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Ten Pound Warning

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KARVY09
    I needed to read this tonight. Thanks!
    2205 days ago
    This post resonates with me so much, and it looks like others feel the same.
    I mean, we know how to do this, right? Obviously, because you even listed a bunch of really good tactics.

    The key: it is all mental. All of it. We just need to get out of our own way.

    Good luck.
    2210 days ago
  • NUMD97
    I found this blog, because a mutual SP buddy mentioned it, and it piqued my curiosity. It actually resonated with me especially because I wrote one similarly, that in the end, with the best of intentions from well-meaning folks, it all comes down to us. No one else will get us out of the hole no matter how many "you can do it!" 's are lobbed our way. We have to dig deep, and find a way to get re-inspired.

    In truth there is no one "ah ha!" moment. There are many, as we slip and slide to meeting our goal. It's not a straight line. There are deviations along the way. The key is not to make it a straight line, DOWNWARD path, to the oblivion we came from, tens of pounds ago. Getting back into the rhythm will help you. Of that I truly believe. But in the end, it's all about an inner quest to learn more about ourselves, and why we have these issues in the first place. Once that is understood and conquered, I sincerely believe that this will be the last time we need to lose massive amounts of weight. We will finally understand what has been hidden all along. And that day will be sheer glory.

    All the best,

    2210 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/5/2013 12:11:13 AM
    What an amazing blog. I am absolutely in the same place as you are. I just ran my very first half marathon this past weekend and have done absolutely nothing since then. I think I let my body get run down but there is not an excuse. It does suck! But, we will do this! Thank you for your honesty. It totally put a few things in perspective for me. Good luck with your training!
    2214 days ago
    I feel your pain. I've been struggling and gaining too. (35 lbs!) Something that helps me get back on track is the 5% Challenge Team. Our exercise minutes count as miles and every week we race against other teams to an exotic destination. (virtually of course) We also have lifestyle challenges. (eat your freggies, drink water, sleep) I've done a few of them and the commitment to the team keeps me exercising when I'd rather not and watching what I eat more carefully. The challenge lasts for 8 weeks. If you're interested in joining, here's the link

    You have to join by feb 16. Eeek that's today!
    2227 days ago
    Thank you so much for your honest and genuine words. I'm sure we can all identify with you- I know I've been at that spot. The most important thing is you know what you need to do and you know that place in your mind and heart you have to get to in order to do it- because you've also been THERE before. Your "Rules for Healthy Living" are amazing and inspiring. I'm going to remember this blog for the next time I'm at that spot.
    2231 days ago
    Kiddo - love you when you're fit and fabulous, and love you when you struggle like the rest of us! Love and friendship are not based on superficial status, love and friendship are unconditional, and I think you could use some unconditional love.

    So listen up - you are wonderful, and smart, and strong, and human, and you are loved.

    You'll get the rest figured out. Let yourself be loved, and mirror that.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2233 days ago
    I have learned that you can do it for no one else than yourself either you want it and will make changes to get it or you don't and if you don't want to make the changes based on your own choices then nothing any of us say will make a difference.

    It is up to you no one can make someone else do something if they don't want too. Some people think others can make them happy but you control your life

    Just decide what you want to do
    2233 days ago
    Wow, What an awesome blog.. Goodness so much well thought-out thought went into this.. I loved all of the positive notes to self 'self talk'.. Ten pounds is nothing! YOU've run a Marathon YOU can do anything!!

    Use the useful food tracker for awhile it has been awesome tool for reteaching me how I'm eating right & wrong and makes me be accountable to myself.

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” Dr. Seuss

    emoticon Jane

    2233 days ago
  • KITT52
    emoticon ...only you can do this for yourself......
    2234 days ago
    I feel you. I gained 50 pounds back over the last half of 2012 and had to restart at a higher weight than I was the first time I started

    2234 days ago
  • MARIANNE9855
    from what I have learned after all these years- overeating is like any addiction- you have relapses but the trick it to make a plan and tweak it if necessary emoticon .
    To me a food addiction is worse than drugs or alcohol because you can't just stop eating!
    I have been there so many times- felt so good and thought I would never go back to my old ways and then before I know it I did and worse.
    I wouldn't recommend getting fired and I am trying and need to get a new job but I don't think it is a coincidence that I am so much more successful now. Becoming and staying healthy is a full time job. I worry now what will happen to my life changes when I go back to work.
    2234 days ago
    I'm with you all the way. I think I have finally turned mine around. In order to do that I have gone in my head, back to my very first days when I hadn't done anything. Each time I have tried to start again, I have tried and failed to jump in where I left off, it wasn't working. So have gone back to those first baby steps. This week exercising a little more, not the distances I was doing before, but a little more than nothing, and eating a little less, next week building on that. I hope you manage to get back on track.
    2235 days ago
  • no profile photo SHELLYBABE2

    You are in better company than you think! You can beat yourself up, you can make yourself feel guilt, you can feed the feelings of failing/falling off the wagon & give in to the cravings and then eventually you get to the point where re-gaining weight becomes uncomfortable and you slowly remember why you gave your all to spark in the first place & start over.

    I've been at this point a few times over the past year and am currently struggling with 14lbs I gained between my hols in Oct and Christmas. Since the beginning of January I've got my act (kind of) together and am struggling so hard to get back to where I was & get myself to focus again on my goal weight & not settle for what I'm at right now. It's been with the encouragement of other sparkers that helped me not throw in the towel. The losses this time are sooo slow and am hoping with time it will become easier and more habit again to take good care of myself without so much thought and effort but until then I guess I just have to put in that extra effort and feel the pain, I just have to want the final goal enough.

    I have no doubt that you will get it working for you again, you have come so far from when you first started Spark (something we don't credit ourselves with) but you have to be ready before you take those first few steps again, you are right you are the only one that can do it! Sometimes it takes a while to re-find the inspiration & the dedication but just keep looking. Anytime you need someone to cry about the unfairness of it all or sulk about why you can't eat the quantities or the type of foods we know we shouldn't consume too much of, then you'll find yourself in good company right here on spark! Yes I celebrate your successes when they occur & I've loved your blogs since I first joined spark but don't think for one minute that we won't have your back when you start to struggle. We want you to succeed and we want to support you too in the way that you need it.

    10lbs gain or not you are still looking good (think about how good you felt the first time you got to that weight and try to hold onto that euphoria) but until you see that for yourself then the words are meaningless - take baby steps each day/week to regain the good habits that served you well & remember the hardest part of this journey is about loving yourself, being kind, forgiving & not giving up! I have no doubt that you won't give up - you really have done too much to get where you are & you are no doubt stronger than you ever thought you were - I mean for goodness sake you did a marathon!!

    Think I will shut up now, might as well write a blog of my own lol just wanted to reassure you that we understand, we have been there & as long as you don't give up on yourself neither will we! Sorry if it sounds a little rah rah at times but that's probably the mother in me that wants to comfort you but get you back on the right road too lol.

    Take care and hope your bumpy road smoothens out soon - great blog as always & some great goals/targets to work towards - just try to be nice to yourself, you do deserve it!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    ps if like me you can't control yourself around certain foods when feeling like this then don't allow them in your home - make them hard for yourself to get hold of, remember cravings do pass.
    2235 days ago
    Oh, sing it, sister. You have put into words my thoughts of so many days.

    Thinking of you.
    2235 days ago
    Jenn...I've been there. My weight swung up almost 10 pounds from alotmofmwork based anxiety. I too hated to go into much crap it is nuts. Talk of layoffs, depression and double doses of anxiety had me binging more I cared to admit. I know what temporary weight fluctuations look like and this wasn't one of them. It stayed. It has taken about a month and a half but I finally leveled off and am back down to my previous weight.

    The part you mentioned about work really rang a bell. I had to get past the disgusted feeling, that added to my already long list of depressive issues.

    I got therapy and it really helped and come to find out the rotating shifts played a big role then all of the talk of layoffs helped create the perfect storm not to mention the drama and pettiness that is so prevalent at work.

    Anyway, I just want you to know you are not alone. We have the skills, we know what to do but our hearts just get detached. We feel the panic from the impending situation but we don't feel the empowered drive that used to just propel us down the road of success.

    No pat answers, just put your combat boots on and march.... It never feels good to march in the mud, you just do it.

    You have what it takes Jenn, we are here for you.

    2235 days ago
    I'm here for you. It does suck... We all do have to do this on our own...but we can hold each others hands and pick each other up. You have come a long way. These 10 lbs is just a small bump in the road, not a detour, just a marker of where you don't want to go. And I recently read a quote about how the path to success is rarely a straight line. There are twists and turns. And baby, those 10 lbs. ain't got nothing on you! You are a strong woman and I know you've got this.
    2235 days ago
    So I was going through my Sparkfriends. Removing ones I haven't seen blogging or interacting with. I clicked on your picture and saw your new blog. I checked in and was surprised to see I am living the same story as yours! 2 years ago I was on top of my game. I lost the weight I had wanted and at 40 years old was at my physical best. I became a Zumba instructor a few months laster and thought...this is it! I'm going to stay like this and feel like this forever. Then....I was injured. I tore my planter fascia and was done with any exercise for 6 months. Between that time and now I have gained the weight and am finally ...a year and a half exercising at the same level. weight is still at it's highest. Bad choices are filling me and I get it! People keep asking me if I'm going to teach again. How can I when I feel so bad about myself....ugggg. So I'm not a cheerleader today myself. I get it. I think you need to add new friends to your Spark list. I have alot of friends here who are with me when the going is tough. Branch out with the social life day or minute at a time here sometimes.
    2235 days ago
    Me too!!! I like you list of stuff to start doing again when you feel ready for each one. I did the 5K mud run in October and I gained about 10 lbs since that - seems like once you finish a goal like that and there is nothing else to work hard for you cheat a little here and there...well that is what happened to me...I thought I was so cool for completing that so I "celebrated" over the holidays and then some. I'm gonna steal some of your ideas from your list and start my own...I've been doing things here and there but some of those bad habits are still lingering. Thanks for the blog - I'm sure a bunch of us needed it too - Take care!!
    2235 days ago
    Girl!!!!! Totally feel ya. I gained 7 pounds from the day before the half until the beginning of the month. Talk about disappointment. Life has ups and downs and it makes it hard and it pisses me off for sure. I don't like having to lose the same pounds over and over again. But you know what, that's where we are and we will get back down again. So let's cry together and then commit to getting a workout in and having a deficit. Ya?! Let's do it!
    2236 days ago
    I am right there with you. I am back up to my starting weight and have zero motivation to do anything about it. It's beyond frustrating that I can't seem to make my self get off my butt and move. I have adjusted some things in my diet but I am REALLY good at lying to myself about what I have eaten and what I will eat. I can rationalize with the best of them. I need to change and I know it, now I have to want to change and do it. We can make it, I am sure.
    2236 days ago
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