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Sisyphus was no Sissy

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Recently, during a community service project with some teens at work that involved sorting through bins of thousands of cans of food at the Food Bank to find the ones that were still edible, I described the story of Sisyphus. It goes a little something like this:

In Greek mythology there was a king named Sisyphus. He was kind of a jerk and enjoyed
activities like lying, cheating, killing, and seducing the daughter of his enemy. Zeus was
not a fan, and punished Sisyphus by making him roll a giant boulder up a hill, only for it
to roll back down to the bottom each time he made it to the top...for eternity.

There was a clear correlation between the myth and our task at the Food Bank, but this blog is not for me to brag about my acts of service toward mankind. I've recently reached the top of the hill in my own story of Sisyphus.

During my Golden Age of Weight Loss (circa fall 2009 - spring 2010), I made steady progress and felt a lot of success. One way I measured this success was with a string that I used to measure my waist and hips weekly. I made little Sharpie marks and watched as the start and end mark grew inches and inches apart. Even after that Reformation period I stayed consistently in my goal weight range for four more years. Like Sisyphus, I pushed and pushed. I made it to the top!

...and now my giant boulder has started to slide back downhill. My weight started to creep back up, and the measurements on my string are getting closer to where they started. I think the following factors have all contributed to this perfect storm:
- we moved in the fall and I lost my fitness community: my two regular running groups, my set schedule of classes at the Y, my ultimate frisbee crowd
- I stopped setting goals after my 15K in March
- I turned 30 (which may not be a big deal, but I've heard it can affect your metabolism)
- I started a job this spring that, although I love it, is the least physically active job I have EVER had in my life

To get myself re-pumped, I read through my old blog entries. I was struck by two things:
1. I'm good at keeping goals if I set good ones.
2. I got so many comments of support from random people I've never met, especially about the weekly goals I had worked on for the first half of last year.

So here we go again. I'm recommitting to myself. Here's what's happening now:
1. I just signed up for my first race in 5 months.
2. Today is the first day of a "real" food challenge I'm doing with some of my family members, which involves avoiding a lot of processed foods and sugars.

The good thing for Sisyphus, I guess, is that he never ran out of chances to keep rolling his rock up that hill.
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