I have never in my life counted calories. Or carbs. Or sprinkles on my donut. I did count points in Weight Watchers for a while, before I got pregnant and had to quit (and no, I did not get pregnant just so I could quit.) But I have never used the counting methods for losing weight. To be honest, just the thought of have to track every single little thing I eat makes me feel claustrophobic and crazy. But I know that most of you out there have found your success through just such methods. So tell me, please, what is the best way you have found for tracking, what you track, and how you are able to do it without ending up in a room scribbling things on a wall in your own blood. Because I don't think that is a scene my husband would like to come home to.
Thursday morning as I was dragging myself out of bed to work out, I could tell it was going to be a struggle. My mind was already throwing up reasons for me not to exercise. I was very tired. I was getting up later than usual and should help the kids get ready for school instead of working out. I could always run my second day of C25K on Friday. I started thinking about all the excuses we make for not doing what we know we need to do. All the things that we let derail us from becoming someone better. The kids could use help getting ready, and yes, I was tired. Other days its "I don't have the time this morning" or "My head really hurts" or "I can do it later." Some excuses are weak, others are completely valid, but it all boils down to the same thing: those excuses are a huge part of how we got where we are and nothing is going to change if we don't stop making them. So despite everything that my mind threw at me on Thursday, I did the Shred, and then, even when I kept hearing that inner voice say "you don't need to go run, you already worked out, let it go today" I went out and did W1D2. And when it was done, I felt great for having gotten out there even when I didn't want to. And that feeling will make that inner voice just a little quieter the next time it tells me I don't want to work out, because I already know how much better I will feel for having done it.
This morning I did day 3, and am feeling very accomplished for having done the first week of the program. It may sound like a small accomplishment to others, but to me, someone who really hates to run, and is more apt to quit when something hurts or feels hard instead of pushing myself, I am feeling like it is a huge accomplishment. I can't wait to start the next week.
Several thoughts have been incubating in my head the last few days while my blog has been quiet, and I have been trying to flesh them out so that I can pseudo-successfully share them here. And yet every time I sit to do it, to hit the keys and type something out, I draw a blank. The thoughts flow freely while I am far from my keyboard, but somehow here, I get a kind of computer-induced mental block. So I am just going to dive into one of the thoughts and see how it goes.
So many of the weight-loss blogs I read encourage deep, introspective looks into why I eat and why I ever allowed myself to gain so much weight. So many people have these tragic backgrounds, or at the very least obvious happenings which contributed to their eating and/or weight gain, and to their inability to successfully lose weight and keep it off. I was mulling this over myself, trying to figure out when was that key pivotal moment in my life that triggered the last 10 1/2 years of struggle with myself. And here is what I kept coming back to: Yes, I have had some very rocky, pretty awful times in my life. I can point to them and share my sob stories as well as anyone else, and I bet that a lot of people would feel badly for me and lend their support and it would be a love-fest. However, I don't feel completely comfortable with blaming my weight on the hard times in life. I feel like doing that, for me, would be like saying it wasn't my fault. It would feel like I wasn't taking responsibility for what I have let happen to myself.
I do suppose, though, that those of you who have been able to really look back into your past and find out how what happened to you caused you to start eating and not stop have maybe been able to figure out why it affected you in that way, and why you reacted by eating. I haven't been able to figure that out yet. I know when I gained the weight, and I know why I was feeding my face, but I don't know why I have never been able to stop. And all of the reliving of those painful times in my life hasn't made it any more clear. So I am not sure what to do about that.
People who are athletic talk about exercise like it is this beautiful thing. They live in an adrenaline-induced euphoria, much like that first blush of love, and thus everything they say about working out and pushing yourself comes out sounding like it is all fluid and easy and brings on feelings of ecstasy. HA. In my experience, working out is a sweaty, dirty, ugly thing that I hate nearly every minute of, during which I know that I look ridiculous if not pitiable. It is sucky suck suckerson the entire time. AND YET...and yet I keep trying. I keep pushing through and forcing myself to do what I know I need to and turn on the DVD or make my shoes hit the pavement. I haven't found that place yet where I love to exercise, where my life is just not complete without it, where I can't wait to get up in the morning and do it. But I will admit, it feels pretty damn good to make it through the Shred and get to finally turn Jillian off for another day.
So what gets you through your workout when all you want to do is quit?
I have officially had my husband hide the scale. You see, while I believe that I need accountability and the harsh reality of the number on the scale should do the trick, lately weighing myself has become an obsession - and an unhealthy one. I weigh myself first thing in the morning - ok, cool. That is the perfect time to weigh in, before I have started eating for the day, while I am at my most true weight. But then, sometime in the middle of the day, I weigh myself again, just to see how things are going. And then again at night before bed, as I try to guess how things will be in the morning. Everyday. And when the numbers aren't what I think they should be (which is almost always) I freak out and become very stressed over what I am eating and how much I am working out, and why oh why isn't this whole thing working and will I be fat forever???!!! You can see how going through this cycle everyday is just a tad bit unhealthy.
So I asked my husband to hide the scale from me for two weeks. During this time, I will still be trying to make the right choices with my food, and I will keep working out, and then in two weeks we'll see what has happened in the weight department. Sounds easy enough, right? Except that in the two days since he has hidden it, it has taken a substantial amount of will power not to look for it. And that bathroom floor looks so empty without the scale in its normal home. And every time I go in there to pee I look to that spot and long to weigh myself. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
Alright, so in two weeks (from yesterday since I did weigh myself before he hid it Thursday) we'll see how things have gone. Stay tuned...
Why is it so hard to get back on track after a bad day? How is it that weeks of dedication can be wiped out by one day of binging? Yesterday was my birthday, and I had a sugar high like no other. This morning I felt like death - I had a sugar hangover and felt like crap. I couldn't do Jillian the way I felt, but I did force myself through a 2 mile walk. Great, back on track, right? WRONG. My eating wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday, but it wasn't good. And I have that feeling of never wanting to work out again. Where is the workout euphoria I was in on Monday? The one that carried me through not only Jillian, but also day one of the C25K plan? It pulled me through Tuesday and a 3 mile walk plus a trial workout class using something called FitStix. Is it really possible that after one day of binging and completely losing control I have lost the drive and will to work at this? Or do I just chalk it up to one bad day?
Today is my 30th birthday. What better way to celebrate than to make my first post on my shiny new weight-loss blog? Nothing makes you want to face the beast that is losing weight like the day on which you are supposed to eat copious amounts of cake in celebration of your entrance into this world. Not to mention that today is the day I have taken off from the struggle - I spent the morning in bed rather than doing my workout, had hot chocolate and strawberry Belgian waffles with whipped cream out at breakfast with my dad, and completely intend on getting three different kinds of cake at this fabulous cafe and bakery tonight (three slices, that is - not three whole cakes - for all the difference that makes!) Tomorrow I will be back to the good fight.
I guess that now is as good a time as any to introduce myself to you all. I'm Morgan, a somewhat neurotic now-30-year-old with a husband and four kidlets who is unfortunate enough at this point in my life to be living with my mother-in-law instead of being master and commander of my own home. I've never really been thin - in high school I was a size 14 who sometimes squeezed herself into a 12, much to the dismay of all who encountered her on those days. I piled on weight with my first pregnancy (an issue which I am sure to discuss in more depth at some point on this blog - bet you can't wait for that!) and at my heaviest weighed in around 235 - or at least that was the highest weight at which I ever weighed myself.
I lost some and lived at 220 for a loooong time, going up and down a bit through the years surrounding the two middle pregnancies, my all-time low during that period being 212 right before i got knocked up for the fourth time. Finally about two years ago I started walking regularly and said goodbye to 21 pounds, and a year ago I managed to force off another 12 pounds, bringing my low to 187 lbs on my 5'6" frame. For the past 12 months I have lived right around that neighborhood, visiting a few more pounds or saying adieu to a few here and there throughout the year.
On January 4 of this year, I decided to once again embark on a voyage of the S.S. Diet and Exercise. While the exercise portion of the crew has been working hard to get out to sea, the diet portion has been content to tool around the harbor, making a good show of readying for the trip but not really going anywhere. After reading countless blogs, I was inspired to start my own, in the hopes that what I really need is a place to talk about the dirty day-to-day details of trying to change who I am and what I do. So here I am, throwing it out there to all of the good people on the world wide web, looking for a way to kick my trash into gear.