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.