A different kind of wall
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
I've hit it. The wall. At least, I HOPE I have.
Because this is not the "can't run/lift/workout anymore" wall, this is the "Sick of whining to myself about how I'm not losing weight and I Just Can't get back to my healthy habits and I don't KNOWWWWW why nottttttttt" wall.
This is the, Screw This, I Can Do Better, Wall.
When most people say they "hit the/a wall", they mean something that stops them in their tracks.
What I'm talking about is a wall where you scale it, and then flip it off as you run on, because forget this I HAVE STUFF TO DO.
I hit it possibly some time late last week, and officially fully this morning at 6:45am.
Let me back up a little.
Last year I started Spark People in June. I was cautiously optimistic at that time. I started running in July to prepare for Run for Your Lives (obstacle 5k) in October. I ran a Turkey Trot in November. I started lifting weights kinda-sorta in the fall. Then I bought NROLFW (new rules of lifting for women) and got serious for a few months. I sort of trailed off on my eating habits in October & November & my weight loss slowed down, so I set myself a tracking and diet challenge in December and lost 10 pounds. I set myself various exercise challenges in the winter & early spring; they were good, but my eating was all over the place, and I lost a little, gained a little, lost a little, gained a little, you get the idea.
Where does this leave me?
I got down to, I think, ~255 that December. I finally took off 5 pounds and hit 250 in I think March.
It is six months later. Today I am 256 point something.
The lowest I got this year (by "this year" I mean 2013) was 247.7 or rounding up say 248. So I'm up 8-9 pounds.
Last week sometime I got on the scale and saw 261, and that was when I first started to go from Whine Whine Whine, I Need To Do Something About This, to Okay, DONE, NEXT. I see the wall in the distance. 260 was where I NEVER WANTED TO GO AGAIN, so going up beyond it? NOT AN OPTION. NO.
I am sick of tracking and feeling good and like I'm doing really well... for ~3 days, after which I have some sort of crazy big meal, or snack binge at work, or whatever, which not only is not healthy but throws me off tracking and it's a week or so before I actually start again.
I'm sick of THINKING about how I need to work out instead of ACTUALLY working out.
I'm sick of trying to convince myself that the reason I'm not working out enough is I haven't joined a new gym.
I'm sick of being afraid I feel too much pressure to perform at my upcoming 5k, and that's why I don't go running, when I know darn well I feel like a ROCK OUT SUPERHERO after I finish a run, no matter how slow, so who cares.
I'm sick of eating garbage thinking it will make me feel better somehow, either because I am stressed or sad or overscheduled. That was the old me. I don't work that way anymore. (I probably never did.) So now all I've done is overfeed myself, make my body unwell, AND still have whatever stress problem on top of it. Eating cookies doesn't magically buy me the additional free time I'm craving. Eating M&Ms doesn't make my obnoxious soul killing work project disappear. Eating chips or fries or cheese doesn't magically make my house finish unpacking itself.
I'm sick of excuses I make to myself. They don't make me better and they don't take me where I want to be. I'm sick of coming up with them and I'm sick of listening to myself make them, and try to make them work.
Also, as much as I appreciate where I am? I think the novelty of being 250 instead of 300 has finally worn off. For a long time, TOO FREAKING LONG, it was enough. "Well, I'm not losing weight, but I look and feel so much better, I'm fitter and stronger, I have smaller clothes," blah blah blah.... it's not enough anymore. I'm **finally** asking myself... Is this good enough??
No. HELL no. I am not content to be "sort of obese instead of morbidly obese." I'm not going to continue to feel accomplished because Hey, I may be fat but you should have seen me BEFORE! I want more. I want to be... I don't know if "thin" is the right word. I want to be average. I want to just be a Regular Person. I want to not shop in plus sizes. I want to feel like I can throw caution to the wind and get knocked up and not spend 9 months of white knuckled terror that I'm going to get back up to, and over, 300 and end up morbidly obese again and resent my kid forever. (I joke! a little...)
I want to run FASTER. And I feel like no matter how much I train, I am somewhat limited by my size. My joints and muscles can only take so much. If I were another 40 pounds lighter, I bet I could run faster. Farther. Better.
I want this all, and I always have, but for some reason it all has not been as present as it needs to be these last six months. I feel like I have to start all over again and re-learn everything that I know.
I KNOW that I need to control my environment because in a bad environment I have a terrible track record of controlling myself. If it's my first day "back on", I need to have a filling lunch and some healthy and also filling snacks on hand, otherwise I will end up in the candy box and the vending machine. YET. For the past few weeks I'd just sort of grab whatever sometimes, instead of setting myself up for success.
I KNOW I need to drink lots of water every day or I feel more hungry and snack more. Been doing better on that for a while, since we got the kitchen set up at the house - got the Soda Stream going and I drink ~48oz of seltzer every day, plus more water on top of that. Check. Next.
I need to stop obsessing about the past and focus on where I am. For December, eating Greek yogurt & baked sweet potato for breakfast everyday worked for me. Lately, it does not. I've tried it. Not working, try something else.
I need to remember the things that helped me succeed in the first place!
1) No depriving myself. I've been doing that and it doesn't help. I get in this mindset, like, since I haven't been losing for 6months, I have to be MORE STRICT on my diet. Then I feel deprived and go all crazy and think, oh I'll just have this one day where I Eat Whatever and I won't track it and I'll get back to it tomorrow. NOPE. NOPE NOPE, STUPID. Eat everything, eat all the things you like, but you MUST MEASURE AND TRACK THEM. That's the only thing that works, so let's do it, hmmmmmm?
2) set up your environment for success. I mentioned this already, but this means making a plan for what I'm going to cook (and track) for the week, what I'm going to have available for lunch and snacks, and going grocery shopping regularly to have the house well stocked.
The companion to this is paying attention to what time it is and leaving work at 5:00pm. I frequently work late - not because I have to, but because I don't realize what time it is. Then I'm mad I'm late and "missing out" on my evening free time, so I skip errands because I just want to go straight home. I can't do this for two weeks straight because we end up with hardly anything in the house and eating junk or going out.
Working every other weekend is NOT HELPING my weird insanity of going home & not wanting to "waste" my evening shopping, cooking, or cleaning, but there's nothing I can do about that for the time being. (My next actual weekend to myself is Oct 12. BLARGH. It is what it is!)
This also means GOING TO BED at a reasonable hour. I let myself get really, really sleep deprived two-4 weeks ago; we were throwing a baby shower at my house for a good friend, and I was working hard unpacking & cleaning the "public" areas of the house, running errands to get stuff for the party, and sewing to make her a handmade gift. (I didn't finish the gift in time anyway but she doesn't care.) I was staying up until 3am even on weeknights. So then of course I was exhausted and talked myself out of exercise because I was just too tired.
3) Know thyself. Don't let the key to success be something I will hardly ever do. For the past week or so I've started to feel the pressure about the 5k again. "I need to run, I should really go running, man, I really need to train..." yet every night "OH I'm so tired" so I set my alarm for the normal time, not early enough to run, telling myself "oh, I'll run when I get home from work, before dinner."
Really? Really, self? You think *YOU* are going come home from work at 5pm, go running, shower, and cook dinner? Remember that 1) you haven't grocery shopped in 2 weeks so there's hardly anything TO cook, so you'd need to go to the store first, and 2) you never actually leave at 5pm. Don't be a moron, you're not doing that. Get your butt out of bed and run in the morning like you KNOW YOU HAVE TO.
Seriously. Not in a truly self hating kind of way, but in an amazed and dazed sort of way, I'm disgusted with myself that I went on that excuse round for ~2 weeks. "Oh I'll just run at night." OH MY GOD, don't be an #$$%^&*. No you won't. Run in the morning like always, you big giant idiot. SHEESH.
I've been supposedly "trying to get back on track" since ~ my sparkiversary, June 23. I tracked my food 6 days in July. 6/31. WHAT. I didn't log a single workout. August: I tracked 16 days (better but still not great) but I was only in range half of those. I logged a grand total of THREE workouts, all at the end of the month.
Remember how excited I was when I started running again? I posted about it on August 29. And that was THE LAST time I ran until, seriously, THIS MORNING.
But yeah. Hence, hitting the wall.
I woke up early this morning because of husby puttering around getting ready for work - he gets up a lot earlier than me to catch a train. I didn't fall right back to sleep, and my alarm was set for Normal Go Straight To Work time, but as I was lying there I started thinking... you know, there is really ZERO reason for me to not run right now. I stopped staying up til 3am over a week ago, I've gotten plenty of sleep, I have no excuse for sleeping in. Better to get up now and do SOME exercise than sleep in and keep telling myself "I'll do it tomorrow."
So I did. I got up, ran, showered, put dinner in the crock pot, packed my lunch, filled my waters, and went to work.
I am not 100% trusting myself, YET. I'm not like "WOO HOO, look at me, I'm back in the game!" because this isn't the first time. Look at my Big Whoop Streak of 3 running days in August. Look at poor pathetic September - including today, I've tracked my food 8 days in September. 8/24. Pathetic.
This is why I've gained weight - because less than a year was not enough to reset a lifetime of portion distortion, and I can't succeed unless I track and measure. And exercise, because I want to be more fit and in shape.
There's no mystery. I'm not sitting here going "oh I just CAAAAAAN'T lose weight, I don't know WHYYYYY" I know exactly why.
I even kind of know why I let myself sort of fall apart. It was partly complacency - I felt so good being down 50 pounds, I sort of let myself believe I was "a lot better" for a while. But I'm finally facing that I still have a long way to go.
I let other things be more important for a while.
And I get in my own head too much. I know on a lot of levels I am afraid of what reaching goal will "mean." There are a lot of strange mental & emotional roadblocks there. I'm working on it... Reaching goal doesn't have to "mean" anything other than "I'm not overweight anymore." It can exist as it's own thing, and the rest of my life things can be their own thing around it.
So this is long and rambly, but the POINT is, I think I need to challenge myself again, and I think we have learned our lesson about tracking/food challenges vs. insane overkill athletic challenges when it comes to me specifically and whether I lose weight, have we not?
Yes. Yes we have.
So rather than making this EVEN LONGER than it already is, I'm going to design up my challenge goals for myself, and hit you back in a few.
Uh. As you were...