Thursday, January 28, 2016

Back to Basics

I knew at the very beginning of this attempt to lose weight… that things would not always go smoothly. I knew there would be stumbles and falls. I knew there would be days, weeks, even months, where I was ready to just throw it in. I knew that there would be times when I would feel like I'm actually in a worse spot than I was before I even started. And that I would wonder why I was even bother to try during that time period.

But then… things went so smooth for me. The weight just seemed to fall off. Progress in weight loss as well as fitness seemed to come in leaps and bounds. I had barely been doing this for a year and I was already getting close to my goal weight. Somewhere in there I had become a role model. An inspiration for others.

But then something happened. A lot of it I can trace back to the half marathon. It was incredible. But I HURT afterwards. And it took a few days before my body felt like it was even able to move again. And then by that time, I came down with what I'm still assuming was "hand/foot/mouth" disease. That was misery. That hurt worse than the half marathon. No joke. I could barely walk. I came home from work one morning and just cried because I hurt so bad. (And it's not like I have a highly active job!) A visit to the doctor seemed to corroborate the hand/foot/mouth self-diagnosis. But there was nothing that could be done except to let time pass. And in the meantime… I was highly contagious. So, I got a doctors note excusing me from work for the rest of the week… and I camped out at home, ice packs being my only relief. At night, my sister would get me settled in bed, then actually strap ice packs to my feet with ace bandages so I could stand to sleep. She did it to my hands at one point too.

Here we got a picture of the "ice pack casts."
I managed to smile for the picture, but
what you are missing what the break-
down into tears just 15 minutes earlier.

And honestly… things have never been right since. I don't mean due to the disease. Time did pass and I eventually healed up. But I have never been able to get myself back into the game. Another part of the problem is that the time change happened soon after that and it was dark at night… which meant I couldn't run outside anymore. 

I recognized the slack-off and signed up for another half marathon in April in hopes that it would help keep me motivated. 

But here we are at the end of January and I'm am dead in the water. I keep finding excuses not to go workout (at all… forget running!). And my diet is a joke. And worse yet… my heart is not in it. I am having a hell of a time even working up the whatever to even care. I've gained back weight. I can tell the difference in how my clothes fit. 

So… here I am for the first time really… encountering those times that I knew I would encounter in the very beginning. And I'm struggling to know how to deal with it. My best guess is just to not give up. Even if the most "healthy" decision I can bring myself to make at this point in the game is just to get enough sleep… as long as I don't give up. Or rather… as long as I start again each time I give up… then eventually I will get there. I am in the phase where I have to decide whether I am truly going to make this a lifestyle change… or whether it was just going to be a diet that I went on for awhile. 

I intended this to be a lifestyle change. I want it to be. I have loved the life I have found since I started this. But right now… I'm in a slump. And I need to assess why I'm here and what I can do to get out of it. Right now, I'm still in the "just don't give up" place. Stop beating myself up for gaining some weight back. Realize where I am and accept it as part of the journey. Remember that just because I can't do everything, I shouldn't refuse to do those things that I can do. Do what I can bring myself to do right now. Eventually those other parts will come back in as long as I don't give up. Don't get discouraged. I expected this to take anywhere from 2-4 years before I got to a place where I felt satisfied about where I was and felt secure in having made it a true lifestyle change. You are not even at 2 years yet… so don't beat yourself up for not being at your goal yet. 

In fact… I need to remember what GOAL means to me anyway in this process. There is no… never was… a "goal weight." There was a simply a "maintenance weight." Goal is not a destination or an end point. GOAL is an acronym for "Get Out And Live." That's what this has been about since the very beginning. Creating a life I love. Becoming the kind of person I want to be. 

I have a very dear friend (he's easily old enough to be my father… but that does not stop me from considering him as one of the best friends I have ever had… in fact, I am closer to him that I ever was to my father) who knows me probably better than my own family does. Prior to losing weight… I went through a huge, massive, life-altering, spiritual overhaul. And this man was the one who saw me through it. Who walked by side as I struggled to figure out who I am and  what I want out of this life in terms of religion or my relationship with God. He was there for me at 5:00 in the morning or at 8:00 at night ( or any time in between) to listen to me. To talk to me. He put up with more tears than anybody should ever have to. He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He refused to give up on me even though he had every reason in the world to do so. And somehow in all of this… he still managed to love me. And to believe the best about me even when everything I did seemed to prove him wrong.

Anyway… My point. I was talking to him just this past Sunday. Mentioned I was struggling. He took the spiritual side of it… as that is what our relationship has been based on… and shared some thoughts that he hoped would help me. One thing he mentioned was to forget all the fluff. Forget the intricacies. And focus on those simple and beautiful things that is at the very base. He was speaking in the spiritual sense. But that's kind of what I'm trying to do here… Forget about everything else and go back to the basic reasons why I started this in the beginning. I've learned a lot about nutrition and exercise and the way the body works (especially since I started studying to be a personal trainer). I have a whole list of stuff in my head as what I should be doing and how I should be doing it and why it's important. Maybe for right now… I need to forget all that and remember what this was all about for me. Creating a life I love. Becoming the person I want to be. 

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