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Digging Deep

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's been a strange year. I've struggled with getting my head in the weight-loss mindset for a number of months now. I haven't really gained, just fluctuated a few pounds up and down every month.

I'm on year 4 of my weight-loss journey. I'm 40 pounds lighter than I was in 2007. And so much more fit. Ran a marathon and a couple half-marathons, bike commute 25k every day, flexible, good muscle tone.

But I've been stuck. For a while. Struggling sometimes with exercise, struggling other times with basic skills like drinking water regularly or making healthy choices. But, really, I'm hard on myself. I'm still drinking at least 4 glasses of water on a bad day. And I always have fruit/veggies for snacks without fail. A bad week of exercise means that I went two days in a row without doing anything.

So, I think the issue is a mental one. I berate myself for not losing when in fact I'm still doing a lot of stuff right. I used to be a plus size 18 and now I'm a size 10. I have a waist. I can see my knee caps instead of chubby bumps halfway down my legs. I have a visible collarbone. Much to be proud of, especially that I've kept the weight off.

It's the mental work that is exhausting. And sometimes I feel tired. Like I just need a break from the work. I thought that after 4 years of focus, I wouldn't still struggle. Or that I would struggle less. Yet, the mental battle is constant. Every day, I have to choose to make good choices. Every tired or stressful moment requires a pep talk to not eat the emotions. Every evening is a battle to not pig out. I just thought it would all get easier.

Perhaps this is the life of an addict. I'm finally admitting that the relationship I have with food is not easily resolved and is akin more to an addiction than to just coping strategies.

Yesterday, I reminded myself how proud I feel when I make great and healthy choices. I walk talker and feel better. I've decided to use a mantra of "do yourself proud" to deal with weak moments. Today was better. So was yesterday. I know if I keep working at it, eventually I will find that internal shift I need to motivate myself, that I will live healthy because I value myself too much to do anything else.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for sharing your feelings - 'Every day, I have to choose to make good choices'. Wow I hoped it would get easier but maybe Sparking, exercising and 'dieting' is a life long commitment. I was reading about over eating being related to the addictive feeling you have after you eat - think that satiated feeling after a wonderful turkey dinner.

    Have a great week!
    3508 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5826188
    Keep on reminding yourself of what you have achieved and what you can now do that you could not back in 2007. The nind shift will come so keep on congratulating tyourself for the small achievments!
    3508 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6427585
    I do think this is a life-long battle. But I do also think that you (and me... and others) are TOO hard on yourself. I think occasionally it's OKAY to take a day OFF from ALLLLLLLL of that! To eat what you want. Drink what you want. Be LAZY if you want! But the trick is to only do it for a DAY! Not a WEEK... or a month. Not to fall back into the bad HABIT -- but to allow yourself a "day off". Maybe once a month. Put it on the calendar and look forward to it -- like a mini vacation! Perhaps that would make the daily "grind" a little easier to handle. Maybe?
    3512 days ago
  • FREES1
    this is a journey that will last us our lifetimes... you've done amazing things and you inspire at least me, and I am sure others, to keep on keeping on... it is a tough road to go but, like conquering every other challenge, one that is well worth while....

    relax, take the pressure off yourself.. you know what you need to do to be healthy and stressing isn't one of those things.. you are developing a good relationship with food and with movement and at only 4 years old its tough to balance against all the years prior when the relationships weren't healthy. Old habits are tough to break!

    the kicker with food vs. other addictions is that this is a substance that is needed for life so it makes reaching the balance between needed and excess tougher than with other substances...

    keep the faith, breathe.. let yourself be!!!
    3512 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6329775
    You are doing so great! Don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. None of us can claim that status. Just be. Just be yourself. You are perfectly awesome and you cannot get any better than that.
    3512 days ago
    emoticon You inspire so many people here on spark and I am lucky to have you as one of my friends!

    I completely relate to seeing our food issues as addicting. I've been facing lots of inner demons lately too, so I understand where you are coming from. October will be my 2 year mark in my fight against my weight, and I still get sad that I have to continue to treat it like a fight. I think at some point we need to close the critical eye, forgive ourselves of those minor missteps and make peace with our bodies. Celebrate the victories because they are awesome ones and take one meal at a time. Your fitness accomplishments are fantastic (especially that daily commute!) and you can see all the physical progress. You can tell with your mantra that you are 'this' close to making that mindshift. I know you can do it! YOU ARE WORTH IT!!! emoticon
    3512 days ago
    Every day is Day One. That's the hardest part of this journey...
    3512 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9065446
    Nice emoticon . Over four years your progress has been amazing, and I'm sure, progress on a mental level is just as great as your physical, but perhaps in a different way. You give yourself a reason to feel proud every time you make a good choice - and you should be walking tall and loving yourself regardless of what choice you make! Remember, life is a struggle, so why would health issues be any different? You are an inspiration to many, and every time I see your profie pic come up on a blog, or the Clover's challenge, I have to smile right along with YOUR lovely smiling face emoticon
    3512 days ago
  • CAM2438
    What a wonderful attitude. I am sure you will continue to have great success. Keep up the good work!
    3513 days ago
    really great blog, i enjoyed reading it, and can relate on so many levels.
    3513 days ago
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