Thursday, February 07, 2013
I've gained a solid ten pounds since running the Marathon in October.
This happened in a myriad of ways - injury prevented me from running or zumba, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, a month without drinking for December made me into a drinking fiend for January to make up for it, my schedule has been a nightmare leaving zero time for planning, cooking, or exercise, and to tell you the honest truth - eating like a glutton feels really good...until it doesn't.
Last week I had to go out and buy jeans in a Size 14, because there was just no more lying to myself and squeezing every roll of my fat ass into the 10s I was wearing before Christmas anymore. I'm trying not to be mean to myself. It's not working very well. Forgiveness doesn't come easily to me because it feels too much like an excuse and permission to continue the behaviours that have gotten me here.
I'm also torn about even writing this blog. People here tend to be of the "rah rah" variety and don't react well to struggle or set-backs. You're only liked when you're on the downward swing pound-wise or doing something amazing like training for the Iron Man, so the times when we need the most love and support are the times when friends are few and far between. And I know this because I'm guilty of it as well. There's an expectation here that at least half of your Spark Buddies are going to fail. I've seen it happen to far too many people myself, and I can't say that I haven't thought "told you so" too many times when people drop off my radar. But it takes one to know one, and now I'm sorry that I haven't been more supportive to others during these times.
It's hard. What do you really say to someone besides "chin up Charlie"? Cause the last thing I need to hear right now is "chin up Charlie" - it actually pisses me off. What I really want is someone to cry with me. Get down in the dirt with me. Wallow in self pity with me. Feel with me - because you know you've been there before and you know how tough this is for me right now. Don't tell me it's going to get better. Because the truth is, it's NOT going to get better unless I make it better. No one else can do this for me. So tell me how much you KNOW that life sucks when you feel like this. Because THAT it does - life pretty much sucks when you're not at the top of your "A" game. And when you know how much you are capable of because you have accomplished SO much in the not-so-distant past. But I feel like that was forever ago, and like I am so down and out of shape that I can't even run a block anymore, let alone a marathon. How did everything go downhill so fast?
My life is a series of pendulum swings right now. I'll do something great for myself like spend 30 minutes running on the treadmill, or getting back in the pool like I did last night. And I realize when I do those things that I'm not as out of shape as I feel and that I've still got it - deep down there. And I'll feel awesome, for about an hour. And then I'll come home and binge eat an entire bag of Reese's mini-cups, or chocolate cake, or pita chips (if it's there, I'll eat it...all of it). I wake up every morning with a sugar/carb hangover that is so bad, I resolve to fix it immediately. My intentions are all good, until I'm in line at Starbucks and ordering my regular breakfast AND an extra croissant. Why? Cause I deserve it. Because I did get my butt on the treadmill. Because I'm working so hard right now. Because I'm stressed to the absolute maximum of my capabilities. Because I hate my day job and it's a chore just to report for work in the morning. So damn well if I don't deserve a treat. Except I'm treating myself 4-5 times a day, and it's taking its toll on my stomach and my bank account. And I'm terrified that the habits that got me to 300lbs in the first place are gonna put me right back there if I don't get a handle on this now. I'm actually embarrassed when people ask me if I've lost more weight recently. And believe it or not, this has happened more in the last 2 weeks than in the last year. Maybe it's because I am finally wearing clothes that fit me - even though they're bigger, I'm not spilling over my jeans anymore. But I sure as hell have NOT lost any more weight. And that is just so totally depressing to me.
So here are a bunch of things that I would LIKE to do for myself. I'm not promising to do them right now. I'm too fragile to be my own drill sergeant for the time being. But maybe if I write them down and can refer to them, I might be able to convince myself to try a few times a week to be a little healthier, for myself, to get my healthy life back.
Rules for a Healthy Life
- Love Yourself. Remember how good it feels to sweat. How accomplished running and swimming makes you feel.
- Clean out the closet. Drag out the exercise gear and make sure it's on top.
- The crockpot is your friend. Find some new recipes or get what you need for the old ones you love.
- Bring your lunch. Eat the lunch you brought. Trust me. Just do it. At the end of the day, you will feel better for it. Of course Jimmy John's looks temptingly good, but it's just food, and the stuff you make has more value for you in your life.
- Get off the coffee & soda & sugar. This REALLY worked for you before, and it's essential to make this work again. Tea. Water. And after this 10 pounds comes off, you get a soda stream as a treat for fizzy lime & lemon water.
- Program a reminder in your computer to get up and stretch and get more water and use the bathroom every 2 hours. Your butt is permanently affixed to your chair and that's dumb. Get up!
- Ween yourself off fake sugars too. You think that they might be causing the over-eating spells, and you're probably right. That will be easier when you get off the soda as well.
- Remember - IT'S JUST FOOD. Eating out with friends doesn't mean you have to go crazy. No one cares or will remember what you ordered. Get picky. Remember how much you enjoyed the last time you ordered something lighter off the menu. You won't be deprived, and you'll feel better about your choices. Double win.
- Throw it out. Since this is such a HUGE challenge for you, we need to figure out how to make this work. Give it to a homeless person if you can't bear to toss it in the trash, but if there is food that makes it into your life that you can't handle or you know shouldn't be in your house, don't let it stay there.
- Find something else to ward off binge behaviour. No idea what this is right now because nothing feels as good as eating, but there IS something out there that you can do if you're feeling antsy. Just figure it out.
- Stay away from "Free Food" - there is no such thing as "free" food. Because all food comes with a price, and typically, the less you pay for it, the higher the calorie price. Work for what you eat. Know what you eat.
- Get back to tracking if you think it's going to help. But lose the attitude that comes with tracking. Don't let it deprive you or psych you out. If it does, don't do it. This is about a healthy lifestyle, not killing yourself to stick to the numbers.
- Stay off the scale until March.
- Run. Swim. Research the bike. Training season will be on us before you know it. Don't be a chub by the time you get there. Prepare yourself now and renew your love in it again. Look forward to the races you have on the books. Don't dread them. Bottle that marathon feeling and remember it. Dream about it. Savour the way a long run made you feel. You will have that back again. Go after it.
- Just try. Try every day. It sucks, but it's the reality. You're in for a lifetime of trying, and that's all that anyone can ask of you. But trying is better than not trying.
This is your Ten Pound Warning. Trying is better than not trying.