Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 22: Year

This post won’t be super long or very in depth—I’m very focused on the 5K I’ll be running this coming Sunday so there’s not a lot of room in my head for much else this week!  I’m a little nervous (this one is much more hilly than the first), but at the same time I’m excited and hopeful that I will run this one faster than the first!

That aside, I think that there is one thing about this week that is definitely noteworthy:  one year ago today I started the journey to better health.   That’s right…it has been an entire year since I started counting calories and exercising.  So much has changed since then!  I’m over 100 pounds lighter and seven (yes, SEVEN!) sizes smaller.   Exercise is something I no longer dread, but rather enjoy.  I’ve made significant dietary changes and feel so much better for it!  And while the journey has sometimes been difficult, it has also been interesting and even fun at times.  I’ve come a long way in that year, and can hardly wait to see where I am after the next.

But first, I’m gonna run that 5K.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week 21: Easy

Earlier this week I was chatting with an acquaintance and the subject of my weight loss and running came up.  I answered all the usual questions (How are you feeling? How much weight have you lost? Are your miles getting faster?) and then that person looked at me and shook their head.  “You make it look so easy!”

I hear that a lot, actually, and I always have mixed reactions to that statement.  First of all, I’m flattered that they think so, and I try to take it for the compliment that it is meant to be.  I’ll be honest, though--sometimes that statement can make me angry.  Because, seriously, it’s not easy.  It requires work, both physical and mental, and it requires a great deal of it.  It requires conscious effort and no little planning, and sometimes the experience is both physically and mentally painful.  It has required major changes that have been really difficult for me, and as I’ve said before, it’s the kind of work that will never actually be done.  

And if I want to remain successful and keep the weight off, it is work that I will have to do for the rest of my life.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Week 20: Progress

“Strive for progress, not perfection.”  --unknown


I love the above quote.  It often makes me feel a lot better when things don’t go the way I think they should, because I am my own worst critic.  I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist, and I always get a irritated  and down on myself if I don’t live up to my own expectations.  I want everything I do to be perfect, even though I know in my head that’s completely impossible.  I do this to myself in all areas of my life, whether it be personal or business.  I’ve been no different on this journey.  Little setbacks and a couple weeks of stress eating really upset me, even though rationally I knew it wasn’t the end of the world.

But then there’s this quote.  I remember very clearly the first time I encountered it.  It was a Sunday morning and this quote turned up in the sermon.  I’d had a fairly bad week at work and was feeling fairly badly about a few minor mistakes I’d made on an account.  No one else was upset with me, really--I immediately corrected the problems and the folks involved were totally okay with that--but I couldn’t stop reliving the embarrassment of the moment.  And then that quote and the rest of the associated sermon reminded me that I’m only human and that it’s okay to not be perfect.

This quote is in my journal now, and sometimes when I feel like I’m failing at whatever it is I’m trying to do, I open to that page and revisit it.  I need the reminder that this journey doesn’t have to be perfect, and that I need to remember that I’ve made a lot of progress along the way, and that in itself is an accomplishment I can be proud of.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Week 19: Sabotage

So, I had another rough week with food.  Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as bad as the previous week, but still I struggled.  I've been trying to pinpoint why these last two weeks have been so hard.  I identified the environmental stressors and am doing what I can to alleviate the stress from those situations, but I still had moments where I found myself having an extra serving of food when I didn't really need it.  I ate that food knowing it would take me over my calorie goals and that I would regret it later.  So why did I do it?  I thought about that a lot this week, and I think I may have finally figured out why I keep sabotaging myself.

I’m only 23 pounds away from reaching my first weight loss goal.  That may seem like a lot, but when you consider the fact that I’ve already lost over 100 pounds, in comparison 23 pounds isn't all that much.  So I’m close to reaching my first goal, and I think I fear that success.   I think I’m afraid I won’t be able to maintain that success, that somehow I’ll screw it up all over again.  The negative voice in my head certainly thinks so, and I’ve been fighting hard to keep that voice silent.   It hasn't been easy, and every time I go over my calorie goal  that voice gets a little louder and more persistent.  The louder that voice gets the more anxiety I feel.  What will people think if I screw it all up, again?  How ashamed will I feel?  Why do I keep doing this to myself?  The anxiety feeds the fear, and the fear feeds the anxiety, and the next thing I know I’m halfway through a bag of chips and hating myself for it.  

That I was able to figure this out at all is a bit of a silver lining.  The fact that I was able to logically look at my own behavior and actually figure out where this is all coming from is real progress.  I wouldn't have been able to do that in the past.  I would have never taken the time to forcibly question that negative inner voice.  I would have just believed whatever it told me, and eventually I would have fallen back into my old behaviors.  Thankfully, I’m not that person anymore.  I’m going to face that fear.  I’m going to move beyond it.  I’m going to stop sabotaging myself and I will succeed.