Friday, July 11, 2008

Hard Time

OK, I admit it: I'm having a hard time.

I made all kinds of declarations and proclamations and I generally sound pretty upbeat and optimistic about what I have been doing. But the real truth is (I say that a lot, don't I? Hey, I'm all about the confessional) that it's been pretty rough going for the past month. I don't feel as if I am focused enough on my goals, my eating has been marginally so-so overall. Sure, I have held my weight steady for the past few weeks, but I can't help but feel like it could all slip away any minute, that all the sudden I could find myself back where I started. Or worse.

Of course it is entirely within my power to prevent that. Last night as we lay down to bed, I said to C., "I can't lose weight!" His response was smart and true. "Of course you can. You have! You can do it."

He's totally right. I have, and I can. It's just hard lately, maybe due to stress, who knows and I find myself wanting to just eat and eat.

I guess when I really think about it, I am not indulging anywhere near the way I used to, hence my relatively stable weight. But it still doesn't feel very good. It feels like my old self, a most unwelcome visitor. It's not really that I totally gorge myself, but the way in which I eat. I'm not really mindful. I enjoy the taste, sure, but after the first few bites it becomes more about getting it into my mouth rather than fully appreciating it. It's almost like hoarding, in a way. I don't know how else to explain it.

Obviously the first step in correcting a behavior is recognizing what's wrong. First and foremost, I need to start prioritizing eating healthier foods most of the time again. We've gotten lazy about cooking the past few weeks and have been relying on take-out more often. I got out of the habit of bringing my lunch to work. Next, I want to reinvest in exercise as a tool to get me into the right mindset to achieve my goals. Just because I took a break from running this week, for example, didn't mean that I had to stop exercise all together. I could have gone on walks, or rode my bike, or started the 100 push-ups/100 sit-ups challenges like I have been planning.

It's so hard to keep your momentum going when outside elements are bringing you way, way down (in this case, it's my stepdad's struggle with cancer), but you know? This is the sort of behavior I have been seeking to overcome in the first place -- emotional eating, probably my biggest problem. I should see about reframing this experience as a challenge to be welcomed, as I did with running, and work it no matter how hard it is. Instead of measuring my progress with time or distance run, I'll be measuring with making it through a day, even a meal, eating mindfully and eating to pleasure and nourish myself -- not reward or comfort.

That is all. I am still here. I have to keep telling myself that is a big accomplishment in itself. I'm not fading away or disappearing in to the ether of dead links and neglected blogs.


Elaine said...

Good for you on keeping going even with the doubts & frustrations. You're doing great, really.

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

As someone who's been on this journey for quite a while I can tell you this is very normal. You will go through periods when the fire and drive to lose weight is not so strong. Your motivation will be in the "eh" department and you will not care all that much about exercise. But I will tell you the secret. The secret is to do exactly what you're doing now. Things like "my eating has been marginally so-so overall" & "I am not indulging anywhere near the way I used to" & "It's not really that I totally gorge myself" are perfect.

You want to mitigate the damage of a lull in drive by not going backwards. Between 7/26 & 11/8/07 I lost less than 2 pounds. That's about one-tenth of a pound per week. Practically maintaining for four months. FOUR months! But you know what, my fire came back. The motivation was alive again and I hadn't gained all my weight back.

I also think our bodies sometimes need a time of maintenance when we have a long journey of weight loss. This probably isn't true scientifically but I think it needs time to adjust and settle in before losing again. The point is, when your fire comes back you don't want to be starting back behind the start line.

You are so right about momentum. Momentum is a huge part of my plan. As long as that ball is moving it's so much easier to keep it moving. So yes, get some movement back into your life. Walking, biking, anything you enjoy and doesn't feel too harsh. This is a time to keep your habits alive but not force it so much that you resent and hate your new lifestyle.

You are doing really, really well. This is totally normal. Keep aware, keep blogging, keep weighing yourself, and keep moving in any way you can that feels enjoyable. Wait it out, your drive will come back - and when it does you want to be here to catch it.

Anonymous said...

i think we totally are in the same place right now! But your attitude sounds good and Michelle gave awesome advice!! you can do this.

Ruthie said...

ups and downs are so a part of it.. just keep pluggin along
you CAN do this!
I know you WILL!

our old habits are soooo hard to change.. its just takes time :)

Anonymous said...

I'm totally in the same place as you at the moment, in fact slightly worse because I have gained back 5 of my hard lost pounds. Strangely, reading your post today has really helped, and Michelle's comment was awesome. It is very easy to go back to the 'who am I kidding' place in your head which says this is all too hard. I'm back on the straight and narrow, and you will be too. It's a long road, and we don't have to be perfect. Well, not ALL the time!!!

radiosilents said...

Thanks again to all, you are priceless.

But Michelle, holy cow! You are blowing me away and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and wisdom with me so specifically -- It means SO much, so much. I hope that I can meet you in person someday to give you a hug and a high-five. Maybe even run a race with you!

Cammy said...

Great reflective post! The key phrase was "I'm still here". That's huge. If you're like me, there have been plenty of times over the years when the solution was to simply give up. But you haven't given up. You're still here! (Yaaaay!)