As some of you may have seen, I posted a status message on Friday evening that wasn't very positive or pretty. In fact in was riding on the edge of scary at least for me. I have been having some serious doubts about my current journey, who I am and what I can accomplish and I was seeing no point in continuing my journey to better health. Now this isn't to say that I was going to go out and binge eat and make myself fat with all of the health issues that go along with being overweight. But I was seriously thinking of not worrying if I exercised or not, not worrying about how many calories or carbs or proteins or veggies I consumed. Just eat what I wanted.
Why was I doing this? Because no matter how carefully I ate or how much I exercised or how well I did anything it just wasn't good enough, it just wasn't working. This was becoming beyond pointless. Even after doing everything "right" for an extended period of time I gained 7 pounds between 7/29 and 9/7. No it wasn't muscle and things weren't improving inside. The scale number was going up, the measuring tape numbers were going up, my clothes were fitting snugger than before, all as if I was eating whatever I wanted and not exercising. What is the point?
Add to this, I was on day 25 of a 30 day squat challenge and was excited because I could see the end, I could see the finish line for this challenge and I was stoked. I was going to make it, I was going to accomplish something for myself! Then... on squat 161 of 210 extreme pain in my thigh. I waited a couple minutes, I drank some water, I took some deep breathes and thought positive thoughts then I slowly tried to do another squat. I eeked out 4 more with extreme pain and stopped. I hoped I would be fine the next morning and it would just be a small setback. WRONG! It was the end of the squat challenge, it was another FAIL for me. The next morning I was still in pain, I had to very, VERY slowly try to walk down the stairs in my house and then make my way back upstairs. I could tell it wasn't going to be a short term setback. I was done. I figured, yes I can't do the squat challenge or anything with my lower body until my leg heals but I can still do my upper body strength training, I will focus on that. Then I pulled out the weights and looked at my schedule of what I was supposed to do that day and realized everything although not focused on the lower body did incorporate it so that was a no-go. I gave it a couple of days and planned to try again but the fates were against me, I sliced a gash in my finger at work so not only could I not use my lower body but I couldn't even grip a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell... nothing!
All of what I have mentioned above brought back many things I had hoped were stowed tightly in the past. The memories of not being good enough, thin enough, smart enough, fast enough, you name it, I wasn't it. I didn't hear these things from my family not that I heard positives either but I am not going to use this to bash on my family or anyone else. But when I was younger it was beaten into me that I just wasn't good enough for anything. Failing (in my mind) at losing those last 10 pounds (which is now 18 pounds), losing the flabby sections of my body, completing the squat challenge so I could be proud of myself and then start a plank challenge along with other stressors and negatives in my life right now, brought all of that doubt and self loathing back. I realized this was happening when I read two blogs on Spark that were beautiful, wonderful blogs but each had a line or more in them as criticisms of me. Now I know looking back that this was beyond stupid because they were nothing to do with me, they were personal blogs from two of Sparks great members. But I took them to heart.... I decided I wasn't worth all the effort and why would anyone love me if I couldn't even love myself.
I knew deep down that giving up was not the answer but it was such a strong and powerful force and I have been fighting for pretty much everything in my life for so long that I just didn't feel like I could fight anymore. I was on the verge. I posted that status message just as an outlet, not even as a plea for help because in the state I was in I never thought anyone would even read my status update. I was wrong! Some wonderful Spark Friends read that status and immediately jumped in to try to help. I got messages, I got goodies, I got encouragement, I got motivational quotes, I got caring wonderful words, some from people I had never talked to before. I was and am still in awe of how wonderful the people here can be. But as wonderful as all of that was and is, I knew I had to do something. This is my journey and no matter how willing my Spark Friends are to help, they can't do this for me. As I lay in bed Saturday morning thinking about everything and reading and rereading the words of many of you, I started to look at the pieces one by one.
Step one.... I took myself out to my Happy Place and tried to find my Happy. I hiked the hills, I lay on a giant rock in the sun overlooking the waves, I watched the gulls, I closed my eyes and absorbed the sounds and the smells, I blocked out the negative words of people having conversations as they walked by. I took photos of things I already have hundreds of photos of simply because I love the place and I love photography. I ignored the name and all of the things on my to-do list for the weekend, I just relaxed and let it all go so I could find my happy. I started the journey....
I made Saturday a day all about me. I even sat down and watched a movie while I sipped a glass of wine and just relaxed and let myself have the day. I joined a new SparkTeam that I happened to notice on a friend's page; a team dedicated to loving yourself and being positive and all of the things I am struggling with right now. I ate what I wanted and almost all of it was healthy anyway. I snuggled my little girl and laughed with my little boy. I slept! I found a great photo that became the background on my phone so I see it every single time I pick up my phone....
and I AM awesome!!
I woke up in a good mood this morning and then discovered I had more messages and goodies waiting for me from the great people of SparkVille. Then I lay there and just thought about my journey from start to where I am now and I looked at my stats and trends of weight and inches gained and lost and made some discoveries. What I am doing is not working, it did for a little while but that time has passed. When I was doing the best on this journey was in November and December, the numbers were slowly but steadily decreasing, I was more fit, more active and felt better, what I was doing was working. Shortly after that I hit some brick walls with my health that are completely unrelated to this journey, I refer to them on my SparkPage. From that point on emotions took over and I couldn't stop eating "bad" things. I would go to the store to buy healthy foods, fruits, veggies, things I enjoyed and would come home with those things AND some cookies or peanut butter or whatever. I couldn't handle my eating and I had to fact that and recover from that emotional eating so I joined MediFast so I didn't have to go to the grocery store as often and only to very limited sections of the store. It worked for a while with some drawbacks, less energy, less food, less exercise or none at times, less fiber, you get the picture. Recently I have noticed a few changes that I wonder if are side effects of being on a plan such as MediFast. I have no way of knowing and being on it did serve it's purpose for a while so I won't bash or speak badly of the plan. It does have it's merits for some people, it has just run it's course with me. So as I indulged myself and continued the "me" time from Saturday and planted myself in the hot tub to let the hot water and jets work their magic on the weeks of tension built up in my muscles and then I made a decision. I am going to go backwards, yes I said BACKWARDS, and start eating and exercising more like I did back in November and December. Of course it is going to take me some time to build my endurance back up to the level that it was since I didn't get there overnight the first time. For the first bit of time, hopefully not too long, I will need to work in some of my remaining MF meals until they are gone or close to it but I am here and now declaring that I am getting off of MF ASAP. Dinners for the upcoming week are in the crock pot as I type, my healthy snacks and sides are portioned out and ready to go in the fridge. I have two pitchers of my special freggie water chilling and ready to go into my bottles for work tomorrow. I WILL DO THIS!!
To all of you who gave me suggestions, quotes, goodies, positive and caring words, encouragement and have stood by my side through thick and thin, you are amazing and wonderful and you are what make the journey's and struggles do able!
Thank you SparkVille for believing in me even when I didn't believe in myself!
A final couple of notes to myself and anyone else who is struggling ....
Many thanks, hugs and love to EVERYONE in SparkVille!!