Just like starting over….Again

I will just warn you now, I’m going to be cursing and carrying on a bit in this one.  So, if I’m going to offend your sensibilities by doing so, skip this post.


Earlier, I mentioned not trying not to get into the mindset that I am “starting over”, but trying to convince myself that I’m just “picking up where I left off”.  Which is such bullshit.  I am starting over, and my starting point is so much farther back than before.  Picking up where I left off would imply that I never gained back this 30 lbs.  Starting over means I have to start at the beginning.  This wasn’t a race where I had to stop to pee halfway to the finish.  This was a marathon that I feel like I turned around and went back not just to the starting line, but maybe I went all the way back to my childhood home and now I decided to walk back and finish the race.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  But anyone who has struggled with their weight knows that this *is* exactly how it feels.

Carry-On I got on the scale today and took my measurements and they are disappointing and sad, but overall have not changed much all summer.  I updated my menu planner-it’s just a simple spread sheet I print out and fill in.  I took pics a few months ago, but I guess I should take some updated ones so I can mark my “true start”.  Is it obsessive?  Absolutely, but it’s what I know I need to do to keep myself straight.  A month ago-yes, I’m a slow starter-I made out a list of sorts that I titled : “Things I need”.  It is more than a wish list.  It is a map of sorts.  I started with obviously, what I need, which is mostly time.  I had to ask myself what is holding me back and what I wanted what I really want and how I plan on getting there.  I really tried to get into my head and be totally honest when I was writing about the things that are holding me back.

And the biggest thing at this point is my past, which is never more glaringly obvious than the fact that my birthday is coming up very soon and I have yet to meet one fitness goal I made for myself 8 freakin years ago.  8.  Fucking. Years.  What. The. Fuck.  So, yeah, it’s hard not to beat myself up over my failures, or the fact that my goals are even farther away than they were back then.  It’s hard to let go of the past when I make goals and I just see myself walking backwards from them without really understanding why I sabotage myself that way.

I figured out that one reason is I am afraid of being successful, of winning, of achieving something great just for myself.  See, I’m not a competitive person in the way that some people are, where they have to be the best, or #1, or first.  I just honestly don’t care about that kind of shit.  What I care about is being the best that *I* can be.  Me. Only me.  But I look back and see that most of the time I’m just being a mediocre me, or below average me.  Am I being too hard on myself?  Maybe, but as they say, we are our own worst critics.  That’s the other reason.  I have a terrible, awful, horrible inner bitch and she likes to tear me down

So part of my “moving forward” and “starting over” is just that: moving on. A friend of mine recently decided to leave Facebook because she had had enough drama and was in a too fragile emotional state.  A lot of the comments I read after her post were her “friends” telling her not to give up and to stick it out, that signing off meant that she was letting him win.  I sent her a message that despite what some of the commenters said, she wasn’t giving up or giving in, she was moving on.  I realized later that I needed to follow my own advice and lay the demons to rest so I could carry on.  Maybe this time I can move forward.

Till next time.

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Tempus Fugit

Time flies, and man does it.  I apologize for my absence over the last 2 weeks.  I realized about that time that Holy Shit, we are moving in a matter of weeks, not months.  So, that of course got the whole pre-move hullabaloo rolling to its inevitable conclusion.  We are now looking at a short and hairy 2.5 weeks before the packers descend and all of our worldly goods get loaded up into a big ass truck to be taken to the other side of the country.  I signed up for this life, vicariously now, but nonetheless, while I dread moving, I also kinda like it because it gives me a chance to get rid of the crap you accumulate over the years.

dali clockI have, so far, taken 2 car loads of stuff to Goodwill, some of it my “fat” clothes.  Can you believe I was able to cull out 20 freakin t-shirts from my current wardrobe?  20!  And I probably still have another 20 left to wear.  Sad, and yet oddly amusing.  I got rid of all my jeans that I can pull down without unbuttoning, and other shirts that are too big for me.  I even delved into the boxes of my smaller clothes to see if anything fit.  Nothing did, but it’s oh so close.  I did find a pair of jeans in one size smaller that make my butt look awesome, though.  And it was good to see how many clothes I’m just that much closer to wearing again.  I know I won’t have to drop a bundle on a new wardrobe when I lose a little more weight.

Officially, I’m right at my dreaded 15lb mark. That particular point I have not been able to get past for whatever reason.  I have been trying to remember what I’ve done that keeps me there before I start gaining back.  I can’t think of it, but I highly suspect that it’s something to do with a combination of things.  One being I lost weight and “cheated” my way through it, so I don’t need to be so strict with my food.  Two being I get busy and forget what I’m all about.  And I’m guessing that not setting specific goals about what I want and how I plan on getting it have something to do with it as well.  Of course, these are just a few things that I’ve considered.  I’m sure there are tons of other reasons, which at the time, seem perfectly reasonable and true, but when I think back on just the few that I already mentioned, I am filled with a sort of mild disgust with myself.

It’s just so easy to rationalize bad behavior away.  I’m trying not to do that.  Doesn’t help when I don’t make time to exercise, yet, don’t feel overly guilty about running down to KFC because I don’t feel like cooking dinner.  Doesn’t help that I had a flare up of plantar fasciitis last week that pretty much killed any urge to exercise.  That pissed me off-how can I do my squats or go for our walks when I can barely hobble around in the kitchen to cook?  And then, the hubs was no help-I got the impression he thought I was making excuses for skipping our walk and not working out.  Well, fuck him.  It hurt like hell, but I can only blame myself as I wore flip flops for most of the weekend instead of regular shoes.

Heel’s all better now.  Nothing that wearing proper shoes didn’t fix over about 5 days, and I was able to go run at the end of the week, so that made me feel good too.  Now, I am trying to put together my plan to keep exercising while we are on the road visiting family and heading to our future place of residence.  I’m worried about the effects of being on the road all day will have on my diet, not to mention I’m apprehensive about visiting my family and the food choices that will be there.  I hope by planning ahead with my exercise and keeping the majority of my meals light, I can avoid at least gaining weight on the trip.

Secretly, I want to lose enough weight so I can fit into my smaller clothes as soon as I get there.  I can’t tell if I think actually making such a goal would be incredibly unrealistic or if it’s merely difficult, but possible.  Either way, the clock is counting down, and I’m feeling the crushing press of time as ours draws to a close in this place.  We’ll be on the road for about 2 weeks before we reach our final destination, and I can only hope that I’ve prepared myself enough mentally and planned enough physically so I don’t arrive back at my starting point.

 

Dirty Little Secrets

I don’t know about the rest of you, but as I’ve gained weight, lost weight, had babies, and what not, I’ve accumulated enough clothes to open my own boutique.  I keep hanging on to these things because I tell myself I will lose weight and be able to wear them again.  Guess what?  Nearly 11 years of marriage and 5 moves and my “collection” has grown.  Before our last move, I ruthlessly went through these boxes and culled out almost everything that was older than my oldest kid.  But still, the evidence is pretty damning.

IMG_2414 IMG_2415 IMG_2416These boxes represent to me a lifetime of failed diets and plans to lose weight.  Carrying these around move after move has only increased my self-disgust and has made me feel like I would be overweight and unhappy forever.  I’ve told myself that this was the last move these boxes would follow us.  At least filled with my clothes, at any rate.  I’m on track, and not every day is perfect, but I will get there in the end.  I have about 2 months left before they will be packed up again, and I’m anxious to get in there and see what’s what.  Already, the clothes I’ve been wearing for the last 3 years are getting too big for me.

We all know there is no such thing as some miracle fat pill that’s going to help us lose weight.  There’s no magic bullet, and no particular program that’s going to make the fat disappear overnight.  It takes time.  It takes sweat.  It takes planning, and then executing that plan.  There is only you and maybe it’s your head that’s getting in the way.  I have found that all day long I’m running this constant monologue in my head.  Sometimes, it’s just helpful reminders, like a million “don’t forget to….” but occasionally when I have tuned in, I’ve caught myself thinking negatively about myself and my efforts.

These aren’t just random bad thoughts, these are things that I might be saying to myself without realizing what I’m doing.  Like when I look at those boxes of clothes I can’t wear, and I think, “what’s the point? Just get rid of that shit.  You’ll never be able to fit into them again.” Or I might catch a glimpse of myself passing a mirror and think, “ugh! I look disgusting”.  The problem is not that I thought it.  The problem is that it’s not even a conscious thought!  This constant litany of negativeness that constantly streams in my head has begun to beat me down.  We are truly our own worst critics.

Eventually, I’ll crumble under this avalanche of negativity.  There is only so much beating down a person can take before something breaks.  I used to “encourage” myself to push harder and longer by using insults and demeaning words.  You know, classic R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket.  Then I realized that that kind of attitude just does not motivate me, even though I used to think it did.  Instead it pulls me down, makes me want to quit.  And eventually I do, thinking “I just can’t do this anymore.”

But quitting is just not an option anymore.  I feel rejuvenated by my level of commitment to myself, to do this and see it through to the finish.  I have a lot of work to do as far retraining my brain, to learn the art of positive thinking.  Every time I catch myself thinking a negative thought about my body, my diet, my fitness level, I have to stop, reevaluate.  Is what I said really true?  Why did  I think that?  Was I trying to be self-deprecating?  Funny?  Am I making excuses?

Most of the time, it’s just me, lacking self-confidence and esteem.  Until now, I haven’t respected myself enough to really look at why I think the way I do about myself.  I can tell you it wasn’t pretty.  My negative self-talk consisted of calling myself a fat, lazy so-and-so, who can’t run for shit.  Well.  That’s not necessarily true.  I am fat.  But I’m not lazy and I can run, I’m just not particularly fast.  Also true: I may be fat, but I have a lot of weight to lose and slowly but surely, it is going away.  I may not be a fast runner, but I’m improving, and no, I don’t need to be able to run like a gazelle, I’d be happy to run 5 miles or so at a steady pace.  On top of everything, I am gaining muscle: my arms and legs are getting firmer and I’m seeing a little more definition.

One of the most important things I am learning is ditching the “all or nothing” attitude.  Some people may get off on that, but I can’t.  I’ve read past journal entries and saw how I resolved to eat right 100% of the time, work out every day, not fall off the wagon, be committed 110% to this diet.  And each and every time, something happened: I missed a workout, I ate pizza or whatever, and I quit the whole thing because I couldn’t keep my resolve.  All or nothing is just a recipe for failure.  A fitness plan and diet are not things that should be undertaken temporarily.  We should be making decisions about our fitness and our diet that will last a lifetime, not just the next few weeks or months.  That means the things we choose to stick to should be realistic and practical.

Today, while you are going about your day, take a moment now and then and listen to what your inner monologue is telling you.  Ask yourself if it’s negative, insulting, self-deprecating.  If it is, start retraining to think positively.  Focus on the short-term goals you have for yourself when you’re struggling.  Sometimes, that goal may be as simple as just finishing your workout!  In this race, there is no time limit, and there is only one direction: UP!   Start climbing.

 

 

On the path to Greatness

Happy Motivational Monday!  Yes, yes, we all hate Mondays.  I usually lament the passing of too short weekends, and the inevitable return to the daily grind. Too often, it feels like there just simply isn’t enough time to get everything done.  But, one thing I have discovered, is that I secretly love Mondays because it means the start of a new week and new opportunities to reaffirm that I am on the right path to health and fitness.

Today, I’d like to share a few wonderful quotes from master motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar. He died just last year at the ripe old age of 86, but his legacy remains.  Every time I see one of his quotes, I’m astounded by the simplicity and the veracity of his statements.  In short, his words remind us that our dreams of success, whether it’s work or personally motivated, are determined by us.  You and me, we are the masters of our own destinies, whatever they may be, and we can achieve greatness when we believe in ourselves.

prepare to winWe all have times when we falter because life keeps throwing us obstacles, but we have to keep moving forward. Since I decided to make a full commitment to losing weight and getting strong, there are definitely times my motivation level has been pretty low.  But I made a decision to not let go this time.  I’m going to play the bulldog on this one and even when my spirits flag, I will not quit until I win!  As Zig would say, “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”

Part of learning to motivate myself has included a big heaping serving of STFU-I had to stop bitching about the past and my past failings, put on my big girl panties and MOVE ON! I’m not saying forget the past. The past is important, but learn from it, don’t dwell on it.  Part of this learning process has been learning to love Mondays, not just because I get a chance to “atone” for my weekend transgressions, but because it’s my reminder that backsliding is forgivable, not a deal breaker.

We had our first dinner out in a long long time, where we enjoyed ourselves and ate like kings.  Then birthday cake (not mine) the next day, along with some homemade fresh French bread, but it’s not the end of the world.  I don’t have to explain myself or justify it or make excuses about not eating healthy 100% of the time.  It is what it is, and now it’s done. Today is a new day, and instead of throwing in the towel because I “blew my diet” over the weekend,  I’m back at it.

I made my plan, I’m prepared to win this fight, and end the trend of obesity in my life, and I’m committed to changing my life for the better.  We all deserve greatness in our lives, regardless of how humble that greatness may be.  One of my biggest goals this summer is not being able to look hot in a bikini (maybe next year), but being able to wear my wedding rings again.  That’s right.  My rings.  I took them off when I was about 7 months pregnant, over 3 years ago, and only now am I doing something about it. But my focus is not on those 3 years lost; my focus is on now.  For so long, I didn’t even let myself try to lose weight, even though I was desperately unhappy with myself.  And yes, ol’ Zig would have told me: “The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.”

We all have the potential to achieve great things in our lives, but you have to start doing to start achieving. Here is another great quote from Mr. Ziglar to send you on your way to a great week:   “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” -Zig Ziglar.