So much has happened this summer, including my annual women's backpacking trip, which I hope to write about soon, but the most exciting thing I have to share is that I feel confident in saying, my mojo is officially back. And not a moment too soon because the path I was on did not feel good and was scary and playing with fire.
I appreciated a comment from Karen on my most recent post, what she called a cautionary tale, about not taking weight gain during maintenance seriously enough, how she wishes she had taken her initial 10 pound weight gain more seriously and maybe she wouldn't have gained so much. Maintenance is so tricky isn't it?
Speaking of comments, in my last post I wrote about not feeling like I had done something "wrong" by gaining weight, but also that I was unhappy with the weight gain, and working (mostly mentally at that time) on shifting course. This is such a fine distinction, and I responded to some of the comments that I'd interpreted as having a moralistic judgment of weight gain...I'm so careful with NOT doing that for myself that I'm quick to squash any hint of it in my orbit...BUT, in the process, I don't ever want to make a reader here feel like I'm coming down on them or calling them out for the way they say things. I love the feedback and have learned so much from comments and I'm sorry for the reactionary response to your comments on "admitting" to weight gain.
So, as I said above, my mojo is back. What does that mean? It means I'm motivated, positive, enthusiastic...it means I've shifted from thinking about making changes to actually making changes. What changes? A lot. I've started tracking again. You might remember that I'm not a believer in lifelong tracking (for me. I know it works for others) but I do use it as a tool when needed. AND...I'm exercising.
But the really big deal is, I'm doing both of these things because I want to be doing them. For at least the past 6 months, if not longer, exercising and paying attention to what I eat have felt like something I had to do, that nagging voice inside my head that tells me I need to, should be, have to....and I have never responded well to that voice.
Once I noticed, really noticed, the external voice had gotten hold of me, I started actively working my thoughts to banish it. What do I want? What feels good? How are my current behaviors affecting me? Do I want something to change? What is it I want to change? How might I go about changing it? What price am I paying for the choices I'm making? Where will this lead if I don't make a change? Is that where I want to go? ...and so on, and so forth.
So I've probably lost about 5 pounds of fat, and gained a tiny bit of muscle. Going back to the gym was painful, both psychologically and physically. I've lost SO MUCH strength. I used to do 40 pushups, now I can barely do one. And I'm sore. I did legs/shoulders yesterday and, ouch... BUT, it feels so good to be using my muscles again, to be doing something I love, and feeling good about it, that the discomfort is worth it. I know how this works, if I keep going, I will get my strength back. I am lucky, I know what works. I talk to a lot of people who struggle to find the right formula to lose weight.
And I am mining this experience for lessons...what did I do right? Well, I didn't beat myself up, I showed patience, I did what I could to prevent a total free-fall/relapse, I weighed myself regularly despite the number going up, up, up, I never-for-a-moment gave up, etc. What could I have done differently? I'm not sure about this one yet. Maybe I could have changed up my workout routine, tried something new? Or...you know, this one will take me longer to understand. I had a slump that lasted a long time, but it wasn't a full relapse, but...I don't know. Maybe what I did was the best I could have done? And still, I want to learn something so maybe if this happens again I can not gain almost 20 pounds.
I want to write more about what I've been up to this summer. Because even though I've been in a slump with eating and exercise, I've managed to keep living. The couch did not win. Most important, I want to write about my backpacking trip, because that helped light this fire. Because of my lack of fitness I suffered, not too badly, but more than I wanted to. What price am I paying for the choices I'm making? Plenty of time to think up in those quiet, pristine, gorgeous Sierra mountains.
I'll close with a few recent pics that say a lot about how I'm doing...
|My first day back at the gym|
|A grocery store run.|
|An actual run. On the beach in SF. One hour.|
|How I handled a burger night at at friend's house|