the only thing keeping me from racing up and joining you all is this thing with exercise.
Maybe now that I've admitted all of this to myself, I can move forward. Perhaps small steps would be the best route. I don't have to expect myself to magically start doing an hour everyday, right? Maybe step one is to just do it once, regardless of time or action. I can start building from there.
I've always hated the feeling, the idea of running. I've never been good at it, never been fast despite several times of giving it my all. Whenever I have to run in my dreams, it's always like I'm spinning my wheels, and no matter how much I try to pump by legs, I can't manage anything more than a crawling pace, light some magical force is holding me back or levitating me just enough off the ground where I can't push off and go. It's been that way since I can remember, and now I can't help but feel like that magical force has been these feelings I'm wrestling with, about overcoming these horrible expectations from the past.
I have a new desire now. I want to know what it feels like to have my feet slap pavement, pushing me forward with unchallenged strength, to have nothing but the whir of air in my ears offer resistance. I want to know what it feels like to run without anything holding me back. Not old stigmas, not excessive flesh or weak muscles or other's opinions of my body.
I want to be free.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Thank you for writing this blog, and for being so open and honest with yourself and everybody here. I know it takes courage to expose yourself like this, but it is definitely therapeutic too. I am so sorry that you are going through all this. I teared up just reading this blog. It makes me so angry to think about the pressures that people have put you through in the past. I am sorry if I seemed harsh in my last comment to you about you having to exercise. I just hope you know it's not because I wanted to change you! I just know it's the only thing that is keeping you from losing more weight. But you definitely need to deal with these emotions before you can embrace exercise wholeheartedly. Just make sure you keep telling yourself that you are doing this for YOU, not for anybody else. I know that one day your vision of running freely will come to pass, it will just take time. Just take small steps and work your way up. Even going for a nice brisk walk is a good start, and it will give you time to clear your head and think.
I can totally relate to you in wanting the house to yourself to get things done the way you need to get them done. I'm like that too, and so rarely have the place to myself, that it is a total luxury to do so. I can't wait until my condo is finally ready so I won't have to have anybody else in my space anymore!
I hope your monthly visitor woes pass very quickly. Those hormonal cravings and mood swings can be totally killer!
1794 days ago
You need to find an activity that burns calories and you don't associate any negativity with. You do need to do this for yourself so that you feel in control. Maybe dancing to great music, no preplanned choreography just turn the music up and have fun. Go for a walk, don't worry about speed or milage, take in the scenery, go to a zoo, aquarium or museum. Move, without the stress of achieving anything but fun! Hope you feel more like yourself soon!
1795 days ago
I completely understand the whole hormone/cramps/PMS mess. I just went through it and was a wreck for about 2 weeks which just through my whole month of December out the window.
It's hard to get back on track but take it little steps at a time. Do one thing you hate - like dishes or laundry and then something that you do like. Make it enjoyable.
As far as the exercise discussion goes - you really need to just find something that you like. Not something that someone says is a good idea. If you don't like walking/running, try a class. If you don't like to work out with other people find a DVD. Libraries have all kinds that you can borrow and if you don't like them you aren't out any money. Just find something that you like and it's much easier to stick to it that way.
Hope things turn around for you!
1795 days ago
I feel like I'm always saying this to you, but I just love how genuine your blogs read.
So many thoughts went through my head when I read this post, but the main one was to tell you that there are so many different types of exercise. No need to torture yourself, or do something that reminds you of something your ex would like to do. Heck, some dude just lost over 100 lbs doing yoga! It doesn't have to traditional with reps, sets, equipment, spandex.
I also loved reading that you want to start running. I hated running all my life, but just recently fell in love because it DOES feel like what you said. Especially in the woods... My whole life I detested it because I would run as hard as I could and be out of steam and have stitch by half a mile. I started with 30 second/ 2 min run/walk intervals and worked up from there. One of my favorite authors and marathonist, Haruki Murakami, says he always stops running when he feels like he could keep going. That way he'll always be back for more. Enjoy!
1796 days ago
I agree with POMATOJUICE. Sounds like you have an aversion to cardio. Strength would be a great place to start.
I'm sorry about your issues with your ex and exercise. It's good that you are trying to work things out, though. You're divorce is fresh and it will take some time to move forward. Don't beat yourself up over this. Soon you'll get to the point where you won't care that it had anything to do with him. You'll want to do it for yourself. And that's where you need to be! This isn't for anyone else but you! Just keep doing what you can and it will happen for you! Don't give up!
1796 days ago
omg novveeeelllll sorry!
1796 days ago
I'm in cramp city too :( My food choices after lunch were horrible yesterday! I'm going to try for a better today, but it seems like lately, The Brother and The Husband have been taking turns at having days off, and someone is always wanting to go out to eat :/ Yesterday, I got The Brother to agree to subway! It was great! But then we did Pizza Hut for dinner. Ugh! One step forward, two steps back :P
I understand your reasons for not wanting to exercise. What I am wondering, though, is what is "exercise" to you? I may be wrong here, but it seems that you always think of some kind of cardio. The things you mention about not liking about it all seem like cardio type things.
I can't help but wonder if perhaps starting slow with like.. 2 days per week of strength training might be easier for you to ease into things? I see a theme with the issues you are working through with your ex. I also see your stubbornness, and the new strength of will you've found throught his struggle. If running is something you want to give a shot, I'd say go for it. I remember finding it absolutely exhilerating as a little kid to just run like there was nothing else in the world. That left me long before fitness became important :P
If you don't want to start with cardio, though, I would suggest weights. I understand your monetary constraints. You don't need to join a gym for cardio. If you can save up 20-30 bucks, you can get set up with a set of handles and a resistance band or two, and that will keep you for months and months! There's a lot you can do with resistance bands. For example.. my P90x strength discs have 3 ways of doing each move. The easy way, the hard way, and the optional way to do it with bands if you don't have acess to free weights. The absolute best and safest way to strength train is to use your own body weight. So, for the leg moves you can't use bands on.. just doing squats is great for the lower body. Using the bands is a quiet activity. You won't be thumping around the house, jumping up and down, or anything crazy like that.
I know from your stubbornness (because I see it in myself) that you will find this all quite impossible until you want to make it work. When you decide for yourself that you want it, you will suddently find that it HAS to be done, and you WILL make it happen. I know I can't spark that in you until you want it, but I can continue to badger you with suggestions!
That being said.. I feel that cardio is the best way to burn calories and make a decificit. I like to do it once in the morning and knock it out for the day so I can get on with my life and forget that it ever happened. I know that currently may not be an option for you. Which is why I suggested strength. Strength does not burn as many calories. It does not create as great a deficit. It will, however, make you feel physically stronger. The muscle you build will help sustain a higher resting calorie burn throughout the day. I feel both are very important, but it seems to me that strength training may be right up your alley. I don't take much stock in gym machines, because the way a lot of them isolate a single muscle is dangerous. (IE- Leg machines. Very bad for you). Going it at home with using resistance bands and your own body weight helps strengthen multiple muscle groups and is a much healthier way to do it!
1796 days ago
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