Sometimes it’s really hard for me to take my own advice. The other day, I wrote a post entitled ‘get moving’ and although at the time I wasn’t writing about anything health related this post keeps coming back to me. The quote “no matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch” keeps reverberating in my brain.
You see – I’m fat. I know it. I’ve written about it before. I even wrote a post entitled “if you’re stick of starting over, you have to stop quitting.” Well the truth is that I am so incredibly sick of starting over – but yet again I find myself in that position. I quit. AGAIN. And if I’m honest I’m pretty disgusted with myself.
I’ve never been a skinny-mini as I call it. Even in high school I was about a size 9. That’s not “skinny” by the world’s parameters. I was ‘healthy’ though. Like most teenagers I ate a lot of junk food but I was getting at least an hour of aerobic exercise 5 days a week thanks to competitive swimming. Then, after my accident in college I became rather sedentary due to chronic back & knee pain. Unfortunately – that led to weight gain (as a sedentary life is prone to do). Now the pain in my back and knee is compounded by lots of excess weight. It’s a vicious circle. I can’t tell you how many diet plans and exercise plans I’ve tried. I’ve done Weight Watchers – it worked, I lost about 25 pounds… and then I got sick and freaking tired of tracking my points all the damn time (I hate to eat the same things repetitively so every day I would have to figure out the points for something). I started jogging in college when I got a dog and that worked great until it got cold – and then I quit and never got started again. Since college I’ve joined three different gyms and eventually cancelled all of my memberships. I’ve lost a few pounds here and there but in the end, I’m still at the heaviest I’ve ever been.
It kinda makes me want to cry.
In truth – I’ve been overweight so long that I can’t imagine ever not being this way. The possibility doesn’t really seem real. It’s sort of a fantasy. Like unicorns.
I’m in no way making excuses but let me give you a snapshot here: I’m seriously overweight; classified in the ‘morbidly obese’ group. I have chronic back problems. My right knee is practically shredded and needs surgery but the surgery honestly wouldn’t do much good with all the weight I’m carrying. I have thyroid issues (bad enough that the original doctor who treated me told me I could subsist on a diet of celery sticks and work out 8 hours a day and I still wouldn’t lose a pound). I have a very busy schedule and am usually blowing and going all day long. My dad’s side of the family (which I’m basically genetically identical to) is all overweight – every single one of ‘em. Like I said, no excuses, I just want you to have ‘the facts.’
A few weeks ago my husband and I started slowly working on our diet – we started a program called the Raw Food Detox Diet. I placed a lot of emphasis on starting it s.l.o.w.l.y. I didn’t want to overdo and I’m also not willing to toss all of the food in our house that’s already paid for. Sorry Charlie but we’re on a limited budget over here and we’ve gotta work with what we’ve got. Anyways, the whole concept of the detox is this: if your body uses or eliminates everything you eat, then you don’t gain weight. Sounds simple right? You should read the book. It’s enlightening to say the least. I even tried sprouted grain tortillas (not a fan, btw). For the most part, I agree with the book. I’m not certain that I’m willing to go to the lengths that some people are (regular colon flushing anyone?) but still, I think the premise is sound. Both the Hubs and I felt SO MUCH BETTER for the whole whopping three weeks that we did the detox. Then we had a crazy weekend and I didn’t have time to grocery shop and instead of making shopping a priority or just going off the plan for one day and then going to the store, we ended up blowing off the entire week. Pretty lame huh? And let me tell you – my body can tooooottally feel the difference.
I know what I need to do. I know that I need to go back on the detox plan (it’s something I honestly feel like we could stick with long-term… it’s a ‘lifestyle’ not a ‘diet’) and I need to start getting regular exercise. I’m seriously considering taking up the Couch to 5k program again. In fact, I’ve already set my alarm to wake me up an hour early two days a week. The idea of me giving up an hour of sleep for anything less than a catastrophic disaster is gut-churning to me but I’m going to try it.
I feel like I approach health (dieting/exercise) with an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. The moment I screw up just once and realize that I’m not going to get my ‘all’ then I completely default to a ‘nothing’ mentality. I’m not really sure how to change that. I’ve been operating this way for so long that it’s become second nature. And I’m afraid. I’m afraid of screwing up, of failing AGAIN, of making a public announcement (ahem) that I’m probably going to back out on (quietly, so as to avoid all the pointing and laughing). There’s this blog that I read from time to time called 300 Pounds Down – it’s exactly what it sounds like… this overweight lady blogging about her weight loss journey. Sometimes, if I’m being 100% honest here, I find her stuff a bit depressing. However, sometimes (like today) she’s totally right on. Here’s what I read on her blog today:
I immediately think in my mind if I can’t do it perfectly the first time
Then clearly I suck!
When in fact I just had a success
Because I tried
So what if it was 17 seconds?
Tomorrow it might be 18!
Anything above zero is progress
No matter if you’re on day one of this journey or day 365
The concept is the same
Do it again
Do it some more
Keep doing it
You’ll get better
For some reason, my brain always wants to say
‘You’re not good at this so stop
Go do something else and then come back when you’re better’
But how am I going to come back better
If I quit??
Don’t expect my brain to give you logic
When it’s busy giving lies!!
Because the reality is I can’t get better if I give up
I’m only going to get better
If I’m continuing to try
Because progress is not made in a day
It’s made over time
And the best way to get better at push ups
Is to do more pushups
Just like the way I got to 5 miles
Was by adding 30 seconds every day until I got there
I may have started out at 30 seconds of walking
But now I’m going to Crossfit
And I got there one step at a time
Now that I’m there I can keep going
Keep working harder
Somehow, someway, I have got to find this same mental fortitude.