I am doing much better now, and it didn't "just happen", I was actively seeking help, actively trying to pull myself out of the pit. But no matter how hard I tried to pull myself out, I kept getting sucked further into the darkness. My weight creeping up to 161 pounds at its all time high on the scale and my willpower gone. All I wanted to do was eat, and knowing that was the one thing I shouldn't be doing made me want to eat more. I was in a dark place. So what changed? How did I end up where I am now? I'm totally rocking staying on track with my food. Sweets are much easier to say no to, I am not having a problem with afternoon snacking, and I'm killing my training workouts. I'm happier than I have been in years and I feel really good: physically and mentally.
One of my problems was that I was trying to climb out of the darkness, or in other words I was going against the grain, kicking against the pricks, trying to force myself into doing what I thought I should be doing and hating it all the while. I had to pass through the darkness to see the light on the other side and resurface in a different place than where I had entered. The first thing, and I think you will remember these blog posts, I had to do was let go of my past. My past was holding me down emotionally. I had to let it go and embrace the here and now. I cannot change the past, I can only learn from the past and work to make my present and my future the best it can be. How did I let go of the past? It wasn't easy. It took A LOT of prayer and scripture study and tears, but eventually I was able to feel peace, comfort and love.
The next thing that happened is that I actually started my triathlon training program. I am registered and training and now suddenly the whole thing seems much more real. This is something that I am going to do, there is no way out of it now and I certainly don't want to be the laughing stock of the race. I don't want to come in so far behind everyone else that the course clean up crew passes me by. I have read several stories of people signing up for races and then coming in so far behind everyone else that even the race markers are removed before they finish. That sounds like a nightmare! I want to give it my all and do my best. I don't mind coming in near the end of the pack but I would like to not come in dead last either, or if I do at least not so far behind I embarrass myself. This gives me motivation, and determination to not only track my food but to also stay within my calories and to say no to extra treats. This also gives me a reason to do my absolute best at the gym, instead of just getting through my workouts I give it my all and try to improve.
Water. OH my goodness, water. My nemesis. The first week I felt sick after drinking water. Seriously I would drink a little bit of water and my gag reflex would go off and I thought I was going to puke. One week later I found my mouth becoming dry and I would more willingly drink some water, which then made my stomach hurt and I felt sick. Two weeks in, water in much more tolerable and I find myself reaching for water more than my diet pepsi. Water still makes me queasy but I know it's important and I'm working hard to change my habit of drinking more diet pepsi than any other liquid. It pays off in the long run, I don't feel queasy for too long and drinking more water makes me feel satisfied longer and so I am not as hungry.
Weigh ins: I have a very strict rule of weighing in only once a week. I know I get scale obsessed and this is still very hard for me to adhere to but it is pretty much my only rule. I can weigh in once a week, therefore I might as well not think about my weight every day because there is no point. I will find out Saturday morning and I had better keep off the scale in the meantime. This has helped me become less weight obsessed, less scale obsessed, and allowed me to focus more on living life every day to its fullest, making choices based on health and fitness rather than what it will do to the scale the next morning. It frees up space in my mind and helps me to accept myself and my body at where I am now instead of where I want to be several months in the future. I used to think "I can't wait until this month is over because I will be x pounds lighter". Now it's about "How far can I progress this month in my fitness?" My focus has changed.
Did you catch that? My focus has changed Somewhere along this weight loss journey your focus has to shift from losing weight and wanting to fit into a certain size jeans to wanting to be healthy and fit and wanting to live life to its fullest and enjoy life. That's what drives you to the end and helps you maintain. I thought I had hit that point before but it was just a basic understanding of that is what should happen, a desire to have it happen to me. And that is where it starts. But I still was weight loss driven, I still hated my body, and hated the fat on my body, and really it was still all about hitting a number on the scale and fitting into a certain size pants. And to be perfectly honest, all that is still there lurking beneath the surface but it is secondary now. Now I am more interested in being active, being happy, doing things, going places, moving forward. I know that what I am doing now will cause my body to change and when my body stops changing is where my new habits will have lead me and maybe by then I will be happy with the changes in my body and my pants size and I won't have to think about it so much, or maybe it is just one more challenge I will have to over come, one more thing I will some day need to let go of.
For now I am taking things one day at a time. Every day is a new day with different challenges, different activities to overcome, yesterday is gone and the only thing that matters now is today and the future.
A lot of little things, (okay and some really big things) have added up to some serious changes in my attitude, and my physical and mental actions. This is how the change came about. Now I know, and now you know. Take action. If you can't get yourself to count calories now then what is something that you can do? If you can't get yourself to stop snacking in the afternoon then what is something that you can do? I didn't start preschool with the kids thinking "this will stop my afternoon snacking" I started preschool because I wanted to be more involved, I wanted more structure, I wanted to do something fun, and as a result I became busier and my afternoon snacking subsided. I felt like I had more purpose and became happier. I'm not perfect, far from it, but I have made a lot of progress.