Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thoughts on this Healthier Me Stuff

From time to time, when someone hasn't seen me in a while, or when they see me in a different style of clothing, they will say, "Wow! Skinny! Really! Look at you!" Skinny? Hm. I'm still hanging above the 200 lb mark. And, to be honest, I'm ok with that. I do look different than I did months ago. I think I still haven't fully come to terms with how rotund I was- and how much more rotund I easily could have become. I have heard people talk about being fat and having a skinny person inside who wants out. Sometimes, I feel like I'm becoming this healthy person with an unhealthy person inside who is screaming to be released and reign supreme over my choices again. I have this belly. It used to be a firmly fat and round belly and it is becoming a loose and flabby belly- like a pouch of skin. I look at my thighs when I'm sitting and they are leaner and stronger. My calves and ankles are shapely and strong. I have muscles in my arms that I can feel at random moments. When I do a plank at the gym, I look down and see my toes instead of my stomach. My stomach doesn't brush the floor when I do push ups. When I crunch, my gut doesn't prohibit my movement. I can spend 11 hours walking around the State Fair and not be in severe pain that night or the next day. Last year, I couldn't last that long at the State Fair and I know it was due to my state of minimal fitness. Sometimes, I feel really fat. Sometimes, I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Sometimes, I think it would just be easier to go back to how I was eating before. Sometimes, I feel very strong and I see an athletic body in the mirror. Sometimes, I feel like I'm in control and on track and pumped for more. Sometimes, I shock myself with how eager I am to run, to lift weights, to sweat. Sometimes, I am super excited about fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, I can't wait to discuss the menu at a restaurant and play the game of figuring out what meal is healthy enough for my standards. Sometimes, I fall head over heels in love with something I've never tried before. But then there are other times that I just want to throw in the towel and eat a Big Mac. Times that I want to grab a half gallon of ice cream, plunk down on the couch with a big spoon, and go to town. I wonder if there needs to be time for mourning in weight loss. I wonder if I need to let go of that fat girl, mourn her. But that feels really scary to think about. So here's where I am now- more than 5 months into this plan. I continue to exercise but my dedication has faltered. I used to go to the gym at lunch and then go home and do another 30 minutes of activity. Now I go to the gym at lunch. I do boot camp 2 times each week and abs blast once a week. I'm still busy and active in everyday life but I'm not making the effort to get that extra 30 minutes in each day and I can really tell the difference. I need to pump it back up. I have cut way back on my running. I read once that some runners need a break after a race. That was, apparently, me. I needed a break. And I took it. And I am very slowly getting back into running. But this time, I am seeking to avoid injury and to improve speed and endurance. I'm working improving my running form. I'm learning from the minimalist runners and from methods like Pose and Chi. I'm wearing a lighter weight shoe and focusing on a fore-mid foot strike instead of a heel strike (which part of your foot hits the ground when you run). I'm focusing on breathing and how my arms work with my running form. I feel like I had a big breakthrough this week when I'd had a stressful morning at work and my huge desire was to go run the tension right out of my body. And I did. So I do feel like I am back on track for running- like my fire has been freshly sparked. Eating is pretty good. I'm not tracking what I eat and I'm not counting calories. If I was weighing in and trying to lose a certain amount of weight, I would do those things. But for now, I'm really just focused on living a generally healthy lifestyle. Yes, I've been going overboard on treats. Yes, I've eaten fried crap at the State Fair. Yes, I've turned to food for comfort. And I'm ok with all of that. I am still working on keeping life focused on healthy choices and living. And I am still struggling through it sometimes. The good news is that it has all become pretty habitual at this point. What I am fighting is my mind. And I don't know how long it takes to win that war. Photobucket

11 comments:

Karen Peterson said...

It's probably going to be awhile before you stop wanting to just reach for the burgers and the ice cream. But it sounds like you're doing really well. Maybe you should bookmark a few of your own posts, so that when you're feeling frustrated or unmotivated, you can go back and read about how great you feel or how great you didn't feel before and that might help you through the plateaus.

But, seriously, you are awesome and I'm glad you feel like you're getting back on track!

Flartus said...

I suspect you may always hve to fight your mind. Just a little. The key is probably to let yourself binge once in a while on ice cream or fried crap, but stop there and not let it creep back into your routine.

I'm focusing right now on breaking my Coke habit! I've never been able to allow myself one occasionally, it always creeps back into a daily "treat." Yes, I'm addicted! :D

Sarah said...

The war in your mind is the hardest battle to fight. I have gained and lost weight and still struggle daily with the thoughts that enter my mind. Great job on your accomplishments!

Momza said...

Liz, you are so neat. Thank you for sharing this process outloud. I learn so much from you.
I've lost 20 lbs and this last week, I got careless with my diet and this morning noticed I've gained some back. I was feeling a little discouraged at the numbers, but school is starting next week, and I'm thinking that I'll get my ME time back so I can re-focus my efforts.
Your post is very encouraging!!
((HUGS))

Mellodee said...

That voice in the back of your mind urging you to go back to old habits and give up on your new ones is what makes changing habits soooo hard. It haunts us throughout our lives. Accomplishing your new approach to food and exercise is a major triumph, especially when your biggest obstacle is inside your own head!

~ Lori ~ said...

I usually see "fat Lori" in the mirror. The week in Indy was great for my ego, because I finally felt different. The fifty pounds changed me and that week made me feel it. I think a bit of a break from being so focused on the healthier you is ok...maybe you don't have to go to the gym 6 days a week and maybe you can eat a meal without weighing, measuring, and counting every calorie. The important thing, and this is KEY for anyone hoping to lose weight and keep it off, is to stay focused on your weight. If you gain a few pounds, don't just say "ah, it's just 3 pounds...no big deal". You can't do that. You have to focus hard again to get those off or those 3 little pounds will soon turn into 30 gained back and you're back to square one.

You've done a great job and I know this is for good...you're there!

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Wanna split a pizza?

Amy said...

I think it takes a very long time. I've had fun this summer, but I'm looking forward to the kids going back to school so I can get back to my gym routine.

I think an ebb and flow is normal and probably means you are really making changes that will stick - even if they change in the level of intensity from time to time.

Dillypoo said...

I understand completely having gone through the same thing at the beginning of the year. I kind of freaked out at how small I was getting...and promptly stopped losing weight even though I was technically staying on plan. It took a little more than four months for me to get used to the idea that I was thin and getting thinner, and once my head finally caught up to my figure, I started losing again.

Stick with it, don't lose faith and give your head and your body time to adjust. You can do it, even if it means you need to plateau for awhile.

Mrs4444 said...

I'm not sure winning that war is possible, though you may be able to call a truce :)

I need the structure of a program, or at least I think I do, since I recently joined SparkPeople and am loving it. It's helped me learn about what I'm eating. I've been exercising a lot and not seeing the scale move, but I'm pretty sure it's because I've changed fat to muscle, and I feel great. I think your attitude is perfect :)

Erin said...

I just started Couch to 5K yesterday (again!) I tried it at the beginning of the year, New year's resolutions and all, and I ended up hurting my knee. This time I am going to take it a lot slower. I just finished reading your "Healthier Me" tab. Congratulations!! You are doing awesome. Don't worry about what the scale says. If you feel good and you like the way your body looks, that is all that matters. I am sure you are much healthier than in the beginning.