Thursday, June 25, 2015

Struggles. Trying to Get My Head Back In the Game.

I have been struggling with slipping back into some old eating habits lately. I've still been working out. But the eating has been kind of a nightmare. Honestly… it's still better than it was 14 months ago… but I was definitely slipping backwards. And the scale was showing it.

I don't exactly know what my problem is. Why I am struggling so much. 

Part of it is being out of routine. It's been an insanely busy summer so far. And it's not over! 

Another part of it, I think is the stuff that's been sitting around. When all I have is healthy options, that's what I eat. But there has been so much unhealthy stuff sitting around. Due in part, I think to all that's been going on. 

But that doesn't answer the question as to why I've had such a hard time moderating. Or why I haven't been honest in my logging.

Honestly… it's hard for me to be held up as an example. As an inspiration. I've got friends on MFP that somehow think of me as their mentor. Every time I turn around, they are messaging me with more questions. And I want to help. Because I do get it. I understand the tendency and the desire to turn to someone who has been there. Of all the friends I have on MFP, only three of them are ones I have requested myself. But in every case, I requested them because I felt like they might be able to help, because they have "been there." They had lost the weight. They ARE in places I still dream of being! So, when one of my friends turns to me for help… I want to help! Part of the reason I first started losing weight in the first place is to prove that it can be done "my way." So, if someone is interested … I want to be able to share what I've done and what I believe. But I'm finding myself up on some sort of pedestal. And I never expected that. And it's hard for me. I'm supposed to be this example. Yet… what kind of example am I when I am eating so much crap? I think that has been a part of my not logging honestly. I don't want them to know that I'm basically eating everything in sight. No matter what it is!

But whether I log it or not… the scale doesn't lie. And it's not pretty. And I don't want to be another statistic of people who lose the weight only to gain it all back. I'm up 12 pounds from my lowest. That's hardly "gaining it all back," but it's a trend that needs to stop! It'll be easier to stop it now and lose those 12 pounds, than it will to ignore the problem and let those 12 pounds turn into 30. Or 50. Or more. So, I decided it was time to kick myself in the butt and get myself back on track. And part of the process of that… is taking a step back from the community aspect of MFP. I can't be everybody's mentor. Everybody's "go-to" person. I need to just be able to use MFP for me right now. For logging the calories. Logging the exercise. And drawing inspiration from others. So, I made my diary private. And I told my friends that I was taking a step back and why.

And within seconds (no joke), someone was messaging me with more questions. And in addition, she wanted details about how much weight I'd gained and what I was eating to do it. I cannot begin to voice my frustration. I quickly replied with bare minimum information. Hoping that would take care of it and she would leave me alone. Of course, she messages me back with even more questions. I didn't reply. At least not immediately. I think I had it in mind that eventually I would answer back. But I wasn't going to do it immediately.

Later on that night, she posts a rant on her news feed basically saying that I was full of sh*t (her words). She didn't use my name… but she very specifically spoke of something she had recently asked me about and I had answered. And she basically said that I was a liar and full of sh*t. She then proceeded to say that "all those who say that" need to learn how to eat properly and then maybe we (I) wouldn't be so f***ing fat (again… her words). (We'll ignore the fact that even with my 12 pound gain, she still weighed more than 100 pounds more than I do… and she's like 8 inches shorter than me!) She goes on to say that while she appreciated those people who had helped her… she did NOT appreciate those people who told her what I had told her. Because I had either apparently outright lied to her and/or I was full of sh*t. There was a part of me that really wanted to rip into her on the comments. There was a part of me that wanted to message her and rip into her even more in private. I was infuriated. I was hurt. But, I swallowed my rage and I simply deleted her as a friend immediately.

But it solidified in my mind that I was doing the right thing by stepping back. And by making my diary private. That is what I get for trying to help and for being honest about my struggles. NOPE! I didn't sign up for that. Don't get me wrong… that was an isolated incident. Most of my friends have been very understanding and supportive about my choice to step back. And it was a choice I made before she posted her rant. So, I do still intend on coming back later on (hopefully within a couple of weeks) and being an active participant again… once I get my head back in the game and feel like I am on solid ground myself again.

I've been doing better eating-wise the last couple of days. Honestly… I think part of that is that I ate all the crap that has been sitting out! The only thing I have left is healthy options! But the last few days, my workouts have not been brilliant. I've been doing them. And I'm logging the calorie burn that is on my HRM. But the effort hasn't been the same. I really think it's a mental game in this case. Physically, I am fine (really… I am). But I am falling for the idea that my legs are giving out on me. But in reality, it's my mind has been giving up. So, tonight at the gym… I really tried to push myself to keep going even though my mind was screaming at me to slow down. Tomorrow will be yet another test of my will as it's a speed work run!

I will not quit. I will keep going. No matter what the scale says. No matter how lousy my last two runs. I will keep going. Running is more than a workout for me. More than something I've picked up in an attempt to lose weight. It's something I actually want to do… it's something I want to be. I took my Runners World magazine to work with me the other night as I knew I'd be sitting one on one with a resident all night. One of the swing shift staff saw it and asked me if I was going to start running. I told her I already was. That I was just beginning training for a half marathon. She was astounded. She said that all she could do was a 5k. Now… she also does triathlons… but she didn't feel like she had it in her to run continuously for that long. I told her I was slower than cold tar. But she immediately cut me off and said "but you're doing it." Which I appreciated.

My neighbor has watched me go past his house often on my runs and he referred to me as the Energizer Bunny… because I just keep going. I find it an apt description. I am slow. But I keep going. And that is what I'm most proud of. And I will keep on going. Not just with running… but with this weight loss thing. So, I've had a flat tire. Fix it and move on. I have three choices… give up, give in, or give it all I've got. I chose to give it all I've got.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Body Composition Testing and Rethinking My… Well, EVERYTHING!

So, tonight my gym was offering free body composition testing. In addition to other things, it measures body fat percentage and gives you your lean body mass. Which is what I was interested in more than anything.

Since I have no frame of reference to go by in deciding what a good goal weight would be for me, I have been kinda going by the BMI scale… although I am aware of it's limitations. I knew body fat percentage offers a much better standard, but finding an accurate way to measure it is difficult.  I was particularly interested in was finding out my lean body mass. I had 180 set as my goal… but one of my friends raised concerns that if I lost that much, I might be losing muscle. I wasn't really concerned that I would lose muscle to get to that point… but I did want to know if it would put me at too low a body fat percentage if I got to that point. So, the opportunity comes for free professional body composition testing… yeah, you better believe I'm taking advantage of that one.

I was a little nervous going into it. I had no idea what my numbers were like 175 pounds ago. I know how far I've come and I really was hoping for a positive result. But my fear was that it would still show how far I have to go and without having any previous numbers to compare it to… it would be hard to take. If I would have had previous tests to compare it to… then even if my numbers were disappointing, I would have had the comparison to show how far I've come. But without that, I was nervous.

So, I measured at 28.5% body fat. And based off of all the charts I could find online… that puts me in the "average" or "acceptable" category. Which I am so very much okay with at this point. I've never been average or acceptable on any measure relating to weight my entire life!

My lean body mass was measured at 154.4 pounds. So, again, I go back to my charts online. Ideally, I would like to be somewhere between 19-22% body fat. At 19% that puts me in the "athletic" category. At 22%, that puts me in the "fitness" category. Which based on my calculations, that would put my ideal weight somewhere between 190-197. So, with that information… I have changed my "goal weight" to 195. As I have mentioned… my goal weight is in actuality more my "maintenance weight." The weight at which I will switch my goal to maintaining weight, instead of losing it. I expect that I might lose a couple of more pounds while I adjust to figuring out my true maintenance calories. Also, as I've mentioned, I don't like the word "goal." So, that's another reason I prefer the term "maintenance weight."

That puts me really, really close to my "goal." Which is exciting and scary at the same time! It's a little unreal to me. Already at this weight… I am considered average or acceptable. Not obese. Not unhealthy. Not even above average. How did that happen? I mean… that's been the entire point for the last 13 months… but now that it's here… it's kinda mind boggling. How did that happen? I never really doubted the process. Calorie deficit leads to weight loss… ALWAYS. It's been proven time and time again. I would literally have to defy the laws of physics for it to not work. So, I always believed it would work for me. I am not that unique! But now that I'm finding myself basically "normal"… I can't hardly believe it. I mean, who woulda guessed that I could be a normal weight, normal size person? I've been big my entire life. If I'm "acceptable" or "average" now based on my age and my height…. I am actually smaller than I have been (relatively speaking) since I was 4 years old! My whole family is big. And whatever happened to losing weight being such a hard thing to do?

And whatever happened to me having no motivation or ambition? In a way, I'm having to redefine myself! Everything I've ever believed about myself… I'm finding that I've just proved myself wrong. Which is stinkin' cool! But weird! And a little scary. Who am I? Last weekend I went shopping with my niece and she kinda chuckled watching me pick out medium sized shirts to take to the dressing room (they fit! A MEDIUM!). And she asked me "who are you and what did you do with Shanon?" I responded with "This is me. It's just that that other girl ate her. And I finally just escaped."

But is that true? Do I really believe it? And I don't know! I kinda do. Some of my family members have told me how I've changed (beyond just the weight), but I don't see it. I feel like I'm just me… the same person I've always been. So, in a way… yes, I do believe it. This is me! Finally able to be who I truly am. But then again… like I said, I'm finding that everything I've believed about myself I'm proving wrong.

Anyway. It's just interesting. Another way in which I'm having to get used to a life I never expected. Don't get me wrong… It's not bad. In fact, it's downright awesome! But it is a life I never expected.