Sunday, June 15, 2014

Don't Feel Sorry For Me

Before I even get into this post, please don't feel sorry for me. This is not an effort to boost my self-esteem. This is about knowing what to do versus actually doing it.

Having said that, I'll begin with Thanksgiving of 2012. I was at an unhealthy point in my fitness level. I set a goal to lose 10lbs in 10 weeks and began in December. It was not a fickle "new year's resolution", but throughout Christmas and all the sweet fests that followed, I was able to stick to my exercise and eating goals and actually lost a little more than that. By Valentine's Day I'd lost 15 and since my sister's wedding was in May, I said, well, I'll shoot for that extra few pounds and get back to my wedding weight.

I did it, got some smaller clothing, and after the wedding, I relaxed. After all, the goal was attainable, but not maintainable. In July I began training for a half-marathon race. (12 week training)
As my workouts increased, so did my muscle gain and appetite. I gained weight, but didn't mind as I knew where it was going. When I finished the race, my muscles were finished too and I had to stop cold turkey with my workouts.
This says "start", but I was running through the finish. This is after 13.1 miles.
My final statistics

I consoled myself with the loss of exercise, the loss of daylight, the loss of endorphins, by making delicious treats and sharing them with others as well as with myself.

Each winter tends to cause me to struggle, so this isn't a new battle, just a more difficult one this year.

By the time spring came, I was looking back at my fitness goal I'd reached last year and I saw that I was back to the starting point nearly a year later. That was discouraging. I had a small burst of energy and started to eat well in April, but the end-of-school busyness and stresses that come from part-time teaching and being a stay-at-home mom confounded my plans to eat well and exercise. Also discouraging was the realization that none of my spring/summer clothing from last year's smaller body would fit me. The pants I almost rid myself of because they'd barely stay on were now barely able to fasten.

Still, we can find multiple justifications and excuses for "why" we don't change, even when we know that we need to. I am not going to justify my bad choices.

This isn't about a particular weight or a particular clothing size. I have my range that is healthy for me, and you have your own. This is about making choices that make your body happy and ultimately, you feel better about yourself.

I'm goal-oriented, but without a deadline or something to keep me going, I have zero motivation.
It finally came down to my dear husband. Two years ago, when I was more "fit", we purchased some jeans that he really liked on me. This spring, they wore out on the upper thigh. (very discouraging feeling, by the way) I recently placed an iron-on patch inside them and wore them to a dinner. When I tried to wear them again a couple days later, he gently broached the subject. "I noticed the other night that..."
I recognized the approach and cut to the chase. "Yes, honey. Your wife is too big for her britches."
He was still tiptoeing and trying to tell me that "we just need to get you some pants that fit", in his very kind way. I told him, "No, I just need to actually start exercising again."

I like to eat. There is nothing wrong with eating delicious food. I recommend it! The problem lies in the input to output ratio. If I'm not burning an adequate amount of calories, and I'm eating a more than adequate amount of calories, my clothes simply cannot fit my body because it's not going to stay "fit".

I turned my calendar to September, my tenth wedding anniversary. I then counted the weeks backward and came up with 12. I don't actually know what I weigh right now. But, I have a goal. I am going to exercise two to three times a week for at least 20 minutes (or longer if I can't jog the whole two miles). This means twice a week I'll have to rise early and go before he leaves for work, but I remember doing that in the fall and I actually had better days and more energy!
I'm hoping to lose about a pound a week, not because I have any set number to reach, but because my inactivity is causing me to either gain or keep me at a non-clothes-fitting "weight".

Two weeks after that, my brother is getting married. It would be nice to have my "nice clothes" wardrobe fit me.

To conclude, please don't feel sorry for me. I don't "think I'm fat". But, I do know that I'm not living a healthy lifestyle. This knowledge doesn't help with the internal pity party. Truthfully, to get away from my stress, I like to physically work it out of my body. My internal and external health are often related, so when I'm looking and feeling fit, my emotional balance seems better too. I'm looking forward to some success. According to the myfitnesspal app that I have, my goal will have me five pounds lighter by July 20th. That seems very far away, and doesn't seem like much progress, but in that time, I think I'll be making better food choices and I'll feel like celebrating!
After I finished, I posed by the "finish" side of the gate.