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Yes, I am still alive. I’ve penned several posts in my mind, but never got around to typing any. So, what’s new?

  1. I changed gyms about a month ago. A couple friends from work signed up, and they bugged me to do the same. It was easily one of the best moves I’ve made. I don’t have to motivate myself to go, since they’ll drag me. Yes, it’s not ideal, but it’s working. My goal is to go 4 times a week. Other than the holiday break, I’ve either accomplished that or come really close.
  2. I’ve realised it doesn’t make sense to give up. I have failed on this road…so many times. Still, I couldn’t fully throw in the towel. Now that I am finally finding my rhythm, I am grateful I decided to try yet another time.
  3. I have these strange urges to eat things that held no appeal before, even when I’m not hungry. It is as if deciding to be more careful about what I eat has given life to a desire to do just the opposite. I have good days and bad days, but I am going to make it. 🙂

There is more to say, but I just wanted to pop in and encourage whoever is reading this. You may not think it is working, but do what you can. Perfection isn’t possible, and progress comes with not calling it a day. You can do it. Give yourself as many chances as you need.

Courage

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Preparing For Failure

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Sometimes, I wonder if all I’m doing on this journey is setting myself up to fail. I’ve taken on something I don’t want to do, but I need to do it. I know that, but it doesn’t make me any more likely to actually do it. I’ve developed negative habits since starting this journey, specifically as it relates to food. It is as if I am driven to sabotage myself. As if failing at this is trapping me in a cycle of destructive behaviour, one that guarantees I will keep failing.

I think my approach is wrong. Even though I say this isn’t about weight loss, it’s a sure way of telling if I am making the right choices. When I make poor food choices and skip the gym, and then the scale reflects that, I get down on myself. I decide I can’t be bothered, and then I eat. I mean, I’m even eating junk food again. I didn’t even like junk food before this journey! I have given myself something to fail at, instead of something to work towards.

If my goals are to eat clean and exercise, when I don’t do that, I process it as failure. That always fuels my self-destructive tendencies. If my goal is to become healthier and fitter, then even when I make poor choices, I can still keep working towards it. Health isn’t a number, and fitness isn’t a size. If I want to improve my health, and I see my stomach taking on a life of its own, I don’t have to start beating myself up. I can start being more deliberate about what I eat, I can take more walks…I can stop donating my money to the gym, and actually get up off my butt and go.

It’s such a subtle difference, but one I need. From now on, I will give myself something to work towards, not something to fail at.

 

Perfect?

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The pursuit of perfection is, at best, paradoxical. Has that stopped me? Nope.

It is not necessarily that I want to be perfect, full stop. I just want to be as perfect as I can be. I want to not fail at things I know are within my capabilties. For example, I had work-related training this morning. There was a quiz at the end, and I got one question wrong. I’m not over it…not because I got it wrong, but because I knew the right answer. I can’t bring myself to focus on all the others I got right. That one is stuck in my head, because I knew it, and I’m still smacking myself for it. In the end, the important thing isn’t that I get all the answers right, but that I have the requisite skills, and can apply those when needed. Still not over it.

It’s what I do, though. I don’t necessarily set lofty goals, especially as it relates to my health. I try to make things as feasible as possible. When I fail at that, I’m not necessarily motivated to keep pushing. I should know better, and I do know better, but I don’t do it. Isn’t that just so human of me? Don’t we all fail at things we can handle? Don’t we all make mistakes we could have avoided? Isn’t it just like us to beat ourselves up for not being good enough, very often according to our own standards?

I can’t promise I won’t do it anymore. That would just start the cycle all over again. I will struggle with this, maybe for a really long time. Still, I think I’m learning. Failure may mean I am not perfect, but it doesn’t mean I am worthless or incapable of change. All failure does is reveal where I need to grow, and if I allow failure to cripple me, I’ll never grow.

I will fall. I will fail. I will not give up.

Perf

To Be Honest

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I wasn’t going to post a blog today, but the thoughts were there, so why not? I’m actually considering shutting down this blog. It’s hard for me to share my life with others, which is a big part of why my posting is so sporadic. This is my journey, and I am not ashamed of my lack of progress as it relates to weight loss, because it reveals things about me…and that means progress as a person. I’m just not always up for sharing that, but perhaps I need to.

So, to be honest…

  • I don’t want to do this…any of this. I like eating healthy food when I can, and I even enjoy working out. I just hate this inevitable feeling that I’m working towards a number, or a look, or a sense of accomplishment. I’m not working towards any of those things, but it’s almost as if that’s the expectation. This journey has never felt organic, or like an extension of myself. At the same time, I don’t feel pressured into doing it…I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t accepted me as I am. It’s just…I don’t know. It’s hard to be motivated when you don’t want to do something. I don’t want to lose weight. I know I need to, and I know I need to improve my health, but I don’t look forward to being significantly smaller. That is a big part of the struggle of this journey–I’m doing it without motivation. I can’t picture myself ever being motivated to lose weight, so I can’t wait for motivation.
  • I don’t know if I love myself enough. I know I don’t hate myself, and I oppose anything and anyone that would suggest I am somehow less of a person because of my weight, but I can’t honestly say I actively love myself. If I did, I think I would make better choices…wouldn’t I want to be as healthy as possible? Wouldn’t I push for what’s best for me? I don’t know. Maybe I just need to be more deliberate about how I live out this love…maybe it’s time I learn to fight.
  • I’m tired of saying the same thing over and over…but maybe not tired enough, since I keep having to say it. I sometimes wonder why I’m so passive when it comes to the pursuit of my welfare, but maybe I don’t want to find out. It’s pretty weird, though. I’m a giver, and I will do whatever I can to help another person. Why withhold the same from myself?
  • I don’t know if or when this is going to ‘work’. This journey has never been about the numbers, although the numbers tell their own story. I can’t promise this is going to be the year I get it right, but I know this won’t be the year I give up. This journey to health is not the story of my life. It’s yet another step on the road to discovering what it is to live…and to love. To love life enough to live it meaningfully; to love myself enough to be deliberate about making wise choices.

That’s where I am now, I guess. Let’s see where this goes.


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Weigh-In No. 3 (And Challenge Accepted)

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274 (18/05/15)
Previous weight: 277

I didn’t make it to the gym last week, and I didn’t eat perfectly. This just reinforces how important consistency is. I won’t pretend I eat clean all the time, but I try, and that was how I made my 1% goal. Last week was interesting. I had white rice on Thursday, movie theatre nachos and popcorn (my friend and I shared) on Friday, and Chinese food on Saturday. I really thought I had blown it, so I tried to keep up my hydration…just so I could make my goal. I learned two things from that.

1. I have to be on guard so it doesn’t become about the numbers. I know how my body works, especially at this weight. I know how it responds to water and to certain foods. I want to keep losing weight, since it’s a natural part of getting healthier for someone my size, but I don’t want that to be my goal. My weight loss has to be about healthy eating and exercise, not playing some numbers game.

2. Results come through consistency. This works with positive and negative behaviours. Three meals didn’t have the power to undo weeks of basically clean eating. In the same way, if I return to consistently making poor food choices, my weight will increase and I will become more unhealthy.

That said, I doubt I will continue to lose weight at this rate if I don’t work out. Even if I do, I don’t necessarily want a smaller body. I want a healthier body, and that means improving my fitness, strength, and endurance. That means going to the gym I’m paying for each month. I don’t have a choice in whether I pay, and I need to make exercise as steady a part of my routine.

So, this week’s challenge: Go to the gym four times. One down, three to go. I went to a muscle mix class this morning, and then embarrassed myself in Zumba.  I should listen to myself, and not go again (I said so last time).

Image source: spurlingtrainingsystems.com

Weigh-In No. 1 (Again)

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I think my arms might be too dead to type this. I just had my butt kicked by a lady old enough to be my mother. That class wiped me out, but I’m glad I pushed past my unwillingness, and didn’t skip the gym. So…

Although I will not be numbers-driven, there is no discounting the reality that frequent weigh-ins are a good indicator of progress. I will weigh in once a week. My ‘plan’ is to lose 1% of my weight each week. That might not always be the case, and that’s fine, but I think it is a healthy and modest rate.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my last recorded weight was 283. I think I had lost some by that point, so it is safe to assume I was somewhere close to my heaviest recorded weight (291) before then. Anyway…

280 (04/05/15)

So, that’s 1% down. I’m not as happy about the number as I am about the fact that I’ve been making better choices, and exercising more control over what I eat. I’ve even been going to the gym more than once a week. 🙂

Perhaps my biggest lesson so far has been that consistency is more important than perfection. I will mess up, I will eat what I shouldn’t, and there will be days when I just can’t be bothered, but that doesn’t mean I should quit. I’m in this for my health, for my life. Giving up is no longer an option.

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Weight Loss Mystery Solved…Part 1

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Last week was such a pensive time, and I think I’ve made a breakthrough. Somehow, I understand why I’ve never been able to embrace weight loss as a separate entity, why I’ve never felt whatever it is that compels people to try to lose weight. Of course, I see the need for weight loss, as part of a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, but that doesn’t change my aversion. So, my epiphany, if you will…

No matter how strong you are, even if you think you’re unaffected by things people say, you build resistance. I’ve had perfect strangers ask me if I didn’t see I was too fat (because, apparently, I don’t have either working eyes or a mirror), had people who hadn’t seen me in a long time not even greet me properly, but make a comment about my size. I won’t go into how the average person becomes a nutritionist or something–all the lovely ‘concerned’ questions about my health. I took it all in stride, often laughed and responded politely to people who were downright obnoxious, but I can no longer deny its impact.

I’ve absorbed, without realising it, so much of the negativity aimed at me because of my size. I’ve never hated myself or my body, but I think I transitioned into no longer actively loving myself, as if I didn’t have that right, simply because I had let myself go. Even the love I had for myself became ‘in spite of’, as if I had to defend my right to love myself–or not hate myself.

People have suggested something must be fundamentally wrong with me, just by looking at me. In the same breath, I knew being fat didn’t make me less of a person, or unworthy of love. Because of that, I feel the need to protect myself…to protect my fat self.

Trying to lose weight feels like giving in to everyone who has made my size feel unacceptable…to the random people on sidewalks who told me I should stop eating, to family members who’ve reduced my portions or flat-out told me I shouldn’t eat something (things they didn’t do for others), to those who have celebrated my smaller self as if accidentally (or deliberately) losing weight made me a better person–as if I would finally be worthy of my spot on the planet if I lose enough weight. I oppose that idea so strongly that trying to lose weight feels like a betrayal of my very self.

Now that I understand this, I need to find a way to include weight loss in my health and fitness journey, without having it as the point of my journey. Weight loss will be the consequence of my changing lifestyle, not the cause of it. It will give me a sense of how my changes work, how my body responds to those changes, but I will not work for a number. I refuse to be a slave to the scale, or shackle myself to the idea that my weight and worth have any relationship, especially that of inverse proportion. Weight loss, on this journey, will be only a guide, not a goal.

I may still struggle with my aversion to weight loss, and while people may assume I’m working towards losing weight, and may even applaud me for it, I have to remember my goals–health, fitness, and discipline. I am not a thin girl trapped in a fat girl’s body. My body is not a prison, and I refuse to try to escape from it. I will, as I am changing, transform it…see its potential for strength, continue to appreciate its beauty, at every size.

This is my body, and I love it. I am fat, and I love myself. Fat is not my identity, and rooting my identity there, embracing fat as who I am, is no less than destructive than those who would see me as unworthy because of my weight.

I am fat, and I love myself…enough to change.

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